Mercedes-Benz stays in the supercar segment with its 2009 SLR McLaren Roadster. As a six-figure convertible, the SLR McLaren has few in its market segment, but competitors include offerings from Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin.
The SLR features full carbon-fiber monocoque, crash structures and body panels. The roadster, Mercedes-Benz says, can hit a 206-mph top speed and go from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds.
New for 2009
There are no significant changes from the 2008 model.
The SLR is the first production vehicle to use a front crash structure made entirely of carbon fiber, designed to absorb energy at a constant rate.
- Available 18- or 19-inch wheels
- Semi-automatic convertible top
- Extremely rigid due to carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body panels
- Round bi-xenon headlights
- Gull-wing-like door openings
- Individually padded carbon-frame seats
- Chronometer-style instruments
- Navigation system
- Automatic dual-zone climate control
- Body tuned to allow conversation at speeds above 120 mph
Under the Hood
A hand-built supercharged and intercooled power plant sits behind the front wheels in a front mid-engine position. Dry-sump lubrication includes a remote oil tank that eliminates the conventional oil pan or sump. This allows the engine to sit lower and creates a lower center of gravity. The dry-sump system also prevents oil starvation during extremely hard acceleration, cornering and braking.
Eight-piston brake calipers are installed in the front, with four-piston calipers in the rear. An air brake, standard on all SLRs, is an adaptive rear spoiler in the trunklid, which springs up at a 65-degree angle when a driver brakes hard at speeds faster than 59 mph.
- 617-horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8 with 575 pounds-feet of torque
- Dry-sump oil lubrication system
- Five-speed automatic transmission with Comfort, Sport and Manual modes
- Ceramic composite brake discs
- Air brake
Safety features include knee and side-impact airbags.
- Twin roll bars
- Steel-reinforced A-pillars
- Electronic stability control
- Emergency communication