Only 520 SLR Roadsters were built, making this a very rare beast.
A gorgeous 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster with low mileage has popped up for sale on auction site Bring A Trailer.
With just 2,700 miles on the clock, this rip-snorting V8 is practically new. It's an absolute beauty, with Crystal Galaxite Black paintwork accentuating the muscular yet graceful lines of the SLR. The iconic 19-inch turbine-style wheels look great and contribute to the understated demeanor of this Anglo-German hypercar.
Based on the pictures, this drop-top McMerc appears to be almost in showroom condition. However, there are one or two imperfections on the bodywork. That low nose may look menacing and imposing, but it's also at risk of being scraped on speed bumps and driveways. This model shows signs of paint damage under the bumper, but that can easily be rectified.
One of the standout features has to be the dramatic butterfly doors, a subtle nod to the 300 SLR from the '50s.
Another neat touch is the twin side-exhaust outlets positioned under the prominent side air vents. As you'd expect for a performance car, there's a prominent diffuser at the rear, along with the electronic rear air brake.
Powering the SLR Roadster is a front mid-mounted 5.4-liter supercharged V8 that produces a healthy 617 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque, which makes this 15-year-old Benz more powerful than the brand-new SL 63. All that power is sent to the rear wheels via a lethargic five-speed automatic transmission.
With the ability to hit 62 mph in a scant 3.6 seconds - and reach a top speed of 208 mph - the SLR still has the performance to embarrass many modern sports cars. The SLR was known for its incredible stopping power when it was new. This comes courtesy of the carbon ceramic brakes and the aforementioned air brake.
Despite the automatic gearbox and the hefty curb weight, the SLR Roadster likes to dance through the corners. This particular model wears Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires sized at 255/35 and 295/30 at the front and rear, respectively.
Even with the advanced carbon fiber monocoque and various weight-saving measures, the topless SLR tips the scales at 4,023 pounds. Unlike other hypercars of the time, like the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT, Mercedes filled the SLR's cabin with all the luxuries associated with the three-pointed star.
Leather upholstery covers just about every surface of the cozy cabin, with Black "Silver Arrow" hide found on the seats, dashboard, door cards, and even the center console. Occupants also benefit from a Bose sound system, automatic climate control, and lovely black carbon fiber trimmings.
At the time of writing, the current bid stands at $330,000. That's a lot of money, but it's a relative bargain when compared to other iconic hypercars from the 2000s. With just 520 examples ever produced, the SLR Roadster is a seriously rare vehicle, and will undoubtedly increase in value in the coming years. The little-known MSO is rarer still, with just 25 units ever produced.
Just be prepared when it comes time to repair or service your SLR. As we've seen, these German brutes have a voracious appetite for dollar bills and will swallow your wallet even if a few replacement parts are needed. Ed Bolian, who purchased Paris Hilton's infamous example, discovered that a new power steering pump would set him back $2,220, while a door strut commands $2,525.
Then again, if you can afford it, it's a small price to pay for a true motoring icon.