Mercedes' New SLR McLaren

Utilizing advanced F1 technologies, the new SLR roadster promises to be faster and more sophisticated than ever

With McLaren now hot favourites to win both the driver and constructor World F1 title in 2007, the announcement of the new model Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster takes on new dimensions. The exquisite roadster is built in the same factory as the cars driven by Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, and combines all the F1 high-tech you can imagine, a 626 bhp AMG kompressor V8 producing an almost obscene 780 newton metres of torque and the long-distance attributes and sophisticated atmosphere of a classic Gran Tourismo car. The most telling F1 gift in constructing the open-top 332 km/h masterpiece is the systematic and intelligent use of high-tech materials for the body and safety technology. As in the Coupé, the bodyshell of the high-performance Roadster is primarily carbon fibre, as are the front-end and rear-end structure, the passenger cell, the swing-wing doors and the bonnet. Compared to steel, the high-tech material represents a weight saving of around 50 per cent, which is why the Electrohydraulic braking system employs massive brake discs made from carbon-fibre reinforced ceramics. There's even an airbrake in the boot lid that extends automatically when you hit the anchors at high speed.

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