Germany’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) has long been a favorite of cognoscenti for yielding some of the closest racing anywhere. The high level of competition has attracted many of the best drivers in the world, including Formula 1’s Mika Häkkinen, Jean Alesi, and David Coulthard.
Part of DTM’s appeal is that the cars are production-based examples, with appearances similar to road-going cars. Mercedes-Benz has won the Constructors’ Championship nine times since 2000, and to commemorate Bernd Schneider’s championship in 2003, it built a limited-production DTM-inspired road car called the CLK DTM AMG. Just 100 coupes and 80 cabriolets were produced.
Closely modeled on the championship-winning CLK, the coupe garnered widespread critical acclaim, and all 100 units were quickly sold. Formula 1 drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button reportedly were among the fortunate few to acquire one when new.
The car’s prodigious power output of 582 bhp and 590 lbs./ft. of torque was a result of AMG’s further modification of its already-powerful 5.4-liter M113 engine, as found in the SL55. Pistons, crankcase, valve gear, cooling system, intake ducting, supercharger, and exhaust were all revised, and the engine reportedly delivers 86% of its peak torque from only 2,000 rpm. The result was a staggeringly quick car with a claimed 0–60 time of 3.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 199 mph.
Power is routed through a five-speed speedshift paddle-actuated transmission. AMG fitted the car with upgraded suspension, wider performance tires, and ceramic composite brakes. A carbon fiber composite was used on the hood, doors, and other areas of the exterior, which featured flared wheel arches, a deep front valance, and rear wing. The interior was fitted with purposeful, one-piece carbon fiber bucket seats, carbon fiber panels, special switchgear, and drilled alloy pedals but, true to its road-car intent, retained fully carpeted footwells, dual-zone climate control, integrated phone capability, a stereo system, and even a cup holder.
This low-mileage example was purchased and imported by the consignor under the Show and Display exemption in 2016 and now has just over 4,900 miles. The CLK has been used sparingly while in the consignor’s care, and a CARFAX Vehicle History Report, dated June 13, 2017, citing a recent service, is available for review.
With outrageous looks, incredible power, an intoxicating exhaust note, precise steering, and outstanding chassis dynamics, the CLK DTM is one of the most involving modern Mercedes. Factory tributes to successful race cars are always coveted by collectors, and this CLK DTM is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the most sought-after limited-production Mercedes-Benz of recent memory.