Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Introduced in 2003, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is a spiritual throwback to the immortal 300SL cars of 1954 to 1963 and the 300SLR racing car of 1955. Developed jointly with McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, England, which at the time was partially owned by Mercedes, the SLR McLaren uses carbon-fiber construction and cutting-edge technology in all its systems.

The car’s architecture is described as “front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive.” Although the engine is in front and drives the rear wheels, it is pushed as far to the rear as possible, in order to locate its center of mass behind the front wheels. Mercedes chose a five-speed automatic transmission as it was more reliable than the seven-speed units used in production passenger cars.

Power comes from Mercedes’ 5,439 cc supercharged single overhead-cam V-8. The all-aluminum unit has three valves per cylinder and a dry sump lubrication system. A Lysholm-type twin-screw supercharger provides 13 psi of boost, good for 617 bhp (626 PS, 460 kW) at 6,500 rpm. There are two intercoolers. The transmission is an AMG Speedshift R with three manual modes.

The SLR uses Sensotronic brakes, a “brake by wire” system with carbon ceramic discs. These offer far better fade resistance than steel when at operating temperature. There is also an automatic air brake, engaged when the rear elevation angle of the rear spoiler is set to 65 degrees. The spoiler itself provides a form of active aerodynamics.

Despite its space-age construction, the SLR weighs in at nearly 4,000 pounds. Still, it’s a hearty performer. Zero-to-60 times recorded by the American car magazines are in the 3.2 to 3.5 second range, the quarter mile in 11 to 11.5 seconds. Top speed is said to be 209 mph.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

617 bhp, 5,439 cc SOHC supercharged V-8 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel coil spring independent suspension, and four-wheel Sensotronic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 110"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren