The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was first revealed at the 1999 North American International Auto Show as the Vision SLR concept. Not necessarily intended for production, the design was inspired by the legendary 300 SL and SLR of the mid-50s, and the public reception was warm enough that Mercedes opted to develop a production version. Teaming up with F1 partner McLaren, the production version of the car was presented in 2003, and would continue in limited production until 2010. When production ceased, a total of just 2,157 units were sold worldwide (open and closed variants). Interestingly, this makes the SLR considerably rarer than the original 300SL, of which 3,258 examples were built.
At its introduction, the SLR McLaren was a technological tour de force. It was outfitted with Sensotronic brakes, a brake-by-wire system utilizing carbon-ceramic disc brakes and eight-piston front calipers with four-piston rear calipers. Active aerodynamics was also part of the unique body design including a flat underbody, rear mounted air brake, and adjustable spoiler to improve downforce. The body was built using lightweight carbon fiber reinforced composite formed over an optimized center firewall design. The layout positioned the front engine toward the rear, essentially creating a front mid-engine car, which greatly improved handling characteristics. The 5.4 liter supercharged SLR engine generated 617hp and 575 ft lbs of torque, delivered in the inimitably brutal supercharged fashion. The performance results are remarkable even by today’s extraordinary performance standards, with various magazines recording 0-60 times in 3.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.5 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 11.5 seconds at 126 mph.
This particular example is a one owner car which was sold new in California and has remained here its entire life. It was optioned with red leather interior (a $9,900 option) for a total original MSRP of $465,650. A no stories example, it is complete with window sticker, manual pack, factory car cover, battery charger, original hard bound brochure, four issues of the SLR Club Magazine, original DVD, and miscellaneous other documents.