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Mercedes Benz 700 SS

Mercedes Benz 700 SS 27/140/200 hp Fernandez & Darrin Torpedo

Introduced at the maiden Nurburgring 1000 km race in 1927, the S-Type is considered Ferdinand Porsche's finest design for Mercedes Benz. Although it was intended purely as a racer, the S-Type was not designed from the bottom up as a racer, but developed from original road going Mercedes models. At that Mercedes Benz however did not yet have a big enough budget to allow them to setup a full bore race program, which many of the company's Italian and British competitors did have.

Porsche based the S-Type on 400 and 630 models, which were named after their displacement (almost 4 and 6.3 litre respectively). Both models were equipped with six cylinder engines fitted with a supercharger that engaged only when the throttle was floored. The official type indication of these models included three horsepower figures, the first for the fiscal hp, the second for the performance in natural aspirated form and the third indicated the performance with the supercharger engaged.

It was the engine that made these Mercedes models interesting, as the chassis and suspension were of a very simple design. One of the model's biggest drawbacks was its size and weight. Agility was definitly not what these models excelled at. A first step was taken in the right direction when the K-Type was introduced in 1926. The K was an abreviation for the German 'Kurz' or 'short' and indicated the shorter wheelbase compared to the 630.

Although the shorter wheelbase was an improvement, much more was needed to provide the car with proper balance. What made the difference were the modifications found on the first S-Type. The entire car was lowered and the engine moved back in the chassis. Both were aimed at centering the weight, which was beneficial for handling. In addition, the engine capacity was increased to just under 6.8 litres. It was known as the 680 S.

Porsche's improvements paid off and the 680 S made its victorious run at the first ever race on the Nurburgring. With 172 bends, handling is what the 25.6 km track is all about, underlining the S-Types fine cornering ability. Larger engines were fitted to create the 700 SS and ultimately 710 SS. These were intended for road use, but were almost identical to the now legendary SSK and SSKL racers that were derived from the SS. True race cars for the road, producing 225 bhp with the supercharger engaged.

General specifications
Country of origin Germany
Years of production 1928 - 1934
Numbers built 115
Body design Fernandez & Darrin
Weight 2000 kilo / 4409.2 lbs
Engine M06 Straight 6
Engine Location Front , longitudinally mounted
Displacement 7.065 liter / 431.1 cu in
Valvetrain 2 valves / cylinder, SOHC
Fuel feed Mercedes twin-choke Carburetor
Aspiration Roots-Type Supercharger
Gearbox 4 speed Manual
Drive Rear wheel drive
Performance figures
Power 200 bhp / 149 KW @ 3300 rpm
BHP/Liter 28 bhp / liter
Power to weight ratio 0.1 bhp / kg
Top Speed 185 km/h / 115 mph