Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster

The very stylish Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster hit the 'Car Catwalk' recently and was an instant 'head turner'. With its sleek lines and semi gull-wing doors, it had car enthusiasts salivating with a desire to take it for a burn on the German autobahn. This is the fastest automatic car in the world and one which Mercedes can be truly proud of.

My brother - the car connoisseur - actually had a part in its creation. I asked him some in depth questions about his work with McLaren....

Me: "So Pete... what was your role in the development of the SLR Roadster?"

Pete: "Design, development and supply of the body sealing system. That means the rubber bits around the doors and the roof. This was a bit more complicated than usual due the hinge position of the doors on the upper A-Pillar; and the fact that the door design is mainly carried over from the coupe and was never originally designed to be a convertible. Because the planned production volumes are low - maybe 800 cars depending on customer demand - the parts are produced more or less by hand in Metzeler's prototype workshop."

Me: "Did you have any say in the design of the car?"

Pete: "As a system partner we try to influence the body design to allow the best sealing performance, that means a lot of simultaneous engineering, and required a lot of visits to McLaren's Engineering centre in Woking (just outside London) to coordinate with the Engineering people there. This is also where the Formula 1 team is based and where the F1 cars are built and engineered. You can take a look at and follow the link to Mclaren Technonogy Centre which in itself is an amazing place."

Me: "How long were you working on the car?"

Pete: "I started on the project in Feb/March 2006 and the first production cars were built at the beginning of June 2008. We supplied prototype parts at various stages for development cars, and I was at the Daimler test facility in Laredo Texas twice to support testing and development."

Me: "So do you reckon I could afford one??"

Pete: "In Europe the base price is around 495,000€ - there is a long list of extras and customers can personalise their cars as well.. I don't think there are any plans to sell them in Australia officially and I really don't think you could afford one."

Me: "Fine then.. Guess I'll have to stick to my Rav 4. Thanks little brother.."

Pete in Germany with his 'baby'...
ENGINE 5439cc, eight cylinders
POWER 617bhp @ 6500rpm
TORQUE 575lb ft @ 3250rpm
TRANSMISSION Five-speed auto
FUEL 14.5mpg (combined) CO2 348g/km
ACCELERATION 0-62mph: 3.8sec
TOP SPEED 207mph

1 comment:

Shaira said...

great pics..i love taking pictures when it comes to cars. car shows are pretty awesome and fun. i love the style of the car, the exterior and interior are pretty great

sell car for parts