2005 MERCEDES-BENZ SLR McLAREN
Silver with red leather interior
Engine: V8, three valves per cylinder, screw-type supercharger, dry sump lubrication, 5,439cc, 626bhp at 6,500rpm; Gearbox: five-speed automatic with three different mode settings; Suspension: independent all round with double wishbones front and rear made from forged aluminum; Brakes: vented ceramic discs with eight piston calipers at the front and four piston calipers at the rear. Left hand drive.
The California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation was set up to protect, help and benefit the families of those officers who routinely put their lives at risk for others. In any one day, the California Highway Patrol covers more that 100,000 miles of roadway, attending to countless emergency situations, and putting life-saving assistance and disaster relief ahead of their own personal safety.
The 11-99 Foundation acts in two main ways, offering a benefits program to protect those who suffer casualties as a result of their work and scholarship fund creating educational opportunities to the families of CHP officers.
When Mercedes-Benz returned to motor racing in 1952, they dominated the major long distance sportscar events with their futuristically-styled 300SL race cars. Utilizing both the 300 SLR and 300 SLR coupé, Mercedes-Benz fielded drivers such as Stirling Moss, who so famously triumphed at the 1955 Mille Miglia (alongside co-driver Denis Jenkinson) in a never-to be beaten record time. At the untimely withdrawal from International Motor Racing for Mercedes-Benz in October of 1955, the inspirational cars produced by the Stuttgart marque had already cemented their place in motoring folklore and it would be over forty years before we would to see the 'Silver Arrows' return to the racetrack.
Initially the 'three pointed star' returned to sportscar racing with the Sauber team in the late 1980s, and huge success was once again achieved across the world including a victory in 1989 at Le Mans. It was the Mercedes-Benz junior team of this period that nurtured the talent of the now six-time World Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher. Building on this success, Mercedes-Benz opted to enter the FIA GT Championship in the late 1990s and with their CLK-GTRs, that were developed in association with AMG, they crushed the opposition taking both the 1997 and 1998 championships.
By mid-1998, British-based Formula One constructor McLaren was already using Mercedes-Benz power in their Formula One cars thus their links were extremely strong. Given that the BMW-powered McLaren F1 had finished production, McLaren put forward the prospect of building a Supercar in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz. Coincidentally, Mercedes-Benz were themselves considering building a Supercar and the opportunity to bring together the resources of the two companies seemed to be a logical step. Mercedes-Benz wanted to build a front-engined car that echoed the Gullwing-bodied 300SLR from the mid-Fifties and when the 'Vision SLR' was shown at the Detroit show as a concept in 1999 - the rest as they say, is history.
Perhaps as a testament to the perfecting nature of the two companies is explanation for the fact that it has taken five years to produce the finished article and what better expression of what independently distinguished engineering perspectives can achieve when combined. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is a faithful and historical compliment that is lavished in technology, luxury, performance, desirability and much more; as one journalist from CAR Magazine recently commented "The SLR doesn't rewrite the rule book; it rips it up and sets fire to the shreds".
Pooling F1 technology available to the project, the core of this motoring masterpiece is the carbonfibre composite chassis and bodyshell; not only is it ultra durable but it suffers no flexing as one would expect from other materials commonly used in roadcar manufacture. Anyone that has driven an AMG-powered Mercedes-Benz can understand and appreciate just how capable and potent their engines can be, but the unit installed into the SLR is simply phenomenal, even by their stratospheric standards. Taking the 5.5 liter basis that can be found across the current Mercedes-Benz range, each SLR engine is built by a single AMG technician. Specific only to the SLR, the engine block is of a specially reinforced all-alloy construction as so to keep the center of gravity as low in the chassis as possible; dry sump lubrication has been chosen. In addition, the crankshaft is balanced and forged pistons have been added to cope with the amazing surge in power produced by the screw type supercharger (capable of 23,000rpm) and the assistance from the twin intercoolers ensure the most ferocious combustion possible. The result, if fully unleashed, is an awe-inspiring and gut wrenching 626bhp at (for a Supercar) just 6,500rpm and a ground shaking 575lb per ft of torque available from just 3,250rpm. Bucking the 'trend', the transmission is a five-speed automatic with three mode options: comfort, sport and manual (by which the gear changes can be made either via buttons on the steering wheel or by the gearshift on the center console). To combat the SLR's forward propulsion abilities, F1 technology is again seen in the braking system; thus we find ceramic discs coupled with eight-piston calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear. At higher operating temperatures ceramic discs suffer no 'fade' characteristics and offer incredible braking capability that cannot be found with any other material. The SLR also uses the Mercedes-Benz 'Sensotronic' system that independently and continuously distributes braking propensity depending on the road conditions no matter how varied they may become.
With such a sleek and defined pose the 'Gullwing' bodied SLR is not only overtly aerodynamic to the naked eye but with a flat floorpan and half a dozen rear diffusers, it generates more than sufficient downforce to ensure stability at the high speeds it was designed to be capable of. Directly retracing its inspirational steps, it also offers a rear spoiler/airbrake that until deployed, either gradually from 60mph onwards or under braking, nestles discreetly at the rear of the trunk panel. The effectiveness of this is quite considerable and at 150mph it can generate as much as 167kg of additional downforce under braking.
The sum total of the SLR's components and technology is equated by the 0-60 sprint time of just 3.8 seconds and the top speed of 208mph, but what sets the SLR aside from other Supercars is how the occupants are catered to. The plush, leather trimmed, carbonfiber seats are both welcoming and comfortable and an array of Mercedes-Benz luxuries such as climate control and a seven speaker stereo system adorn the typically ergonomic dashboard layout. Naturally, passenger safety is a prime focus and the SLR is not only the first production-line built car with a front crash structure built entirely out of carbonfiber but it also includes specifically developed side and knee airbags.
The example we are offering for sale has already been finished in silver with a red leather interior and 18" five spoke light-alloy wheels, it is scheduled for delivery in November/December 2004.
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is the most exciting, most advanced and most refined of the modern vogue for Supercars and thus it is with great pleasure that we are able to offer this early-delivery example.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Californian Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation.
Proceeds above the sticker price can be used as a tax deduction.