Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

There’s no denying the star of the Mercedes stand made a powerful impression, hunkered down beside the splendid #722 300 SLR racer that carried Stirling Moss to a Mille Miglia victory in 1955. The gullwing SLR is awash in the latest go-fast thinking from Mercedes and its partner in Formula 1, McLaren, featuring a passenger cell and a front crush structure of lightweight carbon fiber composite, with a burly aluminum engine cradle in between. The engine, which sits well behind the front wheel line, is a supercharged 5.5-liter V-8 engine that puts an astonishing 612 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission with manu-matic operation. (Cleverly, the blower draws its breath directly through the Benz star on the grill, obviating a drag-inducing hood scoop.) Mercedes claims the car will bolt to 62 mph in just under four seconds, and press on to a top speed just shy of 210 mph. For its first year, the $430,000 SLR rolls in black or silver; other colors will follow.

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