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Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren: Carbon-Fiber’s First Victory

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Carbon fiber supercars are now the state of the art, but this wasn’t the case at the beginning of the 21st century. Mercedes-Benz was looking for a way to integrate the super strong composite into their production cars, but instead of a gradual introduction, they chose the path less traveled.

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In 2003, Daimler owned 40 percent of McLaren Group and decided to leverage their expertise in composites and suspensions to build a featherweight GT car. The SLR McLaren ushered in many technologies that we now take for granted. Carbon ceramic brakes and a carbon fiber reinforced composite body were used to keep weight at a minimum. A hand built supercharged 5.4-liter V8 making 617 hp and 580 lb-ft of torque was developed solely for this car.

Several special editions were created near the end of production.  In 2006, AMG revised the engine to make 640 hp and 600 lb-ft. To celebrate, they christened this model the 722 Edition.

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 pays homage to the victory of Sir Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson at the 1955 Mille Miglia. This engine also found its way into a Roadster. Only 150 examples of the  Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 S were built and they are among the most sought after collector cars in recent history.

Another 75 roadsters were built as the SLR Stirling Moss. These are a true speedster with no windshield or roof. The final 25 cars are known as the McLaren Edition. The team at McLaren wanted to end production with a bang, so mufflers were omitted in favor of an angry exhaust note.

These cars are still at the forefront of automotive technology and performance, and every so often their collectors offer them for sale. We have seen a recent surge in their popularity, so here are a few examples from our dealer network.

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2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

North Miami Beach, Florida

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2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Cleveland, Ohio

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2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722S

Lake Park, Florida

lakepark-drivingemotions

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2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Warrensville, Ohio

warrensville-marshall

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2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

The Woodlands, Texas

woodlands-crave

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2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

The Woodlands, Texas

woodlands-crave-2009

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2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

Lake Park, Florida

lakepark-drivingemotions-529900

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2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster 5.5-liter Convertible

Ontario, California

ontario-cnc

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2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

Los Angeles, California

LA-exclusive

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2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

North Miami Beach, Florida

maimi-prestige-2008

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