2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR Mclaren

  • 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR Mclaren Base Roadster

    Base Roadster

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
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      5.4L V8
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2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR Mclaren Review

Pricey, high-powered roadster drops its fixed-roof trim.

Reviewed by Automotive on


For the first time, Mercedes’ supercar is offered exclusively as a convertible. The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren loses its fixed-roof coupe, leaving just one model: a two-seat soft-top roadster. As in past years, the sleek SLR McLaren stands out from the crowd with its futuristic gull-wing doors, dual air intakes, and sporty single-slat grille.

Made of the same lightweight carbon-fiber composite used to craft F1 racecars and fitted with a powerful V-8, the lean SLR McLaren boasts lightning-quick acceleration and a top speed of more than 200 mph. Unlike some street-legal racecars, the roadster combines its impressive performance with a comfortable interior. The SLR McLaren’s luxuries don’t come cheap, however. Few can afford the elite car.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

What's New

Previously available in a fixed-roof coupe body style, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren now only sells as a soft-top convertible. The roadster features a new semi-automatic roof, which must be unlocked from the windshield and lifted slightly before electronic motors take over. Otherwise, the exotic two-seat roadster carriers over unchanged from 2007.


In addition to its strikingly sleek silhouette, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren distinguishes itself with unique features such as large venting side gills, a carbon-fiber construction, and gull-wing doors that open both outward and upward. According to the manufacturer, the SLR McLaren’s body has been specially designed to allow comfortable conversation at speeds of more than 120 mph.

Available in just one trim level, the 2008 SLR McLaren comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport performance tires, bi-xenon HID headlamps, heated power mirrors with integrated turn signals, a rear spoiler, retro-inspired side strakes, a large air intake, variable intermittent rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rear defogger, and a semi-automatic soft top. Once the top has been manually unlocked and raised slightly, electric motors proceed to lower the roof in less than 10 seconds. Exterior options include numerous paint colors, three top colors, and 18-inch wheels.


The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren features a luxurious and cleanly laid-out interior trimmed in leather and alloy and fitted with custom-tailored and leather-wrapped carbon-fiber sport seats. Standard interior amenities include premium leather upholstery, six-way power-adjustable seats, remote-operated power locks, one-touch power windows, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with transmission and audio controls, interior air filtration, dual-zone climate control, extended cabin heating, front floor mats, a clock, a tachometer, an external temperature display, a low-fuel-level warning system, phone pre-wiring, Bluetooth, a TeleAid emergency communications service, and a seven-speaker Bose sound system with a six-disc CD player. Individual options remain limited to a large array of interior color schemes.

While comfortable, the cabin of the SLR McLaren can be difficult to enter and exit due to the angle of the gull-wing doors. Occupants receive 36.1 inches of headroom and 44.2 inches of legroom, but the narrow dimensions of the SLR McLaren make space feel even tighter, especially for tall passengers. At just 7.2 cubic feet, trunk space seems limited even for a sports car.

Performance & Handling

A flashy exterior and comfortable interior are nice bonuses, but under the hood the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren truly shines thanks to a supercharged, 5.4-liter V-8. Producing 617 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque, the V-8 propels the lightweight supercar from a dead stop to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and to a maximum speed of 206 mph. A five-speed automatic provides the only transmission option. However, transmission buttons on the car’s steering wheel allow the driver to make manual gear changes.

With its aerodynamic design, all-aluminum independent suspension, and forceful engine, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is a force to be reckoned with in the supercar segment. Its carbon ceramic brakes and a controllable airbrake make for quick stops from high speeds, but have been criticized for falling on the touchy side during normal driving. With EPA ratings of 12/16 mpg city/highway, the SLR McLaren doesn’t exactly suit daily driving. However, exotic car enthusiasts who can stomach the convertible’s premium price tag probably don’t mind the pinch at the pump.


The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren comes with standard safety equipment such as dual front side-mounted airbags with head protection chambers, front integrated headrests, stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, emergency braking preparation, brake drying, tire pressure monitoring, and a post-collision safety system. Additional safety features include knee-protecting airbags, twin roll bars, and steel-reinforced A-pillars.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren: 12/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Exotic style
  • Extraordinary performance
  • Refined interior
  • Luxurious amenities

You Won't Like

  • Outrageous price tag
  • Distracting road noise
  • Difficult entry and exit
  • No manual transmission

Sum Up

Pricey, high-powered roadster drops its fixed-roof trim.

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