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The Mercedes SLR McLaren is now in full mass production. As I read about 20 articles on this car I was overwhelmed by the term carbon fiber. This car is completely loaded with it. The body is carbon fiber composition construction and the brakes are cross drilled carbon fiber ceramic discs.
Without boring you to death carbon fiber is best described as a strong composite substance that is very much like reinforced Kevlar or fiberglass. Strands of the strongest materials on earth are molded together to make an even stronger material. This is the same technology used in manufacturing bulletproof vests.
This rich persons ride is one of the latest to join the GT category holding the Benz flag. It carries the historical SLR Mercedes name brought back from the 1955 300 SLR race car. Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with its Formula 1 partner McLaren to build a luxury super car for the upscale markets. The hot cars price tag is an affordable $452,000 that will easily put this car in the driveway of the rich and famous.
Although at the time of this writing the limited color choice of either black or silver will not please the celebrity’s that pride themselves on being different. Even for rich people repainting a brand new car is hard to do.
As far as continuing on with the Mercedes SLR styling the original 1955 model had gull wing doors. This new version has what is being called as sizer doors. These doors are hinged at the front instead of the roof line.
The hot cars engine is a hand-built 617-horsepower supercharged 5.5-liter V8, the first engine developed exclusively by Mercedes-AMG. This engine is rated at max horsepower at a smooth 6500 rpm’s and develops its maximum torque of 575 ft pounds at a lazy 3250-rpm’s.
The engine is mounted behind the front wheels and is considered a mid engine design. This is why the nose of the car is so long. The center and low placement of the engine provides some of the main handling characteristics of the vehicles track tested performance.
The Mercedes SLR comes with a five speed automatic transmission with three driver selectable modes. Sport, comfort and manual. The sport mode can be used for everyday driving.
The comfort mode starts the vehicle in second gear for bumpy or slippery roads. The manual mode allows the driver to shift gears with levers mounted on the steering wheel. When in the manual mode, three additional modes sport, super sport, and race can be selected on the second dial.
Note that each manual mode provides quicker shift times. This happens to be the same ultra high performance transmission as used in other Gran Touring models such as the SL65 AMG.
So what is the performance like on the hopped up McLaren super car? Some of the top automotive magazines differed slightly on the test results but not enough for me to make a big deal over it.
For sure this automobile is a solid member of the 200 mph club.
The top speed is rated at 207 mph. The car has conflicting reports on
its 0-60 times but average time is around 3.5 seconds to 60-mph. The
quarter-mile time of 11.6 seconds at 125 mph was recorded by car and
driver drag strip testers along with a 50-70 mph acceleration time of
2.5 seconds in top gear.
The way it drives has been described as extremely fast, yet comfortable enough to be categorized as a grand touring car. With Standard amenities like cruise control, electric seats, air conditioner and 6 disc Cd auto changer. It is like most luxury cars except for the 207 mph.
Another one of my favorite gimmicks is the engine starting procedure. You turn on the key to activate the starting sequence then you flip up the flap on the shifter handle and crank the starter using the hidden button.
This is like launching nuclear missiles or something
of that nature. But the fun of starting it up comes at the cost of
452,000 American dollars at the time of this writing. Paris Hilton
should get 2 SLR's. One in black and 1 in silver to match her purses. Update: A site visitor informed me she only bought the silver one! Ms Hilton was heard saying "I look hot getting out of this car".
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