2008 Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster

2008 Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster

Just when you thought the SLR McLaren supercar would be slated for the slaughterhouse -- its sales are slowing in its fourth year on the market -- Mercedes has chopped its carbon fiber top off for a new lease on life.

The SLR Roadster will be built alongside the coupe at McLaren's Formula 1 factory in Working, England, and deliveries to U.S. customers will begin this fall.

The addition of steel-reinforced A-pillars, two fixed roll bars, and unique carbon-fiber crash elements hasn't done much to diminish the SLR's performance - Mercedes says the Roadster will accelerate from zero to sixty in a mere 3.8 seconds on to a terminal velocity of 207 miles per hour.

Equally as speedy is the convertible top's operation - which takes less than ten seconds. The roof, which is constructed out a newly developed material and is available in black, tan, or red, is lowered at the touch of a button - after manually unlatching it. Manually? In this price range? How quaint.

Prices for the 2008 SLR Roadster haven't yet been announced, but we expect a slight premium over the $450,000 coupe. Mercedes proudly announces that passengers can still converse at well over 120 mph with the top down. Perhaps that's not a good thing - its well-heeled drivers will be subjecting themselves to one big speeding ticket trying to drown out their significant others. Then again, with a 6.5-liter, 617-hp supercharged V-8 under that obscenely long hood, they should be able to outrun the cops handily.

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