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Mercedes-Benz SL-Class – a series of sports cars German car brand Mercedes-Benz. Cars SL (German Sport Leicht – light sport) appeared in mid-1950’s, and against the background of large and comfortable sedans and limousines have allowed the German mark to declare themselves including as a manufacturer of sports cars, to strengthen the popularity and prestige, making it the leader in automotive industry in the postwar era.
Today SL-Class – one of the most famous models of the company. Body of the car – two-door roadster-coupe (previously – a classic roadster with a folding awning and removable hard top and convertible). The main distinguishing feature of this body type – folding metal roof. On SL, as a rule, pose the most powerful engines marks: at the beginning of 2011, to 612 hp (Modification of the SL 65 AMG). In the automotive classification rodstrery SL stand apart from and supercars, and the cars of Gran Turismo. From the first distinguishes them more comfortable (although the characteristics of power and acceleration make it possible to classify SL supercars) and less focus on motor racing, but on the second – compact size, lack of capacity of the cabin and luggage compartment. SL Price varies over a wide range, but comparable to the upper price range of grand-tourism and value of supercars.
The first SL – gullwing
History SL-Class is one of the most interesting. Have not yet had time to rebuild their destroyed by World War II infrastructure, Mercedes-Benz is actively involved in racing, such as Le Mans and the Mille Miglia, etc. In 1952 appeared the car W194, who had a version of the coupes and open Speedster.
But after the emergence of more powerful W196 300SLR, race-W194 would come to an end if not for one event. In 1953, the official distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. Max Hoffman asked for a street version of a racing car and a year later the car was ready. As expected, the car was a sensation and became a symbol of the 1950’s. No lightweight sports body, nor a powerful three-liter engine does not have such a strong effect as a unique form of doors in the gull-wing.
But despite its advantages, the car was also not easy to manage and, because of the high mortality due specifically the doors [citation needed 601 days], in 1958, redesigned coupe to open roadster, which was no less popular. Total for 1963 was released in 1400 with the car body coupe and 1858 roadsters.
190SL – the younger brother
300SL car had not seen in Mercedes demand, but handmade, even at a high price in 29 000 German marks were unable to translate. In response, the company decided to develop a new mass sports car. As a basis instead of racing was taken Sedan W121. Externally, the pontoon body was styled as W198, which allowed to present the car as a cheaper alternative (the price at the end of 1950 was about 17 000 marks) and all were issued 25,881 of these vehicles.
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The first cars SL did not have time to grow old, but by the early 1960’s fashion automotive design has changed dramatically in the summer of 1963 appeared to be replaced. Car W113 230SL (150 hp), which earned him the nickname “pagoda” due to the form of their roof (which could be either a canvas or a removable metal) resembling Chinese pagodas. During his eight-year production car ever developed, in December 1966, a model 250SL (150 hp) and a year later, more powerful 280SL (170 hp). Total to March 1971, the year it was produced 48,912 cars.
In 1971, the year to replace the elegant Pagoda came larger and more muscular R107. Muscular, not only in its form but also in the fact that under the hood were already V8 engines volume of 3.5 and 4.5 liters, respectively, model 350SL and 450SL. All this is possible to successfully conquer the automotive market in the U.S.. Body R107 was so strong and steady that his base was established coupe C107 SLC which stood alongside the W116-m S-class. The oil crisis in 1973 recalled the brand of the economy and a year later there was a six-cylinder model 280SL.
The success of the car can say is that except for the SUV Mr. vagena he holds the record for the extendability of production. For 18 years, was issued 237,287 cars. Over the years, changed units and components, change the engine. In 1980, 350SL and the 450SL was replaced in the 380SL and 500SL, and the last update was in 1985 where the 280SL and the 380SL was replaced with a 300SL and 420SL, and in addition, a model 560SL that was intended only for export to the U.S., Japan and Australia .
The first SL-Class
Despite the success of the 107 th, SL which, even after changing its big brother in the SLC C126 coupe in 1981, had the demand by the end of 1980 almost two decades of car obsolete. Find a good solution for the replacement was not easy, but eventually was selected aerodynamic swept form on the base convertible A124-th E-Class. The car appeared in early 1989, the year had a number of innovations such as independent suspension and automatically raises the roll bar behind the seats (the world’s first open car guarantee the safety of passengers during the coup).
Lineup begins with two six-cylinder 300SL and 300SL-24, and eight 500SL. But in 1992 it expanded flagship Series 600SL with engine V12. In 1993, the brand takes a new classification system for cars and a new SL-Class model, 500SL and 600SL SL500 and SL600 are, respectively, and 300-e has been replaced by models SL280 and SL320. Happened at the same time another important event was the official partner of AMG Mercedes-Benz’a and released its Model SL60 AMG.
In 1995, the year the car was apparently a cosmetic upgrade, but inside additives as side airbags, climate control and ESP. Latest update occurred in 1998, the year in which the line engines on SL280 and SL320 have been replaced by V6. In the late 1990’s tuning partner AMG presented two very rare model (just not built more than 200 units) from the V12 SL70 AMG (1997) and SL73 AMG (1998). And in 1999, the year the company itself was bought by Mercedes, and instead appeared SL60 SL55 AMG. Total to end production in 2001, was built 204,940 vehicles R129.
At the beginning of the new millennium, the company had serious problems: the entire second half of 1990 it ruled the accountants for which production volumes and cost savings was a priority over the technical solutions and has suffered from this main feature brand – quality. As a result, the reputation Mersdes-Benz to the beginning of the millennium was the lowest in history. R129-th SL-Class, though unable to avoid it, but when came the turn of the replacement of obsolete car, many expected the worst.
In vain, the new debut in 2001, R230-th SL-Class has surpassed even the most optimistic forecasts. The car, having a characteristic of the era chetyrehfarnoe solution that could restore the reputation of the brand. The machine had innovations such as active suspension (Active Body Control) and samoubirayuschuyusya roof. Lineup opened car SL500, SL600 and SL55 AMG. The last – was the most successful and popular for the child Tuner Mercedes. In 2003 there appeared the younger version of the SL350 with a V6, and in 2004 SL65 AMG with a V12.
The first update occurred in 2006, the year, apparently it was purely cosmetic, but under the hood, new engines for the SL350 and SL500 (which henceforth became known as SL550 in the U.S.). Next restyling was followed in 2008, seven years R230 did not have time to grow old but the low reliability of the car, despite its popularity, was forced rather than replace, give the car major upgrade, the entrance of which he received a completely new design in the front and updated electronics. Lineup was supplemented younger SL280, other models: SL350, SL500 (SL550 in the U.S.), SL600 and SL65 AMG are the same, but the popular SL55 AMG has been replaced by SL63 AMG, but many are disappointed because supercharged 5.4 liter. M113, though slightly inferior in power atmospheric 6.2 liters. M156, but have more torque, and at lower revs. AMG compensate for this lack of a new semi-automatic gearbox with two clutches. In addition, based on the same machine security Formula 1, there was a convertible SL65 AMG Black Series (Black Series), which features a super-car.