Bringing Formula 1 to the Freeway

Isaac Mostovicz writes...


When Mercedes-Benz and McLaren launched the SLR Coupe in 2005 they sought to set new benchmarks in motoring by incorporating Formula 1 racing performance in a Mercedes road car. Technology that was previously the exclusive preserve of a professional motor racing class and restricted to the racetrack was now available to normal (albeit extremely wealthy) consumers.

The Coupe has now been joined by a GT Roadster, which uses an AMG V8 engine to achieve 617 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a 3.8 second 0-60 and a top speed of 206 mph. US models rest on 19-inch turbine-style nine-spoke alloy wheels, and the engines even come signed by the engineer who hand-made them.

With supply strictly limited and even the base model costing $495,000 the GT Roadster is a luxurious toy attainable only to a seriously wealthy and patient clientele. However while the Roadster’s race-track performance may receiving positive reviews, it remains to be seen whether this translates to the less suitable environment of public roads, where the 206 mph top speed may be a luxury unobtainable even to those prepared to spend half a million dollars.

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