It is fair to say that nobody goes to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event, or follows it on the web, to look at all the stock cars that tag along the big-horsepower, custom-built machines that stand a good chance of falling off the cliff. But sometimes those standard road cars, like the Mercedes C300 d 4MATIC, accomplish significant things that warrant a report.
The Benz in question managed to set a new Pikes Peak record for diesel-powered cars. The near-production Mercedes C300 d 4MATIC driven by Uwe Nittel completed the 19.99 km long route which includes more than 150 bends in just 11.37 minutes, which is remarkable, considering it was a family car with only 204 horsepower.
That comes down then to the versatility of the Merc’s robust 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and the performance of its 7G-tronic automatic transmission in delivering the power to the ground in the most optima way. The only modifications made to the Pikes Peak Mercedes C300 d were the safety measures required by the regulations, such as a roll-over cage, racing tank, fire extinguishing system, enhanced brakes and ultra-high-performance tyres (UHP).
“With extensive simulation measures, gruelling durability road tests and exhaustive trial driving at test sites all over the world, Mercedes-Benz’s testing programme is undoubtedly one of the most rigorous in the automotive branch,” says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Pikes Peak raised the crossbar still further. And the virtually series-productionC 300 d 4MATIC demonstrated in this test that sporty performance and clean exhaust technology go together perfectly.”