The SLR: The Renaissance Of A Legendary Sports Car | Part Two

The Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren: State-of-the-art motorsport technology for the road

The new Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren, which is set to celebrate its world premiere in autumn 2003, revives the glorious tradition of the SLR and marks the reawakening of Mercedes Benz’ passion for super sports cars. It is a passion which can be traced way back through automotive history and which was demonstrated with particular élan in the “Uhlenhaut Coupé”. A contemporary interpretation of stylistic elements lifted from the original SLR and design details taken from the 2003 Formula 1 Silver Arrows allow the 21st-century SLR to form a bridge between the past and the future, bringing cutting-edge motorsport technology to the road, just as the inspirational SLR Coupé did in 1955.

The new super sports car allows Mercedes Benz and its Formula 1 partner McLaren to showcase their collective experience in the development, construction and production of high-performance sports cars. This combination of knowledge and expertise is evident not only in the host of pioneering developments, impressive performance figures and superior driving characteristics of the SLR, but also in the extremely high levels of safety and practicality which it offers. These attributes come together to form the basis for an automobile with a very special charisma – an impressive synthesis of Mercedes tradition and innovation in every respect.

Carbon-fibre and ceramic elements: High-tech materials for the body and brakes

One example of the transfer of expertise from Formula 1 into sports-car development is the series production of sophisticated carbon-fibre composite materials in the construction of the chassis and body. This allows the new Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren to boast a level of rigidity and strength never before achieved in road-going vehicles. Equally as exemplary is the level of occupant protection: specially developed and exceptionally effective carbon crash structures help the super sports car to set new standards in its vehicle class in terms of energy absorption.

The high-performance sports car’s brakes are also made from a new and innovative composite material. Fibre-reinforced ceramics stand out with their extremely high heat resistance, outstanding structural strength and long service life.

Meanwhile, under the bonnet lurks a V8 engine developed by Mercedes-AMG and featuring state-of-the-art supercharger technology, which delivers majestic torque and power development. Every SLR engine is built by hand at the custom engine manufacturing facility.

Published 9 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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