CLK DTM Coupe/Cabrios
582 HP Street Racers
Sadly, Mercedes-Benz/AMG have ended a long association with the German Touring Car Championship. After capturing 8 championships over their 18 year involvement in the hyper-competitive series, Mercedes is following the winds of change dictated by the gradual electrification of the automobile.
Formula E is where the DTM funds will be diverted. The sound of their shrieking/bellowing DTM CLKs will be replaced by the high pitched whine and tire scrub of the futuristic (partially) open wheel Formula E cars.
One such owner was Formula 1 icon Mika Hakkinen who famously purchased a cabriolet to use during days off from his DTM driving duties at his home in Monte Carlo.
All is not lost, however. Anyone with sufficient funds who wishes to re-capture the essence of the cut and thrust DTM experience can source one of the more outrageous street cars to emerge from Mercedes-Benz/AMG, the CLK DTM models. In fact, one can choose from both a coupe and cabriolet model of this 574 HP brute.
Low production, ultra high performance
The factory press release on September 15, 2005 noted the car was capable of ‘fulminating’ performance which when translated in layman terms means to ‘explode violently or flash like lightning’. With 582 HP on hand, a tweaked AMG SPEEDSHIFT 5-speed automatic transmission, solid rear axle joints, multi-disc limited slip differential and massive composite brakes, these CLKs were definitely ready to fulminate.
The height-adjustable torsion suspension also features redesigned the rear axle spring links and wheel carriers. Both ASR and ESP were integrated to reduce the risk of high speed off-road excursions. The coupes were introduced in 2004 and the cabriolet arrived in 2006. With a total production of approximately 180 units (100 coupes/80 cabriolets), the cars are certainly collectible.
Pricing when new was fairly astronomical: the cabriolet MSRP was approximately 230k Euros ($262k) and the coupe roughly the same. None were officially imported to the US.
5.5 liter supercharged
These CLKs were fitted with the 5.5 liter supercharged V8 of the era but with significant revisions to obtain an additional 100 HP. Modifications to the crankcase, pistons, valve gear, cooling, intake manifold, supercharger and exhaust system set this engine apart from the production ’55’ car’s specification. These engines were indeed a special builds. Zero to 100km (62m mph) as achieved in just 4 seconds and top speed was limited to 300 km/hr (186 MPH).
Such special MBs will typically find special clients, many under the radar and some with higher profiles. One such owner was Formula 1 icon Mika Hakkinen who famously purchased a cabriolet to use during days off from his DTM driving duties at his home in Monte Carlo. He must have been quite a sight to the locals rumbling along town in the cabriolet.
Will we see such outrageous cars from Mercedes-Benz/AMG offered again for road use? I certainly hope so.
roy spencer/editor mercedesheritage.com
photography/tom hartley jr-bonhams-daimler media-motor
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