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UK customers pay £25,000 deposits for Mercedes supercars

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Mercedes-Benz has taken a total of £500,000 in deposits for two "supercars of the future" from UK customers in five weeks.

20 UK customers have each placed a £25,000 deposit on the Maybach limousine and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, even though it will be two years before either car is sold in this country.

Dermot Kelly, director of Mercedes-Benz Cars in the UK, said: "To take more than half-a-million pounds in deposits so quickly for cars that will not be available until 2003 shows the enormous trust that our customers have in our products."

The Maybach is likely to cost in excess of £200,000. Final details of the Maybach have yet to be released, but the standard wheelbase version is likely to be longer than a Mercedes-Benz S600 and the car will feature two electrically adjustable aircraft-style reclining seats in the rear. An on-board bar will stock hot and cold drinks.

The Maybach will be powered by a special twin-turbo V12 engine of just under six-litre capacity. A longer wheelbase version will also be available. Right-hand-drive Maybachs will not be built until 2003.

With power from a Mercedes-AMG tuned 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren will have an estimated 0-62mph time of just 4.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 198mph.

It will be the first Mercedes to be built in Britain. The SLR is being developed and will be constructed at the McLaren Cars Ltd factory in Woking, Surrey. They are expected to cost in the region of £240,000 - £260,000.

The reservation list for both cars was opened on March 22.

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