Top Gear tests out a Mercedes McLaren SLR

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is an Anglo-German supercar jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive, built in Portsmouth and the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, England. At the time, Mercedes-Benz owned 40 percent of the McLaren Group.

Due to the presence of the automatic gear box, front mid-engined arrangement and its driving characteristics lead some commentators to classify the SLR McLaren as a GT whose rivals can be considered to be vehicles like the Aston Martin DBS V12 and Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. Mercedes decided to drop the SLR due to lack of sales in late 2007.

SLR stands for "Sport, Leicht, Rennsport" (sport, light, racing). Mercedes-Benz has stated that they will build 3500 SLRs in a span of 7 years, with an annual production of 500 cars. The car's base price is GB£300,000 (approximately US$495,000 or €346,000, c. 2009). However as demand was insufficient to meet targeted sales numbers, production came to an end in 2009 as planned.

The SLR sports a 232-kilogram (510-pound) hand-built 5,439 cc (5.439-liter; 331.9-cubic-inch), supercharged, all-aluminium, SOHC V8 engine. The cylinders are angled at 90 degrees with three valves per cylinder and lubricated via a dry sump system. The compression ratio is 8.8:1 and the bore and stroke is 97 millimeters (3.82 inches) and 92 millimeters (3.62 inches), respectively. The Lysholm-type twin-screw supercharger rotates at 23000 revolutions per minute and produces 0.9 bar (13 psi) of boost. The compressed air is then cooled via two intercoolers. The engine generates a maximum power of 626 PS (460 kW; 617 horsepower) at 6,500 rpm and maximum torque of 780 N·m (580 pounds-feet) at 3,250-5,000 rpm.

Unlike most of its contemporaries, its engine is front-mid mounted. McLaren took the original concept car designed by Mercedes and moved the engine 1 meter (39.4 inches) behind the front bumper, and around 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) behind the front axle. They also optimized the design of the center firewall.

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