Mercedes-Benz 260D – the first serial car “diesel”

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Visiting various forums automotive topics, often encountered fierce debates car owners about what type of engine is better than petrol or diesel. Each party brings their arguments, arguments, facts, fantasies and delusions. And typically, these disputes do not end in nothing – all remain unconvinced. And however, this is not surprising because in the percentage of passenger cars with diesel or gasoline engine, approximately equal in number. So whether it’s always been? Definitely not. Diesel engines in the automobile industry, has gained popularity relatively recently – in the last few decades. In this article, I will not tell about any advantages of one or another type of engine type of power, it will be a different story. I want to tell you about the first serial and mass passenger car with a diesel engine – Mercedes-Benz 260D.

In February 1936 Mercedes-Benz introduced this revolutionary model at the international motor show вMercedes-260 a-D-Diesel Berlin. Diesel engine displacement of 2.6 liters (factory code OM 138) with the prechamber and fuel high-pressure pump BOSCH, developing 45 HP at 3200 rpm was installed in the chassis of the car Mercedes-Benz 200 with a long wheelbase. The model is called the Mercedes-Benz 260D (body W138).

In November 1934, after experimenting with various power plants, the German engineers have focused on the well-proven 6-cylinder engine from commercial vehicles. The result is a new 4-cylinder, engine displacement of 2.6 liters. And at the end of 1935, began serial production of the model 260D. The success of this model was that by the standards of those years the engine was extremely cheap: the average consumption was slightly higher than 9 liters of diesel fuel per 100 kilometers, compared to 13 liters of fuel consumed petrol model. In addition, diesel fuel cost only 17 eveningof per litre cheaper than petrol by more than half. Mercedes-260–D-1936 Car with a diesel engine, could pass on one filling of about 400 km, and subsequently more 500km adaptations and modifications. In the conditions of underdeveloped network of filling stations this was a significant advantage over less efficient petrol cars.

The first who appreciated the model 260D, was a German taxi drivers, using Mercedes-Benz 260D as a taxi up to the 1950s. More and more individuals attracted to this car by its efficiency, allowing the company to expand the range. In 1938, the engine OM138 received substantial revision – electric candles glow, simplified starting at low temperatures. The diesel engine of this design was so successful that it began to be put on trucks L-series models 1100 and 1500.

Almost without significant changes, this engine produced up to the early 80’s. Changing the working volume of 2 to 3 liters number of cylinders, but the idea and design of the engine remained unchanged for almost half a century. If you want to see this engine, does not necessarily go to the Museum on our roads is still enough cars Mercedes-Benz W123 equipped with these simple, powerful and reliable engine

Mercedes 260D
Mercedes-260--D-DieselMercedes-260--D-1936

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