In-depth reviews

Mercedes SLR Coupe review (2003-2010)

Mercedes-Benz SLR
Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Links between manufacturers and their motorsport partners are no new thing, but Mercedes and McLaren have taken it from the more traditional mild tweaking and sticker pack and instead build one of the worlds fastest cars - the SLR. You might ask why Mercedes needs such a car with so many hyper-Mercs already available, but it seems that customers want it, with some wealthy buyers putting owning several SLRs - one for each of their houses. Unlike rivals like the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT the SLR isn't a raw road racer, it's an ultra fast GT, that will cruise at over 200mph should Germany be on your route. Built by McLaren the attention to detail is astounding, and while taller drivers might find the cabin a touch claustrophobic, otherwise comfort is superb. Safety is high too, the SLR having all the electrical safety nets you'd expect on such a high power Mercedes, while the carbon construction ensures an extremely stiff and safe structure. There's a great deal of drama about it, the nose is reminiscent of its F1 relatives, while the side mounted exhausts and wing vents are a throwback to Mercedes racers of old.

Power is enormous too, 626bhp from an AMG developed 5.5-litre supercharged V8 ensures that there's near endless acceleration. It'll reach 60mph in under four seconds and double that speed in under 11, all while offering space in the boot for plentiful luggage. Mercedes sees its role as a 'GT for the 21st century', which it manages reasonably well. But it's tricky to get settled in, the automatic gearbox proving too eager to kickdown and the brakes and steering very sensitive, too, neither offering the sort of relaxed experience you'd expect of a GT, nor the scalpel sharpness of a supercar. At over £314,000 many might consider the SLR as a pointless excess, but as a technical showcase it's undoubtedly impressive. More useable on a day-to-day basis than its similarly fast and expensive alternatives the SLR is a special car indeed, though whether it's worth almost three times as much as Mercedes' own wickedly quick SL65 depends entirely on whether you own the bank or are merely a customer.

Engines, performance and drive

0

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

0

Interior, design and technology

0

Practicality, comfort and boot space

0

Reliability and Safety

0

More on SLR Coupe

Mercedes SLR McLaren
Mercedes SLR McLaren
Mercedes SLR Coupe
5 Dec 2007

Mercedes SLR McLaren

Welcome to the most exclusive driv­er’s seat in the world!
Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster
Mercedes SLR Roadster
Mercedes SLR Coupe
23 Jul 2007

Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster

There’s no car in the world quite like the Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster...
Mercedes McLaren
Mercedes SLR Coupe
20 Mar 2007

Mercedes McLaren

The SLR 722 is blindingly fast but unresponsive steering and brakes hold it back
Mercedes SLR 2003 review
Mercedes SLR Coupe
16 Sep 2003

Mercedes SLR 2003 review

There isn't a soul in sight as we pull the wraps from the first-ever production SLR to hit the road.
Mercedes SLR
Mercedes SLR Coupe
17 Jun 2003

Mercedes SLR

There's a heat haze blurring the view of the Barcelona test track, but otherwise the circuit ahead is clear, so we risk squeezing the throttle a littl…