An engineer with an extremely broad range of talents
Moulded many Mercedes-Benz vehicles
1970: founding of Research unit
As engineer, Hans Scherenberg influenced the technology of the entire range of products of Daimler-Benz AG before and after the Second World War. His name is closely connected with innovations such as the anti-lock braking system ABS, petrol injection and the five-cylinder engine. Scherenberg was born on 28 October 1910 in Dresden. He joined Daimler-Benz AG as a young development engineer in 1935and worked for the company until his retirement in 1977. He died on 17 November 2000 in Stuttgart.
Scherenberg was first employed in diesel engine development. In 1936 he moved on to aero engine development, where he vastly increased his technical and scientific skills in the most important areas of internal combustion engine design. Developments such as turbocharging, variable intake manifolds, variable valve timing, four-valve-per-cylinder technology and petrol injection gave him an edge in terms of knowledge which he would put to use for the automobile later, in many cases not until years later.
After the Second World War he returned to Daimler-Benz in 1952 to become Director of Passenger Car Design. He shaped the face of vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz 180
(W 120 series) and 220a (W 180) Saloon models, the famous Gullwing 300 SL
(W 198) with its petrol injection, as well as the extremely successful Formula 1 racing car W 196 R and the 300 SLR (W 196 S) racing sports car.
In 1955 Scherenberg became deputy member of the Board of Management; in 1965, chief design engineer of the Group and full member of the Board of Management. Culmination points in the following period of his work include, from 1970, the development of the first five-cylinder engine in a passenger car, which resulted in the Mercedes-Benz 240 D 3.0 (W 115) in 1974 and then, in a second variant with turbocharger, the first S-Class with a diesel engine, the 300 SD (W 116), in 1977. Moreover, the ESF experimental safety vehicles of the 1970s left a deep mark on the entire industry. In addition, in 1970 Scherenberg set up the company-owned Research department to secure a technological lead for the company's products.