The combination of German engine technology and advanced British racing-car design capability has seen the McLaren Mercedes team achieve success at the world’s Grand Prix circuits. They have also teamed up to produce one of the world’s most impressive sports cars, the Mercedes SLR McLaren, assembled at McLaren’s ultra-modern Woking HQ.
This was available as a two-door coupe (2003-2007) or roadster (2007-2009) and it was clearly competitive with contemporary GT cars from the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin.
The design can only be described as stunning, inspired by the very special 300 SLR of 1955. The SLR McLaren has a classic coupe shape with a long bonnet, low cabin and short rear end. The front has an extraordinary jutting arrow shape with a large inset Mercedes motif, between and above gaping shark’s-mouth air intakes. Scissor-opening doors fold upwards and forwards.
Unlike many modern high-performance cars, this is a front mid-engined machine. The hand-built, supercharged 5.4 litre V8 from Mercedes performance unit AMG, together with McLaren’s state-of-the-art motorsport technology, puts the SLR McLaren right up there with the great supercars of the early 21st century.
The two partners combined incomparable experience in the production of powerful cars to create an ultra-modern sports car that boasted one of the lightest bodies and best safety packages ever to take to the road. The cutting-edge Mercedes SLR McLaren also contained some of the most advanced features ever seen in a road car, such as fibre-reinforced carbon-ceramic brakes teamed with an automatic spoiler for increased rear downforce.
A special 722 edition, designed to compete on the racetrack, was produced in 2006 to commemorate the victory of the great Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson in the 1955 Mille Miglia race, driving car number 722, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
2003 (until 2009)
5,439 cc V8
Top speed of 208 mph (334 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.6 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Mercedes has stated that the SLR McLaren is a limited edition, with just 3,500 cars built—good news indeed for well-heeled buyers who will own an exclusive machine that will surely become one of the most sought-after classics in years to come.