What is the most expensive Mercedes Sports car?

This brief article will answer the question: Which is the most expensive Mercedes Benz sports car? It will also explain some of its key technical features and how fast it can go?

What is the most expensive Mercedes Sports car?

The most expensive Mercedes Benz sports car is the Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren 722 produced in 2007. The price of the car can be from 4.4 MIllion USD to 7.8 million USD. It was produced in convertible and coupe body styles. Mercedes Benz designed the SLR 722 with a partnership with the Mclaren, as Maclaren was under 40% ownership of Mercedes Benz in the 2000s. 

The first production car was unveiled in 2003 and it was called tomorrow silver arrows hinting at Mercedes dominance in Formula 1 racing. The car design was also inspired by the 1950s race car the Mercedes Benz 300 SLR  Uhlenhaut Coupe. Maclaren was the formula 1 partner and under the ownership of Mercedes Benz.

 When Mercedes decided to jointly develop the SLR, Maclaren gave key inputs like moving the engine behind the front axle for a better centre of gravity and using 19-inch alloys to reduce the unsprung mass of the vehicle. The SLR was the front mid-engined grand tourer and competed against the Aston Martin Vanquish and Ferrari GTO.

The car also featured active aerodynamics and used carbon fibre plastics in the construction of body panels to keep the overall weight of the vehicle low. The SLR 722 edition is the most sought after in its limited production run of six years. The 722 edition was produced in 2007 and it refers to the victory by the British driver Sir Sterling Moss in the SLR 300 Uhlenhaut Coupe. 

Sir Stirling Moss along with the co-driver Denis Jenkinson won the 1000 mile Mille Miglia race in 1955, the race started at 07:22 am hence the name 722 in the 2007 edition. Mercedes Benz planned to limit the production of SLR to only 3500 units but sold only 1400 units by the end of 2007. There are only 275 Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren 722 in circulation today which is the reason behind its massive price tag.

The most recognisable feature of the Mercedes SLR was the vents on either side of the front fenders. The vehicle was very easily distinguished from the other sports cars Mercedes Benz produced in the 2000s. The engine bonnet also opened in the front, unlike the conventional bonnet which opens on the back. It facilitated access to the engine since it was placed 50 centimetres behind the front axle. The production of Mercedes Benz SLR halted in 2009 and 2,157 cars were produced. Very few good examples of cars are in circulation today and the price can increase from the original 7.8 million USD if the vehicle is sold at a car auction. Due to its Sports car-like design, it is very sought after by car collectors. 

What is the engine used in the Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren 722?

The Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren 722 had an M155 engine specially designed for it. The engine was 5.4 litre and it had a supercharger that produced 13 psi of boost pressure. 

The overall power produced by the engine in the 722 editions was 641 bhp and 820 Nm of torque which was 30 horsepower more than the standard edition. Mercedes Benz decided to go with the rotary air compressor instead of a turbocharger.

An Air compressor unlike Turbocharger, works with a belt drive and since it is directly driven by the crankshaft, the boost produced by the air compressor is immediate. There is no lag in the power like in the case of turbocharged vehicles. 

The air compressor can rotate at a maximum output of 23000 rpm and give SLR its signature engine noise. Using an air compressor instead of a turbocharger also allowed the engineer to keep the engine packaging compact. The air compressed by the compressor is cooled by an intercooler and fed into the intake manifold. 

The fuel is injected into the air intake manifold with the help of eight fuel injectors at a pressure of 4-5 bars. The M 113 engine features an aluminium silicon engine block with an aluminium cylinder head and a single overhead camshaft. M113 had two spark plugs and 3 valves per cylinder, 2 valves for the intake and 1 valve for the exhaust which allowed for better scavenging effect and improved cylinder charging. 

Other key features include a magnesium intake manifold and a single piece cast camshaft. The piston skirt was coed with iron to withstand the compression pressure of 8.8:1 and connecting rods were also forged. Mercedes Benz uses the fractured split method to manufacture connecting rods. The upper and lower half of connecting rods are unique and cannot be interchanged.

The M113 engine in 722 also used dry-sump lubrication to achieve a lower centre of gravity. There is no conventional oil pan at the bottom of the crankshaft. Engine oil is pumped from a separate reservoir and extracted from the engine after the lubrication circuit is complete. The engine oil is also cooled by a liquid-cooled heat exchanger.

When the engine is running, pistons connecting to the crankshaft are reciprocate inside cylinder walls. The crankshaft is rotating inside the crankcase on the main bearing. The crankshaft is used to convert the reciprocating motion of a piston into a rotating motion which is used to drive the transmission. 

There is an intricate lubricating circuit inside the engine block and cylinder head. The oil pump circulates engine oil inside the oil sump to all the moving parts of the engine. Engine oil reduces friction between the moving parts and prevents premature wear of critical engine components.

The engine is mated to a 5g Tronic gearbox. 5g Tronic is a Mercedes Benz 5 speed transmission with torque converter lockup clutch. The Mercedes SLR Mclaren was specially modified to handle the increased output and used AMG speed shift technology.

 In the speedshift, the torque converter has a lock-up clutch that can engage to create a direct connection between the engine and the gearbox and avoid loss of power in the torque converter. The electrohydraulic control unit can also maintain a certain gear throughout the corner based on the acceleration of the vehicle and perform fast downshifts. 

Apart from the winter and sports driving modes the SLR also had a manual mode in the transmission. The driver can select the gear with the help of two paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel. The Transmission sent the power to the rear differential and there was no 4 wheel drive version in the SLR.

What are the Key Technical features in the Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren?

Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren featured many technologies found on the formula 1 race cars. Maclaren was also a partner of Mercedes Benz in the Formula 1 racing series, following are some of the key features.

  • Brake by wire- Mercedes Benz developed sensotronic brake control or SBC for short. It was a brake by wire system. The brake lever was not usually connected to the master cylinder and brake booster. 

There was a travel sensor that recorded the distance of travel of the brake pedal and sent the information to the SBC control unit. Based on the distance travelled by the brake pedal the SBC control unit actuated the brake pressure and applied brakes. The SBC control unit used a separate additional battery so the brake system is always ready regardless of voltage in the main battery.

SBC also included the ABS which is an anti-lock braking system and brake drying function. Brake drying works by briefly applying brakes to clean the brake disc in rain or snowy conditions.

  • Active aerodynamics. The Mercedes Benz SLR had an electronically adjustable rear wing, which can produce additional downforce depending on the angle of inclination. The wing also provided air brakes while slowing down.

Conclusion

Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren was the most expensive sports car produced by the company. Mclaren also customised 25 models and sold them as special editions after the production was finished in 2009. The SLR was the only car with a hand-built engine that was not sold under the AMG branding.

References

FAQs: What is the most expensive Mercedes Sports car?

Which Mercedes model is the most expensive?

The most expensive model currently on sale is the Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black series. It is also the fastest production car around the Nurburgring.

What is the most expensive 2020 Mercedes-Benz?

The Mercedes Benz S 600 Maybach is the most expensive 2020 Mercedes Benz. In a few international markets, it cost almost twice as much because of the import duties.

What is the most expensive Mercedes AMG?

The most expensive Mercedes Benz AMG is the AMG GT black series. The use of special materials like carbon fibre and magnesium makes it expensive.

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