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The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Took Only 128 Days To Create From Scratch

Motorsport / 19 Comments

Wow. Just wow.

Mercedes-Benz never fails to surprise and astonish with its engineering prowess and determination to get the job done. Back in the late 1990s, the German automaker's AMG performance division wanted to become a serious competitor in endurance racing, specifically for the FIA GT Championship series. In short, it wanted to crush Ferrari and Porsche. And so, in just 128 days, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR was developed from start to finish. Simply put, that's remarkable, especially considering what the CLK GTR went on to achieve.

In its 1997 debut season, it claimed pole position in its very first race. The following year it dominated everything, winning all 10 races and, therefore, the championship.

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In order to meet the familiar homologation standards, Mercedes-Benz was required to build 25 street legal examples. All of them were easily sold to select and loyal Mercedes buyers only. Today, Mercedes-AMG has become its own standalone division, and the CLK GTR was early proof that splitting AMG off was necessary.