The best Mercedes-Benz ever built is rumored to be the CLK GTR. A GT1 sports vehicle that Mercedes-Benz developed with the help of their former motorsports partner AMG. The CLK GTR was built as a race vehicle first and foremost, with the road cars required to fulfill homologation regulations coming in second. It was intended to compete in the new FIA GT Championship series in 1997.
The racing vehicle was entered in the first two rounds of the 1998 FIA GT Championship following its successful campaign in the 1997 FIA GT Championship. It was then replaced for the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Mercedes-Benz CLR Le Mans Grand Touring Prototype (LMGTP), a purpose-built racecar that was exempt from the homologation requirements of the earlier GT1 vehicles, succeeded its successor, the 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK LM, bringing an end to Mercedes’ GT1 effort.
The Lola Composites-built chassis was a carbon-fiber monocoque attached to an aluminum honeycomb frame. The engine, now known as the LS600 or GT 112, was a variation of the M120 engine used in the R129 SL-Class and W140 S-Class.
The automobile had a 6-speed sequential manual transmission and was situated behind the driver. It had a 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) time of 3.8 seconds. Traction control, ABS, active suspension, and drive-by-wire throttle control were all outlawed.
The suffix Straßenversion, which means “Street version” in German, was added to this CLK-road-legal GTR’s homologated version. The suspension, the sequential transmission, and the carbon fiber monocoque are just a few examples of the parts that were immediately transferred to the road vehicle from the racing. The 28 vehicles made were 2 prototypes, 6 roadsters, and 20 coupés, two of which were built to “SuperSport” specifications and departed the factory.
This CLK Straßenversion would later be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive production cars ever, with a suggested retail price of $1,547,620.