Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The SLR is relatively heavy for a high performance car and uses a pretty low-tech five-speed automatic transmission borrowed from the Maybach, but that does little to blunt the phenomenal performance of its supercharged 5.4-litre V8 engine. The supercharged unit develops 626bhp at 6500rpm - enough to propel the SLR from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds and onto a 208mph top speed.

Acceleration in any gear and at any speed is brutal, yet the SLR manages to put all this power down without too much fuss - although it can struggle for grip on uneven roads. Those wanting more pace should look to the even quicker 722 limited edition, which gets a power upgrade to 650bhp and a reduction in weight.

It may be big and heavy, but the SLR handles with surprising agility and zest. The car changes direction neatly and it feels far more nimble than the hefty dimensions and sheer width would have you imagine. It uses a carbon fibre chassis, which means low weight but high strength but it doesn't result in a poor ride. Far from it in fact. It's certainly taut, but the suspensions soaks up rough and bumpy roads with limousine-like fluency and suppleness.

It's a pity the steering and brakes rob the driver of real confidence in demanding driving. For all their incredible performance the carbon-ceramic brakes disappoint with a lifeless pedal - and while the steering is quick, direct and accurate, it's also bereft of the feel Porsche and Ferrari drivers enjoy.