We witness their brilliance first hand but it’s still a regular occurrence to, when perusing the paddocks as the cars arrive pre-event, be in absolute awe of the operation. Locating the cars, talking to the owners/manufacturers, arranging the terms of their delivery. One such car that caught our eye in this respect, as others like it always do, was the Mercedes C292.
For the uninitiated, this is one of that special breed of cars that arrived a moment too late, as the disciplines and classes within which they dream to dominate radically change, or their manufacturers pull the plug before they get to enter. To call it a white elephant has negative connotations that just don’t apply, but the C292, come its birth, had no purpose. Mercedes, severely disappointed with the 291’s performance the previous year and disillusioned with the spiralling costs of development in the World Sports Car Championship, pulled out before the 1992 season began.
The new car’s 3.5-litre flat-12 engine featured an unprecedented level of sophistication in its electronics and was showing promise to seriously improve power output over the previous year’s car. With the Tag Electronics telemetric system, capable of transferring 5,000,000 bits of information per second, output was increased to 680bhp at a dizzying 13,000rpm compared to the 291’s sub-600bhp.