What defines a true Supercar nowadays? Exotic Looks, Power, Exclusivity. When Mercedes-AMG set out to succeed in the FIA GT1 class in 1997, they were required to build a road version of their race-car. This led to the creation of one of the most iconic Supercars, often referred to as the ‘Unicorn’.
So, what makes the CLK GTR a true supercar?
Exotic Looks? Mercedes-AMG’s Motorsport specialist HWA (named after AMG Co-Founder Hans Werner Aufrecht), who built the race-car made only slight changes to the road version. A few of the adjustments included; a fixed rear wing, increased ground clearance and an interior equipped with airbags, electronics and an A/C system.
Power? The standard CLK GTR coupe is equipped with a 6.0L V12 Mercedes engine, producing 623 HP and 539 LB-FT. As if this wasn’t enough, HWA released a SuperSport edition where they upgraded to a 7.3L V12 Mercedes-AMG engine. The CLK GTR SS raises the power output to 655 HP and 580 LB-FT. A sprint to 60mph only takes 3.4 sec and runs a ¼ mile in 9.6 sec with a trap-speed of 145mph, all from a standing start. An impressive 320km/h / 199mph is possible in the CLK GTR.
Exclusivity? After Mercedes-AMG initially built two Prototypes (which were later turned into road legal versions) and 7 race cars, they only manufactured 27 road legal vehicles. Six of those were roadster variants, which were built without a roof and two right-hand drive vehicles, both exclusively built for the Sultan of Brunei (one coupe and one roadster). The special SuperSport edition, equipped with the 7.3L Mercedes-AMG engine, was only produced three times. Therefore, you can clearly define the CLK GTR as a true Unicorn.
At the time of the release, the price of the Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR was over $1.5 million, making it the most expensive production car of its time. The Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR is one of the most unique and timeless Supercars to date. RENNtech has been putting one of the three CLK GTR SS through their test, including road course laps at Palm Beach International Raceway. Full performance analysis and video will be released soon. In between testing, the CLK GTR SS is presented at the RENNtech HQ showroom.
If you are lucky enough to ever see one in person, make sure to value the moment. A unicorn does not appear too often.
Pictures by William Stern