Mercedes returns with the SL

Eighth generation, eight cylinders: The new SL comes with a lot of swing in the body and under the hood. All-wheel drive is available for the first time.
Image: Daimler AG

With the eighth generation of the SL, Mercedes returns to the fabric roof and replaces the double name Mercedes-Benz with Mercedes-AMG. The daughter in Affalterbach also builds the car. A plug-in hybrid is in preparation.

EIt was only ten hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds – but it’s been enough for almost 70 years. Because at the latest when Stirling Moss crossed the finish line in his Mercedes-Benz 300 SL after just that time and 1000 miles of breakneck driving all the way down to Rome and back on May 1, 1955 at an average speed of 157.65 km/h, which has never been achieved again to this day who beat the Mille Miglia in Brescia, the myth of the SL was born and even the double victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans was forgotten in the year of the premiere. And when, at the instigation of the American importer Max Hoffmann, the roadster was added to the gullwing and took Hollywood high society by storm, the sports car quickly became a legend. It still draws on this today and is just as important for the Mercedes image as the S-Class.

However, the SL has lived up to its reputation less and less over the years. It was a long-distance runner with almost endless model cycles, which otherwise only the G-Class achieves. The R 107 series was built for a total of 18 long years, from 1971 to 1989. Ten of those years as a coupé. Its predecessor, the famous delicate pagoda, factory code W 113, where the W stands for car, was in the program for eight years. Before that there were two model series that were in the program practically simultaneously from 1954 to 1963, the gullwing (W 198) and the cabriolet (W 121). By the way, the R stands for Roadster.


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