On October 21, 33 E320 diesel Mercedes vehicles will start the 8.500 miles Paris-Beijing E-Class Experience. It’s an endurance run that will test the car’s fuel efficiency
The transcontinental run was won by Prince Scipione Borghese on a 40hp Itala. It took him 62 days, and he achieved what must still stand as the greatest winning margin in any form of the sport (or indeed any sport), since the second-placed car arrived three weeks after him.
Mercedes is trying to this far more rapidly. The run starts on October 21, and the cars are expected to reach Beijing on November 17. If they don’t make it, they will lose The Auto China 2006 show that starts in Beijing one day later.
There is reason to believe this won’t be a problem, since three E 320 CDIs were put through a high-speed marathon run at the Laredo oval circuit in Texas in May 2005. That adventure saw the breaking of three world speed records for diesel cars over distances of 50,000 miles, 100,000 miles and 100,000 kilometers - all at an average of around 40mph.
A total of 330 drivers will take part in the Paris-Beijing run, including Mercedes customers, Famous drivers, journalists and celebrities.