Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Review

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Review

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was a super-expensive supercar that boasted a top speed in excess of 200 mph and the ability to sprint from zero to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. Unless you were a CEO or media mogul, the SLR was unlikely to show up on your shopping list, as a new one cost around a half-million dollars. It's equally unlikely that you'll ever even see one, since overall sales numbers for the North American market were only in the hundreds before the car was discontinued in 2009.

In a nod to the original 300 SLR, the SLR McLaren featured doors that swing forward and up in a sort of gullwing-scissor combination. The interior included plentiful aluminum and carbon-fiber trim. Very fast and very expensive, the SLR McLaren was more of a toy for the ultra-rich than anything else.

Used Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was introduced for 2005 in a two-seat coupe body style.

The base SLR's hand-built 5.4-liter supercharged V8 pumped out 617 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission sent power to the rear wheels and featured a shift-it-yourself feature with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. According to Mercedes-Benz, the SLR could hit a top speed of 206 mph and sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

The SLR offered a high level of comfort and luxury features considering its supercar pedigree. The seats were covered with supple leather, and a Bose surround-sound stereo with six-CD changer was included, as were adaptive cruise control and dual-zone climate control. Carbon-ceramic antilock brakes with brake assist were standard, as was a rear-deck-mounted airbrake that automatically deployed under aggressive braking.

For 2007, the SLR McLaren could only be had as the 722 Edition coupe. The 722 name referred to the 7:22 a.m. starting time assigned to the original Mercedes-Benz SLR racecar for the 1955 Mille Miglia road race, which it won. Only 25 722 Edition coupes were imported into the United States, so finding one will be rather difficult. Nevertheless, this special edition featured a more powerful version of the SLR's V8 that made 641 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. It also received larger brakes, an adjustable rear spoiler, firmer suspension dampers, a slightly lower ride height, a carbon-fiber front air splitter, carbon-fiber seats and cockpit trim, red stitching and gauge faces, and "722" badges and embroidery.

From 2008 onward, a roadster replaced the coupe as the only available SLR body style. The 722 S roadster appeared for 2009, the SLR's last year of production.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren years