This is What Everybody Forgot About The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Across the late 90s, AMG was only a companion of Mercedes-Benz and never but a subsidiary of the marque. Mercedes-Benz needed an excessive race automobile, and so they partnered with AMG to construct this automobile. The mannequin turned one of many coolest race automobiles ever constructed. We’re speaking concerning the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR. With quick improvement and manufacturing time, the CLK GTR was designed with a Porsche 911 design. Nevertheless, the event crew retained some components of Mercedes-Benz within the CLK GTR.

As you’ll anticipate of a race automobile, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR got here with a great deal of aerodynamic options. The automobile’s chassis is manufactured from carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque, whereas the inside has carbon fiber and Alcantara finishings. After debuting in 1997, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR went on to have historic performances in numerous Motorsports occasions. This is what everybody forgot concerning the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.

10 Constructed For The FIA GT Championship


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Supermac1961 by way of Flickr

In 1997, FIA GT added a brand new GT1 class to encourage huge producers like Mercedes, Toyota, and Porsche to take part in racing. Marcedes received and partnered with AMG to construct a race automobile that would take part within the race. The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR made its debut in 1997, and that very same yr, Mercedes won both the manufacturer’s and driver’s titles.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Andrew Basterfield by way of Flickr

Aside from the FIA GT championships, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR received the 1997 British Empire Trophy with drivers Bernd Schneider and Alexander Wurz. The race automobile additionally received the 1998 FIA GT championships with drivers Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta.

9 Mercedes Secretly Hooked up Its Bodywork To The McLaren F1 GTR


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz 

Since that they had restricted manufacturing time, the Mercedes-AMG crew needed to resort to drastic measures. They purchased among the finest race automobiles and used it as a manufacturing mule. The crew bought a McLaren F1 GTR and modified it to construct the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster
Mercedes-Benz

When excited about it, it is ironic that the CLK GTR was impressed by a McLaren F1 GTR and was used to beat McLaren race automobiles. The event crew secretly attached the CLK’s bodywork to the McLaren F1 GTR. In addition they eliminated McLaren’s 6.0-liter LS600 V12 engine and changed it with the BMW V12.

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8 Failure On The Observe


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz

After the Mercedes-AMG crew completed producing prototypes of the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, they entered the automobile within the 1997 FIA GT. The CLK GTR debuted in Germany on the Hockenheimring. After the debut, the CLK GTR began competing in precise races, and the outcomes weren’t promising.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz 

On the first race, Mercedes entered two CLK GTR automobiles. One mannequin needed to depart the race after 5 laps due to brake points. The remaining mannequin completed the race 20 laps behind McLaren. Contemplating the truth that Mercedes particularly constructed this beast for racing, you’ll be able to think about their despair after the primary outing.


7 Complete Dominance At The FIA GT


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz

Even with the preliminary failure, the Mercedes-AMG crew saved engaged on the CLK GTR, and it paid off. After a couple of failures within the 1997 season, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR got here second place behind a profitable McLaren on the Silverstone circuit. The crew added a 3rd CLK GTR unit, and on the Nürburgring, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR beat a fleet of McLarens, coming first and second locations.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz

The CLK GTR secured extra wins at races just like the A-1-Ring, Donington, Suzuka, Sebring, and Laguna Seca. With these races, the CLK GTR received each producer’s and driver’s titles on the FIA GT championships. Within the 1998 season, Mercedes received the FIA GT championships once more, and in 1999, the GT1 class was scrapped due to a scarcity of entries.

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6 The Horror At The Le Mans


1999 Mercedes CLK GTR Le Mans Crash
Boss Looking

After their profitable quick stint within the FIA GT championships, Mercedes entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1998. There wasn’t sufficient time to organize for the race, and so they needed to modify the CLK GTR. As a substitute of the V12 engine, Mercedes used a Sauber C9 V8 engine with 600 horsepower.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Goodwood

In addition they eliminated the cooling vents in entrance of the automobile and modified the aerodynamics. The modified automobile is named the CLK LM. On the 1998 race, they raced below the GT1 class and received all of the races. Nevertheless, within the 1999 race, the CLK LM saved launching into the air and backflipping. Mercedes needed to depart the race after simply three lengthy hours due to mechanical instability.


5 The CLK LM


Mercedes-Benz CLK LM
Youtube: 19Bozzy92

The Mercedes-Benz CLK LM is similar to the CLK GTR as a result of they’re principally the identical automobile other than some alterations. Since Mercedes-Benz did not have sufficient time to make one other mannequin for the Le Mans race, they modified the CLK GTR and referred to as it the CLK LM.


Mercedes-Benz-CLK-LM
Mercedes-Benz

The CLK LM has a shortened wheelbase and a V8 engine. After the race automobile’s disastrous flips and crashes on the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the producer needed to pull out of the race. The entire debacle affected Mercedes’ popularity, and the president even vowed by no means to enter the Le Mans race once more.

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4 Solely 28 Fashions Have been Constructed


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Kylie and Rob (and Helen) by way of Flickr

The entire course of of creating the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR was rushed, and fortuitously for the producer, FIA’s GT1 guidelines have been relaxed. At the moment, producers needed to submit a minimum of 25 road-going variations to achieve homologation. Mercedes constructed 20 coupes and 6 roadsters as their road-going CLK GTR.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Kylie and Rob (and Helen)

Because of the restricted time, the CLK GTR solely gained homologation six days earlier than its first race. For the FIA GT championships, Mercedes used two CLK GTR prototypes. That makes it a complete of 28 fashions constructed between 1998 and 1999.

3 It Held The Document For The Most Costly Manufacturing Automotive


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Greg Gjerginden by way of Flickr

At this time, the most costly manufacturing automobile is the Bugatti La Voiture Noire, however prior to now, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR as soon as held that title. With solely 28 items constructed, the CLK GTR is likely one of the rarest Mercedes automobiles. The race automobile can also be iconic due to its historical past and wins on the FIA GT championships.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Abdullah AlBargan by way of Flickr

In accordance with the Guinness Guide of World Information, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR as soon as held the title of the most costly manufacturing automobile at $1,547,620. In 2021, a CLK GTR mannequin was positioned for public sale, and that it was expected to bring in around $8.5-10 million.

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2 Completely different Variants Of The CLK GTR


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Abdullah AlBargan by way of Flickr

Mercedes and AMG made variants just like the CLK GTR highway model, CLK GTR Tremendous Sport, and the CLK LM roadster. They constructed 26 CLK GTR highway variations with 20 coupes and 6 roadsters. The CLK GTR Tremendous Sport is much like the unique CLK GTR, nevertheless it was fitted with a more recent Mercedes-AMG 7.3-liter V12 engine that delivers 711 horsepower and 580 lb-ft of torque.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Stephen Hanafin by way of Flickr

Different race automobile fashions just like the Pagani Zonda and the Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG have additionally used the V12 engine. To obtain homologation, Mercedes additionally needed to make a roadster variant of the CLK LM.

1 It Was Constructed In Simply 128 Days


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Abdullah Albargan by way of Flickr

For a automobile as iconic because the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, it is superb how little time was spent to make it. The Mercedes-AMG crew constructed a practical prototype of the CLK GTR in simply 128 days.


Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Mercedes-Benz

There wasn’t time to attract up a brand new design, in order that they used a Porsche design however nonetheless managed to make the automobile appear to be a Mercedes-Benz. Nevertheless, constructing the automobile from a McLaren F1 GTR is likely one of the the explanation why they have been in a position to full the undertaking so rapidly.


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