Tuesday, January 30, 2007

650 hp: Mercedes-Benz Rolls Out SLR McLaren 722 Edition

DUBAI — Noting that "many wealthy sheikhs have become avid automobile aficionados," Mercedes-Benz used the setting of the Arabian desert to roll out its stunning new 650-hp SLR McLaren 722 Edition. The special model gets a boost in horsepower, improved aerodynamics and such racing touches as red seatbelts for more "visual impact."

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 EditionThe limited-edition model — only 150 are being made — outstrips the peak performance of the current SLR model. The SLR 722 Edition is powered by a 5.5-liter supercharged V8 that is assembled by hand at the Mercedes-AMG engine workshops in Affalterbach, Germany. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission which the company says was developed in-house.

The special model sprints from zero to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds versus 3.8 seconds in the SLR. It also beats the conventional SLR in top speed. The SLR 722 Edition has a top speed of 209 mph versus a top speed of 207 mph in the current SLR.

There is a story behind the car's intriguing name. Mercedes says the SLR 722 Edition is inspired by a 1955 victory by British motor-racing legend Stirling Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson at the Mille Miglia, the classic Italian endurance race. Moss piloted a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR with start number 722, which denoted the car's start time of 7:22 a.m. As the company notes, the new model is designed to "outperform its historic forefather."

Details of note include chassis construction with an antiroll bar positioned above the front axle where it is controlled via rocker arms, or identical to the setup found on a Formula 1 car. The chassis also has been lowered for increased directional stability and better handling. Body roll in corners has been cut by more than 20 percent. The SLR McLaren 722 also gets new 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, larger Brembo brakes with red-painted brake calipers, and a body shell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, another technology borrowed from Formula 1.

An air splitter at the front end increases downforce while reducing the drag coefficient. Small wheel spoilers reduce air swirl at the rear axle.

The German automaker says the SLR McLaren 722 is aimed at "gentleman drivers and affluent sports car collectors."

No word yet on pricing.

© Source: article on insideline

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