Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Mercedes-Benz has announced that it has decided to end its partnership with British firm McLaren when its existing agreement expires in 2009. The next generation flagship premium roadster that replaces the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren will be built by AMG instead. It’s expected to make its debut in 2010, replacing the SLR which was introduced in 2003. A 7 year model cycle sounds reasonable for such an advanced premium model, but a roadster (drop top) model was just announced sometime last year.

We can expect the new AMG SLR replacement to top the current SLR, but for us to know what kind of levels the new car will be offering we have to revisit the specs of the current generation SLR won’t we?

Read more after the jump.

SLR Engine

Under the SLR’s hood is a hand-built 5.4 litre supercharged SOHC V8, with a 90 degree cylinder bank and dry sump lubrication. The 0.9 bar supercharged and twin intercoolers help push peak power up to 626 PS achieved at 6,500rpm, and a massive 780Nm of torque from 3,250rpm. Power to the rear wheels is via a 5-speed auto.

Stopping power is via large 370mm carbon ceramic brakes with 8 pot calipers at the front and relatively smaller 360mm ones with 4 pot calipers at the rear. These brakes are claimed to resist fade up to 1,200 Celcius! The calipers automatically skim the disc surface on wet roads to keep them dry.

There is also an air brake, created by increasing the rear spoiler angle to 65 degrees. This is said to be able to increase peak deceleration by up to 25%. The rear spoiler also varies from between 10 to 30 degrees depending on how much downforce is needed. 0 to 100km/h takes only 3.1 seconds, and the car can reach a top speed of 360km/h thanks to a good power to weight ratio as it only weighs 1,768kg, relatively light for a car with such a large engine, thanks to its body construction which uses carbon fiber extensively.

Tuning company Brabus took the SLR further by giving it a special LSD with a 40% locking rate. Additional fuel cooling, custom cams and street-illegal racing exhausts take the engine power up to 660hp. And of course, custom Brabus styling including 20 inch monoblock wheels are slapped on as well.

The name SLR stands for “Sport, Leicht, Rennsport” (sport, light, racing).

PHOTO GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
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