Written by independent automotive journalist Roger C. Johnson
Since Mercedes has been playing our favorite tunes as long as it has existed, it should be no surprise this brand has created its own pedestal for performance motoring. The example here, headed for the 10th Annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, is finished in what could easily be the ultimate color scheme. Striking metallic exterior paint, called Crystal Laurite Silver, and a beautiful red leather interior accented with black combine to create the perfect showcase for this car’s mission – be fast and be ferocious.
With less than 7,500 miles on it since new, this rare example of stratospheric driving pleasure is destined to be your next lifelong relationship. This car has been cared for the very same way you would have done it.
Despite its fantastic shape and performance capability, this McLaren SLR is still a friendly and useful driver for your daily chores, so the act of driving this car will never be considered anything but a pleasure. For the McLaren SLR there is only one option list, and in this case, it is called standard equipment. What you see is what you get. And what you get is everything you could possibly want in an exotic performance car.
The enthusiast magazines of the day were enamored with this model’s relatively basic design. Mercedes and McLaren did not rely on an abundance of electronic gadgetry to make this package work at such a high level. Instead, the engineers simply used proven methods of performance executed with an intelligent touch learned from years of practical application. The result is still setting itself apart from everything else some 12 years after it rolled off the proverbial production line.
Interior features include dual-zone air conditioning, a seven-speaker Bose premium sound system controlled with buttons on the steering wheel, adjustable carbon-fiber seats, heated exterior mirrors, power steering and windows. Other concessions to advanced technology consist of an upgraded Bluetooth stereo, along with rain sensors, ceramic-tinted windows and windshield, along with a smart key to initiate the total experience.
This machine impresses the pavement with asymmetrical turbine-style factory alloy wheels measuring 19×9 on the steering end and 19×11.5 on the traction side. Ultra-high-performance Michelin tires make the connection with the road convincing and irrefutable. The resulting stance, handling and safety are the benefits you experience every inch of every mile you drive this car. This car’s near-perfect 51/49 front-to-rear weight distribution ratio is the final character in the handling equation.
The SLR’s 5.5-liter V8 engine consists of an aluminum block and aluminum heads sporting overhead cams with three-valve combustion chambers. A dry-sump oiling system is straight from racing technology’s top shelf.
The car’s brutal performance is generated in part by a Lysholm-style twin-screw supercharger generating 15 pounds of boost. A pair of intercoolers keep the temperature down on that intake charge for maximum efficiency. The resulting 617 horsepower and 575 ft/lbs of torque put this car in its very own league.
Atmospheric reentry is handled by 4-wheel disc brakes comprised of 14.6-inch-diameter units up front and 14.2-inch diameter rotors out back. All four are ceramic, vented and cross-drilled while operating with an electrohydraulic assist. And yes, they look stunning through the spokes of those wheels.
Dispersing this energy to the rear drive wheels is the job of an AMG Speedshift R 5-speed automatic transmission. The driver can select a comfort setting or an even more responsive touring mode. A separate manual shift option can be controlled with additional steering wheel-mounted buttons.
To permanently put yourself in the driver’s seat of this spectacular McLaren Mercedes SLR gullwing coupe, just raise your hand with the winning bid. Then get in, start the engine and bid goodbye to the competition.