Why I Love Mercedes Twin Turbo V8s

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Two hundred and forty-eight miles an hour. That's how fast this car, the Sauber C9, screamed down the Mulsanne Straight at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1989. And the motor that got it there was a twin-turbo Mercedes V8.

Normally, I'm a naturally aspirated kind of guy. I don't like the whine that turbos make, not quite in sync with the rhythm of the engine.

But I can't help but like twin-turbo Mercedes V8s, just for the C9 alone.

It won Le Mans in '89, the last year of six kilometer, 3.7 mile Mulsanne Straight, before they stuck chicanes on it to bring down speeds. The C9 hit 248 miles an hour in practice and ran with other cars around 240 miles an hour on its way to victory during the race.

This was much better than the car's performance in the '88 race, when it went so fast with so much downforce in qualifying that its rear tires exploded. Sauber withdrew their cars after that.

The motor was this, the Mercedes-Benz M119.

Two KKK turbochargers on 4,973cc put out some 720 horsepower and 597 lb-ft of torque, as UltimateCarPage reports. Listen to it rumble right here and read more on Sauber/Mercedes' Group C history right here.

So it's this car and this engine, a pairing that won seven out of eight races in the '89 season, that makes me think fondly of all TT Merc V8s.

Daimler-Benz is stuffing twin turbo V8s into just about all their cars these days by way of AMG, most notably with the new S63 Coupe. That newest AMG car gets 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque out of its 5.5L biturbo V8, which is as wonderfully excessive as you could ever want.

None of Merc's new TT V8s are as raw as the C9's M119, but they do have it as an ancestor, and that's pretty sweet.

Photo Credits: Mercedes-Benz