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The Mercedes-Benz SL is a roadster manufactured by Mercedes since 1954. The designation SL derives from the German Sport Leicht, or Sport Light — and was first applied to the 300SL 'Gullwing' named also after its "gullwing" or upward-opening doors.

The term SL-Class refers to the marketing variations of the vehicle, including the numerous engine configurations spanning five design generations.

Main article: Mercedes-Benz 300SL

The 300SL roadster succeeded the Gullwing in 1957. The 4-cylinder 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 removable hardtop or as a roadster with convertible soft top or with both tops. Production for the 190SL and 300SL ended in 1963.

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1994 mercedes sl500

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Main article: Mercedes-Benz W113

Next came the SL-Class 230SL, a new design with a 2.3 six cylinder engine, low waistline and big curved greenhouse windows, and a Coupe Roadster whose 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.

Main article: Mercedes-Benz R107
  • 350SL - 1971 - 1980
  • 450SL - 1973 - 1980
  • 280SL - 1974 - 1985
  • 380SL - 1980 - 1986
  • 500SL - 1980 - 1986

All updated 86-89 models have the advantages of the more modern 4 pot brakes, larger discs, and suspension derived from the W124 sedan. The body itself is built with a modern paint system designed to improve protection from rust.

  • 300SL - 1986 - 1989 Base model was available as standard in a 5-speed manual although very few were sold. The SOHC 6 cylinder M103 considered by many to have handling advantages with its lighter engine.
  • 420SL - 1986 - 1989
  • 500SL - 1986 - 1989
  • 560SL - 1986 - 1989 From 86 onwards the US, Japan and Australia received only this model.
Main article: Mercedes-Benz R129

The 1989 Mercedes SL base model was the 228hp (170kW) 3.0L inline 6 300SL version in the US. In Europe the base model was the 190hp (140kW) 3.0L inline 6 300SL with 12 valves, and the 228hp (170kW) 3.0L inline 6 with 24 valves is known as the 300SL 24 . But it was the 322hp (240kW) 500SL (known as the 560 SL in USA) (with a 5.0L V8 engine) which made the most headlines. The specification was high, with electric windows, mirrors, seats and roof.

1994 saw a mild facelift for the SL, and the 300SL was replaced in Europe by the SL280 and SL320 (with 2.8L and 3.2L I6 engines). The SL500 continued with the same powerful engine. A 389hp (290kW) 6.0L V12 SL600 topped the range in 1993.

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2004 - 1994
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