For the car industry, 2009 was the most traumatic since the oil crisis of 1974, say Nick Rufford and Andrew Frankel in The Sunday Times. Yet despite tumbling sales, the year saw the launch of many "truly fabulous" cars that were designed and signed off in happier times.
And one of the most impressive was the £150,000 Mercedes SLS AMG. It is "every inch the modern Mercedes supercar", tuned without compromise by "tuning wizards" AMG. It has a growling V8 engine, and is fast, yet useable: it can "be enjoyed all the time, whether you're simply commuting, cruising on holiday or tearing around a race track".
The front grille, side vents and gullwing doors are all designed to mimic the original Gullwing, and the rear has LED lights and a spoiler that pops up above 75mph, says Ben Pulman in Car.
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