The Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR was a V12 midengine race car developed for the 1997 FIA GT championships. It shared only lights and other exterior similarities with the normal CLK. Production of the required 25 road cars began in late 1998. A special version of the CLK is the CLK DTM AMG sports car, which looks similar to the full race car for the German Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters racing series which has to use a normally aspirated 4.0 L V8, limited to less than 500 hp. 100 Coupés and 80 Convertibles were released for sale in Europe, using AMG’s supercharged 5.4 L V8, now producing 428 kW (582 PS) and 800 N·m (590 ft·lbf). The front and rear track are widened by 2.9 and 4.2 inches (74 and 110 mm) respectively, and special tires and suspension modifications allow the car to pull 1.35 g (13 m/s²) of lateral acceleration. 0-100 km/h acceleration is just 3.9 seconds, and top speed is 320 km/h (199 mph). In Germany, the car cost 236,060 euro after taxes. In addition to hard top CLK DTM AMG, 80 convertible versions of CLK DTM were made for 2006 model year, titled Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG Cabriolet. Compared to the coupé version, a speed limiter further reduces its top speed to 300 km/h (likely due to the top not able to withstand higher wind forces safely). Owners of the CLK DTM Cabriolet includes former McLaren Mercedes Formula One drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Mika Hakkinen. Hakkinen is currently racing for Mercedes in the DTM championship. Former McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen owns the hard top version of the CLK DTM.
The R170-platform SLK 230 Kompressor was introduced in 1997 for model year 1998 to compete with the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z3. Setting it apart was its folding hardtop, though its additional weight dented the performance of the 185 hp 2.3 L supercharged I4 engine and automatic transmission. The SLK was on Car and Driver’s Ten Best list for 1997. A 5-speed manual transmission was added for 1999, but it was the introduction of a 215 hp 3.2 L V6 and 6-speed manual transmission in the 2001 SLK 320 that really brought the Sportlich to the car. An AMG model was added in 2001, with a 354 hp (264 kW) supercharged version of the 3.2 L V6. This SLK 32 AMG was the best-performing SLK ever, and was a direct rival of the BMW M Roadster and Porsche Boxster S. It is only offered with automatic transmission. The SLK AMG engine is also hand built. Not all Mercedes SLKs were built in Bremen, Germany, the SLK 320 being built in South Africa. The very first R170 Mercedes SLK was completed Models of the new SLK include:
– SLK 200 Kompressor – 1.8 L 120 kW (163 hp DIN) I4 supercharged engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 7.9 seconds, top speed of 143 mph. (not available in Canada and the US)
– SLK 280 – 3.0 L (2996 cc) 170 kW (231 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 6.3 seconds, top speed 155 mph. (starting in 2006 model year)
– SLK 350 – new 3.5 L (3498 cc) 200 kW (272 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 5.4 seconds, top speed 155 mph (electronically limited).
– SLK 55 AMG – 5.4 L (5439 cc) 265 kW (360 hp DIN) V8 engine, 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 4.3 seconds, top speed 155 mph (electronically limited). A tuned version of this was used as the Formula One safety car, replaced by CLK 63 AMG at the beginning of 2006 Season.
A lifting of the R171, with more powerful engines, has been presented at the end of 2007.
– SLK 200 Kompressor – 1.8 L 135 kW (184 hp DIN) I4 supercharged engine
– SLK 280 – 3.0 L (2996 cc) 170 kW (231 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine
– SLK 350 – 3.5 L (3498 cc) 224 kW (305 hp DIN) double overhead cam V6 engine
– SLK 55 AMG – 5.4 L (5439 cc) 265 kW (360 hp DIN) V8 engine