Mercedes-Benz has shared a series of teasers across social media to hint at a revival of its historic C 111 sports car concepts.

    Images and video posted to social media show pixelated, round tail lights reminiscent of the original 1970 C 111, surrounded by a rounded light bar on a familiar orange body colour.

    A short video shows a full-width light bar that displays the text ‘One-Eleven’.

    One image also shows the text ‘H243’ animated on a taillight, suggesting this reawakened concept car may be used to showcase developments in the EQA range sharing the same code name.

    While the original C 111 concept series never reached production, it acted as a signal of Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to innovation.

    It also previewed turbo-diesel power ahead of its launch in Mercedes-Benz’s production cars, suggesting this revival concept could potentially preview new battery or electric motor technology for the brand’s future electric cars.

    Captions for the teaser images describe the model as “A new concept sports car”, “An icon reloaded,” and “A reimagined icon” that is “ready to inspire a new era.”

    Mercedes-Benz is yet to provide any further details or indicate a reveal date.

    The German automaker revealed the original C 111 at the 1969 Frankfurt motor show, with gullwing doors, an engine mounted midship, and a wedgy body painted in bright metallic Weissherbst orange.

    The model was intended to explore the potential of the Wankel rotary engine for road cars, which Mercedes-Benz eventually ruled out due to durability concerns and high fuel consumption.

    Its tri-rotor Wankel engine produced 205kW and allowed the concept to do the 0-100km/h sprint in five seconds ahead of a top speed of 260km/h – impressive numbers for the era.

    The following C 111-II added another rotor for a total of 257kW and a top speed of 300km/h.

    The C 111 concept was also used to demonstrate the brand’s diesel engines, with a 1975 iteration featuring a 140kW/363Nm turbo-diesel engine that set a record at the high-speed Nardò circuit.

    The diesel-powered sports car drove at an average speed of 252km/h over 16,000km in a 64-hour drive with four alternating drivers.

    In addition to setting records, the C 111-III introduce buyers to the concept of a turbo-diesel engine ahead of the launch of the world’s first turbo-diesel passenger car in the S-Class.

    The C 111-IV dropped the turbo-diesel engine for a 4.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 368kW.

    Around a dozen examples of this evolving concept were built, and prototypes of each era remain preserved by the company.

    Mercedes-Benz won’t be the first brand to reawaken a historic model to show off its new-generation features.

    In 2021, Hyundai married its 1975 Pony with the electric vehicle architecture of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 to create a retro-futuristic concept.

    Eilidh McNaughton
    Eilidh McNaughton is a Contributor at CarExpert.
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