A deep, low growl prickles the hairs on the back of your neck; a sharp, piercing snarl jolts your heart – the engine of the SL is unmistakable and inescapable. As it turns the corner it draws all eyes. It has the ferocity of a wild animal, yet the composure of an orchestra conductor. The result of more than 60 years of research and refinement, the newest SL has arrived. 

  • SL

    The SL is a roadster, and its name derives from the German Sportlich-Leicht, which translates to Sport Lightweight.

1954 The 300 SL (W198) “Gullwing” is introduced as a coupé. It’s the fastest production car of its day.
1955 The 190 SL (W121) is introduced.
1957 The 300 SL (W198) Roadster is introduced.
1963 The second-generation SL-Class is launched with the 230 SL (W113), introduced at the Geneva Motor Show.
1966 The 250 SL (W113) debuts at the Geneva Motor Show.
1967 The 280 SL (W113) is introduced.
1971 The third-generation SL-Class makes its debut with the 350 SL (R107).
1973 The 450 SL is introduced.
1974 The 280 SL is launched.
1980 The 380 SL debuts. The 500 SL is introduced.
1989 The fourth-generation SL is launched with the 300 SL (R129).
1993 Mercedes-Benz implements a name revision with the alphanumeric order reversed: numbers now follow letters.
1994 A minor facelift for the SL with slight changes to tail-lamps and signal indicators.
2001 The fifth-generation SL is launched with the unveiling of the SL 350, SL 500 (R230) at the Frankfurt Motor Show and Bologna Motor Show. The SL is the official Safety Car at the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim.
2006 The SL undergoes a facelift and is reintroduced at the Geneva Motor Show.
2008 The SL undergoes a second facelift and is again reintroduced at the Geneva Motor Show.
2012 The all-new sixth-generation SL is launched at the North American International Auto Show.


A masterpiece on four wheels, the SL is a head-turner. With a body constructed almost entirely from die-cast, chilled-cast, hydro-formed and extruded aluminium, it’s over 100kg lighter than its predecessor, yet more rigid.  With the roof up it’s a classic coupé; with it down it’s the perfect cabriolet. Either way, it is the quintessential Mercedes-Benz two-seater convertible.

Every inch of the SL re-affirms its thoroughbred heritage: its strongly defined front-end, accentuated by sharp lines, an athletic apron, a steeply-raked grille and piercing head-lamps all paint a picture. Its irresistible profile floats on any selection of 19-inch alloy wheels and its tail perfectly rounding off a flawless execution. Finer details, such as chrome fins on the bonnet and front fenders, daytime LED running lights, dynamic AMG side skirts, set it apart.

The polished interior of SL has the appeal of a sports car and the comfort of a flagship luxury sedan. The generous space, particularly for a roadster, will impress even the most discerning drivers. A standard 14-speaker Harmon Kardon sound-system immaculately reproduces every note, in every model except the SL 400 and SL 500. Plus, you have the option of adding a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen package to get the ultimate high-end sound experience. Every surface was made to be enjoyed, maximising comfort and driving pleasure.

It wouldn’t be a Mercedes-Benz without cutting-edge technology. From the SL’s  panoramic vario-roof with optional Magic Sky Control  – which turns the clear glass roof opaque at the touch of a button – to the Intelligent Light System which can rotate the head-lamps 15° in any direction, it sets a new standard. Active Body Control enhances riding comfort and the fully-integrated electronic draught-stop creates a virtual cabin with the top down. 

The SL Roadster has been dubbed the world’s safest roadster, which comes as no surprise when you take in the array of safety features and driver’s aids. Active Brake Assist, flashing adaptive brake lights and Active Blind Spot Assist all act in unison to avoid accidents, acting autonomously when necessary. If a collision is unavoidable, PRE-SAFE takes proactive measures to ensure minimal harm to all passengers.

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