As surprising as it may be, the Mercedes Benz Studie CW 311 is a side project made by Eberhard Schulz in his spare time between 1972 and 1978. When still a full time Porsche employee, he had been disappointed that the Mercedes C111 prototype would not become a production model to succed to the 300 SL. This inspired him to design his own version of a vehicle worthy of succeding the iconic Mercedes-Benz sports-car.

The name, CW 311, represents the car's drag coefficient of 0,311. Using a Mercedes V8 engine the CW 311 has a top speed of 319 km/h with 375 horse-power. When the car was revealled in 1978, its performances were in pair with the best sports-cars in the world. Boasting unique innovations such as a periscope rear mirror, hideway headlights and upward opening doors, the car attracted a lot of attention.

The CW 311 was boldly introduced as an official Mercedes-Benz prototype using the brand's emblem and imagery, only Mercedes had never heard of it before. Nevertheless, as it gained worldwode fame, the brand officially embraced the concept, which received the T√úV approval the same year.

The CW 311 features in the 1980 "Car Napping" movie.