Often when we think of supercars, we think of the more modern Ferraris or classic Lamborghinis. When it comes to Mercedes-Benz, however, we typically think of their more luxurious options or the performance-oriented AMG cars. Still, we often forget that at one point in time, they created a pretty exquisite supercar called the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren — and no, it doesn’t have any relationship to the McLaren brand.
The Mercedes-Benz SLR supercar
The Mercedes-Benz SLR was designed to compete with other famous supercars of the time, like the Ferrari Enzo and the Porsche Carrera GT. Unlike those renowned collector’s items, the SLR has been widely forgotten. Despite the car’s more antique-like appearance, it isn’t that old, being in production from 2003 – 2010, with a little bit more than 2,000 vehicles ever produced. From Mercedes-Benz, they weren’t competitively priced, and buyers could expect to pay around $450,000 to have the SLR McLaren sitting in their garage.
The car is notably Mercedes-Benz in style, and just like many other supercars lacked any real amount of space, comfort, or practicality. This car wasn’t just about looks, because it’s just as fast as it appears. The SLR McLaren could go from a complete stop to 60mph in 3.4 seconds, and it could go from 0-100mph in as little as 7.5 seconds.
A forgotten supercar with a lot of history
The SLR McLaren has all of the iconic stylings of Mercedes-Benz. Even if you have never seen one or didn’t even know that they existed, you could still identify it as a member of the brand. The long, flat hood extended provided plenty of space for the supercharged 5.4L V8 engine, which gave the odd-looking supercar just as much performance as it did style.
The designers chose to make the significant body panels from composite carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, but it still had a pretty heavy curb weight of almost 4,000 lbs. This didn’t seem to hinder the car’s ability to perform or hit its impressive top speed of 208mph. There are plenty of cool quirks about the SLR that make it worth remembering.
For one, it has long butterfly-style doors that we only see on a handful of cars from the factory. From the inside, you might even be confused as to how to get out of the vehicle — because the door doesn’t have an apparent handle. A small button next to the driver and passenger seat is cleverly placed but releases the door.
The hood is just as unconventional to open as the doors. On either side of the hood is the release tab, but the extended hood doesn’t merely open like normal when released. The hood slides forward before opening forward, and that’s not something you will see in any other car.
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren has some pretty impressive designs, so it’s a wonder why so many people forgot that the car even existed. It’s not old enough to be an antique, but the supercar is rare enough to be an impressive collector car. What’s even more surprising is that not only was the vehicle forgotten by most people, a lot of its quirks and features were forgotten too, never to be seen again in other cars.