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Mercedes-Benz CLK AMG DTM

Broadcast dates : 26th June 2005
2nd July 2005

Kimi Raikkonen owns one. He has Car Number three. Jenson Button has Car Number Four. And Johannesburg’s Jaime Vileila has Car Number 10.

Only a hundred examples of the Mercedes-Benz CLK AMG DTM, to give it its full and rather unwieldy title, will be built.

And this fact alone will make it one of the most collectable Mercs of all time, even more prized than the SLR McLaren- Mercedes roadster.

What is even more remarkable than this car being in South Africa is that its owner is a paraplegic.

And he’s developed an ingeniously simple device to drive it without the use of his legs.

Apart from being a partner in a major electronics company, Jaime has designed and manufactured a unique hands-only control for this DTM and other Mercedes cars. The elegant design also enables people with full use of their limbs to drive the car at any time.

Not surprisingly, Jaime has had numerous requests to build similar devices for other paraplegic drivers.

What a vehicle to work on, let alone drive and own!

Based on the Mercedes CLK, the DTM is completely hand-built by AMG. It’s built to near full race specs by AMG’s Racing division, HWA, named after the founder of AMG, Hans Werner Aufrecht.

As Aufrecht is fond of saying, "You can’t really improve a Mercedes, but you can make it different."

Different the DTM certainly is. This car is a near carbon copy of the all-conquering HWA cars which have mopped up the DTM series for the past five seasons.

The body is built of aluminum, so those wheel-arch flares are not tacked on, but part of a single body pressing. 
Carbon fibre is used extensively in the cabin for door panels, seat construction and part of the dashboard.
The quality of workmanship is breathtaking, and the engines’ are hand-built by a single technician who signs each engine personally.

It goes without saying that handling and brakes more than match the supercharged V8’s 428 kiloWatts and 800 Newton Metres of torque!

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