Rare Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster sells for $15 million at auction

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Just six of these V12-powered convertibles exist, making it one of the rarest Mercedes-Benz vehicles on earth. 

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A incredibly-rare 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR roadster has sold at auction in the US for more than $US10,000,000. 

The CLK GTR fetched a final figure of $US10,235,000 ($AU15.4 million) when the hammer fell at a recent RM Sotheby’s auction in Las Vegas. 

With just 170km on the odometer, it looks to be in showroom condition, despite rolling out of the German factory more than two decades ago. 

Built as a ‘homologation special’ – a road-legal vehicle built to meet the rules of the FIA GT motor racing championship – Mercedes-Benz only produced 28 examples of the CLK GTR. 

Of these 28, two were prototypes, 20 were coupes, and six were completed in the roadster specification seen here. 

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Despite sharing the first half of its name with the Mercedes-Benz CLK – a coupe and convertible version of the C-Class sedan of the time – the only parts the GTR shared with its more pedestrian namesake were the headlights, taillights, and front grille. 

Power comes from a 6.9-litre petrol V12 engine, which produces 450kW and 731Nm in roadster form. 

A six-speed sequential manual transmission is combined with a carbon-fibre clutch to send power exclusively to the rear wheels.

Mercedes-Benz claimed the CLK GTR could hit 100km/h from a standing start in 3.8 seconds, and reach a quoted top speed of 320km/h.

At the time of production, Mercedes-Benz decided not to engineer the CLK GTR to meet US motor-vehicle regulations.

It means – as the CLK GTR is not yet 25 years old, the minimum age for a vehicle to be freely imported to the US – all examples brought to the country would have to fall under ‘show or display’ exemptions, which allow rare cars of “historical or technological significance” to be driven on public roads for less than 2500 miles (4000km) per year.

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The new owner of the vehicle won’t be able to drive the car more than 4000km per year until 2027 – when it turns 25 years old – the auction house says.

RM Sotheby’s also says an import duty of 2.5 per cent of the purchase price would have to be paid if the owner is a resident of the United States. 

Other notable Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold in the same RM Sotheby’s Las Vegas auction included a CLK GTR Coupe, although the final price hasn’t been revealed to the public.

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