A once in a lifetime hyper car collaboration?

*This is a translation done by a machine.

Every 5 -10 years in the supercar realm, it’s common for a group of cars to come along that alters, then defines that era. For 2000-2009, it was the Enzo Ferrari, Porsche Carrera GT and the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren.

At the time, McLaren was competing in F1 with a collaboration between Daimler Mercedes (1995-2014). Although the dot com bubble had already burst, the high performance vehicle boom continued, so Mercedes decided to produce a super high performance vehicle using their relationship with McLaren.

Debuting at the 2003 Frankfurt show and named the SLR McLaren, it was a front-mid layout FR 2 seat sports car with a 5.4 liter V8 supercharger engine made exclusively by AMG Mercedes. The beautiful butterfly doors with super long nose and short deck received a lot of coverage. In particular, the F1 inspired nose had a great impact. It instantly garnered much attention from millionaires all over the world.

Actual assembly of the SLR McLaren took place at McLaren’s main factory (next door to F1 production) located in Woking, England. The powertrain with included 5AT was assembled at Mercedes AMG’s German factory, then shipped to England to be installed on the full carbon chassis.

The SLR McLaren initially debuted as a coupe, but a roadster version eventually joined the lineup. A higher horsepower 722 edition (coupe & roadster) and a racing model 722GT were also produced. In 2009, the joint road car project between Mercedes Benz and McLaren came to an end with the limited edition SLR Stirling Moss and a worldwide production of just 75 cars. After that, McLaren pursued their long held dream of producing their own supercars.

Jun Nishikawa’s Highlights!

This vehicle, listed from an authorized importer in Tokyo, has 24,000 km on the odometer and is in very good condition. The owner had driven every generation SL class and was not satisfied with the latest SL class, so they purchased this used vehicle in the fall of 2017.

The vehicle was originally equipped with a full Veilside Premiere 4509 Limited Aero Kit, but the rear over fenders and air duct covers were removed. The factory wheels were put back on to produce a more factory-like flavor. Unfortunately, the aero parts that were removed are not available anymore.

The factory front and rear bumpers have been carefully stored in a garage so it is possible to restore the full factory look. Although installation of the aero kit hasn’t caused any irreversible damage to the vehicle, it would take a fair amount of work to restore the vehicle to full factory appearance.

The wheels are free of any blemishes and were painted a custom color after scratch repairs. The trunk houses a recharging socket allowing for worry-free long-term storage (the SLR battery is quite a chore to replace.)

The SLR McLaren left a deep impression on myself. Despite having an AT with torque converter, it felt like a slightly stiffer Mercedes. A drive on the test course easily produced speeds of over 300kph. There’s something to be said about the sense of unity between man and machine after 250 kph.

While harsh ride quality tends to stand out during city driving, the edge disappears as speeds increase after 100kph, 200 kph and the carbon body begins to work itself in. A sense of complete control over the stiff chassis appears for the first time after 250 kph, and that’s where the SLR McLaren shows its true character. After 250 kph, you immediately understand what a McLaren built sports car is.

The reality is that this car is excessive for street use. Because of this, there aren’t too many opinions on its driving performance. However, that’s understandable because not everyone can drive over 250 kph everyday …

With a limited volume of around 2000 units and with McLaren’s road cars now enjoying steady growth, it’s highly unlikely that a new production car would ever be built between Mercedes and McLaren, even if there was another big name F1 collaboration. In that respect, the price will only rise and it’s hard to imagine prices falling. This might be a last chance opportunity.

Vehicle Specifications

Model Year2005
Year of PurchaseDec 2005
Engine Capacity5,439cc
Steering WheelLeft
Chassis No.
Engine No.
InspectionOct, 2019
AreaTokyo, Japan