W209 CLK DTM
In 2004, the most successful car of the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) was transformed from a track car to a road car. The CLK DTM AMG inherited all the ingredients necessary to set the pulses of car and motorsport enthusiasts racing a bit faster. The CLK DTM was modeled both stylistically and technically on the same car that ran away with the DTM title in 2003.
Bernd Schneider drove the race version of the Mercedes-Benz CLK to the 2004 drivers' championship, but was pushed the entire way by teammate Christijan Albers. The CLK DTM had previously won the team standings in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, the CLK DTM ran away with the series, winning nine out of the ten races. This also ensured that Mercedes-Benz won the constructors' championship.
One glance is all it takes to see the road going CLK DTM's racing pedigree. Its low slung front apron with large cooling air inlets, conspicuous fender flares, 19 and 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, diffusor-equipped rear section, and that prominent rear wing all point to the racing version of the CLK DTM. On top of that, many of the body parts are made of high-strength / lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced material (CFRP).
Under the hood lurks a specially revised version of AMG's supercharged M113 V8. The CLK DTM version features modifications to the crank-case, pistons, valve train, cooling system, intake, supercharger and exhaust system. Its torque curve is outstanding. Over 500 pound feet are available as low as 2000 RPM, with over 550 pound feet offered just 500 RPM later at 2500.
The following is a recap of the supercharged M113 components that have been redesigned / further developed for the CLK DTM:
The crankcase was further strengthened. The pistons are forged and made of a special material, boasting extreme temperature and pressure-resistant properties. The exhaust camshafts have increased duration. Thanks to a redesigned fan-type exhaust manifolds and an overhauled sports exhaust system, backpressure was significantly reduced. Intake airflow was optimized, creating better cylinder head flow. A higher-revving screw-type supercharger increased pressure from 0.8 bar to 0.85 bar. The engine electronics were modified to match the engine's upgraded performance characteristics.
The cooling system was also enhanced. The water-cooled intercooler with low-temperature circuit had additional radiators integrated into the front apron. This helped even out temperatures. The engine oil cooler on the left of the system keeps temperatures low levels even under heavy loads.
The chassis was evenly matched to the formidable powertrain. Height-adjustable springs and shock absorbers with adjustable coil springs were an integral feature of the road version. The rear axle was redesigned to include new spring links and hub carriers, as well as reinforced drive shafts. Uniball joints on both axles replaced the rubber counterparts and instilled precise driving characteristics. A multiple-disc limited-slip differential at the rear axle ensures optimum traction, while Acceleration Skid Control ASR and the Electronic Stability Program ESP were adjusted to take into account the increased levels of performance.
Flawless responses, impressive sensitivity and unrivalled strength are the principal attributes of the enhanced AMG braking system. This technology used axial and radial connections between the cast iron discs and aluminum hats. This has the advantage of reducing weight by 20 percent and increasing heat resistance. All discs are internally ventilated and perforated. The front axle is equipped with 360 x 32 mm discs and six-piston fixed calipers, the rear axle fitted with 330 x 26 mm discs and four-piston fixed calipers. The standard Brake Assist system was adjusted to reflect the characteristics of the new braking system.
Inside the CLK DTM AMG, the driver is presented with a functional racing ambience laced with the trademark exclusivity of AMG high-performance cars. Two leather AMG sports bucket seats made from lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer are equipped with four-point safety belts, which offer the two occupants optimum lateral support. Cabriolet models boast seating for four, although those seated in the rear will not be on friendly terms very long. The driver has a thick, oval-shaped, high-grip suede-trimmed AMG racing steering wheel. The door panels are made from carbon fiber reinforced polymer, as are many other elements of the interior, including the instrument cluster. A newly designed center console sported a selection of eye-catching features, including the silver-colored selector lever surround, starter button, four rocker switches for auxiliary functions and a badge bearing the vehicle number.
The racing credentials of the CLK DTM AMG have not diluted its adherence to the hallmark virtues shared by all Mercedes models; practicality, durability, safety, quality and service all meet the highest standards. The racing-inspired CLK DTM AMG coupes and convertibles were limited production and hand built as part of a close cooperation between Mercedes-AMG GmbH and H.W.A. GmbH. Mercedes-AMG GmbH was responsible for marketing, sales and service.
In Germany, these cars cost approximately 236,060 euros ($331,000 US) after taxes when new.