Everyone seems to want a piece of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren pie. Yet with prices still to be confirmed these babies are being snapped up fast, even if just to make a quick buck…

Everyone seems to want a piece of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren pie. Yet with prices still to be confirmed these babies are being snapped up fast, even if just to make a quick buck…

The stunning SLR McLaren, which caused such a ruckus on Cape Town roads late last year ,will debút in the US about the middle of the year. Approximately 3 500 of these beauties will be hand-made over seven years and some US dealers have already said that the car has been sold out for the next two years.

Mercedes-Benz has not yet announced what the gull-winged creation will cost but a product manager for the company in the US has estimated that it will be beyond the two million rand mark.

The 5,5-litre V8 has been tuned at AMG’s Affalterbach-based test facilities to churn out 460 kW and 780 N.m of torque. Mercedes-Benz says the SLR will reach 334 km/h.

The engine compressor has two screw-type aluminium rotors that can achieve a top speed of 23 000 r/min, forcing air into the inlet of the powerplant at a maximum pressure of 0.9 bar. Mercedes-Benz engineers and McLaren’s Formula One experts designed the mid-engined SLR around this powerplant so that the SLR’s low centre of gravity would "make the Mercedes-Benz McLaren a spectacular handler".

Massive ceramic discs, eight-pot calipers and an aerodynamic rear spoiler/airbrake help the supercar decelerate from 100 km/h to standstill in 2,6 seconds.

It’s an aggressively streamlined carbon fibre cocoon coupled with extruded aluminium frame rails, an F1-inspired arrow shaped nose and twin-fin spoiler. And the first SLR McLaren has already been set aside for renowned television talkshow host and ardent car collector Jay Leno.

Whether he’ll actually be driving the car is another matter entirely, as dealers in the US stated many wealthy buyers are snapping up the SLRs hoping they’ll be able to turn a quick profit.

It seems most SLR owners will treat their cars as investments rather than drive them, and many are buying them simply as collectible items.

"I can't see this thing driving down the street," one Mercedes-Benz dealer said. "It's an incredible piece of machinery, engineering and design."

Another Mercedes-Benz dealer, who is located in one of the country's wealthiest areas, has already taken 15 orders and predicted that many of his buyers would try to resell their SLRs for a profit.

He has stopped taking orders because “we don't think we'll get as many cars as ordered. We could have sold a lot more."