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autoviva2010-12-31 12:16:55

Mercedes-Benz trainees reveal sporty genes of the B-Class

Mercedes-Benz trainees reveal sporty genes of the B-Class

A team of engineers and trainees at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt took up a challenge by their plant manager Peter Wasp, to create a unique car on the basis of a B-Class. With total creative freedom given to them, Andreas Würz, foreman in the technical vocational training department, came up with the idea of fitting a V8 engine into the model.

The unique B-Class, normally known as spacious and practical compact model to its customers, now equipped with a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive, gets an entirely new twist.

To realize the project, Würz engaged his fellow-foreman Matthias Rieger, and a team of twelve trainees specialising in production mechanics and automotive mechatronics. Financial support was organised by HR manager Martin Spicale and a B 200 CDI which had been serving in the training workshop for learning purposes was used for the conversion.

The engine of choice was a 5.5-litre V8 developing 388 hp and 530 newton metres of torque. Würz himself expressed surprise how well it fitted into the car's engine compartment: "The V8 power unit fitted amazingly well, and we were even able to use the original engine mounts." A seven-speed automatic transmission and engine control unit were added too.

Also exterior and interior received some fine tuning with the training workshop in Sindelfingen providing Alcantara linings for the A, B, C-pillars and roof liner. The seats were fitted with a leather/Alcantara combination and the exterior was painted white and finished with dark-painted radiator louvres and smoked headlamp lenses.

At 1620 kg, the weight of the B 55 is only around 180 kg greater than that of the original car, and the project team hopes for some impressive performance results. Würz: "We have not made any measurements yet, but we should manage a sprint to 100 km/h in under six seconds."

Plant manager Wesp regarded his creativity challenge as accomplished: "The team of trainees has done a superb job, and placed a spotlight on the sporty genes of the B-Class that nobody could have imagined."





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