The most successful car in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) race series transformed its dominance on the track into a spectacular conquest of the roads. The CLK DTM AMG has inherited the genes of the DTM-winning Mercedes and possesses all the ingredients necessary to set the pulses of car and motorsport enthusiasts racing that extra bit faster. This exclusive AMG high-performance speedster is mod-elled both stylistically and technically on the car that romped away with the DTM title in 2003. Bernd Schneider drove the race-trim Mercedes-Benz CLK to the drivers’ championship, but was pushed all the way by team-mate Christijan Albers. AMG-Mercedes had previously topped the team standings in 2002 and 2003, also with the CLK. Last year, the impressive Coupé celebrated victory in nine out of the ten races on the calendar, ensuring that Mercedes-Benz also won the constructors’ champion-ship in some style.
This history of success was a forceful source of inspiration for Mercedes-AMG GmbH in the development of the extraordinary new CLK DTM AMG. With its wide stance and low-slung posture, large cooling air inlets, striking fender flarings, a diffusor-look rear apron and an imposing rear wing, the high-performance AMG newcomer gives off a powerful aura even when it’s standing still. A significant number of body components are made from the ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced material CFRP, whilst the rear wing generates downforce at high speeds, further improving directional stability and road adhesion. For example, when the car is travelling at 200 km/h downforce of 36 kilograms is exerted on the rear axle. AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine with impressive credentials
The scene under the bonnet of the CLK DTM AMG is no less impressive. Eight cylin-ders, 5.5-litre displacement, a supercharger with low-temperature charge air cooling and numerous components which have honed their talents on the race-track make this a quite breathtaking creation in both style and substance. Developing output of 582 hp and peak torque of 590 lb-ft at 3500 rpm, the AMG V8 supercharged power unit speaks the language of the super sports car elite. Its torque development is particularly outstanding, with 690 Newton metres of pulling power on tap as low down as 2000 revolutions per minute and the 554 lb-ft mark reached and breached just 500 rpm further around the dial.
And the CLK DTM AMG has a bite to match its bark, powering from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.8 seconds and 0 to 124 mph in just 10.9 seconds. The sprint from 60 to 120 km/h is over in 3.8 seconds and maximum speed is electronically limited to 186 mph.Motorsport expertise at the heart of the engine development process
The V8 supercharged engine in the CLK DTM AMG is the product of the Mercedes-AMG engineers’ vast experience, gained from more than 35 years of involvement in motor racing and the construction and development of high-performance power units. The following components of the engine borrowed from the SL 55 AMG were newly designed and developed:
Optimised charge air and engine oil cooling
- The crankcase from the SL 55 AMG power unit has been further strengthened.
- The pistons are forged and made of a special material boasting extreme temperature and pressure-resistant properties.
- The exhaust camshafts have extended valve opening times, which improves the fuel supply to the combustion chambers; in conjunction with the new fan-type exhaust pipes and the new sports exhaust system, exhaust gas backpressure is significantly reduced.
- Optimised intake airflow leads to better air throughput in the cylinder heads.
- The higher-revving screw-type supercharger raises charge pressure from 0.8 bar to 0.85 bar.
- The engine electronics have been adapted to the unit’s upgraded performance characteristics.
The cooling system of the supercharged eight-cylinder power unit has also been optimised. The water-cooled intercooler with low-temperature circuit is fitted with additional radiators integrated into the front apron, which help to even out tempera-ture peaks. The extremely efficient engine oil cooler on the left of the system keeps the temperature of the lubricant at low levels even under heavy loads.
The AMG engine is music to the ears of motorsport aficionados everywhere. Its new AMG sports exhaust system generates a vocal harmony reminiscent of the all-conquering CLK racers in the DTM. Cutting-edge exhaust technology, including two primary and two main catalytic converters, ensure that the CLK DTM AMG easily meets all emissions limits currently specified by law, as well as fulfilling the EU4 standard due to come into force in 2005.
In addition to the 62-litre fuel tank fitted in the standard road-going CLK, the AMG Coupé is fitted with a 30-litre auxiliary tank above the rear axle. The battery and windscreen washing system have been relocated to the luggage compartment, helping – in tandem with other measures – to create a favourable weight distribution of 54 percent to 46 percent (front /rear axle). This is achieved despite the integration of the supercharger and the necessary cooling systems, which increase the weight on the front axle.“One man, one engine” in the AMG engine workshop
The AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine in the CLK DTM AMG is hand-crafted with meticulous precision in the AMG engine workshop. The work is carried out by mechanics and at work stations selected specially for the job – as is the case with engine assembly in the racing department – on the same assembly line as the AMG V12 biturbo unit and the AMG engine for the SLR McLaren. The company’s philoso-phy of “one man, one engine” dictates that a single engineer is responsible for the complete assembly of each AMG high-performance power unit – a service documented by the engineer’s signature on a special engine plaque, which is positioned on the charger module in the case of the AMG V8 supercharged unit.AMG SPEEDSHIFT with ergonomic steering wheel paddles enables particularly short shift times
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission takes control of power transmission in the new car and can be operated using paddles mounted on the AMG racing steering wheel. The extremely short shift times help ensure undiluted driving pleasure for drivers with dynamic inclinations. A short dab of the gearshift paddles is all it takes to change gear – up with the right hand, down with the left. The driver can see the gear currently engaged on a display in the AMG instrument cluster. The CLK DTM AMG can also be driven in fully automatic mode, underlining its impressive practicality.Totally new spring and shock absorber units with adjustable coil springs ensure remarkably precise driving characteristics
AMG’s vast reserves of motorsport expertise are equally as evident in the chassis set-up of the CLK DTM AMG as they are in the powertrain. Height-adjustable spring and shock absorber units with adjustable coil springs replace the conventional coil spring/shock absorber units in the standard CLK, allowing the vehicle height to be adjusted extremely precisely. The rear axle is fitted with totally new spring links and strengthened hub carriers, resulting in improved traction and optimised durability. A harder setting for the rear-axle anti-roll bar cuts the car’s roll angle through fast corners and all the chassis’ rubber elements have been strengthened. The dampers are attached to the body by means of uniball elements. A trusted feature of modern racing cars, this technology allows particularly precise handling. Reinforced drive shafts are fitted in response to the car’s increased power.
The multiple-disc limited-slip differential on the rear axle ensures optimum contact between wheels and road. This system works in the same way as its equivalent in the DTM racing touring car and generates a locking factor of 60 percent under acceleration and 40 percent under deceleration. In the interests of optimising strength, the rear axle drive is fitted with a separate oil cooler. All driving dynamics control systems, such as Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), have been adjusted and newly developed in response to the modified chassis set-up and the increased output and torque of the new car. ESP®, which can be switched off to allow a certain amount of oversteer, further enhances the outstanding agility and unrivalled driving dynamics of the CLK DTM AMG.Sports tires from DTM partner Dunlop offer excellent grip
The sports tires available as an option for the CLK DTM AMG open the door to cornering speeds normally only possible in racing cars, with transverse acceleration calculated at 1.35 g. The Super Sport Race tire produced by DTM partner Dunlop in conjunction with Mercedes-AMG offers outstanding grip on account of its special rubber compound and asymmetric tread. Fitted on multi-piece AMG light-alloy wheels specially developed for the CLK DTM, they present a harmonious image – 255/35 R 19 tires are fitted on nine-inch-wide rims at the front axle, 285/30 R 20 tires combine with 10 x 20-format rims at the rear. The wheels sit flush with the car’s wings and provide a snug fit inside the wheel arches.Large composite brakes display remarkable strength
Flawless responses, impressive sensitivity and unrivalled strength are the principal attributes of the newly developed AMG high-performance composite braking system. This technology, based on axial and radial connections between the grey cast iron discs and aluminium bowls, has the advantage of cutting weight by some 20 percent and increasing heat resistance. All discs are internally ventilated and perforated. The front axle is equipped with 360 x 32-millimetre discs and six-piston fixed callipers, the rear axle fitted with 330 x 26-millimetre discs and four-piston fixed callipers. The standard Brake Assist system has been adjusted according to the characteristics of the new braking system.Interior with the functional style of a racing touring car
The inside of the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG is likewise a testament to the car’s racing heritage. Opening the door, the driver is greeted by a functional, predominantly black interior with an array of trim elements in the carbon-fibre-reinforced material CFRP. Refined matt aluminium-look touches lend the interior ambience the dash of exclusivity you would expect from an AMG high-performance car. The CFRP AMG sports bucket seats have leather trim and team up with the four-point safety belts to provide unrivalled lateral support for the driver and passenger. The sports pedals and AMG racing steering wheel offer optimum control over the vehicle, whilst the oval, powerfully formed steering wheel rim is trimmed in high-grip suede. Added to which, the driver can use two buttons integrated into the steering wheel spokes to access information on the trip computer.New AMG instrument cluster with LED rev counter
The new AMG instrument cluster is attractively styled and clearly laid out, and features a 360 km/h-dial and integrated LED rev counter. A total of 64 light-emitting diodes display the engine speed, their colour changing from white to red when the driver approaches the maximum 7000 rpm. The gear change required at this time is also indicated. These two displays are joined by a series of instruments – set in carbon-fibre composite – which show the coolant, transmission and engine oil temperature, fuel supply and gear currently engaged and thus also serve as a reliable source of information for the driver.
Likewise constructed in CFRP, the centre console stands out with totally new styling. In front of the close-at-hand selector lever are the engine starter button and four rocker switches for functions including the shift program, ESP®, anti-theft alarm and trip computer. The vehicle number provides a reminder, if such were needed, of the exclusive status of this, one of a limited edition of only 100 units. Included in the list of standard equipment are bi-xenon headlamps, THERMATIC automatic climate control, KEYLESS-GO and the Audio 50 APS CD/radio system with navigation function. It goes without saying that additional equipment options can be incorporated into the high-performance AMG Coupé in the highly specialised AMG workshop.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG will be built by hand as part of a close coopera-tion between Mercedes-AMG GmbH and H.W.A. GmbH. One of the most successful touring car racing teams of all time, H.W.A. GmbH is also responsible for the development and running of the new C-Class DTM cars. The first examples of the 100-unit limited-edition CLK DTM AMG will be delivered to customers from autumn 2004. Mercedes-AMG GmbH is responsible for marketing, sales and service activities relating to the new car.