Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


Body style:

1998 1999

Mercedes-Benz had to build and sell at least 25 vehicles to get the FIA homologation number for the CLK GTR AMG, and the road version was more of a dressed-up race car.
In the ’90s, Mercedes-Benz was eager to get back on the race track in style and aimed at the GT1 Class. But it had two problems: the McLaren F1 and the car built to defeat it, the Porsche 911 GT1. So to beat both of them, the three-pointed star brand secretly bought a racing McLaren F1, stripped it down, and the engineers learned how to build a better vehicle. The chassis was developed by Lola Composites in the U.K., while AMG prepared the engine. When the car was ready, it raced in the 1997 season and won the inaugural season of the FIA GT Championship with Bernd Schneider, and it did it again in the following year. But the world motorsports federation insisted on getting the production vehicles, so Mercedes-Benz commissioned AMG to build them in their manufacturing plant from Affalterbach.

The bodywork was a form-follow-function design. Everything had a purpose. The name CLK came from the production coupe built by Mercedes-Benz, but it only shared its headlights, the grille, and the taillights with the street vehicle. Lola Composites designed everything else in the U.K. Its lightweight, carbon-fiber, and aluminum shell featured removable front and rear parts. On the roof, the carmaker placed a fixed air-intake for the massive V-12 behind the cabin. Unlike the regular CLK coupe, the GTR AMG had its engine mounted in the middle.

With a cramped cockpit, fixed seats, and very wide side sills, the CLK GTR was challenging to get in. The carmaker installed a removable steering wheel to make things easier, which also sported the aluminum paddle-shifters behind. Its instrument panel featured a large speedometer in the middle and the car’s number lettering inside. AMG placed the tachometer on the left side, while on the right dial, it placed the fuel level gauge and the coolant temperature indicator. A small center stack hosted the sound system and the dials for the ventilation.

The powerplant was designed exclusively for the CLK GTR, and in street clothing, it had a 6.9-liter displacement. AMG paired it with a 6-speed sequential gearbox.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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