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.

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