Mercedes-Benz has revealed details of its astonishingly quick McLaren 722S Roadster, the car named in tribute to the Mercedes-Benz Roadster that Sir Stirling Moss drove to victory in the final Mille Miglia road race in Italy back in the 1950s.
Delivering 478kW, acceleration from 0-to-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and a maximum speed of 335km/h, this two-seater cabriolet, according to Mercedes-Benz, surpasses the existing benchmark among open-top super sports cars – the SLR McLaren Roadster.
In addition to increased power, the new SLR McLaren Roadster 722 S features even more dynamic suspension tuning and improved aerodynamics.
Both vehicles feature a fully retractable folding soft-top capable of withstanding the high speed and are made of carbon-fibre. This endows both models with a very high degree of safety and extreme torsional stiffness.
Mercedes-Benz says that with its sporty, premium-quality interior appointments and distinctive motorsport pedigree, the new SLR McLaren Roadster 722 S is limited to 150 vehicles and will inspire the most discerning automotive enthusiasts.
By naming this new model variant the SLR Roadster 722 S, Mercedes-Benz is recalling the historic victory won at the classic Mille Miglia long-distance race in 1955 by British motor-racing legend Sir Stirling Moss and his co-driver Dennis Jenkinson, in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with the starting number 722.
Mercedes-Benz says the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster 722 S continues the legend of the successful 1950s SLR racing sports cars, with innovative technology adopted from the world of motorsport.
At the heart of the SLR Roadster 722 S is a powerful supercharged 5.5-litre, V8-engine, which is hand-built in the Mercedes-AMG engine shop in Affalterbach.
The special strengths of this high-performance engine include extraordinary responsiveness to movements of the accelerator, a high torque and an unmistakable V8 sound.
Moreover, with an output of 478kW and 820Nm of torque, power is on tap almost to excess – the ‘standard’ SLR McLaren Roadster has 460 kW/780Nm.
Mercedes-Benz says the new model variant meets the wishes of the most discerning customers for even more sportiness combined with excellent day-to-day practicality.
The five-speed automatic transmission developed by Mercedes-Benz is designed for high performance.
It is specially configured for a very high torque, and allows the driver to choose between two sets of shift characteristics.
As a result the roadster achieves performance figures that are even outstanding for the high-end sports car segment: the SLR Roadster 722 S sprints from zero to 100 km/h in a breathtaking 3.7 seconds, and 200 km/h is reached in 10.6 seconds.
The maximum speed is 335km/h, which Mercedes-Benz claims is unrivalled by any other series-production roadster.
The spring and shock absorber configurations of the suspension are stiffer, and the body has been lowered by 10 millimetres at the front and rear.
The lightweight, 19-inch forged aluminium wheels allow a view of the red-painted brake calipers on the highly-resistant carbon-fibre/ceramic brake discs, which make for impressive deceleration figures.
The roadster has a crystal antimony grey paint finish, which Mercedes-Benz says highlights the sculptured look of this high-performance car particularly effectively.
The carbon-fibre technology is visually complemented by the black, grid-like air vents on the bonnet and the front and rear light modules with palladium grey surrounds.
In the interior, outstanding lateral support is guaranteed by sports bucket seats upholstered in a combination of semi-aniline leather/Alcantara.
Striking visual highlights are provided by the contrasting seams in 300SL red, the embossed 722 S lettering on the head restraints and the likewise red seat belts.
Frequently used controls such as the shift and parking brake levers are lined in particularly high-grip and moisture-absorbing suede leather. In the interior too, the generous use of carbon-fibre underlines the high-performance philosophy and adds a particularly purist touch.
With just 150 examples, the Mercedes-Benz McLaren 722S Roadster will be predominantly hand-built at the Formula 1 workshops of McLaren in Woking, England, and the car will be available from January 1, 2009.