The 2010 Mercedes Benz SLR Stirling Moss? Well, you can’t buy one
unless you already own one of the other SLR models, even if you have a
spare $1,000,000 burning a hole in your pocket.
The SLR Stirling Moss is the last in a line of big, mega-performance
Mercedes SLR sports cars developed with the McLaren Formula One race
team and first introduced in 2004. Exactly 75 copies of the SLR
Stirling Moss will be built between June and December 2009, when all
SLR production ceases.
This SLR is a tribute to renowned British race driver Stirling Moss,
who famously won the 1955 Mille Miglia race in Italy in the original
Mercedes 300 SLR, in what remains a record time. Yet the SLR Stirling
Moss is as much a reward for loyal Mercedes customers. Only those who
have purchased previous SLR models (for a minimum of $495,000) will be
offered a chance to buy the new SLR Stirling Moss.
The Stirling Moss is what’s known as a speedster, though it is almost
deliberately cartoon-ish in its exaggerated, arrow-shaped styling.
Speedsters typically dispense with most of the windscreen, and with the
roof entirely. The Stirling Moss will be equipped with two wind
deflectors, less than an inch in height, strategically shaped to direct
airflow away from its occupants’ faces. It will also come with hard
tonneau covers that can be placed over the cockpit opening or stored in
the trunk. That for the passenger side can be used when the car is
driven, though of course the driver’s side tonneau can be installed
only when the car is parked.
The Stirling Moss body and chassis are fashioned almost entirely from
carbon fiber, which is formed in large ovens at extreme temperatures.
Carbon fiber is much lighter than most metals, yet it’s incredibly
stiff, and it offers outstanding crash protection properties. The car
is sculpted with a long hood, short rear overhang and functioning air
scoops inside the bars that provide rollover protection. Its high, deep
side skirts require side doors that swing upward in front, rather than
outward like the typical car door.
Inside, the SLR Stirling Moss is an exercise in minimalism. Most of the
exposed surfaces are polished carbon fiber, with a bit of aluminum trim
and rugged leather on the seats. Those seats adjust manually, to forgo
the weight added by electric motors, and there is no radio, telephone
or phone interface included. Each car will have an aluminum plaque
engraved with its number and Stirling Moss’s autograph, next to the
gear selector on the console.
Under its long, arrowhead hood, the SLR Stirling Moss has a
supercharged, 5.5-liter V8 hand built by Mercedes’ AMG performance
division. The engine generates 650 horsepower and about 605 pound-feet
of torque. Power flows to the rear wheels through a heavy-duty
five-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually.
So equipped, the SLR squirts from a stop to 60 mph in about 3.2
seconds, with an unrestricted top speed of 217 mph. Of course, a driver
shouldn’t expect more than about 12 mpg traveling at a snail-like 75
Buyers who haven’t purchased one of the 1500 SLRs already produced
won’t have a shot at the Stirling Moss; those who do have a chance to
buy one may have to go to Europe to do so. It isn’t clear at this point
whether Mercedes will be able to certify the Stirling Moss for sale in
North America without modifying the tiny wind deflectors, and it has no
intention of doing so.
The SLR Stirling Moss has already been priced at 750,000 Euros. At
current exchange rates, that translates to slightly more than $1
There are plenty of impressive, expensive cars out there. Not all of them are dream cars; we all have our lists. Does this crack the F40, Reventon, 250 GT Spyder California, McLaren F1 range of “willing to do almost anything to get” cars?