Mercedes’ solution was an huge Kammback — the name of the body style originates from the research conducted by German car aerodynamicist Wunibald Kamm in the 1930s. Not only did its design preview what was to come in the following years, but the low-slung body was also aerodynamically optimized as the concept had a drag coefficient of just 0.28.
To meet the fuel economy goal, the Auto 2000 concept needed more than just a sleek body. That’s why Mercedes’ engineers came up with three frugal powertrain solutions. The first one was a V8 3.8-liter gasoline engine fitted with cylinder deactivation technology, which as you can imagine was quite the novelty back then. Whenever the engine’s full power was not necessary, half of the cylinders were temporarily shut down to save precious fuel.
The next proposal for an economical engine was a six-cylinder 3.3-liter diesel that had two turbochargers. It granted the Auto 2000 with an “exemplary accelerating power” and needed only 7.5 liters / 100 km (31.3 mpg) while the car was doing 75 mph (120 kph) based on Mercedes’ testing procedures.
📚/📸: Motor1.com (written by Adrian Padeanu on 3/1/17)