Mercedes-Benz is reshaping the technology and design of its successful Silver Arrows. On occasion of the international Auto Show in Detroit, the premium marque in the new DaimlerChrysler group is presenting the study of a Gran Turismo for the 21st century which combines stylistic elements of the current Formula 1 Silver Arrow and the SLR sports car from the 1950s into a new fascinating concept. Its name: Vision SLR.
The striking front section with the arrow-shaped nose and the typical double spoilers takes the Formula 1 racing car with which Mika HÃ¤kkinen won the 1998 world championship as its model, a formal concept which is repeated variously on the body and in the interior. These Formula 1 looks harmonize with the familiar double headlights of the typical Mercedes four-eyed design which appears in the Vision SLR in a new, unusual interpretation.
The long and extended hood, the powerful sweep of the wings and the gull-wing doors of the Vision SLR are based on the stylistic ideas of the legendary SL models from the 1950s and their SLR racing variants, in which Juan Manuel Fangio, Rudolf Caracciola and Stirling Moss drove from one victory to the next.
With this successful transfer of racing car attributes to a roadworthy Gran Turismo, the Vision SLR displays ideas which will influence the appearance of future Mercedes sports cars.
New definition of a sports car interior
The interior as shown in the study is dominated by the wide, gently curved central console with its round controls as well as the silver-painted spoiler shape in front of the driver and front passenger. They replace the usual instrument panel while symbolizing the modern, light-weight construction of the Gran Turismo. The cockpit consists of two round aluminum-rimmed instruments which recall expensive chronometers. Carbon (carbon fiber) bucket seats, an oval steering wheel and highly modern information systems such as the Cockpit Management and Data System (COMAND) are included in the additional special features of the sporty interior.
Leading-edge technology for optimum driving safety
The Vision SLR points the way to Mercedes sports cars of the future in the field of technology, too. The body consists of a combination of fiber reinforced materials and aluminum which, in addition of exemplary crash stability, is characterized by a weight advantage of about 40 percent in comparison to the traditional steel construction.
For the first time, the two-door car uses an electro-hydraulic brake system which calculates brake pressure by means of sensors and microprocessors depending on the driving situation, offering clear safety advantages when cornering and on slippery surfaces. Furthermore, the electronically controlled brakes can be applied with particular sensitivity to ensure a comfortable ride. The brake discs of the Vision SLR also represent an innovation: they consist of fiber reinforced ceramics and are capable of withstanding extreme loads. The front and rear axles are primarily made of aluminum by Mercedes-Benz. The front headlights, with adaptive light systems and a new type of high-performance LED, automatically track the steering angle and adapt to the given driving situation. This clearly improves illumination of the carriageway when cornering and turning.
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds
The long hood of the Vision SLR conceals an enhanced design of the 5.5 liter V8 engine. A compressor and water intercooling mean that the eight-cylinder achieves peak performance of 410 kW/557 hp and delivers maximum torque of 720 Newton meters at 4000 rpm.
This engine turns the Gran Turismo into a powerful performer: it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in only 4.2 seconds and from zero to 200 km/h in 11.3 seconds. Top speed is 320 km/h.