My last post was about a hot rod powered by the Chrysler Slant Six engine. The Chrysler Slant Six is the most famous slant six engine in North America. However in many parts of the world there is a slant six engine that is more well known. That slant six engine is what powers the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Is Powered By A Slant Six Engine
In the early 1950s Mercedes-Benz wanted to build a sports car, but they did not have a lot of money available for the development of new products. Their most powerful engine was a 2,996cc six cylinder in line overhead camshaft engine in the Mercedes-Benz 300 that developed 115 DIN horsepower. The overall plan was to use this engine in the new sports car. The Mercedes-Benz engineers came up with the idea of placing the 2,996cc engine on an angle so they could have a sports car with a lower profile. They ultimately redesigned the 2,996cc engine to be installed at an angle of 50 degrees. Recall that the Chrysler Slant Six was installed at an angle of 30 degrees from vertical. The Mercedes-Benz slant six engine configuration in the Mercedes-Benz 300SL is shown below.
The Mercedes-Benz Slant Six Was Installed At 50 Degrees
Once the engineers got the orientation of the engine correct, they went to work on improving the performance of the 2,996cc engine. The carburetors were replaced by a Bosch mechanical fuel injection and along with other improvements they had an engine that produced 215 DIN (240 SAE) horsepower. This engine made the Mercedes-Benz 300SL one of the fastest sports cars of its era.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Engine
Car and engine designers always seem to watch what others are doing, so I expect that the Chrysler engineers saw that Mercedes-Benz has success with a slant six engine which gave them confidence to develop their Chrysler Slant Six.
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