04 April 2008

Death to the SLR

Merc ends production of McLaren supercar. More fastness on the way, though

McLaren SLR

The supercars are dropping like huge, expensive flies. First Lamborghini cans the Superleggera, and now Mercedes is ending production of the McLaren SLR after five years.

In fact, the culling of the extraordinary - and extraordinarily expensive - SLR has already begun. The last of the coupes rolled off the production line at the end of last year, and the roadster version will breathe its last early in 2009.

Why? Well, part of the reason could be because the SLR could never seem to make up its mind whether it was a proper scary supercar or grand tourer. That £300,000+ price tag didn't help either - whichever way, Mercedes sold barely half of its initial forecast.

So how about something far cheaper but just as quick to replace it? How about a Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series - a lighter, faster, carbon-fibre-clad version of the SL65, with a twin-turbo V12 and a 300kg weight-saving programme? Rumour is that it'll arrive later this year with a fixed-roof and a paltry £200,000 price tag.

Oh, and then there's the much-speculated-on McLaren 'P11' supercar, which could - perhaps, perhaps - roll up in 2010. Along with an even more extreme 'SLC' Mercedes. All of which means we won't be missing the SLR for long. Well, maybe the 722...

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