The German Batmobile by Alex Butti

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Mercedes CLK GT-R

That’s what came to mind when I first saw this car in flesh. It looked like a German version of the Batmobile.

(EDIT BY BEN – I CO-SIGN THIS, THE CLK-GTR IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE ALL TIME CARS, ITS JUST NUTS!)

So a couple of years ago I got a phone call from my brother, while I was visiting my father in Switzerland. The call was quite stark. All my brother said was: “You GOT to see this!” Knowing how much I love cars, I wondered if what he saw would meet my high expectation.

Mercedes CLK-GTR
I would have never thought I would see a Mercedes CLK GTR in my life time. The car was primarly built for the FIA GT championship and later on for the Le Mans race and it saw the light in 1997 all the way to 2002, and it was produced by AMG with the help of Iimor Engineering. For those of you that don’t know Iimor Engineering is responsible to design, fabricate and assemble F1 engines.
Anyway, only 35 CLK GTR were built. 9 used for racing (CLK LM), and the rest 26 were the street version.

Mercedes CLK-GTR

Underneath that polycarbonate rear windshield sits the pride and joy of Ilmor work: a 6.8 liter V12 that puts down 720 hp at the crank and 572 ft/tq.

Mercedes CLK-GTR
Exterior-wise there are few subtle differences betweet the road version GTR and the race version LM; the main one being the rear wing. While the GTR has a fixed unit, the LM has an adjustable wing that attaches directly onto the chassis. Another aerodinamic enhancement is the longer front splitter.

Mercedes CLK-GTR

Unfortunately there isn’t much to see underneath the car. The whole belly has been covered with a sheet of dry carbon fiber extending from the front splitter all the way to the rear diffuser.
The round carbon piece you see in the picture above is the hydraulic jack.

Mercedes CLK-GTR
What surprised me the most though is the mechanical grip this car has. In front you will find 295/35/18 tires, while in the rear, there are 345/35/18. When was the last time you saw a supercar featuring 295 tires up front? As you can see from the picture above, 6 pistons AP Racing calipers takes care of the stopping power, while in the rear there are 4 pots.

I consider myself very lucky. A big “thank you” goes to my brother, if it was not for him, I would have never been able to witness such master piece.

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