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The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was a rather special offspring from the marriage between a German auto giant and a British racing team. These carbon-fiber bodied supercars were fast and comfortable, making it the ultimate car to cross a continent in.
In the course of its life, there were a few models of the SLR that were offered, the coupe, the roadster plus the 722 editions of those two body styles which had more power. However, at the end of its production life, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren brought out a final version of this car called the SLR Stirling Moss edition (named after the famed racing driver who won the Mille Miglia race in 1955 in the original 300SLR).
This version has a unique speedster body that has no windscreen or roof and it features headlights and tail lights unique to this model (among many other things). Thanks to a 5.5-liter, supercharged V8, it produces 650-hp; enough to propel it from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 217 mph.
Only 75 examples of this extreme SLR were ever produced, but sadly none were destined to be sold in the U.S.A. because the D.M.V. did not classify it as a street-legal car.
However, one seems to have slipped through the net and is now up for sale in Miami, FL. According to the ad, this particular SLR Stirling Moss has just 50-miles on its odometer and comes with a showcar license, so it can be moderately used in America.
As for the price, its $1.75-million, but the owner is open to look at trade-ins. We’re only guessing but we don’t think he would be much interested in a beige Corolla. Too bad.
[Source: duPont Registry]
While 2009 was a tumultuous year for automakers, the worldwide economic crisis pushed the auto industry into the mainstream automotive media’s spotlight, making big automotive news stories even bigger. And while new products continued to be introduced, they garnered possibly even more attention that ever before. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the Top 10 biggest stories of 2009 for an automaker that didn’t recoil, but continued on, unveiling an all-new version of one of its most important models, delivering a new exotic car to market, promising an electric car in the future… and making some big changes in its motorsports program. That automaker is Mercedes-Benz.
#10 Mercedes Goes Green With New Hybrids
Slow to adapt hybrid technology, German automakers began to take on the Japanese luxury hybrids in 2009. Mercedes launched two important hybrid models, the S400 Hybrid and the ML450 Hybrid. The S400 Hybrid was the first Mercedes hybrid to go on sale and is also the first mass production automobile to use a lithium-ion battery. Priced at $87,950 it uses an electric motor and 3.5-liter gasoline V6 to produce 295-hp, while getting mileage of 19/26 mpg – an improvement of 26 percent over the S550 in the city. Despite its high-tech battery pack, the S400 Hybrid is a mild-hybrid, which limits its fuel economy.
The second hybrid model from Mercedes is the ML450 Hybrid 4MATIC. A lease-only model, for either 36 or 60 months, at either $659 or $549 per month, the ML450 is the first two-mode hybrid (like the Toyota Prius) from Mercedes. The ML450 uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors to make 335-hp and 381 ft-lbs of torque. Unlike the S400 Hybrid, it will be able to operate exclusively on electric power for short periods of time. Its fuel economy is rated at 21/24 mpg (city/highway), which is roughly the same as the ML350 Bluetec diesel at 18/25 mpg. This is also a 46 percent improvement over the fuel economy rating of the similarly-powerful ML550.
The next step for Mercedes in the field of hybrids comes with the Vision S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show and foreshadows a plug-in hybrid version of the next generation S-Class. Thanks to a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a 60-hp/184 ft-lb electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the car is capable of getting an amazing 73.5 mpg! Possibly more shocking is that the car doesn’t sacrifice performance, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. Additionally, the electric motor will be able to power the car emissions-free for 18 miles.
While the real stars of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance are the vintage autos, the Concept Lawn is a special place where future show-stoppers are put on display. While some of the models are actually concepts, many are rare coachbuilt models and a few are full-production cars.
In the concept category there was the luxury convertible plug-in hybrid, the Fisker Sunset, as well as the absolutely stunning Infiniti Essence Concept - a hybrid in it’s own right, making 600hp thanks to a 440hp twin-turbo direct-injection 3.7-liter V6 and a 160hp electric motor.
Included in the list of Coachbuilt creations was the edgy Corvette ZR1-based Stile Bertone Mantide. This is no kit car, however, as the vehicle was designed by Jason Castriota, the man who also penned the Pininfarina P4/5. Plus, it weights 220 lbs less than the ZR1 for even more performance.
Also on display was the Devon GTX (pictured above), arguably the arch-nemesis of the Mantide, as it is based on the Dodge Viper. With a more shapely body than the Mantide, the 650hp GTX is scheduled to attempt to set a new fastest lap time at the Nürburgring. No doubt there’s some ego involved in this announcement as Devon attempted to buy Viper from Chrysler but the deal was never completed.
In the production category cars ranged from the reasonably well priced (Lotus Evora) to the ridiculous (Bugatti Sang Bleu). The four-seater Lotus is scheduled to be released early next year, while the ultra-limited edition Bugatti is based on the convertible Grand Sport model. Other production or near production models included the Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder, V-10 powered Audi R8, the 750hp carbon-chassis Aston Martin One-77, a Morgan, the all-new 510hp 2010 Jaguar XJL Supersport, the Mercedes-McLaren SLR Stirling Moss and the Rolls-Royce EX200, aka, the Ghost. And who could forget the misplaced SMS 570X Dodge Challenger.