On the Road

The $450,000 dream machine

The new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercar, with its side-pipe exhausts and gull-wing doors, is a two-seater street car with Grand Prix genes. In a joint venture with McLaren, its Formula One racing partner, Mercedes will manufacture only 500 SLRs a year (120 for sale in the States), making them out of ultralight carbon fiber and installing a 617 hp V-8 engine that goes from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds. But even with that much vroom, the SLR still minds its manners: It goes from 60 to zero in a reassuring 114 feet. www.mbusa.com.

—Phil Patton