NEW FOR 2008:

– Coupe model discontinued; SLR McLaren is now a roadster
– New standard thick sport wheel with large aluminum shift paddles and integrated Bluetooth telephone adapter
– New optional black carbon fibre trim and woven black leather seating inserts

For 2008, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercar drops its top: previously offered as a coupe, it’s now a soft-top roadster.

The McLaren uses an AMG-built 5.4-litre V8 with belt-driven supercharger and dual intercoolers, mated to an AMG Speedshift five-speed automatic transmission. It has a top speed of 334 km/h and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in about 3.8 seconds.

Features include a carbon-fibre composite body, staggered-width 19-inch wheels, gull-wing doors, ceramic brake rotors with eight-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, semi-automatic top with heated glass rear window, AMG sport exhaust, power-adjustable carbon fibre leather bucket seats in choice of five sizes for the driver and four for the passenger, Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, front knee airbags, bi-Xenon headlamps with washers, tire pressure monitoring system, anti-theft system with tow-away protection and infrared interior monitoring, automatic door locking, TeleAid emergency calling, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-CD Bose stereo, adjustable steering column and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Exclusive and expensive, the SLR McLaren is extremely powerful, with a noisy, firm ride. It’s so elite that a single worker builds the engine, from crankshaft to wiring harness. It never was intended for winter use, and so the soft top just makes everything that much better.

Connect with Autos.ca