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Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

From Academic Kids

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a series of automobiles with some of the most prestigious nameplates in the motor industry. The designation, which means "Sport Light" or in German, Sport Leicht, first appeared on the 1954 300SL 'Gullwing' so nicknamed because of its passenger doors which opened upwards.

The 300SL roadster succeeded the Gullwing in 1957. The 190SL was more widely produced with 25,881 units, starting in 1955. Cars of the open SL-Class were available as a coupe with a removeable hardtop or as a roadster with convertible soft top or with both tops. Production for the 190SL and 300SL ended in 1963.

Contents

1963 to 1971

Next came the SL-Class 230SL, a completely new design with a low waistline and big curved greenhouse windows. Also a Coupe Roadster, the distinctive roofline earned the nickname "pagoda top." Around 1968 the engine received a displacement increase and the model became known as the 250SL. The last two years of production as the 280SL saw minor changes to switch knobs, and wheel trim rings became full hubcaps.

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Merc.280sl.arp.jpg
1984-85 Mercedes-Benz 380SL

1972 to 1988

  • 350SL was actually a 4.5 L, in 1973 the badge was changed to reflect this
  • 450SL rubber 5 mph (8 km/h) bumpers added
  • 380SL
  • 500SL
  • 560SL (Introduced in 1986, it came equipped with the infamous "O-rings")

1989

The 1989 Mercedes SL base model was the 228 hp (170 kW) 3.0 L inline 6 SL300 version. But it was the 322 hp (240 kW) SL500 (with a 5.0 L V8 engine) which made the most headlines.

Specification was high, with electric action for the windows, mirrors, seats and hood.

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SL73.JPG
1995 Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG

1994 saw a mild facelift for the SL, and the SL300 was replaced in Europe by the SL280 and SL320 (with 2.8 L and 3.2 L I6 engines). The SL500 continued with the same powerful engine. A 389 hp (290 kW) 6.0 L V12 SL600 topped the range in 1993.

The SL320 replaced the SL300 in the United States in 1995, but the SL280 was not offered. The 6-cylinder SLs were dropped from the US lineup in 1998, leaving just the V8 and V12. The SL500 got a new 302 hp (225 kW) 5.0 L V8 for 1999.

AMG

The extremely rare SL73 AMG was sold through AMG in 1995, and offered the most powerful V12 engine ever put into an SL up to that time. After a brief hiatus, the SL73 was offered again from 1998 to 2001. The same 7.3 L V12 was later used by Pagani in the Zonda.

Also extremely rare is the SL60 AMG. Sold through AMG from 1996 to 1998, it contained a supercharged V8.

The SL55 AMG was sold through AMG in the R129 bodystyle from 1998 to 2001 in limited quantity. It was the predecessor of the production R230 SL55 AMG sold today.

Only about 300 cars in the SL-class were customized by AMG prior to the 2003 model year.

2003

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IMG_4142.JPG
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL 500

As the new millennium approached, the SL was a decade old and customers were turning to more modern cars like the Jaguar XK8, but there was still no denying the Mercedes exclusivity. The impressive equipment list kept getting longer as the years passed, as did the 50,000+ price tag.

In 2003, an all-new SL (initially just a 5.0 L SL500 version) went on sale, boasting the "Vario-Roof", an electric folding steel roof which had been seen on the smaller, cheaper SLK in 1997. A 5.4 L 302 hp (225 kW) V8 was optional, with a 5.5 L AMG V8 appearing in 2004's SL55 AMG. V12 engines are available in the SL600 and the limited-production SL65 AMG.

2005 SL models

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Mercedes_SL500_AMG.jpg
A 2005 SL500 AMG

Listing of SL-Class Roadsters offered in the US for the year 2005. Prices are listed in US, 2005 dollars.

  • 2005 SL350 (Europe only)
    • 3.7 L (3724 cc) 18-valve V6 245 hp (182 kW) at 5,000 rpm 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) 7.2 s
  • 2005 SL500 Roadster
    • Driver-adaptive 7-speed automatic transmission with TouchShift control
    • Aluminum hardtop (automatic retraction: 16 seconds)
    • US$90,620
    • 5.0 L 24-valve V8 engine 306 hp (228 kW) at 5,600 rpm, 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) 6.5 s
  • 2005 SL55 AMG
    • Manual shift buttons
    • Sensotronic brakes with 8-piston front calipers
    • AMG Active Body Control suspension.
    • US$122,220
    • AMG supercharged 5.5 L (5543 cc) 24-valve V8 engine 493 hp (367 kW) at 6,100 rpm, 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) 4.7 s
  • 2005 SL600 Roadster
    • Active Body Control suspension
    • Sensotronic Brake Control with enlarged front and rear disks
    • Heated and ventilated multicontour seats
    • US$128,220
    • Twin turbocharged 5.5 L (5513 cc) 36-valve V12 engine 493 hp (367 kW) at 5,000 rpm, 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) 4.7 s
  • 2005 SL65 AMG
    • 5-speed automatic transmission with AMG SpeedShift programming
    • AMG 8-piston composite calipers brakes
    • 19 in dual spoke AMG wheels
    • US$179,720
    • AMG-built twin-turbocharged 6.0 L (5,980 cc) SOHC 36-valve V12 engine 604 hp (450 kW) at 5500 rpm

Template:Mercedes-Benz vehicles

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