For 2006, Mercedes-Benz’s SLR McLaren supercar remains unchanged.

The result of collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and its Formula 1 racing partner McLaren, the SLR uses a hand-built 617 hp V8 that sends it from zero to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 330 km/h. It uses a five-speed AMG SpeedShift R five-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted via the shift lever or wheel-mounted buttons. It all comes to a halt using ceramic brake discs with eight-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. At speeds over 100 km/h, an adaptive rear spoiler in the trunk lid pops up at a 65-degree angle to provide greater down force. The engine is mounted in a front mid-engine position, behind the front wheels, for optimum weight distribution; the body is made of carbon-fibre composite.

Features include twin interconnected fuel tanks, staggered-width 19-inch turbine-style alloy wheels, tire pressure monitoring system, electronic braking system, self-drying brakes, dual automatic climate control, Bose sound system, leather interior, one-piece carbon-fibre seats, multi-function steering wheel, and aluminum pedals with rubber studs.

Exclusive and expensive, the SLR McLaren is incredibly powerful and very luxurious, but very noisy, with a firm ride. It’s so elite that a single worker builds the engine, from the crankshaft to the wiring harness. The SLR borrows heavily from the legendary 300SLR roadster, although its gull-wing doors swing up and forward from the A pillar, rather than hinged directly into the roof as they were in the 1950s. Not everyone cares for the styling, but then, those who don’t probably can’t afford it anyway. And those who can will be pleased to note that the price hasn’t increased from 2005.

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