This past week, Slightly Mad Studios had Nicolas Hamilton set a benchmark lap time in the almost un-drivable (by today’s standards) 1952 Mercedes Benz W194 race car, on the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit in North Western France. Now, Project Cars asks, are you faster than Nicolas Hamilton?
A short time ago I posted an article on Nicolas regarding a video documenting Nicolas’s road to becoming a race driver. Now working with SMS as their handling consultant, Nicolas Hamilton has thrown down the gauntlet to anyone wishing to prove that they can eclipse his best time of 2:05.523 for the Le Mans Bugatti layout in the Mercedes Benz W194!
Mercedes Benz W194 engine and aero specs:
The 1952 Mercedes Benz W194 won the 24 hours of Le Mans on its debut and went on to score numerous podiums in a wide range of events, including the famous Italian, Mille Miglia and the Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring in Germany.
*Like the 300SL it birthed, the W194 borrowed its overhead cam straight 6 engine from the regular four-door 300 (W189 “Adenauer”) luxury tourer introduced in 1951, with triple two-barrel Solex carburators from the exclusive 300S (W188). Designed with an innovative diagonal aluminum head (that allowed for larger intake and exhaust valves) and canted at a fifty-degree angle to the right to fit under the W194’s considerably lower hoodline, it produced 175 hp (130 kW) in racing trim, considerably up from the 300s’ 150 hp (112 kW). Maximum torque was 207 N·m (153 lb·ft). Top speed was 290 km/h (180 mph
Aerodynamics played an important role in the 2497 poundcar’s speed. Unlike many cars of the 1950s, steering was relatively precise and the four-wheel independent suspension allowed for a reasonably comfortable ride and markedly better overall handling. However, the rear swing axle, jointed only at the differential, not at the wheels themselves, could be treacherous at high speeds or on imperfect roads due to extreme changes in camber. The enormous fuel tank capacity also caused a considerable difference in handling depending on the quantity of fuel on board.
*Bugatti Le Mans Circuit, France