19 December 2008
 

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Mercedes introduces SLR Stirling Moss

Autozine
19 December 2008 | Mercedes-Benz and McLaren are adding the crowning glory to the model family of their SLR with a new, uncompromisingly spectacular car. There is neither a roof nor a windscreen to separate the driver and passenger from the outside world; they enjoy unadulterated high-speed excitement with all the attributes of a speedster. With 478 kW/650 hp the SLR Stirling Moss accelerates its V8 supercharged engine from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 3.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph). This extreme concept makes the new high-performance sports car a legitimate bearer of the name of the British motor racing legend and Mille Miglia record-holder Stirling Moss, who drove the legendary Mercedes-Benz SLR racing cars from victory to victory during the 1950s.
 

Remaining true to the specifications of the 300 SLR, the new Silver Arrow's equipment is sophisticated and yet at the same time decidedly spartan, doing without both a roof and side windows. There are just two wind deflectors a couple of centimetres in height to protect the driver and passenger from the airflow. Two air scoops integrated into the bodywork serve as roll-over bars.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

The entire bodywork of the SLR Stirling Moss is made of fine lightweight carbon fibre. Whilst the Mercedes-Benz designers were working on the body of the new SLR Stirling Moss, they were fully aware at every single moment that they were creating a vehicle with a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph). At the same time this supreme athlete is highly reminiscent of the SLR racing cars from the 1950s, whose design idiom still never fails to impress to this day.

The SLR Stirling Moss sports an exciting, pronounced arrow-shaped form and is characterised by an elongated bonnet and a compact, muscular rear. As there is no windscreen, the exterior and interior flow smoothly into one. The bonnet also stretches from its striking tip right down into the interior, giving the vehicle body a distinctly sleek air. Even when standing still, the sports car radiates a dynamism that the observer immediately falls under its spell.

Further eye-catching features include two air scoops behind the driver and passenger. They carry additional roll-over bars, also uniting the traditional and the modern. The wings are powerfully contoured. Black-painted ventilation 'gills' sitting facet-like on the sides and on the bonnet also cite the legend. A thrilling interplay of light and shadow ensues through the expressive lines, underlining the dynamic overall impression.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Exactly as they were on the shining historical example, the side skirts on the new SLR Stirling Moss are also very high. This prompted the designers' decision in favour of folding swing-wing doors which open forwards. The vehicle can be closed by two tonneau covers which are carried in the boot. When both tonneau covers and the doors are closed the SLR Stirling Moss resembles a sculpture.

In keeping with the puristic exterior of the vehicle, the interior is also reduced to the bare essentials. Surfaces in the instrument panel and doors make for an exciting atmosphere and epitomises perfectionism. A mixture of high-class authentic materials such as carbon fibre, aluminium and fine-quality leather sets the style here. An aluminium plate carries the engraved signature of Stirling Moss and covers the area around the shift lever.

Thanks to the high-precision work carried out in the wind tunnel, the SLR Stirling Moss always generates sufficient downforce for safe handling. But the driver can also manually operate the airbrake in order to increase the contact pressure further, during particularly sporty driving, for example. The airbrake is also raised during powerful braking at speeds above 120 km/h (75 mph), so as to stabilise the vehicle even more in such situations, thus facilitating maximum possible deceleration.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

In May 2009 production of the SLR models will cease; only a total of 75 units of the Stirling Moss will be manufactured between June and December 2009, bearing chassis numbers from 1 to 75. Not only does this exclusive vehicle represent the conclusion of the current SLR family; it also serves as a very special thank you to the most loyal of SLR customers, for they are the only ones able to acquire a Stirling Moss. It is priced at 750,000 euros.