Home / Social media / News / The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is 20 years old. Didn't they come out a couple of years ago?


In 2003, the automotive world was forever changed with the debut of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and now, two decades later, McLaren is commemorating this milestone with a series of events at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, UK. This groundbreaking super-GT emerged from a Formula 1-inspired collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren, marking a distinctive chapter in the McLaren legacy. The celebrations at MTC not only paid homage to the car but also to the people behind the creation. The genesis of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren project dates back to the 1999 British Grand Prix at Silverstone when McLaren announced its partnership with Mercedes-Benz to take the Mercedes-Benz SLR Vision from concept to reality. The first Project 7 prototype was a labour of love that was created by a team of ex-Formula 1 McLaren mechanics who joined forces with automotive engineers to establish the core team responsible for the project, which eventually became the first car to be hand-assembled at McLaren's newly opened MTC. In 2010, the newly established McLaren Special Operations (MSO) introduced the McLaren Edition SLR, limited to just 25 units and featuring substantial bodywork modifications, including a new aerodynamic front apron, larger front splitter, new side intakes, a larger rear wing, and a revised rear diffuser. Lightweight wheels, suspension improvements, and enhanced power steering. MSO has continued to refine and enhance the SLR, in 2019, the SLR by MSO was unveiled after an extensive upgrade program that evolved based on a decade of feedback from owners and this introduced new aerodynamic elements, weight-saving measures, and luxurious touches like specially quilted leather upholstery. All of this was available as comprehensive packages or in individual components.

For this 20-year anniversary of the SLR, an iconic lineup of the cars was assembled on MTC Boulevard with a spotlight on four special models; The SLR Stirling Moss, the SLR by MSO, the SLR HDK (High Downforce Kit) and the SLR 722 GT Prototype. An assembly like this has never been seen before, and it made for epic photos as you can see. Adding to the festivities, the SLR Club, made up of an international community of Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren owners, also descended on MTC and this gave enthusiasts the unique opportunity to meet with the actual McLaren team members who worked on this project. We can only imagine the questions and answers thrown around here, the SXdrv list of questions would be extensive and would have had us annoying everyone there. The meeting was also used to announce the latest upgrades available to SLR owners in the form of twelve new High Downforce Kit (HDK) conversions that were made available to customers - and all 12 were accounted for on the day. This revision features bodywork inspired by the track-focused 722 GT racer so there’s an increased track width of 60mm at both ends, flared wheel arches and a new rear wing reminiscent of the legendary McLaren F1 GTR. Weight reduction comes from a new exhaust with the silencers removed, the result being an insane soundtrack from the supercharged 5.5-litre V8. The new upgrade would see the car’s high-speed handling improve, not that many will ever be driven at 10/10ths on track. Even without any additional upgrades, the Mercedes-McLaren SLR is fast. There’s 455 kW and 780 Nm of torque on tap, directed to the rear wheels via a 5-speed auto transmission that can shift the car from a standstill to 100 km/h in as little as 3.8 seconds and it has a top speed of a mighty 334 km/h.

Take a look at the YouTube video from the well-known YouTube channel Hoovies Garage as they go through what it's like to own one of these iconic Mercedes-Benz models that was a collaboration between the German automaker and McLaren, the SLR. The main thing we can take away from the video is that you can only have one of these in your collection if you have a bank balance with a hefty chunk of F-You money: 1 year ownership report of my 2008 Mercedes SLR McLaren, the most underrated supercar ever? | Hoovies Garage

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