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The Original Mercedes 300 SL from 1954


Mercedes 300 SL

Mercedes unveiled its new sports car, the 300 Sl in February 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in New York, and in so doing lit the fuse for an icon of the automotive world. With its flat, graceful body, the 300 SL had lost nothing of its freshness.

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Mercedes-Benz: SLR McLaren 722 Edition


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The new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition displays thoroughbred motor-racing credentials. Featuring more than 300 modified components, the super sports car serves up a boost in output, more dynamic chassis tuning, improved aerodynamics and distinctly sporty interior appointments to thrill even the most demanding of sports-car enthusiasts.

 

The flawless roads which today lead through the desert next to Dubai are ideal for demonstrating the pedigree sporting performance that characterises the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition.

Dubai is the up-and-coming business centre of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the setting for the world's most ambitious construction projects, including the man-made "Palm Jumeirah" island, and over the course of recent decades many wealthy sheikhs have become avid automobile aficionados.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition Photo & Video Show


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.. and driving scenes


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It is this flair for the exceptional that links the desert city on the Persian Gulf and its inhabitants with the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition premium sports car.

The new SLR 722 Edition model variant from Mercedes-Benz evokes memories of a particularly special victory achieved in 1955 by the British motor-racing legend Stirling Moss and his co-pilot Dennis Jenkinson at Mille Miglia the classic Italian endurance race behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz 300 SLR with start number 722 (denoting the car's start time of 7.22 a.m.).


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Boasting an impressive output of 478 kW/650 hp, the new SLR McLaren 722 Edition super sports car not only outperforms its historic forefather, it even outstrips the scintillating peak performance of the current SLR model. The new limited-edition series only 150 models are being produced, for the most part handcrafted, at the McLaren Formula 1 works in Woking is the brand's response to calls from highly discerning SLR customers for even more sportiness combined with the same high level of everyday practicality.

At the heart of the SLR 722 Edition is a 5.5-litre supercharged V8 assembled by hand at the Mercedes-AMG engine workshops in Affalterbach, Germany, based on the "One man, one engine" principle. Among the high-performance powerplant's major strengths are its exceptionally spontaneous response to accelerator pedal movements, high torque and that unmistakable V8 sound.


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Boasting an impressive output of 478 kW/650 hp, the new SLR McLaren 722 Edition super sports car not only outperforms its historic forefather, it even outstrips the scintillating peak performance of the current SLR model. The new limited-edition series only 150 models are being produced, for the most part handcrafted, at the McLaren Formula 1 works in Woking is the brand's response to calls from highly discerning SLR customers for even more sportiness combined with the same high level of everyday practicality.

At the heart of the SLR 722 Edition is a 5.5-litre supercharged V8 assembled by hand at the Mercedes-AMG engine workshops in Affalterbach, Germany, based on the "One man, one engine" principle. Among the high-performance powerplant's major strengths are its exceptionally spontaneous response to accelerator pedal movements, high torque and that unmistakable V8 sound.

The powerplant's entire engine block with its enclosed crankcase sump is made from cast aluminium. Each crankshaft is precision-weighted and revolves in five bearings made from a high-durability material to enable sustained transmission of the tremendous forces emanating from the supercharged engine.


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The forged pistons are only manufactured in extremely small numbers. Just like the forged lightweight connecting rods, the pistons are measured and weighed with utmost accuracy before being assigned to individual engines. This keeps any mass balancing tolerances to an absolute minimum. The pistons slide inside extremely durable, wear-resistant, low-friction cylinder barrels made from a special compound which is otherwise only found in race car engines. Twin oil injection is used for effective piston cooling.


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The oil cooling technology employed for the power unit as a whole also draws on the brand's racetrack experience: a sophisticated dry-sump lubrication system with a capacity of around eleven litres combines with a five-speed oil suction pump and a two-speed oil pressure pump to guarantee reliable lubrication under all driving conditions.


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Efficient cylinder charging is the task of a belt-driven compressor with two screw-shaped aluminium rotors that are Teflon-coated in the interests of keeping friction low. In order to keep the engine running as efficiently as possible at all times, the AMG engineers have devised an intelligent engine management system which independently determines when to deploy the screw compressor as the engine's rev speed and load change. Consequently, the supercharger is only called into action when it is really needed. Notwithstanding this, however, maximum power is always available the instant the driver summons it by opening the throttle.

The intercoolers operate based on the extremely efficient air-to-water heat exchanger principle: the air which has been compressed by the compressor, causing it to heat up, is directed through a separate water circuit to cool it down again. This enables the eight-cylinder powerplant to maximise its output and torque delivery.

High performance has also been ingrained into the five-speed automatic transmission, which was developed in-house at Mercedes-Benz and has already featured in a number of exceptionally powerful models. It has been optimised to enable it to handle the awesome torque on tap and also offers drivers the possibility of varying the gearshift characteristics. The transmission directs the engine's power to the differential and the rear wheels via a precision balanced drive train made from aluminium and steel.

The end result is an extremely impressive set of performance figures, even by high-end super sports car standards: the SLR 722 Edition completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in a breathtaking 3.6 seconds (SLR 3.8 seconds), with the speedometer needle proceeding to pass the 200 km/h mark in a mere 10.2 seconds (SLR 10.6 seconds) and the 300 km/h mark in just 28.0 seconds (SLR 28.8 seconds). Plus, the top speed of 337 km/h is even higher than that of the current SLR (334 km/h).

Moving inside, the sports bucket seats, upholstered in a combination of semi-aniline leather and Alcantara, offer excellent lateral support, while the colour contrast provided by the distinctive "300 SL red" stitching throughout the interior, the 722 insignia on the head restraints and the red seat belts is designed for added visual impact.

The attractive material mix comprising semi-aniline leather and Alcantara, which gives the interior its characteristic look and feel, also features prominently on the roof lining and door panels. Frequently used controls, such as the shift lever and handbrake lever, are trimmed in easy-grip, moisture-absorbing suede.

The sporty design philosophy that is at the heart of the SLR 722 Edition is also reflected by the widespread use of carbon throughout the interior. This material, straight from the world of Formula 1, lends the centre console an extremely puristic look.

The restyled instrument cluster focuses the driver's attention on the key vehicle data, comprising classic-style round dials with a signal-red background. The functionality of the multifunction display is given an extra sporty touch in the form of the AMG RACETIMER.


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Finally, the designers paid special attention to the steering wheel as the key link between driver and car: with its combined leather/suede trim, the rim is extremely easy to grip and helps the driver to stay in complete control when performing high-speed manoeuvres, as do the new aluminium shift paddles.

In terms of exterior design, the SLR 722 Edition features discreet sporty touches, thereby satisfying the desires of keen gentleman drivers and affluent sports-car collectors the core target group to the letter. The new-look 19-inch light-alloy wheels afford a perfect view of the red-painted brake callipers and the large brake discs, emphasising the sheer power and performance that underpins every aspect of the SLR 722 Edition. In addition, individual components in carbon with a clear-coat finish highlight the close ties with Formula 1. Plus, the grille-style design of the black-painted air outlets on the bonnet, not to mention the front and rear light clusters with their palladium grey surrounds, blend in perfectly with the carbon-fibre look. The SLR 722 Edition is available with a crystal antimony grey paint finish which creates a vivid impression of depth and produces an extremely intensive-looking surface structure.

January 28, 2007

 photos: Mercedes-Benz

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