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Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster

Mercedes is one of the few automakers to offer a convertible in nearly every size of vehicle it produces, from the compact SLK to the mid size CLK and on to the large SL roadster. With the Ocean Drive concept the company unveiled in Detroit this year, it seems a four-door convertible may be added to the foray in the future. But for now the range-topping SLR McLaren Roadster will have to do.

This latest addition unites styling cues of the successful SLR racing models from the 1950s with the innovative technology of modern Formula 1 vehicles from the McLaren-Mercedes team. The arrow-shaped tip of the F1 Silver Arrow, a styling element in the SLR, establishes a visual link with the legendary racing cars, along with distinctive lateral louvers, side pipes behind the front wheels and wide-opening gullwing doors. Its lightweight top folds down in just 10 seconds.

The SLR Roadster body is made entirely of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic materials and two aluminum frames cradle the AMG V8 compressor engine. Riding atop a complex carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, the car benefits from low weight and high torsional rigidity, while its wind tunnel-honed aerodynamics incorporate an 'airbrake' - to slow the car down from its 207mph top speed - and a diffuser in the rear bumper to increase downforce during 3.8 second stints to 62mph.

//cardesignnews.com

10.05.2007 15:31

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