The world gets to experience many great things when two luxury brands decide to collaborate and create a cutting-edge vehicle. Thankfully, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive did just that when they introduced the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren to the world in 2003. It was originally conceived by Mercedes-Benz in 1999 and their partnership with McLaren on Formula One cars made it possible.
Production for these cutting-edge, luxury vehicles ended in 2011 but there are still many fascinating details to discover. Learn about the different variants below and how they have fared in retaining their resale value.
McLaren Cars Overview
Rooted in inspiration by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, Mercedes-Benz wanted to create a modern take on this classic vehicle. Mercedes-Benz presented the newest sport light racing (SLR) car as a concept vehicle in 1999. Over the next four years, that took advantage of their connection to Formula One partner McLaren and finally unveiled the first coupes available for sale.
The luxury pricing of this vehicle attracted all sorts of celebrities. Paris Hilton, of the famous hotel chain by the same name and a fashion-forward business woman in her own right, drove a Palladium Gray one in 2006. Sharp-eyed viewers spotted President Donald Trump driving one during an episode of his reality show. Even sports celebrities like Damon Jones, formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phil Ivey, a professional poker player, have fallen for the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
Pros and Cons of Owning a McLaren
Anyone considering buying a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren should consider these pros and cons first.
- Membership in the exclusive SLR.Club. This organization only requires their members own a Mercedes Benz SLR. (http://www.slr-club.com/);
- Go from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds;
- Highly collectible and likely to appreciate in value if well cared for.
- Even used, it still has a hefty price tag;
- One-piece, racing bucket seats are not comfortable for long trips;
- Repair bills will be high.
The doors on the SLR McLaren swing up and forward in a futuristic way. There were multiple variants of this car released between 2006 and 2011. They include the 722, Roadster, 722 GT, Roadster 722 S, Stirling Moss, and the McLaren Edition. Learn what makes each variant different next.
Special Attributes of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
- Only produced for seven years, 2003 – 2010;
- Assembled in Surrey, England;
- Part of the Grand Tourer class;
- Two different body styles – a two-door coupe and a four-door roadster;
- Engine was a 5.4 L supercharged M155 SLR V8;
- It has a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout (FMR);
- The wheelbase is 2,700 mm (110 in);
- The curb weight is 1,750 kg (3,858 lb);
- Features carbon ceramic brake discs;
- 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds in 2005 according to Car & Driver magazine.
Each of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren variants created brought something new to the table. These excited buyers and added to the exclusivity of the SLR.Club.
Impressive McLaren Luxury Models to Consider
722 Edition (2006)
A nod to Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson, the 722 boasts larger wheels, a modified tail light configuration, and 722 badging. Under the hood, the maximum power generated increased to 650 PS, up from the 626 PS of the original model.
The technical specifications of the roadster and the same as the coupe. Of course, there are now four doors instead of two and an electronically folding electrical top to impress the neighbors with.
Roadster 722 S (2009)
Much faster than the original, it can go from zero to 100 in 3.6 seconds. Mercedes-Benz only made 150 of this limited edition vehicle.
722 GT (2007)
Lower in weight, this variant was made for racing. Renntech made 22 of them with special permission from Mercedes-Benz.
Stirling Moss (2009)
This variant was only available for half of 2009 to those who already owned an SLR. It has no roof or windscreen. Designers Yoon Il-hun and Sarkis Benliyan aimed for an exclusive vehicle and since only 75 were made, they achieved their goal.
McLaren Edition (2011)
McLaren made this variant as the final body conversion of their luxury collaboration. Changes were primarily aesthetic, though McLaren updated the steering and suspension.
If a driver is especially interested in speed, they may want to consider a newer car, the 2015 McLaren 650S. It has been clocked going zero to 100 in three seconds flat.
Mercedes originally planned to manufacture and sell 3500 units. Unfortunately, at that time, demand was lower than anticipated and only 1400 cars had sold at the end of the first year. They halted production in 2009 to keep pace with low demand. Long term, this is good for those who did make a purchase. There are fewer SLRs to purchase, which keeps their resale value extremely high.
Many auto resale websites have the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren listed for sale. While the inventory changes regularly, shoppers in the market for a fast, luxury vehicle can browse these sites to find what they are looking for.
The price will vary greatly based on many factors. Mileage, condition, location, and the sentimental nature of the current owner will all weigh heavily into calculating the resale value of any particular SLR McLaren. They are not quite as rare as the McLaren P1 and McLaren F1 and therefor, on average, are lower in price. The McLaren P1 price has been seen as high as $1.6 million. The McLaren 650s is more comparable in price range to the SLR McLaren.
The Mercedes McLaren collaboration gave the world an exquisite vehicle. It is fast and beautiful all at once, sacrificing neither substance nor form to reach that goal. To this day, SLR owners remain part of a small, yet elite, club that celebrates this car’s speed and splendor. Deciding to purchase an SLR may or may not be a big deal, depending on one’s desires and budget, but owning one always will be a big deal.
Images taken from depositphotos.com.