Before we touch the supercar Mercedes SLR you should know about one more true fact:
There always has been and always will be a demand for exclusive high performance automobiles. Talking about GT class comfort and gadgets embeded into a supercar sfere of design and performance.
If you are seeking for luxury, supercars performance, timeless design: Look no further because here it is packed all in one: Mercedes SLR supercar.
Rich Mercedes racing history with countless victories around the worlds most famous Grand Prix and other championships with many lap and speed records set milestones on and off the track for others to follow. Exeptional racing performance brought “us” many car racing legends.
The quest for ultimate power and performance resulted in Mercedes Benz producing the Mercedes SSK, Mercedes 540K and 300 SL Gullwing – known today as the first supercar ever – another milestone worth mentioning. All of the above “supercars” were demonstrably superior to the oposition in their day.
The desire to continue the legendary and victoriuos racing spirit of Mercedes Benz brand has never stopped and when McLaren Formula 1 team approached Mercedes Benz with a proposal to build a supercar for the 21st century, the suggestion was very welcoming since the Mercedes was also thinking along similar lines.
Mercedes SLR history
Work on Mercedes SLR began in 1998 and one year later in 1999 there were already first results visible in the form of Mercedes SLR Vision Coupe and SLR Vision roadster (presented in North American International Auto Show in Detroit, see the video below).
Mercedes SLR Vision concept car presented in 60 seconds:
Both concepts were made public, not just as a show cars but constructed under the control of the production car division.
To underline its commitment to build the new Mercedes SLR supercar, McLaren began construction of a new factory – a truly unique assembly facility known as the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom. Work on the project, originally known as the Paragon Technology Centre, started in 1999 and about 4,000 construction workers were involved in what the Financial Times said “[was] claimed to be the biggest privately funded construction project in Europe.” In February 2000, DaimlerChrysler purchased 40 percent of the McLaren Group and McLaren subsequently announced it would build the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren at the new facility.
Mercedes McLaren SLR factory assembly line:
Mercedes SLR world premiere in 2003
After five years of research, development and preparation (new production McLaren facilities in England) the Mercedes SLR was finnaly ready and officially launched at the 60th International Motor Show (9. 9. – 21. 9. 2003) in Frankfurt am Main. There were two Mercedes cars that set benchmarks in terms of design and technology: the near series version of Vision CLS study and the Mercedes SLR McLaren high-performance sports car developed jointly with McLaren.
The initial proposal was to build a no-compromise, hig performance sports car that would also provide comfortable, practical transport while cruising slowly in city traffic.
To meet the many demands, a front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout was preffered, with the powerful handbuild AMG engine set well back in the chassis to provide acceptable levels of roadholding and handling.
This resulted in a car with a very long bonnet and seats located just ahead of the rear axle. Mercedes SLR styling and final design remained recognizably “Mercedes” despite the unique nature of the product.
Mercedes SLR acronym
SLR stands for “Sport Leicht Rennsport” (Sport Light Racing), homage to the Mercedes Benz 300 SLR W196 formula one racing cars which served as the McLaren’s inspiration for the 21st century SLR.
Mercedes SLR Top Gear review (Must see!! 🙂 )
Mercedes SLR specifics
It was decided that the car would have:
- carbon chassis
- AMG supercharged V8 handbuild engine
- automatic transmission
- Mercedes Benz Sensotronic ceramic brakes
Bearing in mind its potential market, Mercedes insisted that the SLR had to be fully loaded with every luxury imaginable; climate control air conditioning, six airbags, GPS satellite navigation, full surround sound system and many more gadgets to comfort both driver and passenger.
The result was a two seat car, that weighed 55 per cent more than McLaren’s own three seat F1 sports car.
The Mercedes SLR was designed to make an impact in the world of supercars and it certainly succeeded. Photographs and videos only convey part of the story, since this is a vehicle with genuine presence.
Mercedes SLR engine
Beneath the big bonnet, within the engine compartment lurks a formidable 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine, signed by the technician who build it, producing 626 bhp (467 kW; 635 PS). It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.8 seconds and 0 to 100 mph (0–161 km/h) in 6.3 seconds. 0 to 124 mph (0-200 km/h) in a 10.4 seconds and top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h).
Car and Driver achieved a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) time of 3.4 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 11.2 seconds at 130 mph (210 km/h) C&D suggests the times may be even lower if temperatures were lower. Motor Trend tested the SLR and achieved a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds in April 2006. Car and Driver achieved top gear acceleration 30-50 mph and 50-70 mph times of 1.7 and 2.4 seconds, which are the fastest ever recorded by the magazine in a production car. The SLR also pulled 1.13 g on the skidpad.
The Mercedes SLR breaks new ground since the construction process of the overall carbon bodyshell, chassis and crash structures are partly automated, based around lessons learned by Mercedes engineers from the formula one industry.
Mercedes SLR air-brake
Mercedes has always liked the idea of a rear-brake aerofoil and the concept reapeared on the SLR McLaren with an adjustable rear spoiler that doubles as an air-brake under panic stop situations.
The huge ceramic brakes (Sensotronic Brake Control, a type of brake-by-wire system), plus the spoiler, generate a stopping force of 1.3g. On such a fast car, aerodynamics play a critical role and to maintain stability, the underbody features spoilers and a six-channel rear diffuser.
Mercedes SLR McLaren – the result
Years of labour, research, development of new materials and technologies, testing and experimenting lead to a result – a car capable of crossing continents with ease, as well as cruising around New York, Moscow, Paris or Monte Carlo in total comfort.
Mercedes SLR may lack the uncompromising edge of a Porsche Carrera GT or a Ferrari Enzo, but that was never its remit. This is a Mercedes-Benz for the serious Mercedes enthusiast.
Mercedes SLR variants
Check out 7 different SLR variants in a special post: Mercedes SLR versions
Find out more about:
- SLR coupe from 2003,
- SLR 722 Edition from 2006,
- SLR roadster from 2007,
- SLR 722 GT from 2007,
- SLR roadster 722 S from 2008,
- SLR Stirling Moss from 2009 or
- SLR MSO McLaren edition from 2011.
Mercedes SLR tuning
There are a few custom builders that picked the Mercedes SLR and tweaked it inside and out (more or less). Here are a few of them:
- Mansory Renovatio SLR,
- Hamann Volcano SLR,
- FAB Design SLR desire,
- Brabus SLR,
- Renntech SLR
Mercedes SLR – worlds fastest?
27100 / 1.45 / 16503m all