Launched in 1997, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR entered the stage just as the McLaren F1 was exiting. Like the reigning superlative supercar, the CLK GTR was a mid-engined, V12 powered, 600-plus horsepower hypercar that was unlike anything else to ever wear a three-pointed star. By the time the street-legal version of the CLK GTR bowed in 1999, it’s $1,547,620 price tag earned it the title of the world’s most expensive production car too.
Mercedes went on to team up with McLaren on the Mercedes-McLaren SLR, but it wasn’t quite as bonkers as the CLK GTR, and the companies soon parted ways. The British firm got back into the hypercar game with the 2013 P1, which joined duked it out with the Porsche 918 and LaFerrari. Along with that trio, the segment is also home to upstarts like Pagani and Koenigsegg, the Lamborghini Veneno, and the soon-to-be-released Bugatti Chiron (expected for 2017), meaning the hypercar segment is the stuff that gearhead dreams are made of.
And for the better part of 16 years, Mercedes has found itself on the outside looking in. Its Mercedes-AMG GT S is one of the finest grand tourers around, and a serious Porsche 911 Turbo killer, but a LaFerrari killer it is not. The famously competitive company doesn’t like being left out of the loop, however, and rumors have been circulating for some time that a $1 million-plus hypercar is in the works. So much so, that in April, Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers went on record and said: “No. A hypercar is nothing what we have. There is no discussion. There’s nothing under study – nothing. Maybe in the future, yes, but not in the next five, six, eight years. Not this decade. I think it’s not necessary.”
As definitive as that may have sounded, Autoblog reports that the company is in fact working on a V12 powered machine to pick up right where the CKL GTR left off, and take on this 21st century crop of hypercars.
The good news is that a Mercedes hypercar is coming, the bad news is it’s arrival might be closer to Moers’s timeline instead of, well, right now. The AMG GT is slated to get hotter next year with a Black Series version, and according to Autoblog’s source, a Mercedes-AMG product planner in Austria, a halo car will slot in above the two a few years after that, most likely early next decade.
The car will be powered by an all-new V12 that’s currently in development, and be mated to an electric motor and battery pack like Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren’s top dogs. With hybrid technology advancing as rapidly as it is, don’t be surprised if it could match or best the Porsche 918’s 67 miles per gallon equivalent, while still putting out close to 1,000 horsepower.
In many ways, the early 2020s is a perfect time for Mercedes to release its hypercar. Ferrari’s 75th anniversary is coming up in 2022, and the company has quite the history of self-commemoration. It would also give Porsche, McLaren, and Bugatti the time to design and release their next-generation cars, making the field even more crowded – and exciting – than ever before. With that in mind, it’ll probably be worth waiting to see what Mercedes comes up with, we just hope they come up with it fast.
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