Mercedes SLR Roadster | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo

10 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mercedes SLR Roadster | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo
Mercedes SLR

Same rigid chassis, awesome V8 – the only thing gone soft on the latest SLR is its roof

In the crudest sense, the SLR is a phenomenally rapid piece of kit

always been easier to fun at the Mercedes SLR McLaren than it has to take it seriously. Somehow, the that Paris Hilton one briefly (before handing it no doubt complaining it was too hard to the throttle during full-on drifts wearing five-inch stick more tenaciously to the reputation as the David Hasselhoff of than whatever credibility may been generated by F1 champ Alonso’s rather longer

How it ended up as an object of mild associated with desperate, celebrities rather than a sequel to the phenomenal McLaren F1 is a and painful story Gordon – captain and opening bat for McLaren at the of the project – would probably forget. Suffice to say, it the car he envisaged. Well, it ended up 1618kg, after all…

1000 people didn’t with Murray, though, and over the requisite £300,000 in for the most priapically proportioned in history, a car with a bonnet so in relation to its overall length wondered if it would be able to out of T-junctions without someone in the road to guide it. They part of what Mercedes the SLR Club. And it seems that members who’ve placed orders for this, the Roadster, a serious, some might say collecting habit, as they own a coupe and a 722.

The reason for the long bonnet that it had a preposterously long – Murray’s dream of a V12 was canned on in favour of a supercharged 5.5-litre V8 to a five-speed auto – but a preposterously one (617bhp, 575lb ft of torque), way back in the chassis, comfortably the axle line. And, of the production car remained slavishly to the extraordinarily dramatic Vision SLR of 1999, lousy aerodynamics As the SLR’s mighty motor was capable of pushing it through the air at 200mph, this necessitated a bit of ‘correction’, some of it out of view flat underbody) and some of it not rear diffuser and ‘air active rear wing).

It all added to the impression of F1-derived for the road and, to be fair, contribution was a defining one, the rigid carbon tub being the most significant of the technologies from its F1 expertise and, the F1 road car.

Modified for the top, the exceptional core it offers is claimed to be unchanged the coupe’s. It makes the SLR Roadster, at Geneva in March and now in production at an £350,000, a more enticing than its coupe cousin, to kill stone … the subtle scuttle wobbles afflict the mainstream Merc and in so doing putting some blue water between and a car that, on paper, all but matches its line pace for less half the price.

The SLR Roadster effectively ends the career of the not least, Mercedes says, the two models can’t be manufactured at the time. To our eyes, the roadster of the Vision concept always the more appealing, it was only a question of when it would be Mercedes says it went coupe first, in 2003, to the association with GT race

But, from a visual at least, it’s hard to that those who’ve off for the roadster will be disappointed. the powered fabric hood neatly in the space behind the it’s a fabulous looking far less cartoonish than the but still a fireball of presence its dragster overtones and stubby, exhausts snorting shockwaves of venom. Pure theatre.

It a damn sight better the coupe with the hood in too, though the fact it has to be manually latched and locked a high-torque twist of the wrist – a saving of 6kg over an auto-latching apparently – is a shocker. Don’t Paris Hilton back any soon, Mercedes.

The SLR’s scissor doors that out and up on massive hydraulic struts – a every time – give access to a cabin space checks in somewhere between and cramped and buts right up the rear wheelarches. The carbon seats’ backrests are fixed, so you to sit a little more upright and to the wheel than you would in, an SL, though it’s actually comfortable and not at all at odds with a car deliberately or not, is shot with the charisma of an old school hot rod.

Mercedes SLR

Once behind the wheel, the and woes come in about measure. Best bits are the the seats, the sparing use of carbon and the look and feel of leather has clearly come from hooked on anti-ageing products.

less inspiring is the amount of plastic and the embarrassingly large and SLR badge on the flap that the stereo.

Then again, considered, this probably a car for shrinking violets or people of a (or, indeed, cynical) Snigger, if you want, at the starting that involves flicking a slatted cover on top of the shift and prodding the start button – with red alert lighting – But what happens next funny. You’ve just arguably the baddest-sounding production on the planet.

OK, peak power is shy of a Veyron’s 1000, but the SLR sounds as if got 2000.

It isn’t a pretty sound not much sense of pitch, in the way of harmonics. Just industrially thunder overlaid with the monumental supercharger whine, the of disturbing multi-track soundtrack director David Lynch concoct to induce a mild of panic in a cinema audience.

And the carried in the sonic message is justified on the road. The SLR Roadster just 57kg more the coupe, so its performance is almost mental. 0-62mph in 3.8sec, in 10.9sec, 207mph flat out the roof up). And, like the SLR coupe, this is the Roadster is best at: covering the between one corner and the next a striking cobra covers the between itself and lunch.

In the sense, it is a phenomenally rapid of kit. The fact that its ’box, which it shares the Maybach, has just five spaced ratios seems an irrelevance. You never have to what gear might be for the next overtake – any gear do.

Kickdown, quickened in Sport adds a little more Armageddon and a surfeit of shove to the and paddle-shifting allows you to chop up the and accelerative forces to taste, like Lynch at a mixing That said, this is the greatest turn-on, strap-up, squeeze ‘n’ go car on sale.

And despite the seemingly ingrained SLR – awful brake feel, steering and spine-drilling ride (on our optional 19in rims at any – it’s a much more steer than the coupe. The of the bodyshell isn’t just better that the SL’s, hard to think of another that even comes And the management of wind in the cabin at is excellent.

For all its foibles, driving the car is an that lingers in your hours after you’ve off. After all, isn’t such a bad role The only real difference is an American who’s big in Germany.

the McMerc, it’s the other way

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Mercedes SLR
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Mercedes SLR
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