For all its impressive numbers and inherent clout, driving the SLR McLaren on the road can, at times, be a pain in the ass. The steering is exceptionally heavy at low speed and somewhat numb at driving velocities. The brakes, while supremely capable under hard use, have an extremely heavy pedal feel and bite with unreal force. You'll find yourself treading lightly, at least initially, which may or may not be a good thing. And cabin visibility is not the greatest. Rearward, it pretty much sucks. Forward, there are the intrusive A-pillars and the long, long nose obscuring the view.
However, if you're going to spend this kind of money, these complaints all seem rather paltry. All in all, the SLR McLaren Roadster packs unreal performance for an uncompromising price. Even at the very top of the road car spectrum, it must be regarded as signature Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
5.5-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve, supercharged and intercooled
Double wishbone front and rear, gas-pressure shocks, coil springs, anti-dive
Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC), carbon-reinforced rotors, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP
Length/Width/Height (in.): 183.3/75.1/50.4Wheelbase: 106.3 in.Curb Weight: 4050 lb
Peak Power: 617 hp @ 6500 rpmPeak Torque: 575 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm0-62 mph: 3.8 secTop Speed: 206 mph
What we like:
Massive acceleration at just about any speed
What we don't:
Compromised visibility, touchy brakes
The Price Tag: $495,000
"Whereas a preponderance of fast cars seem to lose breath the further they pull from 100 mph, the SLR appears to do just the opposite,its frighteningly linear power delivery shortening the gap between 100 and 200 mph with each tick of the clock."