With a whole raft of supercars set to enter the market in the early 1990s, one wealthy oil sheikh (is there any other kind?) decided he just had to own something that nobody else could ever have, so he commissioned Mercedes to build a one-off hypercar. The German company in turn asked supercar specialist Lotec to come up with something suitably swift; the C1000 was the result.
The man behind Lotec was Kurt Lotterschmid, a man with an impressive background in developing endurance racers, so when the call came to create this special one-off his engine choice was a twin-turbo Mercedes V8 from a Sauber C9 Le Mans sports prototype. Rated at 986bhp (1000 metric horsepower) in street-legal form, with all of that power transferred to the rear wheels via a Hewland five-speed manual gearbox.
The C1000 (C for carbon fibre, 1000 for the envisaged power output) project got under way in 1991 and it would take a full four years to come up with a running car, which consisted of a full carbonfibre bodyshell and chassis which helped to keep the weight down to just 1080kg – which was low enough to produce a power-to-weight ratio of more than 900bhp per ton. As a result the C1000 was claimed to be able to despatch the 0-62mph sprint in just 3.2 seconds while eight seconds was all it took to get from a standing start to 124mph (200kph). The car was reputedly capable of 268mph, not that anybody ever got to verify this of course.
Barrett Jackson sold the Lotec C1000 in 2006 at its 35th Anniversary sale – with the car showing just 1600 miles on the clock. The car realised $247,500 – and appears to have disappeared into someone's collection, never to be seen since.
||Mid-mounted, 5547cc, twin-turbo V8
||5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
||£2,700,000 (build cost)