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Photos: Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Stirling Moss

McLaren ends its SLR line with a special model named after a British racing legend: the SLR Stirling Moss. It features supercar performance and looks that--except for the carbon fiber--would be right at home on a 1950s racetrack.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 6 Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Stirling Moss

This stunning car is the last McLaren SLR for the foreseeable future, and was built as a dedication to British racing legend Stirling Moss, with a style that evokes the cars he raced in the 1950s. Only 75 will be built, and each will cost 750,000 euro. Even if you have that kind of money, you have to be what Mercedes-Benz calls a "loyal SLR buyer" to purchase one.

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Carbon-fiber body

The entire body is made of carbon fiber, giving the whole car a curb weight of less than 3,500 pounds. As in previous SLRs, the underbody is closed, and a rear diffuser generates downforce to keep the tires on the ground. An airbrake in back comes up automatically at 75 mph to generate more downforce, and can be deployed manually.

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Gull-wing doors

In another nod to the past, the SLR Stirling Moss uses gull-wing doors. The fact that there are no side windows gave McLaren designers more freedom with the shape of the doors.

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Engine and power

A 5.5-liter V-8 sits under the hood, with air forced through it by a supercharger. That means 650 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 605 pound-feet of torque. All of this power gives the SLR Stirling Moss a zero-to-60 mph time of under 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 218 mph. There's a reason the bodywork needs to generate downforce.

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Open cockpit

The SLR Stirling Moss is designed as a purely open-top car, meaning no convertible top. You only drive when its clear out. The small, two-inch high windshield probably doen't do a whole lot. There are covers for the cockpit, in two pieces, so you can cover the passenger side if you want to really look like a 1950s racer.

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Cockpit

McLaren stripped down the cockpit, excluding niceties such as a navigation system or radio. As such, we're not sure why it needs all the buttons on the steering wheel spokes. But it does have paddle shifters to work the five-speed sport-tuned automatic transmission.

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