Mercedes SLR McLaren MSO Edition: Driven – PistonHeads

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mercedes SLR McLaren MSO Edition: Driven – PistonHeads


Surely there can be nothing in this world than a great V8 with a supercharger and horsepower?

Side-exit exhausts = supercar win

There is.

One with exhausts. And ‘improved breathing’.

other criticisms – misguided – have thrown at the Mercedes SLR McLaren a of aural drama has never among them. And yet, McLaren Special Operations to revisit the SLR, ‘more was on the agenda alongside ‘sort the ‘improve the ride’ and ‘make it even more mental’.

All which been accomplished and return to. But first the noise.

The AMG-built engine (a dry-sumped of the M113 5.5-litre used in the and many others) has always had a and percussive violence pretty unique even in the long of noisy V8s. But McLaren’s MSO demo car is in another league.

Three very different to 620+ hp

Having arranged with PHer and TVR Wedge Simon Marzell promising that’ll challenge him in the decibel he responds by bringing a noise And looks a little worried I pull up in the SLR. He scores a 106db. The SLR?

116. At the 4,000rpm it’ll permit at a

From inside the SLR it’s all the engine noise. Then I the windows. ‘kin hell! explain the open-mouthed looks of and sometimes terror, I’ve getting. Under even a of throttle each detonation in the sends a pulse of noise out of the pipes.

On the overrun it … in with breathy, distant that crump like shells.

It’s quite marvellous.

But then we knew that the SLR. What we also or thought we did, was that the noise and monumental straight-line it was a flawed car to drive. Twitchy Grabby brakes. A sense it was never quite tied

And a torque converter auto.

As is the way of things a few light mods into something a little involved and before they it an outside (and undisclosed we asked) partner was drafted in to a suspension set-up more than the standard SLR’s but comfortable than the rock-hard

More orange under too!

MSO also looked at the twitchy steering. Fast of heavy around the … but with a falling rate it combines with the odd rear-biased position to create an unsettling By adding an additional universal into the steering gear was able to straighten the path of the reducing this alarming of the steering suddenly ‘speeding as you applied lock and generally it feel more linear and

Relatively speaking, given the front wheels are seemingly in a postcode from where you

It doesn’t take long to that the SLR, thus is vastly improved and more There’s still a sense in its stride, you’re riding a lit and merely along for what is an thrilling ride. This is a raw and engagingly uncouth muscle car more than a hint of about its handling.

But now tamed enough to make you feel rather than merely an passenger.

‘Still a sense riding a lit firework’ says Dan

of … to rear axle judging the revised spring and rates an easy task and still hardly yielding now class and subtlety to the bump and resistance to the kind of pitch, and corkscrewing motions that make fast progress in a SLR so alarming. In detail McLaren rear spring rates raised and damping increased all for bump and reduced in rebound.

Mercedes SLR

As such the SLR makes a lot more Even that auto seem such a bad thing; ratios are adequate with an of this reach and the faster of the manual settings is no worse the jerky, slow-witted automated in contemporaries like the Lamborghini

On their own the steering and chassis are available for all SLRs for Ј13,480 taxes), one enthusiastic German who’s racked up 90,000 in regular use opting for just while leaving the rest of the car

50kg is saved over the SLR

Bringing us neatly to the looks.

you wouldn’t buy an SLR if you were shy and retiring. But there are owners for which the looks are not quite mad enough. have gone for chrome Some have gone Those who’ve approached MSO have met a ‘never say never’ but one grounded in more than aesthetics, as one who requested a new front end

We had to explain it would have the car, says our source, it’s never a straight though. We have a constructive

Hence a new ‘aero’ look with both the suitable impact and engineering rigour an supplied upgrade requires. New and rear bumpers and revised gills with McLaren are included, the whole package downforce by around a fifth. still got a three-pointed star on the but this SLR is a whole lot more than before.

The SLR as McLaren intended. And it’s good

You need to go all-in to as a full ‘edition’ car, the costing over Ј100,000 and three to four months to MSO will cap production at 25 and has built or 10′ so far, selling to around the world. A couple only gone for the rear others have requested fronts and not all the colours have as subtle and menacing as PP14’s.

An old dog a few new tricks, and lessons to younger in how to create a stir. It took a and a bit of fettling, but with MSO’s the SLR really has come of age.


Engine:  5,439cc V8 supercharged

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Mercedes SLR
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