Top Down Conversation at 120HP
While neither VehicleVoice nor AutoPacific of course cannot recommend such speeds on the public highways that crisscross our nation, Mercedes-Benz promises that conversation will still be possible at speeds up to 120HP while in their new-for-2008 roadster version of the screamin’-fast 617HP SLR McLaren. Feast your eyes on the first released photos of this monster.
The SLR roadster’s construction is nearly all carbon fiber, just like the coupe, which should help make for a strong, safe, and solid roadster, even at the 207MPH the vehicle is capable of. A retractable top complements the attributes the coupe had already sported, including its Formula 1 Silver Arrow-inspired styling, the 617HP engine, and aluminum engine frames. This is a semi-automatic top, which impressively closes or opens in less than ten seconds, is made of a new material, and will be offered in three colors. (It is semi-automatic in that there is a header latch that needs to be released before the electric motor kicks in and pulls the top the rest of the way.) Safety and structure are also beefed up with steel-reinforced A-pillars and two fixed rollover bars. Like the coupe, the roadster gets the AMG 617HP 5.5L V8 mated to a five-speed automatic with standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifts.
Closing time for Harrods
department store in London is at 8PM on a Friday night. Across from its Hans Road entrance is a mediocre but well-positioned Italian restaurant Zia Teresa
correspondents grabbed a table across from the Harrods’ door that was a great venue for the supercar version of Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise. Of course, none of these cars could drive more than about 20mph down the street that was a narrow single lane with cars parked on both sides.
A brief inventory included: 1 Bugatti Veyron
, 2 Lamborghini
Gallardo Spyders, 2 Lamborghini Gallardos, 2 Lamborghini Countachs, 2 Lamboghini Murcielagos, 1 Mercedes SLR McLaren, 2 Porsche Carrera GTs, 5 Aston Martin V8 Vantages
, numerous Bentley
Continental GTs, one Bentley Flying Spur in black with orange bodysides, a Morgan, many mundane Porsche 911s and Cayennes, more 2006/7 Mercedes S-Classes than could be counted. Oh yeah, there were a couple of vintage Daimler limousines carrying shoppers to and from Harrod’s.
Why this proliferation of super iron? Apparently, because of the difficulties in Lebanon, many vacationers from the Middle East opted for London this year. Where they congregated in the Edgeware Road area in previous years, this year their loci is Harrod’s. A high percentage of the supercars were left hand drive with Arabic number plates. Probably air-freighted from Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Dubai.
Parked at the curb (kerb), Veyron shared space with a bicycles and chauffer-driven Range Rover in the background.
SLR illegally parked at end of Hans Road attracted dozens of admirers most taking mobile phone photos. SLR in the flesh and in traffic was underwhelming.
Getting even more attention than the SLR was this red Carrera GT with Arabic plates (SLR and Veyron also had Arabic plates). Note the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder cruising by in background.
Down the street, around the curve, there were more Lamborghinis parked in a two block area than would be seen in Turin at any one time.