Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines

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Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines Limited
Founded11 October 1983
Founder(s)Mario Illen, Paul Morgan
HeadquartersBrixworth, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
ParentDaimler AG

Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines Ltd. (previously known as Mercedes-Ilmor) is an English-based Formula One engine manufacturer, owned by Mercedes-Benz. Since 1995, their engines have powered McLaren's Formula 1 cars.


Ilmor was founded by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan in 1983, as an independent British Formula One engine manufacturer. The company name was taken from the surnames of the founders. It originally started building engines for IndyCars with the money of IndyCar team owner and chassis manufacturer Roger Penske.

Daimler-Benz acquired Chevrolet's 25% share of Ilmor in 1993. In 2002 Daimler AG increased its share to 55% and renamed the company Mercedes-Ilmor. In 2005 Daimler became the sole owner of Ilmor and renamed the company Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines Ltd.

At the same time the small Special Projects part of the company, which since 2003 had been contracted to design and build Honda's Indy Racing League engines, split away to become a separate company, owned by Mario Illien and Roger Penske. This new company, which is totally independent of Mercedes, is once again known as Ilmor Engineering Ltd.


A 2004 McLaren powered by the Mercedes-Ilmor 3.0 litre V10

In 1991 Ilmor entered Formula One as supplier of the Leyton House team (former March).

After some troubles Leyton House started as March team again in 1992, still using Ilmor engines. Ilmor also delivered engines to the Tyrrell team. Powered by an Ilmor V10, Tyrrell scored 8 points, and March 3 points.

Ilmor already had a good name in F1, and so the Sauber sportscar-team and Mercedes-Benz that were planning their Formula One entrance together signed a deal with Ilmor. However Mercedes stepped back from the project, with the engines only carrying the slogan "Concept by Mercedes-Benz" and the engine was officially called Ilmor.

But after an unexpectedly fast performance in 1993 Sauber convinced Mercedes to enter officially in 1994. In 1994 Ilmor also supplied the new Pacific GP team of Keith Wiggins with the old 1993 spec engines. Pacific had much trouble qualifiyng the cars, in 32 attempts they made it 7 times, although the engine was not implicated in this poor display.

Beginning in 1995 Ilmor became the engine partner to McLaren.

In 2001 Paul Morgan was killed whilst landing his vintage airplane at Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire. This led to Mercedes-Benz increasing their financial involvement in Ilmor, with the company being renamed Mercedes-Ilmor Ltd.

Formula One participation

Year Team GPs Points
1991 Leyton House-Ilmor 16 -
1991 Leyton House-Ilmor 14 1
1991 Leyton House-Ilmor 2 -
1992 Tyrrell-Ilmor 2175A V10 16 8
1992 Tyrrell-Ilmor 2175A V10 16 -
1992 March-Ilmor 2175A V10 14 3
1992 March-Ilmor 2175A V10 11 -
1992 March-Ilmor 2175A V10 5 -
1992 March-Ilmor 2175A V10 2 -
1993 Sauber-Ilmor 16 5
1993 Sauber-Ilmor 16 7
1994 Pacific-Ilmor 5 -
1994 Pacific-Ilmor 2 -

See also