The Mercedes Makes Power

We strapped our Benz to the floor and stepped on the gas.

We recently got a chance to dyno-test our Mercedes 230 S at Balanced Performance’s excellent facility in Sugar Hill, Georgia. We hoped to coax a few more horsepower out of the old girl while making sure everything was tuned correctly.

We’d heard that the Zenith carbs weren’t the best on these cars, but man, were we wrong. On our first run, our air/fuel ratio stayed perfectly flat from 3000 rpm to 6000 rpm, and it was essentially perfect at 12.7:1.

We weren’t going to do anything to adjust the carbs.

Still, with only 93.6 horsepower and 107.8 ft.-lbs. of torque, certainly this 2.8-liter engine could cough up a few more ponies.

We removed the air cleaner: That added a measly two horsepower. We tried moving the timing back and forth: nothing. And that was it.

So, the good news: We now know that our 230 S runs perfectly and is tuned perfectly. The bad news: Because of its 8:1 compression and a build philosophy designed for longevity and not performance, it’s not a quick car.

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