GRR

Meet the 44-litre, 3,000bhp Mercedes-Benz T80

23rd July 2018
Andrew Willis

Land-speed record cars are a special, and bonkers, breed of automotive engineering. This year at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, we’re lucky enough to have two examples spanning nearly 80 years of history, from the latest Bloodhound project, to the colossal and historic Mercedes-Benz T80 from 1939. 

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The incredible six-wheeled Mercedes-Benz T80 – developed and designed by Ferdinand Porsche and backed by the German government following some persuasive chats with famed racing driver Hans Stuck – was built to break the land speed record on home tarmac, on a stretch of motorway in Dessau early 1940.

The T80 was hoped to achieve a staggering 373mph, and its modern, art-deco inspired sweeping lines were at the forefront of aerodynamic design. 

Unfortunately, the giant silver arrow never got the chance to put its 44.5-litre 3,000hp V12 Daimler-Benz DB 603 aero engine to the test, as the outbreak of WWII distracted somewhat from the project.

Usually found within a museum in Stuttgart, it is a real privilege to have this unique and important piece of automotive history at the Festival of Speed this year. 

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  • FOS

  • FOS 2018

  • Mercedes-Benz

  • T80

  • Land Speed Record

  • 2018

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