Mercedes 310D vs 307D

Last weekend I got the chance to drive a Mercedes 307d campervan. It’s the same model as mine, but being ten years older it was one of the first versions build while mine is the last stage of evolution. They look the same from the outside, but boy, these are totally different animals. The design of 4cyl OM616 65hp 137Nm@2400RPM from the 307 dates back to the sixties and the engine was first deployed in the /8 model. It loud, noisy, rough and doesn’t produce any power. It’s a sturdy little fella though, it was revived in the 90s for the MB100 and is still being produced today by Force Motors in India for their license builds.

The OM602 is a 5cyl engine of the 310d has 95hp and 192 Nm@2400RPM. 30hp more isn’t that much but 55Nm is. Combined with a true five speed gearbox it makes a completely different car (normally you start off in second gear with these cars and use first gear only for steep hills and full load. Due to my gearbox/differential combination I have to start in first gear). The design is from the 80s and the famous direct injection version of the engine (OM 602 DE 29 LA) was used till 2000 in the Mercedes Sprinter and the G-Model.

Since there are no acceleration figures for the campervans, let’s compare the sedans with the same engines. The W123 240D takes 22 sek from 0-100km/h and weights 1395kg.  The W124 250D takes 16,5 sek and weights 1320kg. So almost the same weight but 5.5 sek faster. On top of that, the OM602 in the sedan has 400ccm less displacement than the van version (2497ccm vs. 2874ccm). So in real world experience I’d wager the 310 is almost twice as fast in acceleration than the 307. Keep that in mind when comparing raw hp figures. There is more to the magic of acceleration than just horsepower…

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