Celebrating the 20-year milestone since the debut of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in 2003, McLaren organized a series of events at its McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, UK. The activities acknowledged both the vehicle and the individuals behind its creation, with several original team members still part of the automaker. The supercar was actually the first car to be assembled at the MTC.
On display were four exceptional examples of this grand tourer, including the SLR Stirling Moss, SLR by MSO, SLR HDK, and the SLR 722 GT Prototype. These cars adorned the MTC Boulevard, accompanied by artifacts showcasing the car's development journey. Enthusiasts from the SLR Club, a global association of Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren owners, were also present, connecting with the McLaren team members who contributed to the car's legacy.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren celebrates 20 years
Emerging from the partnership between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren, the super-GT holds a unique place in the company’s history. The SLR project was unveiled during the 1999 British Grand Prix, solidifying the collaboration between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz. The car, originally known as Project 7, was developed from the Mercedes-Benz SLR Vision concept exhibited earlier that year.
Crafted by a team of ex-Formula 1 McLaren mechanics, the prototype's production marked a significant moment, as it was the first hand-assembled car at the newly established MTC. The vehicle's design, closely aligned with Mercedes' vision, was brought to life through innovative engineering, leveraging McLaren's expertise in carbon fiber composites.
Powered by a 5.5-liter supercharged V8 developed by Mercedes-AMG, the super-GT offered exceptional performance with 626 horsepower. Its acceleration, reaching 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph, rivaled other supercars of its time.
Though production ended in 2009, McLaren's involvement endured. McLaren Special Operations (MSO) introduced the McLaren Edition SLR in 2010, initiating a series of enhancements and redesigns. The SLR by MSO in 2019 and the SLR High Downforce Kit in 2023 followed, each carrying forward the legacy of innovation from the collaborative venture between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz.