The Mystique Behind The Mercedes CLK GTR

Here's what makes the CLK GTR special enough to be owned, but never driven


For two brief, glorious years in 1997 and '98, Mercedes dominated the FIA GT Championship with its CLK GTR. It was so fast it helped kill the GT1 class. Under GT1's homologation rules, Mercedes had to build at least 25 road-going examples of the race car. The result was probably the most outrageous car Merc has ever produced.

Source: conceptcarz Source: conceptcarz

The CLK GTR was a road-legal racer. It featured a 6.9-litre V12 engine that threw out 600bhp and 572lb ft of torque. The sprint from 0-62mph took a scant 3.8 seconds, while top speed was reached at 199mph. It was (and probably still is) the most expensive new car you could buy. The list price was over $1.5 million.

Famously, when Tiff Needell tested one on Top Gear, the exhausts got so hot the rear bumper caught fire.

Remote video URL

The car on display at MB World is one of only six CLK GTR Roadsters built (there were 20 coupes) and the only one with right-hand-drive. It was ordered by billionaire and legendary car hoarder, the Sultan of Brunei. Uniquely, it's finished in his preferred colours of grey and purple and the driver's seat was specially widened, too.

The car you see here has certainly led a sheltered life, with only 34km (about 20 miles) on the clock. That's probably the length of the Sultan's driveway...


In 2009 the car was put up for auction. It sold for £616,000 to Vijay Mallya, beer magnate and Force India F1 team-owner. The name changed on the V5 and Mallya had his private plate put on it, but it never left the building. Apparently, Mallya hasn't even been to see it...

It must be a very rarefied air you breath when you can treat a £616,000 car as a trinket. Or maybe I'm not thinking like someone with $800 million to his name.



No comments found.


Sponsored Posts