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          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Benz Contramotor






VerfahrenViertakt
EngineBoxer two-cylinders
Displacement1728 cm³
Performance3,7 kW (5 HP) at 940 rpm
Weight110 kg
Year of manufacture1897


August Horch, who lived through the years of motor vehicle development at Benz, describes this period in his autobiography. Time and again, he tried to convince Papa Benz, as he called him, of the necessity of performance increase. On one occasion he was even successful, probably through changing the compression, he was able to squeeze one whole HP more from the single cylinder engine.

In 1897, the time of restraint was over. Despite their soon having a planetary gearbox, which after all, had three speeds, they could hardly manage even relatively modest inclines. It was quite symptomatic, that the sale of Victoria and consorts was revoked. Whereby, up to this point they had controlled the European market.

Something which may also be new to you, is that Mercedes were the first ones to build a Boxer-engine in series. Well, not really, because at that time Daimler and Benz were still separate and the brand-name 'Mercedes' did not yet exist. In fact it was quite the opposite, although they never met personally, they were fierce rivals. Have a look at the next paragraph, about the 1898 Phoenix-engine, which was a forerunner the change in supremacy.



Thus, the Phoenix rather rose from the ashes, because the engine shown right at the top would still take two years before being installed in a motor car. It was, by the way, called the 'Contra-engine', to emphasize the opposing movement of the two pistons. This is caused by position of the crankshaft webs, which is always the case in boxer-engines.

August Horch and his team by the way, had developed this Contra- and the Twin-engine at about the same time. In this case, it was probably the fact that the mass-compensation was better and the even ignitions, which justified the higher effort required for the Boxer-engine. In 1902, it would be found in versions with up to 3.720 cc and 15 kW (20 HP).

The higher performance is particularly a result of the higher RPM. Together with the favourable shape, a new car was created, apart from the 'Vis-à-Vis'- the so-called 'Dos-à-dos' model also appeared, where the rear seat passengers sit back-to-back with those in the front (see pictures 4 and 8 and the video). 07/14



Model overview: Benz vehicles with contra engine
Passenger cars
1899-1900Benz Dos-à-Dos1710 cm³, 4 kW (5 HP) at 940 rpm
1899Benz Dos-à-Dos2690 cm³, 5,9 kW (8 HP) at 920 rpm
1899Benz Mylord2690 cm³, 5,9 kW (8 HP) at 920 rpm
1899Benz Phaeton américain2690 cm³, 5,9 kW (8 HP) at 920 rpm
1900Benz Dos-à-Dos2690 cm³, 6,6 kW (9 HP) at 920 rpm
1900Benz Mylord2690 cm³, 6,6 kW (9 HP) at 920 rpm
1900Benz Phaeton américain2690 cm³, 6,6 kW (9 HP) at 920 rpm
1900-1901Benz Spider2690 cm³, 7,4 kW (10 HP) at 920 rpm
1900-1901Benz Tonneau2690 cm³, 7,4 kW (10 HP) at 920 rpm
1901Benz Dos-à-Dos2690 cm³, 7,4 kW (10 HP) at 920 rpm
1901Benz Mylord Coupé2690 cm³, 7,4 kW (10 HP) at 920 rpm
1902Benz Patent-Motorwagen Ideal2090 cm³, 5,9 kW (8 HP) at 1000 rpm
1902Benz Tonneau or Phaeton1710 cm³, 6,6 kW (9 HP) at 920 rpm
1902Benz Tonneau or Phaeton2690 cm³, 8,8 kW (12 HP) at 980 rpm
1902Benz Tonneau or Phaeton2940 cm³, 11 kW (15 HP) at 1020 rpm
1902Benz Tonneau or Phaeton3720 cm³, 14,7 kW (20 HP) at 980 rpm
Racing cars
1899Benz 8 HP2280 cm³, 5,9 kW (8 HP) at 750 rpm
1900Benz 16 HP2280 cm³, 11,8 kW (16 HP) at 1000 rpm
1900Benz 20 HP5440 cm³, 14,7 kW (20 HP, Four-cylinder Boxer)
Commercial vehicles
1899-1901Benz Break (8 seats)2000 cm³, 5,9 - 7,4 kW (8 - 10 HP) at 920 rpm
1898-1900Benz Break (12 seats)4245 cm³, 9,6 - 11 kW (13 - 15 HP) at 820 rpm
1901Benz Five-ton truck10,4 kW (14 HP)
Copyright: Daimler





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2001-2014 Copyright programs, texts, animations, pictures: H. Huppertz - Email
Translator: Don Leslie - Email: lesdon@t-online.de

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