Mercedes doesn’t just make luxury crossovers: it’s also made some of the most awesome supercars ever to speed down the Autobahn – even if most of them have used automatic transmissions.
Mercedes-Benz may be best known for luxury cars, but the Silver Star marque also has a rich history of building some of the most impressive supercars this side of a Pagani – whose cars it also happens to power. With a deep involvement in motor racing of all sorts, it should come as no big surprise that Mercedes has translated its motorsport prowess into road-going supercars. But lots of automakers that regularly race don’t necessarily produce the kind of extreme performance machines that Mercedes has.
Our list begins with the most recent supercar to come from the German automaker: the SLS AMG. The first exclusive product of Mercedes-AMG, the SLS is a modern tribute to the original 300 SL, but while the SLS carries the classic’s gull-wing doors and some retro styling, there’s nothing outmoded about the SLS. The SLS AMG launched over three years ago with a 6.2-liter V8 packing 563 horsepower, and has since bred numerous derivatives: the Roadster, the upgraded GT, the Black Series and the Electric Drive. But even in its most “basic” form, the SLS can run to 60 in under four seconds and top out at over 200 mph.
Prior to the SLS, the king of the Benz hill was the SLR. Developed and produced by McLaren, the SLR was a racing-inspired supercar with Mercedes levels of luxury and refinement. Its 5.4-liter supercharged V8 churned out 617 horsepower to send the carbon-fiber super-GT to 60 in 3.4 seconds. Like the SLS, the SLR family expanded to include a Roadster, the 722 edition, the Stirling Moss speedster and numerous combinations thereof. Ultimately it proved the last time Mercedes and McLaren would collaborate, as the former sold its stake in the latter, which in turn went its own way with the MP4-12C and the new P1.