The Most Ridiculously Expensive Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Ever Made
Here’s a list of the top five most expensive Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout timeby Isaac Atienza, on LISTEN 10:42
Mercedes-Benz isn’t exactly an exotic car company, but that hasn’t stopped the German luxury automaker from making one of the most expensive cars in history. While we wait for the eventual arrival of the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar, take a gander at five of the most expensive Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout time.
2011 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 999 Red Gold Dream - $10 Million
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is already a rare car, to begin with, and one of the most expensive Mercedes vehicles that were put into production. The project is indeed one of a kind as this involved McLaren, which, at the time, was only active in motorsports, but not in producing road cars. Do you know what’s even rarer and more expensive than an SLR McLaren? A modified one, of course.
This particular Mercedes sports car was not modified by some German tuning house, however. Instead, it’s been customized by Swiss designer, Ueli Anliker, and the result is the SLR 999 Red Gold Dream. For the price of nearly four Bugatti Chirons, you can buy this vehicle that serves as proof that piles of cash don’t exactly equate to good taste. But hey, at least you’re treated to 24-carat gold accents on the body and interior. And yet that’s still not ostentatious enough for this Swiss designer, because there are also 600 ruby stones around the vehicle. Heck, even the paint comes blended with the $300,000 worth of gold.
Its engine, however, remains untouched. Its 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 still produces 617 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, which is definitely a lot back in the mid-2000s. Whereas most supercars at the time had a single-clutch automated manual transmission, this one uses a more conventional five-speed torque converter automatic.
2005 Mercedes-Maybach Exelero - $8 Million
Remember the Exelero? It’s a one-off grand tourer that was supposedly commissioned by Fulda—a German subsidiary of tire manufacturer Goodyear. The vehicle was produced by Stola in collaboration with Daimler (formerly called DaimlerChrysler) back in 2004. The grand touring Mercedes sports car was meant to be a vehicle where Fulda could showcase its latest high-performance tire range.
And what a perfect vehicle to showcase those tires. Its 5.9-liter twin-turbo V12 produced a whopping 690 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque, which is unheard of during the mid-2000s. Mated to a five-speed automatic just like the SLR McLaren and various AMG Mercedes vehicles with a V-12 during its time, the Mercedes Maybach Exelero goes from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.4 seconds, all the way to a top speed of 218 mph.
Its teardrop shape, long hood, and 23-inch wheels are the product of four students from the Transportation Design School of Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences. And as typical of a Mercedes Maybach, the interior is luxuriously trimmed. Unlike your usual vehicle with a Maybach badge, however, this has a number of sporty touches, such as carbon fiber accents, sports seats with harness-style seatbelts, black and red leather, just to name a few.
Of course, as the term "one-off" denotes, only one of Exelero exists in this world. As a result, it’s not just one of the most expensive Mercedes sports cars ever produced, but it’s one of the most expensive cars ever produced, period.
Read our full review on the 2005 Mercedes-Maybach Exelero
2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster - $3.5 Million
The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR was released during what many could consider as the golden age of Le Mans as well as when the FIA launched its GT Championship. Whereas Le Mans endurance racecars today barely resemble production cars, such as the Toyota TS050, regulations back then meant that competing cars should be based on road cars.
As a result, the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR was born as a way to meet homologation requirements. A total of 20 coupes and 6 roadsters were built, which makes these supercars extraordinarily rare. As a matter of fact, when it was released, the CLK GTR is the most expensive car of its time, as it was being sold for $1,547,620 in 1998-1999.
The convertible was created by AMG’s specialist group H.W.A., and it’s fitted with the same 6.9-liter V-12 as the standard coupe, which produces 604 horsepower and 572 pound-feet of torque. This was then mated to a 6-speed sequential manual transmission, driving the rear wheels. Interior comfort was a low priority for the CLK GTR’s development, which meant that these were indeed racecars for the road.
2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR SuperSport - $3 Million
Did you know that a second variant of the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR called the Super Sport was actually made? Five of the coupes were built as Super Sport variants by AMG’s specialist group H.W.A., and it stood out with its larger front splitter and larger, more powerful 7.3-liter naturally-aspirated V-12 that produced 711 horsepower and 580 pound-feet of torque.
This engine was also introduced in the Pagani Zonda S 7.3, which was launched at about the same time that the CLK GTR Supersport was built. The CLK GTR Super Sport’s performance figures are 107 horsepower and 8 pound-feet more than the standard model, and it’s mated to a 6-speed sequential manual gearbox.
It’s no wonder then that the CLK GTR Super Sport is commanding a higher price tag compared to the standard model, which is already one of the most expensive cars ever produced. Apart from its rarity, it’s also the more powerful of the bunch. But then, it seems that it’s not thrilling enough to be as expensive as the aforementioned open-top CLK GTR Roadster.
1991 Mercedes-Benz C112 - $3 Million
The Mercedes-Benz C112 was developed as a testbed for its future technologies that eventually made its way to its production cars today. Features such as Active Body Control, which is an adaptive suspension system that was unheard of back in 1991, along with tire pressure monitoring, forward-facing radar, were fitted to this sleek-looking Mercedes sports car.
Underneath that sleek sheet metal that was designed by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Coggiola is a set of active aerodynamic features such as an electronically-controlled front spoiler and rear wing. These two features deploy to provide either low drag or increased downforce, depending on the driving scenario. The rear wing could also be used for aid braking, and this eventually made its debut in the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in the mid-2000s.
Powering the Mercedes-Benz C112 was a rear mid-mounted 6.0-liter naturally-aspirated V-12 engine that produces 402 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed manual. These are proper supercar stuff, and these figures certainly back it up. After all, the C112 was meant to be the road-legal version of the Sauber-built C11 Group C prototype racecar.
While the C112 actually never went into full-scale production, which meant it was never really tested in the real world, this Mercedes sports car was pegged that this car could do the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) run in just 4.9 seconds. Flat out, the C112 could hit 192 mph.
What Makes Mercedes-Benz Expensive?
As with every premium brand, Mercedes-Benz vehicles have a higher degree of engineering that goes into them during development. This is noticeable in aspects such as refinement and performance. In addition, Mercedes-Benz vehicles often have more luxurious interiors, which use more expensive materials compared to mainstream vehicles. Lastly, a number of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, most notably the S-Class, have set the standard in what we can expect in terms of in-vehicle technology.
What’s The Most Expensive Mercedes-Benz Sedan?
The most expensive Mercedes-Benz sedan is the S-Class. Specifically, this would be the extremely opulent Mercedes-Maybach S 580, which has a base price of $185,950 before we even begin talking about the options you could add to the vehicle. The Mercedes-Maybach S 580 has a slightly longer wheelbase than the standard model, along with an extremely-luxurious and highly-bespoke interior.
What’s The Most Expensive Mercedes-Benz SUV?
Likewise, the most expensive Mercedes SUV you could currently buy is the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 at $161,500 before any options. Also part of the German automaker’s ultra-luxury Maybach sub-brand, the GLS 600 also happens to be the most expensive American-made SUV. Yes, this German luxury SUV is actually assembled in Vance, Alabama.
However, the Mercedes SUV with the highest base price would be the G-Class. Whereas the GLS starts at $77,200, the G-Class has a base price of $131,750, which is nearly twice the price of an entry-level GLS.
Is It Expensive To Maintain A Used Mercedes-Benz?
As with most premium German brands, maintaining a used Mercedes-Benz is pretty expensive compared to Japanese counterparts such as Lexus. According to Motor1, the average annual repair cost on most Mercedes-Benz vehicles is around $908. This is even higher if you plan to have your vehicle serviced at the dealer.