In 1989 a new SL generation superseded the previous models of the R 107 series. It offered a combination of dynamic sportiness, even greater comfort and particularly harmonious design. At its unveiling at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show, the SL from the new R 129 series immediately became one of the main attractions. The new model generation featured a number of world premieres: motorsport-inspired seats with integrated safety belts, a fully automatic folding soft top and wind deflector for draught-free convertible driving.
The car’s exciting lines were not compromised by a visible roll bar, but it was there all the same – ready to be deployed automatically in just 0.3 seconds if required. Weighing just 34 kilograms, the aluminium hardtop contributed to the car’s outstanding drag coefficient (Cd = 0.32). The R 129 took the SL to a new performance dimension: the top-of-the-range 500 SL was equipped with a 5.0-litre four-valve V8 unit, which developed 326 hp (240 kW) and made for exceptionally dynamic handling.