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Racing cognoscenti have long known that Germany’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) yields some of the closest racing anywhere. The high level of competition has attracted many of the best drivers in the world, including Formula 1 drivers 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, they 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 was heralded with widespread critical acclaim, and all 100 units were quickly sold. Formula 1 drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button were reportedly 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 front 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 well-padded one-piece carbon fiber buckets and drilled alloy pedals but retained fully carpeted footwells.
This low-mileage example was purchased and imported by the consignor under the Show and Display exemption in 2005 and now shows just over 2,600 miles. The CLK has been used sparingly, including one track day, and has had careful, selective paintwork done to correct chips on the front splitter and rear wheel arches. A recent service invoice, dated June 14, 2016, is available for review.
With 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.