The C 111 served to test the Wankel engine. A three-rotor unit developing 206 kW (280 hp) provided the propulsion power and permitted a top speed of 260 km/h (162 mph) – quite remarkable for the time. Just a few months later a thoroughly revised version of the C 111 was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. It featured a four-rotor Wankel engine with an output of 257 kW (350 hp). The car accelerated from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds and attained a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).
The record-breaking C 111-IV of 1979 came with further aerodynamic refinements, additionally featuring distinctive spoilers, a changed front end and two tail fins.