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12/02/2011 1170

Mercedes-Benz - Vision SLR

Vision SLR: the Silver Arrow of tomorrow

DaimlerChrysler announces the Mercedes-Benz SLR

Super sports car for the 21st Century

Development and production at McLaren Cars Ltd.

Total investment of approx. € 200 million

Bodywork made of carbon fibre and high-tech materials

Design with traditional and modern styling elements

Stuttgart - DaimlerChrysler today announced that it has entered into an agreement for the design and production of the Mercedes-Benz SLR with McLaren Cars Ltd. The two companies will invest a total of approx. € 200 million in this project. The vehicle will reflect the heritage, philosophies and styling of Mercedes-Benz and will be produced utilising the latest state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques at the new TAG McLaren facilities currently under construction in Woking, England. The market launch of this super sports car is scheduled for the year 2003.

Through the concept of the Mercedes-Benz SLR, DaimlerChrysler and McLaren intend to ensure the transfer of technology and image from their successful Formula 1 partnership to series production, while at the same time reviving the myth of the Silver Arrows with this super sports car. In the opinion of experts, the segment of top-class sports cars – at which the Mercedes-Benz SLR is aimed – will almost double during the next five years and reach an annual volume of approx. 2,500 units. DaimlerChrysler expects to be able to meet up to 20 percent of the demand in this segment. The major markets for the Mercedes-Benz SLR will be the USA, Europe, Japan and Middle East.

Hubbert: ”The benchmark for 21st Century sports cars”

Prof. Jürgen Hubbert, the DaimlerChrysler board member responsible for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars: ”By designing and producing the Mercedes-Benz SLR, we will once again underline our globally leading position in the field of technical innovations. The Mercedes-Benz SLR is an incomparable combination of the brand’s characteristic design, future-oriented innovation and unparalleled safety, quality and performance – in this way, it will become the benchmark for 21st Century sports cars. McLaren is the ideal partner for us to develop and produce the Mercedes-Benz SLR in close cooperation.”

Ron Dennis, Managing Director of the TAG McLaren Group: ”Today’s announcement represents one of the most important milestones in the development of the TAG McLaren Group. It is, of course, our intention to bring the same level of focus to bear on this project which has seen us achieve success with Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. I am sure the SLR will reflect the total commitment to excellence that both our companies constantly strive to achieve.”

Bodywork made of high-performance materials

With the decision in favour of series production of the Mercedes-Benz SLR, the Stuttgart-based brand returns to the segment of the legendary Gran Turismo. The two-seater will continue the tradition of the legendary Silver Arrows from Mercedes-Benz and will secure pole position among tomorrow’s high-performance sports cars with ground-breaking technical innovations adopted from Formula 1. 

Like the current McLaren Mercedes racing car which carries the three-pointed star, the super sports car will have a bodywork made of an intelligent combination of carbon fibre and other high-performance materials which ensure maximum rigidity and occupant protection at a weight that will set the standards in this category. Exemplary handling stability and safety will be provided by features such as optimum aerodynamics, advanced electronic control systems and fibre-reinforced ceramic brakes.

Top-class values in terms of torque and road speed

The Mercedes-Benz SLR will be powered by a V8 engine with an output of more than 400 kW/544 HP. The car has a target weight of 1,400 kilograms, which will permit top-class acceleration and speed. Equipped with a supercharger and a special water-based charge air cooler, the engine will develop a maximum torque of more than 700 Newton meters upwards of 4000/min. 

Front section in Formula 1 design, gullwing doors reminiscent of the 300 SL

The fascinating bodywork design, clearly identifying the super sports car as a Mercedes-Benz, is characterised by the balanced integration of traditional and modern styling elements. The front section – with Mercedes’ characteristic ”four-eye face”, arrow-shaped front and distinctive double wings at the lower tip of the front end – reflects the fascination of the current McLaren Mercedes Silver Arrow design. The design of the engine hood and fenders newly interprets features of the SL sports cars from the Fifties. Likewise, the gullwing doors, which open automatically by means of gas-pressure springs, are a modern-day interpretation of the legendary Silver Arrows the Stuttgarters launched in the Fifties.

source: Mercedes-Benz

  • Front design of the McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 racing car
  • Powerful contours in the style of the legendary SLR sports cars
  • Safety in crashes and light-weight construction using carbon fiber and aluminum
  • Electro-hydraulic brake system and ceramic brake discs
  • V8 compressor engine with 410 kW/557 hp

Mercedes-Benz is reshaping the technology and design of its successful Silver Arrows. On occasion of the international Auto Show in Detroit, the premium marque in the new DaimlerChrysler group is presenting the study of a Gran Turismo for the 21st century which combines stylistic elements of the current Formula 1 Silver Arrow and the SLR sports car from the 1950s into a new fascinating concept. Its name: Vision SLR.

The striking front section with the arrow-shaped nose and the typical double spoilers takes the Formula 1 racing car with which Mika Häkkinen won the 1998 world championship as its model, a formal concept which is repeated variously on the body and in the interior. These Formula 1 looks harmonize with the familiar double headlights of the typical Mercedes four-eyed design which appears in the Vision SLR in a new, unusual interpretation.

The long and extended hood, the powerful sweep of the wings and the gull-wing doors of the Vision SLR are based on the stylistic ideas of the legendary SL models from the 1950s and their SLR racing variants, in which Juan Manuel Fangio, Rudolf Caracciola and Stirling Moss drove from one victory to the next.

With this successful transfer of racing car attributes to a roadworthy Gran Turismo, the Vision SLR displays ideas which will influence the appearance of future Mercedes sports cars.

New definition of a sports car interior 

The interior as shown in the study is dominated by the wide, gently curved central console with its round controls as well as the silver-painted spoiler shape in front of the driver and front passenger. They replace the usual instrument panel while symbolizing the modern, light-weight construction of the Gran Turismo. The cockpit consists of two round aluminum-rimmed instruments which recall expensive chronometers. Carbon (carbon fiber) bucket seats, an oval steering wheel and highly modern information systems such as the Cockpit Management and Data System (COMAND) are included in the additional special features of the sporty interior.

Leading-edge technology for optimum driving safety

The Vision SLR points the way to Mercedes sports cars of the future in the field of technology, too. The body consists of a combination of fiber reinforced materials and aluminum which, in addition of exemplary crash stability, is characterized by a weight advantage of about 40 percent in comparison to the traditional steel construction.

For the first time, the two-door car uses an electro-hydraulic brake system which calculates brake pressure by means of sensors and microprocessors depending on the driving situation, offering clear safety advantages when cornering and on slippery surfaces. Furthermore, the electronically controlled brakes can be applied with particular sensitivity to ensure a comfortable ride. The brake discs of the Vision SLR also represent an innovation: they consist of fiber reinforced ceramics and are capable of withstanding extreme loads. The front and rear axles are primarily made of aluminum by Mercedes-Benz. The front headlights, with adaptive light systems and a new type of high-performance LED, automatically track the steering angle and adapt to the given driving situation. This clearly improves illumination of the carriageway when cornering and turning.

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds

The long hood of the Vision SLR conceals an enhanced design of the 5.5 liter V8 engine. A compressor and water intercooling mean that the eight-cylinder achieves peak performance of 410 kW/557 hp and delivers maximum torque of 720 Newton meters at 4000 rpm.

This engine turns the Gran Turismo into a powerful performer: it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in only 4.2 seconds and from zero to 200 km/h in 11.3 seconds. Top speed is 320 km/h.

Project concept

World champion's Gran Turismo

-Memories of the legendary SL gull-wing cars of the 1950s

-Stylistic elements of current Formula 1 racing cars

Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Rudolf Caracciola, Karl Kling - men who made racing history. In the mid-1950s they sat behind the wheel of one of the most successful racing cars of all time: the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, ancestor of the legendary SL gull-wing car.

Eight cylinders, 2982 cc, 310 hp and a top speed of 290 km/h - these are some of the figures which characterize this Silver Arrow, a car which in 1955 was the first to cross the finishing line in all races of any note: Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Tourist Trophy, Eifel race as well as in the Grand Prix of Argentina, Belgium, Holland, England and Italy.

Using this successful car as a basis, the then Head of Passenger Car Testing, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, designed a coupé version which combined the design and technology of the gull-wing 300 SL, which went into production in 1954, with the SLR. This "fast touring car" did honor to his name: 1115 kilograms light and 276 hp strong, the so-called "Uhlenhaut-Coupé" took only 6.8 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h and reached a top speed of 272 km/h. "One of the most exciting cars ever built by Mercedes," is how the specialist Karl Ludvigsen described the coupé, and the Swiss "Automobil Revue" waxed lyrical about more than just its performance characteristics during a test drive in 1956: "The engine starts with a short push on the starter button. It emits an ear-splitting sound made up of the clatter of the valves and the injection pump as well as the humming of the cogs."

Nevertheless, the fast SLR coupé never entered series production. The time for such a robust Gran Turismo was not yet ripe in the mid 1950s, the Stuttgart car manufacturer thought, so that it was soon forgotten, particularly as one year later the car company took leave of motor sport for a considerable period of time.

Hypothesis: Visions of the Gran Turismo of the future

43 years later: the Mercedes Silver Arrows are back. Millions of racing fans celebrated as Mika Häkkinen drove past the finishing line with his McLaren-Mercedes MP 4-13 in the Japanese Suzuka as Formula 1 champion in early November 1998.

Memories awaken - including of the legendary SLR and its road version with the gull-wing doors. Influenced by the successful involvement in Formula 1, such car ideas of long ago have become current again: the "Gran Turismo" is back on the Mercedes-Benz agenda, at least in the form of a study: Vision SLR by name.

Designers, engineers, product planners are building a car which represents the top of its class in every respect. A sports car such as can only be developed by an automobile manufacturer with the greatest tradition in the world. A powerhouse which is heading for the future with stylistic elements from the past and the present, which is setting trends for the Gran Turisme of the next century with ground-breaking technical innovations.

No doubt about it. With the GT study, the Stuttgart marque is once again displaying its skill and experience in the construction of thoroughbred sports cars. The study combines know-how and knowledge, as is evident not only in the ground-breaking innovations, impressive power and superior driving performance, but also from the assurance of the highest degree of driving safety and everyday usefulness. Characteristics, then, which are typical of the marque and which mark the Vision SLR project without a shadow of doubt as Mercedes-Benz.

For tradition also carries an obligation.


Power signals

-Double spoiler and front of Formula 1 Silver Arrow

-Gull-wing doors of the SL from the 1950s in a modern interpretation

-Interior with visionary sports car ambiance

The formula "Tradition plus the present plus innovation = Vision SLR" provides the correct answer above all also in the way that the design of the sports car study has developed. For the lines of the Gran Turismo makes use of elements both from the SL and SLR coupé of 1955 and from the current Formula 1 Silver Arrow, displaying them in a new and modern way. Thus Mercedes-Benz is looking to the future with the Vision SLR, pointing the way for the sports cars of tomorrow.

Its identity of the Vision SLR as a Gran Turismo from a successful company with a great tradition is revealed above all from a frontal perspective - albeit in a completely new interpretation. For instead of the expected radiator shroud, the striking arrow-shaped tip of Mika Häkkinen's and David Coulthard's Silver Arrow emerges from the hood. It encloses the Mercedes star which in this central position clearly shows to which marque this two-door car belongs.

Below there are further typical stylistic elements from the world champion's car: the double spoiler with the distinctively curved struts below the tip of the hood. Just as it did in the Formula 1 Silver Arrow, this double spoiler plays an important dual role at the front of the Vision SLR, for it not only serves as stylistic identification but also fulfils aerodynamic tasks.

Family characteristics: a face with four eyes and Formula 1 attributes

The headlight configuration as well as the double shape of the wings have a familiar yet new appearance. Two each of the well-known four eyes of the marque merge into a single unit without, however, abandoning their basic oval shape - further evidence of the stylistic versatility of this headlight design which Mercedes-Benz presented for the first time in 1995 in the E-Class.

The design of the Vision SLR shows formal continuity in other areas of the bodywork as well, such as in the continuation of the spoiler theme, for example, which is repeated several times between the headlights and tip of the hood, at the air intakes on the hood as well as on the external mirror frame. Also the distinctive Formula 1 nose, the ridge of which stretches along the extended hood to the windscreen, is continued in the interior in the center console.

Front section: stretched hood and wings like bulging muscles

The taut curves of the front wings make the onlooker curios and invite further inspection from a side as well as a frontal perspective. Here the second design theme of the sports car becomes apparent: tradition. Unmistakable stylistic elements from the 300 SL of the 1950s bustle for attention in a new and progressive form and declare in unmistakable fashion that this car comes with a substantial portion of power. Thus the gentle curves of the wings hint at the muscle power hidden under the metal skin in a manner which is as modest as it is elegant. Strikingly, but without aggression, the Vision SLR exercises its muscles; at peak fitness and taut to the last fiber, it stretches its body, ready to leap at any time.

Its proportions in silhouette are also distinctive, consciously building on the design of sports cars from earlier years with its extremely long hood, its tightly measured passenger compartment and its short rear.

Silhouette: a composition of powerful lines and still surfaces

The curves over the wheel arches - once designed to make the wings wider in Mercedes sports cars - have now been harmoniously integrated into the contours of the side section and determine its lines. The interplay between sharply defined edges and soft forms represents the modern interpretation of these traditional SL design elements.

The same is true of the continuation of the vigorous lines on the hood and the front wings: seamlessly they merge into the waist, emphasize the width of the body and formally hold it together. Such highlights are engaged in taut interplay with the broad surfaces which function as zones of formal stillness and encourage the gaze of the onlooker to linger briefly before continuing the journey of stylistic discovery.

Each detail of the bodywork tells its own particular story. The side outlet grills on the front wings take up a typical SL and SLR theme, for example. They hid a pair of short, perforated silencers on each side in the ancestors of this study of a sports car, which did their job after a fashion. In other words, the distinctive openings on the side of the body meant that the power of the Silver Arrow engines could be heard - or rather, could not be ignored. That is why the side outlets belong to the traditional stylistic elements of modern Mercedes sports cars. Here form and function are the same.

Where this study of a visionary Gran Turismo by Mercedes-Benz differs from its predecessors, is in the area of the rear windscreen. Thin roof pillars which narrow towards the base enable the use of a wrap-around windscreen which optimises all-round vision.

Rear: High boot lid for optimum driving stability

The designers combined traditional stylistic elements with current requirements in the rear of the Vision SLR. A common element is the formal separation of the rear wings from the boot lid. While the rear of the former Silver Arrows sloped gently downwards, only the wings curve slightly downwards in the Vision SLR, thus creating an elegant flow of lines. The boot lid remains at its original level which benefits not only the volume of the boot. Much more important in the eyes of the development engineers was the fact that this stylistic trick could be used to produce a clear reduction in lift and air resistance of the body - wholly in the interest of driving stability.

Gull-wing doors: Large angle of opening for ease of entry

The most distinctive and well-known characteristic of the legendary SL of 1954 and the SLR coupé of 1955 is used in the GT study in a modern interpretation: the gull-wing doors. They are no longer attached to the roof, but to the front roof pillars and swing forward at an angle of 75 degrees thanks to modern hinge technology. This means a larger opening so that the driver and passenger can comfortably get in and out. The Mercedes engineers also thought up something new for the legendary fold-out door handles of the SL: if previously pressure on the door handle was required to activate a simple folding mechanism, the driver here powers up two electrical motors in the door by remote control. They extend the handles by means of rack and right angle gear drive and retract them again automatically after getting in.

Instrument panel: spoiler shape and chronometer design

The opened gull-wing doors provide a view of the interior of the Vision SLR, the ambiance of which is characterized above all by the wide center console in expensive aluminum look which is slightly rounded on both sides. As continuation of the distinctive Formula 1 bulge of the hood, the center console provides an unprecedented link in terms of appearance between the exterior and interior, transmiting the powerful lines of the front design and continuing it in a single sweep at the rear of the vehicle.

The spoiler theme also finds an interesting continuation in the interior of the Vision SLR; for instead of a conventional instrument panel, silver-painted spoiler shapes rise from the center console. With its light and graceful effect, the cockpit design is consciously reduced to essentials: no elaborations, no unnecessary shapes - simply two round instruments in the classic chronometer look, which, with their functional form and precise geometry, provide a conscious contrast to the soft curves of the interior. Looking over the oval, Alcantara-covered steering wheel, the driver is thoroughly in charge of both displays at all times.

Cockpit: new instrument technology with color displays

The puritanical appearance of the cockpits is deceptive, of course, because both the round instruments and the center console are equipped with the most modern technology - from the central display for the navigation system to the COMAND color screen for radio, CD player or TV reception which automatically opens from the central console when getting into the car. A new kind of technology has also made it possible for the first time to locate the displays in the center of speedometer and rev counter. The trick is that the indicators of the instruments move on a transparent plastic disc which allows an unhindered view of the displays.

The electronic starter, the keys for selecting the driving range of the automatic transmission, the light switch and controls for the automatic air conditioning are grouped together as round islands on the center console. The surface of the switches are anodized aluminum. The lever for the practical tip shift of the five speed automatic transmission is positioned on the right side of the steering wheel. Slight pressure on the lever is sufficient and in the "D" position the transmission changes between the driving ranges at lightning speed.

Seating: carbon shell with individually arranged upholstery

The puritanical ambiance of the Vision SLR also includes the absence of conventional interior materials such as cloth or wool carpets. Only the roof and the roof pillars are lined with a special fabric which fits in terms of structure and color with the sporty character of the interior design.

The two light, one-piece carbon seats with their special multi-layer fiber construction also have their origins in racing. As well as the conventional height and length adjustment, it is also possible individually to adjust the angle of the backrest, the first time this has been possible in a one-piece bucket seat. Beyond that, special spring absorber units below the seat ensure additional comfort in terms of vibration. The task usually performed by the one-piece foam upholstery is done here by several individual cushions distributed over the seat and backrest.

This novel concept offers a further great advantage in addition to a weight saving of approximately 25 percent in comparison to conventional car seats: the position of the cushions can be adapted to the requirements of the driver's individual anatomy.


Looking to the future

-Aluminum and reinforced fiber materials for optimum safety

-Electro-hydraulic brake system as world innovation

-High performance brake discs made of fiber reinforced ceramics

-Adaptive headlight system with cornering beam

-557 hp strong compressor engine with eight cylinders

Light tubular frame construction, direct petrol injection, five speed transmission - in engineering terms the SLR high performance automobiles from the Mercedes-Benz stable were far ahead of their time as early as the mid-1950s. The Vision SLR too is in the fast lane as regards its technical innovations; they are intended above anything else to serve one of the most important principles of the Mercedes-Benz marque: technological leadership in the field of safety.

This aim is achieved by the Stuttgart engineers in the Gran Turismo with a carbon fiber and aluminum chassis for example, which provides not only optimum protection for driver and passengers, but also offers clear weight advantages. Aluminum and fiber reinforced materials are used in those places where they provide the greatest benefit. Thus the programmed deformable crumple zone at the front of the body is made of aluminum, while the passenger cell is made of fiber reinforced materials which offer a safe survival area due to their extreme durability even in the most serious front and rear collisions.

As with all Mercedes passenger cars, the engineers took account of extreme loads such as a side post impact in the crash design of the Vision SLR too. A highly resistant sill design reduces the depth to which the post penetrates in such a crash and protects the passengers. A special foam core inside the sill functions as an energy absorbing crumple zone.

Light-weight construction is the keyword: the combination of aluminum and fiber reinforced materials makes the body of the Vision SLR about 40 percent lighter than conventional sports cars.

Driving safety: braking by computer

Highly modern assistance systems on board the Vision SLR make driving easier and offer optimum driving safety in any situation. The new electro-hydraulic brake system (EHB), the idea of which Mercedes-Benz is using here for the first time, makes a major contribution in this respect. EHB uses sensors of the antilocking system (ABS) and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) to calculate the brake pressure in each individual situation. In other words, the brake system has also been integrated fully for the first time into the digital data network, evaluating electrical impulses from various electronic control instruments and transforming them into brake instructions at lightning speed. In practice this means that when the driver depresses the brake pedal, sensors register brake pressure and the speed with which this is done.

Both measurement values are transformed into electrical signals and passed on to the brake system control instrument. There the signals from the ABS speed sensor on the wheels as well as information from the steering angle, rotation rates and transverse acceleration sensors, which are part of the Electronic Stability Program, arrive simultaneously via the CAN databus (Controller Area Network). At lightning speed the EHB computer now uses this information to calculate the optimum brake power for each wheel and activates four so-called wheel pressure modulators which are combined in a hydraulic unit. They provide the required amount of pressure and pass it on to the wheels by means of the brake pipes. In this way the brakes can be applied singly and individually to each wheel.

EHB advantages: more safety on bends and in wet conditions

The use of a computer, sensors, a high-pressure reservoir and wheel pressure modulators offers numerous advantages:

-Brake power can be calculated and applied individually to each wheel so that optimum driving and braking stability is always ensured when cornering, in wet conditions or when reversing.

-Electro-hydraulic brakes can build up brake pressure noticeably faster than conventional brake systems so that in dangerous situations the function of the brake assistant (BAS) is further improved.

-If the system recognizes, for instance, that brake action is being reduced through fading it automatically adjusts the brake pressure.

-Short response times and precise pressure regulation by means of electro-hydraulic brake technology enable the even more effective use of the Electronic Stability Program ESP.

-Comfort during braking increases because the brake pressure is controlled proportionally by the hydraulic valves - above all if there is a large delay or when the antilocking system is in use on wet or slippery carriageways.

The core of the electro-hydraulic brake system is a central hydraulic unit which is linked to the main brake cylinder, the pedal travel simulator, the four disc brakes and the EHB computer. It replaces the normal brake servo unit, but is also used as the hydraulic switching unit for the electronic stability program (ESP). An electric pump and a high pressure reservoir are also used to help produce the required brake power.

Brake discs: ceramic instead of gray cast iron

The brake discs on the front and rear axles of the Vision SLR also show the technological vision of the Gran Turismo: they are made of fiber reinforced ceramics which are not only 67 percent lighter than conventional gray cast iron, but are also characterized by very high heat resistance. After all, the maximum temperature load of these special ceramics lies between 1400 and 1600 degrees Celsius - about double the value of gray cast iron brake discs. That means less wear, less unsprung weight and - above all - a high level of safety when braking at high speeds.

Chassis: aluminum axles and special 20 inch tires

Highly modern light-weight construction is also a characteristic of the other components of the Vision SLR chassis. For both the wheel guide elements and the integral carrier for the front axle with four control arms, as well as the components of the rear axle with space control arms are made largely of aluminum sections.

The rear tires of the Gran Turismo are a technical specialty which has only just come on to the market. Mercedes-Benz has its low profile 285/30 R 20 tires supplied by its Formula 1 partner Bridgestone. They are mounted on 10 J x 20 rims. On the front axle the Gran Turismo of tomorrow rolls along on tires with dimensions 245/35 R 19 and rims 8.5 J x 19.

Lighting technology: adaptive headlight system with new functions

A new type of headlight system helps the man or woman at the wheel of the Gran Turismo to adjust better to the prevailing road or traffic conditions in the dark; it consists of dipped beam, full beam, full beam spot, town lights, fog lights, cornering and turning beams.

Adaptive means that the light functions adapt to the current driving conditions. For example when cornering: The projection headlights with Xenon technology automatically follow the steering angle and swivel five degrees in all directions. This means a clear improvement in the illumination of motorway bends with large radii. Various high-performance LEDs, which are integrated into the side flanks of the headlight reflectors, are activated on country roads, in the mountains or at junctions, depending on the steering angle.

The Xenon projection headlights which are used for dipped beam simultaneously serve for full beam so that the specialists refer to a bifunctional system. The trick is that the screens, which precisely ensure the prescribed range of the beam when dipped, automatically fold away when full beam is put on, thus ensuring maximum illumination. In addition, two long-range spot beams are switched on.

As high-tech elements, the front lights of the Vision SLR need not hide behind reflectors. On the contrary, the Mercedes engineers have developed housings for the projection headlights which are pleasing to the eye and recall the design of camera lenses.

Rear lights: LED on spoiler sections

The rear lights, too, pack a punch. Here LEDs ensure particular attention when braking or turning. They are mounted on two unsupported spoiler sections on each side, one above the other, which thus also fit in with the overall stylistic design of the GT study. The LED rear lights are situated behind these sections and fill the whole space of the two rear light units.

A further light strip extends above the rear bumper across the whole width of the body. Here the developers have housed the reversing light and rear fog light - both of them are illuminated by means of space-saving but high performance neon technology. The rear number plate is illuminated using special foil technology.

Dimensions: hood lengthened by 23 centimeters

Compared to the Mercedes-Benz SL roadster, the sports car study is 65 millimeters longer, 66 millimeters wider and 46 millimeters lower. The proportions are also different: the engineers have lengthened the front of the car by 230 millimeters in comparison with the SL and the passenger compartment has been reduced by 130 millimeters. This creates the typical GT silhouette with the long hood, symbolizing power and performance.

The most important body dimensions in summary: Vision SLR


4564 mm


1878 mm


1247 mm

Wheel base

2660 mm

Track f/r

1600/1546 mm

The fascinating design of the sports car study displays its technical qualities in the wind tunnel: the drag coefficient (cW value) only comes to 0.29, the area of the cross section of the body to 2.039 square meters. That produces an exemplary drag value (cW x A) of 0.599.

Engine: V8 engine with compressor and water intercooler

For the sports car study, Mercedes-Benz has undertaken further development on the V8 aspirated engine with the strongest torque of the S-Class, thus once again demonstrating the high performance potential of this modern engine. In the Vision SLR, the eight cylinder engine produces 410 kW/557 hp at 6500 rpm on the basis of 5496 cc and thus belongs to the best performing engines in this size. The maximum torque of 720 Newton meters is produced at 4000 rpm but 580 Newton meters are available at as little as 2000 rpm.

The sovereign surge of power is due to the use of a compressor and a water intercooler with separate cooling circuit. The mechanical charger is driven by a toothed belt and can be switched of in the part-load range, which has a beneficial effect on fuel consumption. Compressor and water intercooler stand out through their very compact design. This makes it possible to install both components in between the two cylinder banks of the V8 engine.

Apart from a special sports exhaust system, steering electronics adapted to the performance characteristics and a modified intake system, the V8 engine of the Gran Turismo possesses all the characteristics which define the production engine of the Mercedes-Benz marque. Examples:

-Three-valve technology for low exhaust emissions to meet current and future pollution limits.

-Staggered phase dual ignition for optimum fuel use and for a high degree of effectiveness in exhaust gas recirculation.

-Modern light-weight construction of aluminum and magnesium diecasting to reduce engine weight.

-New type of cylinder sleeve made of special light-metal alloy to reduce friction.

The most important engine and performance data of the Vision SLR at a glance: Vision SLR

Engine size

5496 cc


410 kW/557 hp

Max. torque

720 Nm at 4,000 rpm


0 - 100 km/h

0 - 200 km/h

4.2 s

11.3 s

Top speed

320 km/h


1999  Detroit

Door types


Picture places


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