Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR is a sports car and race car that was produced by Mercedes-AMG. As the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft/International Touring Car Championship had folded in late 1996, with both remaining competitors Opel and Alfa Romeo leaving due to the high costs of their 4WD designs, Mercedes-Benz had no top series to compete in. Following the design that Porsche had laid out with their 911 homologation special, Mercedes-AMG was tasked by Mercedes-Benz with creating an extreme racing car that still maintained some elements of a normal street legal car. To test the CLK GTR before the first chassis were built, Mercedes-AMG actually took an unusual measure. Through secrecy, Mercedes-AMG was able to purchase a disused McLaren F1 GTR, the defending BPR GT series champion, from Larbre Compétition.
Even though the FIA GT1 class was cancelled for 1999, Mercedes was obliged to finally deliver the required 25 road cars they had promised. An initial road car was built in 1997 in order to meet initial FIA requirements, but this car was retained by Mercedes. For the other 25 road cars, each was built by AMG at the Affalterbach factory between winter of 1998 and summer of 1999 and differed only slightly from the race car.All of the 25 CLK GTRs ever built were left hand drive except for one which was specially built for Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei.
After the completion of the 20 original CLK GTRs, AMG's specialist group H.W.A., who had assisted in the construction of the CLK GTRs, began construction of a roadster version of the CLK GTR. Also the rear wing was replaced by a separate black wing, close to the one on the race CLK-GTR. Further the Roadster can be recognized by its different grille, which had a large star in it instead of a small version above it. Two roll-bars integrating the cockpit headrests were used not only for structural integrity, but also rollover protection. A total of six CLK GTR Roadsters were built by the company.
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