2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Photo
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Quick Take
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren rips off racetrack runs like a Ferrari -- at a similar pricetag. Read more »
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Mercedes-Benz’s new SLR Roadster will be one of the fastest convertibles available when it reaches the market later this year.


Like its coupe sibling, the SLR Roadster will be made from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. Under the long hood will be the same 617-hp V-8 from tuning arm AMG. Coupled to AMG's Speedshift R five-speed automatic transmission, the Roadster will hit 62 mph from a standing start in 3.8 seconds. Top speed will be 207 mph.


The fully retractable roof has been designed to blend with the SLR's smooth body. To open, the roof has to be unlocked from the windshield frame, after which it folds away automatically. Conversation is said to be possible at up to well over 120 mph, but we'll have to wait for the road test to find out if that's true. The semi-automatic roof will open or close in ten seconds, Mercedes says.


Mercedes says that extensive wind tunnel work has been undertaken to make sure high-speed handling and aerodynamics are rock-solid. As on the coupe, there's an airbrake integrated into the rear and a diffuser in the back bumper to boost downforce over the rear axle.


Safety features include a carbon-fiber crash structure, steel-reinforced A-pillars, and two fixed roll bars. There are also front, side, and knee airbags, as well as seatbelt tensioners and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Standard equipment includes leather-upholstered carbon-fiber bucket seats, dual-zone air conditioning, and a Bose premium sound system with integrated navigation system.


Like the coupe, the SLR Roadster will be built at McLaren's Formula One factory in Woking, U.K. The U.S. price likely will approach $500,000.



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