When it comes to exclusive supercars, the SLR roadster is definitely on the list. In 2004, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive teamed up to develop the SLR with a goal of producing 500 vehicles per year for a period of seven years. That means that when the production run is finished, there will only be 3500 SLRs in existence. If that seems exclusive, then the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition is even more so. Only 150 were ever produced in celebration of the 1955 win of the Mille Miglia endurance race by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.
In that 1955 race, the team of Sterling Moss and Denis Jenkinson set out at 7:22 am (hence the 722 in the new model’s name) and then completed a 1,000-mile long loop in only 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds. The time was a new record and meant that the team averaged a speed of 98 mph through the race. To commemorate that feat of speed, the SLR 722 has had its power upgraded.
The engine is still the supercharged 5.4-liter V8 in the standard SLR, but the power output has been boosted from 617 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque to 641 horsepower and 605 lb-ft. The chassis has also been refined to add stiffness and the whole car has been lowered a half-inch. The weight of the car has been dropped by 100 pounds and a new carbon-fiber nose has been affixed which increases downforce on the front end by 128% without creating any extra drag. All told, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 can hit a top speed of 209 mph, do 0-to-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, and do 0-to-125 mph in 10.2 seconds. So, it’s pretty quick.
It’s also really expensive. When the 722 edition went on sale in late 2006, it had an asking price of $480,000. And every single one of them sold out before they left the factory. The SLR 722 is a marvel of what automotive engineers can do when not restrained by such silly things as porduction costs and speed limits. The styling is stark. There is no mistaking the SLR for anything other than a ludicrously fast supercar. And once the engine revs, that big V8 sends out a growl that’ll shake window panes five blocks away.