So, how do you take a very unique, limited edition, supercar…..and make it any more SUPER?
Here is some background info on the SLR….as it really is a unique SuperCar. Then, we’ll add what we have done to make this car truly a unique SuperCar, and to be the first again in the development and implementation of some new performance parts for the car.
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was inspired by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR of 1955, based on the W196 F1 car, yet named after the road-going 300SL Gullwing. On 4 April 2008, Mercedes announced they would cease production of the SLR. The last of the coupes rolled off the production line at the end of 2007 and the roadster version was discontinued in early 2009.
The SLR features Sensotronic, a type of brake-by-wire system. The brake discs are carbon-ceramic and provide better stopping power and fade resistance thansteel discs when operating under ideal working temperature. Mercedes-Benz claims these discs are fade resistant to 1,200 °C (2,200 °F). The front discs are internally vented and 370 mm (15 in) in diameter. 8 piston calipers are used. Rear discs are 360 mm (14 in) in diameter with 4 piston calipers. During wet conditions the calipers automatically skim the surface of the discs to keep them dry.
The SLR features Sensotronic, a type of brake-by-wire system. The brake discs are carbon-ceramic and provide better stopping power and fade resistance thanTo improve braking performance there is an automatic air brake, when engaged the rear elevation angle of the rear spoiler is set to 65 degrees. The additional rear downforce in addition to the markedly increased aerodynamic drag increases peak deceleration ~90%.
The SLR features active aerodynamics; there is a spoiler mounted on the rear integral air brake flap. The spoiler increases downforce depending on its angle of elevation (angle of attack). At speeds above 95 km/h (59 mph) the spoiler/brake automatically raises to 10 degrees (15 in 722 edition), when demanded via the driver’s switch, the elevation can be increased to 30 degrees (35 in 722 version) for increased rear downforce, at the cost of increased steady state drag, also when the driver applies the brakes the spoiler raises.However if the driver does not apply the brakes the spoiler will not raise.
The SLR sports a 232 kg (510 lb) hand-built 5,439 cc (5.439 L; 331.9 cu in), supercharged, all-aluminium, SOHC V8 engine. The cylinders are angled at 90 degrees with three valves per cylinder and lubricated via a dry sump system. The compression ratio is 8.8:1 and the bore and stroke is 97 millimetre (3.82 in) and 92 millimeters (3.62 in), respectively. The Lysholm-type twin-screw supercharger rotates at 23000 revolutions per minute and produces 0.9 bar (13 psi) of boost. The compressed air is then cooled via two intercoolers. The engine generates a maximum power of 626 PS (460 kW; 617 hp)@6500rpm and maximum torque of 780 N·m (580 lb·ft)@3250-5000rpm.
Unlike most of its contemporaries, its engine is front-mid mounted. McLaren took the original concept car designed by Mercedes and moved the engine 1 metre (39.4 in) behind the front bumper, and around 50 centimetres (19.7 in) behind the front axle. They also optimized the design of the center firewall.
The SLR uses AMG SPEEDSHIFT R 5-speed automatic transmission with 3 manual modes. For durability Mercedes selected a 5-speed transmission rather than their 7-speed gearbox which was more complex and used more parts.
The car uses carbon fibre for its entire body construction in an attempt to keep the weight low. Despite CFRP materials the total curb weight is 1,750 kg (3,858 lb). McLaren claims a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) of 3.8, with a top speed of 334 km/h (208 mph).
Car and Driver achieved a 0-60 mph (100 km/h) time of 3.4 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 11.2 seconds at 130 mph (209 km/h) C&D suggests the times may be even lower if temperatures were lower. Motor Trend tested the SLR and achieved a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds in April 2006. Car and Driver achieved top gear acceleration 30-50 mph and 50-70 mph times of 1.7 and 2.4 seconds, which are the fastest ever recorded by the magazine in a production car. The SLR also pulled 1.13 g on the skidpad.January 2005
Road and Track tested the car in their July 2005 Road Test and reached 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in 3.4 seconds. The 0 – 100 mph (160 km/h) sprint was achieved in 6.6 seconds and a quarter mile run was completed in 11.1 seconds at 132 mph (212 km/h).
In June 2004 the SLR was tested at Nardo and performed the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) exercise in 3.2 seconds, 0-200 km/h (124 mph) in 9.6 seconds and 0-300 km/h (190 mph) in 24.8 seconds. Their 400 m (0.25 mi) time of 11.0 seconds at 133 mph (214 km/h) and 1 km (0.62 mi) time of 19.2 seconds at 282 km/h (175 mph) respectively. They also broke its claimed top speed of 334 km/h by reaching 339 km/h (211 mph).
WOW….no wonder you only see a few of these around (and don’t ask about price!)
So, BRracing, in tight coordination with our customer, looked at the car, and determined that there are a few items that could make this car stand out as a one of a kind, and be as stunning to look at as it is to drive.
The car is made of almost ALL Carbon Fiber, including the main structure, yet, you have to know how to look at the car to find any (if you look at the trunk lid, or the hood, at the right angle, you can indeed see the weave of the carbon fiber). Where are the nice add on pieces?
So, to add to the aerodynamic aids, and to tie into the appearance of the complete car, BRracing, working in coordination with Vorsteiner, became the FIRST to develop and implement a custom carbon fiber front splitter, and a carbon fiber custom rear diffuser with tuning flow vanes. These were produced and clear coated, to stay with the subtle design hints.
Next, we took all the badging off the car, and had it blacked out. Any element of the car that was not black…we made it black. Intake ring, intake vents, corner lenses, reflectors, trim rings, door trim…..whatever it was, off it came, and blacked out it became.
We wanted a complete black out look…so, took the hood vents off (we thought about just getting a new hood, since the engine vents in the hood are so tightly integrated, but when we inquired about the price of getting a new hood….we had to think otherwise). So, off w the hood, and out w the engine vents (custom aluminum), and had them powder coated black to withstand the heat from the engine bay. We also did this with the side vents on the side of the car, where the main mufflers are located.
But, one of the pieces missing is the sound from the wonderful motor. We want to hear the motor. Again, we worked with another vendor (QuickSilver exhaust) to implement the first SLR custom race exhaust. This unit is amazing, in both design, and quality of fitment. The flanges and hangers all worked perfectly. The weight savings were amazing as well. We saved 45lbs on EACH side. The tips attach to the the exhaust separately. We wanted to keep the look of the existing tips, so to go with the look of the car, we had the tips “ceramic” coated in shadow black……truly stunning, and able to last and take all the heat from the motor.
To top off the whole car, we implemented a set of CARBON FIBER wheels….with HRE centers. These wheels are amazing to look at, and only weigh a fraction of the weight of a normal lightweight racing wheel. To give an example, these wheels (in 20″ size), weigh only 12lbs. A stock wheel weighs in at over 28lbs. A lightweight racing wheel weighs in at 20 lbs. You can’t believe the weight of these wheels. And, to go with the look of the car, the HRE centers are satin black.
Look at the detail of the outer rim of the wheel closely….amazing.
And the result…….ta da! A truly unique SuperCar, right here in Los Gatos.
The result – a car that won the “People’s Choice Award” at the Los Gatos Car show in September 2010.
To see more images, go to our gallery on our website and select project cars.
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