The drive system in the research vehicle is a state-of-the-art diesel hybrid unit with a total power output of 234 kW. In the European driving cycle it uses up to 20 per cent less fuel than a comparable CDI engine.
SLR McLaren: cutting-edge technology for the Gran Turismo of the 21st century
With the new Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer and its Formula 1 partner McLaren pay testimony to their many years of experience in developing and producing high-performance sports cars. The two-seater with its distinctive swing-wing doors and styling elements from the Formula 1 Silver Arrow continues the glorious tradition of the legendary SLR racing cars of the 1950s.
The Gran Turismo of the 21st century consists almost entirely of carbon fibre composites (CFK). This light and yet extremely rigid material comes from aerospace technology and has also stood up to the rigours of Formula 1 racing. The high-tech material is around 50% lighter than steel. Yet at the same time the carbon fibres provide four to five times better energy absorption than steel or aluminium in an impact. Adaptive airbags, newly developed kneebags and sidebags as well as belt tensioners round off the safety features.
Mercedes Benz has also used new materials technology to manufacture the brake discs. Made of fibre-reinforced ceramic, they provide not only excellent resistance to fading coupled with a very long service life but also excellent deceleration in conjunction with the electrohydraulic braking system Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™), features that bear strong witness to the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren’s motor racing credentials.
In the interests of perfect dynamic handling and superior stability under braking, the new Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren has been designed as a front-mid-engined sports car. Mounted on a sturdy aluminium frame, the high-performance V8 engine is set low to provide a low centre of gravity and enhance the agility of the car.
With a displacement of 5.5 litres, the supercharged engine develops 460 kW/626 hp. Its maximum torque of 780 Nm is available over a wide rev band, coming on tap at 3250 rpm and remaining constant up to 5000 rpm. This makes the SLR eight-cylinder version one of the most powerful engines in a series-produced roadgoing sports car. The high-performance sports car takes just 3.8 seconds to get from 0 to 100 km/h, reaches the 200 km/h mark after 10.6 seconds and 300 km/h in 28.8 seconds. The top speed is 334 km/h.
Aerodynamic design with know-how from Formula 1
In conjunction with McLaren, Mercedes Benz has developed a highly sophisticated aerodynamic design to ensure that the exacting requirements made of such a high-performance car in terms of high-speed handling, stability and air-cooling are fully met. This aerodynamic design provides outstanding roadholding and, in turn, the safety that drivers have come to expect from Mercedes. As a result of extensive wind tunnel testing, the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren has a virtually flat underfloor section and features a special six-channel diffusor at the rear. Both are proven design features taken from Formula 1. They help ensure the airflow under the vehicle is virtually undisturbed and also generate downforce at higher speeds.
At the rear, the SLR generates additional downforce with an adaptive spoiler. At speeds of 95 km/h and higher, it automatically rises to a 10 degree angle into the wind and so increases the negative lift force on the rear axle. The spoiler also acts as an air brake: if the driver steps heavily on the brake pedal, the spoiler rises to an angle of 65 degrees, not only providing increased aerodynamic drag but also shifting the aerodynamic centre of gravity further back. When braking from high speeds, this lends the SLR outstanding stability.Published 22 October 2003