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Mercedes-Benz models, news & reviews
By Georg Kacher
24 July 2007 11:40
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster is indeed a tongue twister. And make sure you get Merc and McLaren the right way round, otherwise the men from Germany will get all antsy. Thus the name pretty much sums up the genesis of this car: from coupe (SLR), to hardcore coupe (the 722), and now to convertible. And the convoluted name reflects the machinations behind the scenes: the relationship between Woking and Stuttgart has been tense, to say the least, as the two companies have battled over their vision for the car. The open-top is the latest collaboration between the British and German engineering giants, and a last-ditch attempt to make the SLR a success. We hear that sales have fallen far short of expectations; around 1200 coupes have been built at Woking since 2003, suggesting that the original 3500 target in its seven-year lifecycle is somewhat unrealistic.
McLaren wanted an F1 successor; Mercedes wanted, and claims it got, 'the ultimate 21st century GT'. The actual result is a compromise, and one that is less than the sum of its parts. The engineers at Woking have given the SLR a carbonfibre tub, double wishbones all round, and an air brake. Stuttgart has added an automatic gearbox, and all sorts of heavy luxuries and sound-deadening that have made the SLR a bit of a porker at 1825kg. For those that thought the original coupe was too soft, there's the 722 edition with more power and less weight. And now we have the poseur's version, the convertible with a canvas hood and an even barmier price tag. Yes, the rag-top is going to cost the thick end of £350,000.
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Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster (2007) CAR review
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