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Tuner Tuesday: 1995 Lotec C1000

Performance figures. Manufacturers agonize and boast about them. Enthusiasts taunt others with claimed 0-60 times, top speeds and lateral grip. What’s often lost is that seldom are these figures truly achievable in the real world, and that the really impressive feature – especially amongst super cars – is that these cars need to perform incredibly, but then to also start every time, be reliable, comfortable, and have a warranty. Take for example the blistering Veyron; you can poo-poo it’s heady top speed and Saturn V-esque acceleration, but as a feat of engineering alone it’s magnificent. Top that performance with a car that most of the time can be driven like an Audi A8 – up to and including in snow – and it’s simply mind boggling the amount of constraints that were placed on the engineering squad that produced it. Of course, throw those constraints out the window and the performance level of the Veyron is suddenly approachable or in some cases can be surpassed, even by a one-off from a small tuning firm. Such is the case with today’s car that launched a full decade ahead of the Veyron. Built by notable Porsche and Mercedes-Benz tuner Lotec for an extremely deep-pocketed individual, the C1000 pushed the performance envelope to another level. That level – a claimed 268 mph – makes it faster than nearly every supercar even today, 20 years later. Today the one and only C1000 – chassis number 1 of 1 – is available on Ebay:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Lotec C1000 on eBay

Year: 1995
Model: C1000
Engine: 5.6 liter twin-turbocharged V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 2576 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

Imagine if you had nearly $3.5 million to invest in a one-of-a-kind automotive build. What would your creation look like? Would you go after luxury, performance, or maybe a combination of both? In 1990, an oil tycoon from the United Arab Emirates had this very scenario play out. He had a very simple dream, to own the world’s fastest street vehicle. Instead of purchasing a top of the line vehicle around the turn of the decade, he decided to go another route and build a one-of-a-kind supercar.

To accomplish this, the UAE gentleman contracted the German company Lotec to build his ultimate dream car. Lotec then worked with Mercedes-Benz to design, fabricate, and test, a never seen before Supercar. $3.4 Million dollars later, the businessman had his dream ride. Nearly 5 years later, The Lotec Mercedes-Benz C1000 was born. Lotec and Mercedes claim the C1000 is capable of 268mph! To put this in perspective, the almighty Bugatti Veyron SS is limited to 257, but has the ability to push to 267mph. Nearly 20 years old the Lotec Mercedes Benz C1000 claim still stands a top as the World’s fastest production car.

Everything starts with the C in the C1000 name, which stands for its carbon fiber body. When you glance down the silver coated carbon fiber it looks like it was designed to take flight more so than a drive down the street. Built to push into the near 300mph range, the group at Lotec spared no expense when constructing the body. Aerodynamically the body is absolutely incredible, every piece flows into the next, flawlessly. The production of the carbon fiber body may have been extensive, but the result was a supercar whose total curb weight was only 2381lbs, comparable to today’s pocket sized commuters. Almost 20 years later and the silver body still looks as good today as when it was delivered in the UAE.

At the front of the body, the nose starts the stunning look of the vehicle. Above the small opening for the grill you’ll find a small Mercedes-Benz logo that hints to what powers the vehicle. Flanking the logo on both sides are the four headlights and accessory lights. The front hood tilts forward to reveal the double wishbone front suspension and radiator. It’s also here will you’ll find the stamp from Lotec stating all the stats of the vehicle in their native German. Curb weight, chassis number, and more is listed on this stamp. The body continues down the side where you’ll notice an accent line that starts to form just behind the front wheel and continues pass the driver and passenger doors. That line becomes more distinct and actually forms into the massive rear spoiler. That’s right, the rear spoiler actually starts at the front of the vehicle. At the back of the C1000 you’ll see vents meant to cool the massive powerplant that lies under the rear of the body, and just above the rear dual exhaust is the only C1000 chrome badging on the entire body.

As for the rest of the name, the 1000 stands for the incredible 1000 horsepower that it creates from its massive power plant. Lift the rear spoiler and you’ll find an engineering feat that is unbelievable. A 5.6L Mercedes-Benz V8 sits behind the driver and passenger and is responsible for the insane amount of horsepower. It achieves this 1000hp feat by being equipped with twin Garrett turbos. The sound that comes from the spent gasses traveling out of the dual exhaust is absolutely breathtaking. A three disc dry clutch and a Hewland 5-speed transmission are responsible for transferring all that power to the ground.

The chassis is a solid carbon Zentral monocoque chassis, with fully integrated safety cell. Handling comes courtesy of the double wishbone front and rear axles. Another excellent feature is the continuously adjustable stabilizers and the electronically adjustable shock absorbers. 4-ram AP IMSA racing disc brakes are responsible for slowing the vehicle. Each brake circuit has it’s own brake booster to increase stopping power. In front of those brakes are the one of a kind 17-inch alloy BBS rims that have been wrapped in Bridgestone Expedia rubber. The rims are held to the rotor by a massive indy-car style central locking setup. Included in the sale is the socket it takes to knock off the rims from the ride.

Inside the C1000 is all business, the supercar’s doors open vertically and reveal a bright red and black carbon fiber interior. Two bucket racing style seats are equipped with 3-point harnesses to protect the driver and passenger at break-neck speeds. Inside you will find air conditioning, adjustable pedals, an adjustable steering column, and believe it or not a luggage compartment. A massive ‘Powered by Mercedes-Benz’ logo greets the driver when he/she opens the door. The steering wheel is located on the right side of the machine, however an interesting note on the C1000 is how the Hewland 5-speed transmission’s shifter is also to the right of the driver. Inside the kilometer gauge, the odometer boasts only 2576 kilometers or 1600 miles. To the left of the RPM Gauge and the Kilometer Gauge is a LCD that will also display the operating stats of the vehicle. Also equipped in the interior is a Lifeline fire prevention system.

The sale of the Lotec Mercedes C1000 includes a Magazine feature in a German Magazine titled Sport Auto in April of 1994, a feature story in Supercar magazine, a signed letter from Lotec founder Kurt Lotterschmid addressing the previous owner of the vehicle, instruction manual, and service records.

The C1000 is arguably one of, if not, the rarest supercar in the world. It has a breathtaking look, serious power under its carbon fiber shell, and one of the greatest stories to go along with it. This is the only one of these in the world, but don’t worry you don’t have to shell out $3.4 million to purchase it. Give us a call, or stop by our showroom to get an up close look at this incredible machine. Don’t miss your chance to own this 1 of 1 amazingly rare supercar.

Much like the Derek Bell 962 I wrote up in September, Lotec designed and built the C1000 utilizing its experience in Group C; it’s not a surprise that the car looks much like the prototypes of the time. However, that sleek front end also evokes memories for me of the 1938 Mercedes-Benz speed record cars as well as the 1970s C111 and 1990s C112. What’s even more amazing – especially considering the overall design – is how similar it looks in many regards to the Pagani Zonda. Performance from the twin-turbo 5.6 V8 is otherworldly, pushing 1000 horsepower through a body that’s significantly lighter than the Veyron. 0-60 times were a GT-R blistering 2.8 seconds; 125 mph was reached in a scant 8.1 seconds. A top speed of 268 mph would have put it on pole at Le Mans in the pre-chicane years. More race car than road car, like the Bell 962 this car is really just a thinly veiled Group C car, right down to the awesome BBS magnesium centerlock racing wheels.

This particular car has been floating around North Carolina for a few years now, and has been for sale for a while; the estimate from RMK’s fall auction placed expected value between 1.1 and 1.3 million dollars. That’s well short of the reported 3.4 million it cost to make. Is it a better value than a Veyron? Well, it’s certainly more unique but I’d wager that the Bug is more likely to start and get you to your destination than the Lotec. So, as a car, the Veyron is better. But if you’re looking for top-trumps and a pinup, it’s hard not to put your money on the Lotec!



  1. Ry
    Ry January 28, 2014

    It’s interesting, I’ve never seen it before… but the Lotec name and “one-of-oneness” don’t really catapult this to the top of anyone’s radar. The exterior is kind of bland (especially from the front, it looks ’60s speed racer-ish) and that interior is not really that nice (the gauges, the leather on the dash), it looks like a Hollywood prop car. And the mileage on the speedo isn’t what they list in the ad. (And why is there a BMW 7 series in the eBay pics along with the title referencing a 2001 BMW?).

    The early to mid ’90s were the tail end of a pretty serious recession in super/exotic car prices, and it’s not like this even has some cool racing history. Around the same time, Jaguar XJ220 fell flat on it’s face despite being the fastest street car for years and having Jaguar’s name and such on it.

    Oh to be a young sheik again! 😉

  2. DB28704
    DB28704 January 28, 2014

    I live very close to here.
    I am tempted to go see it in person.

  3. Ry
    Ry January 29, 2014

    I just noticed the seats (seemingly done by Eddie Murphy’s wardrobe team circa 1984) actually have 2 x 3-point (lap & shoulder belts) each! Now that’s whacky.

  4. UrSDriver
    UrSDriver January 29, 2014

    Roughly half the weight of a Veyron with same power figure and no driver aides? I’ll bet it takes 20X the operator to push the limits. I would be curious what the actual verified top speed is, the tire technology did not exist at the time to break 250mph, it had to developed for the Veyron.

  5. Carter
    Carter January 29, 2014

    UrSDriver, as this car was based heavily on Group C technology – which was regularly running 240-260mph at Le Mans in the 1980s, I’d guess it was probably running on racing tires originally. I’m not sure if the top speed was ever truly verified but if it was it probably would have rendered the driver permanently deaf; a quick search of the web will return a driving video in the car recently, and it’s properly loud.

  6. UrSDriver
    UrSDriver January 29, 2014

    Fair enough, I assumed DOT tires for a street legal car, I don’t think they existed at the time. Wholly gear wine batman , that would get old quick

  7. Carter
    Carter January 29, 2014

    Yeah, I’m guessing DOT tires probably weren’t required for a sheik in 1990s UAE :-). For that matter, I’m guessing the owner probably didn’t even need to register it. Amazing what money buys you.

  8. Ry
    Ry January 29, 2014

    Honestly that video made it look even more cheesy to me. It looks like a GM EV1 and kind of like that solar car that went across Australia in the ’90s. There’s so much goofy stuff on it (like the shifter a couple inches from the door, the 12″ door sills, the overall low rent feel of interior, etc). For all the lofty claims I’d like to see it on a dyno and also making a top speed run. Also the real estate given to proclaiming “powered by mercedes Benz” aesthetically comes close to nascar sponsorship decals.

    How is a custom one off car from a company that doesn’t even make cars, probably running on non-street car gas in any way considered a “production car”?

    It’s being sold now by the same place where that video was shot 3 years ago? It might be worth more sold for parts! A McClaren F1 or Jaguar XJ220 is so much nicer than this (with a way better interior and no straight cut gears) if I were rich, stupid, and loved the ’90s (at least 2/3).

  9. Ry
    Ry January 30, 2014

    In a 6 year old Jalopnik post they have a blurb on this car and mention it previously being sold @ Barret Jackson for $250k-ish.

    Barret Jackson summary from ’06 where it sold for $243k.

    BJ notes it runs on a mixture of av-gas & street gas (per my above comment there was no way it was hitting the boost nessecary for 1000hp on pure street gas in 1995. And for the Middle East I believe they were allowed to run higher octane leaded fuel, at least at that time.

  10. Dave
    Dave January 30, 2014

    I had the Privilage of seeing this car while it was in greensboro, NC at the Lamborghini Carolinas Dealership. It still is one of the most interesting and raw super cars I have ever sat in. At that time, there was a slight oil leak so they could not start up the car but it is still such a awesome vehicle.

  11. Ry
    Ry January 30, 2014

    A privledge with a capital P! I don’t even know if I’ve ever had one of those. 😉

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