Mercedes-Benz SLR Coupé
The Art of engineered design.

Pedigree

Motorsport enjoyed immense social status in the 1950s. At the height of this fascination, several much-admired motorsport vehicles spawned versions that were suitable for everyday use, allowing the aesthetics and technology of the race track to be carried over to the road.

Following the initial successes of the "super-light" 300 SL with its distinctive gullwing doors, Mercedes-Benz engineers stepped up their efforts to produce ever more powerful racing cars, unveiling the 300 SLR in 1955. Using this vehicle to work from, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who at the time was in charge of passenger car testing and head of racing car development at Mercedes-Benz, designed a road-going coupé version that combined the design and technology of the 300 SL and the 300 SLR: the 300 SLR Coupé, better known as the "Uhlenhaut Coupé". The "high-speed touring car", as Uhlenhaut called his automotive creation, certainly lived up to its name. Weighing just 1117 kilograms with a power output of 310 hp, the vehicle accelerated to a top speed of up to 284 km/h in tests.

In its day, the two-seater was the fastest automobile approved for use on public roads and served as a template for the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, which, almost 50 years later, was to realise the dream of the fusion between motorsport technology and grand touring comfort.

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Design

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren unites outstanding innovations in performance, occupant protection and comfort to create a unique overall concept. It is the expression of a vision: the fusion of ground-breaking automotive engineering with the supreme motorsport performance achieved by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren.

Gills, sidepipes and gullwing doors evoke the legend of the Silver Arrows. The SLR Coupé blends the heritage of the "Uhlenhaut Coupé" with the technological innovations of today. Added to this are technology and materials from the current Formula 1, each key stylistic detail of the SLR Coupé being assigned an important technical role. In the interests of maximum performance.

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Technology

SLR stands for "sporty, light, race-ready". The vehicle is constructed almost exclusively from carbon-fibre composite plastics, which are exceptionally sturdy, light and resilient. This lends the SLR Coupé an extreme stiffness to counteract the dynamics arising from the torsional forces. In addition, the SLR has a special occupant protection cell, the so-called monocoque.

In a collision, the SLR Coupé's forward crash structure undergoes controlled pulverisation to reduce the impact energy. Together with its progressive ceramic braking system, AIRBRAKE, energy-absorbing sports seats, restraint systems as well as front and knee airbags, the SLR Coupé presents a unique safety concept.

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Dynamics

The SLR offers a super-sporty driving experience allied to the comfort of a grand tourer. The automatic transmission in combination with AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission control makes it possible to drive the SLR in the comfort associated with a grand tourer or, alternatively, to switch to the Sport mode, in which the driver can regulate the shift speed, change gear using steering-wheel shift buttons and activate the airbrake for added traction.

The sound says everything about the AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine, which, with 780 Nm of torque at just 3250 rpm and an output of 460 kW/626 hp, makes the SLR a super sports car with exceptionally high-powered performance at distinctly low engine speeds. The vehicle is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h in 10.6 seconds. The result is: sheer delight.

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Specification

Even the standard equipment package comes with a selection of design options to underscore the SLR's sporty, clear-cut and luxurious character.

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