• Special exhibition: The Fascination of the SL.

A Dream Car for 70 Years.

Nine SL sports cars on a series of S-bends, including the oldest SL in existence, as well as numerous other exhibits and items: this is what visitors to the new special exhibition “The Fascination of the SL – a Dream Car for 70 Years” at the Mercedes-Benz Museum will see as they enter the exhibition. It opens on 22 October 2021 and is scheduled to run until 15 May 2022 in all probability.

The special exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum tells the full story of the SL sports cars. In March 1952 – close to 70 years ago – Mercedes-Benz unveiled the 300 SL. Since then, there has been an unbroken tradition of production cars with the famous two-letter designation: the  “S” stood for  “super” and the  “L” for “light”.

An overview:

  • Duration: 22 October 2021 to 15  May 2022
  • Collection Room 5 in the Mercedes-Benz Museum
  • Admission is included in the museum ticket
Range vehicles dynamic; Classic Insight “Legend SL”, 2021, Center of Excellence, Sindelfingen

Creative programme for children in the CAMPUS.

Creative design around the famous SL sports car:

  • Sports car SL made of concrete decorated with shine and glitter
  • Gullwing Mobile - Fold or cut out butterfly and seagull

Time and date:

  • Fri., 22.10. to Sat., 30.10. 2021; Tue., 16.11. to Fri., 26.11.2021 
  • Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Age:

  • 4 - 8 years
Motorsport in their genes: the history of the Mercedes-Benz SL began in the early 1950s.

Motorsport in their genes: the history of the SL began in the early 1950s.

360° Viewer.

Successful from the outset.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing sports car (W 194), chassis number 2, 1952.

After the Second World War, Mercedes-Benz relaunched into international motorsport with the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194). The results were impressive: a triple victory in Bern, double victories at Le Mans and in the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico, quadruple victory at the Nürburgring. The vehicle shown here bears vehicle identification number 194 010 00002/52 and is the world’s oldest existing SL – it has been owned by the manufacturer since 1952. At that time, it was used, among other things, as a race training car at the Mille Miglia. The vehicle is seldom seen in public – so the special exhibition offers a real opportunity.

  • Cylinders: 6/inline
  • Displacement: 2,996 cc
  • Output: 125 kW (170 PS) at 5,200 rpm
  • Top speed: 240 km/h
  • Production period: 1952
  • Production numbers: 10
Oldest Mercedes-Benz SL in existence: the W 194 from 1952 with chassis number 2.

Oldest SL in existence: the W 194 from 1952 with chassis number 2.

A dream car – right up to today.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (W 198), 1955.

The combination of design and technology made the 300 SL launched in New York in February 1954 a fascinating car. Besides the German “Flügeltürer“, it was known as the Gullwing and Papillon (butterfly). However, the roof-hinged doors were not an aesthetic end in themselves, but actually technically necessary. This was because the tubular roll cage was so high at the sills that conventional door constructions were simply not possible. In 1999, it was voted “Sports Car of the Century”.

  • Cylinders: 6/inline
  • Displacement: 2,996 cc
  • Output: 158 kW (215 PS) at 5,800 rpm
  • Top speed: up to 260 km/h
  • Production period: 1954–1957
  • Production numbers: 1,400
Iconic representative of the brand with gullwing doors: Mercedes-Benz SL Coupé (W 198).

Iconic representative of the brand with gullwing doors: SL Coupé (W 198).

First open-top SL.

Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W 121), 1959.

Comfortable, sporty top-down driving – these have been the key characteristics of the SL since the 190 SL. That model was launched in 1954 together with the 300 SL Coupé in New York and, since market launch in 1955 as an open-top roadster, has been a perfect complement to the model range. Both these vehicles and, indeed, the 300 SL Roadster, were products of the initiative of US importer Maximilian E. Hoffman. A total of 25,881 of the 190 SL were built.

  • Cylinders: 4/inline
  • Displacement: 1,897 cc
  • Output: 77 kW (105 PS) at 5,700 rpm
  • Top speed: 170 km/h
  • Production period: 1955–1963
  • Production numbers: 25,881

Light, fast, open-top.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198), 1961.

The 300 SL Roadster was an extraordinary combination of motor racing genes and glamour. It was presented in Geneva in March 1957 as the successor to the coupé. This open-top super sports car benefited from a more sophisticated chassis and later still was fitted with disk brakes and a cast aluminium crankcase. In a 300 SLS derived from the production version, Paul O’Shea won the 1957 American Sports Car Championship in category D.

  • Cylinders: 6/inline
  • Displacement: 2,996 cc
  • Output: 158 kW (215 PS) at 5,800 rpm
  • Top speed: up to 250 km/h
  • Production period: 1957–1963
  • Production numbers: 1,858
Racing car technology in an open-top car: Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198).

Racing car technology in an open-top car: 300 SL Roadster (W 198).

The “Pagoda” model.

Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (W 113), 1965.

Mercedes-Benz unveiled the 230 SL, model series W 113, at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show. This was designed as a comfortable, high-performance two-seater touring car and replaced both the 190 SL (W 121) and the 300 SL Roadster (W 198). The shape of the optional hardtop was reminiscent of Asian temples, which quickly earned it the nickname “Pagoda”. This was the world’s first open-top passenger car with a safety body.

  • Cylinders: 6/inline
  • Displacement: 2,281 cc
  • Output: 110 kW (150 PS) at 5,500 rpm
  • Top speed: 200 km/h
  • Production period of the series: 1963–1971
  • Number of units of the series: 48,912
Still suitable today for everyday use: “Pagoda” SL models of the W 113 model series.

Still suitable today for everyday use: “Pagoda” SL models of the W 113 model series.

The model series that ran and ran.

Mercedes-Benz 500 SL (R 107), 1982.

Elegance with a respectable flair – this is what characterised the SL models of the R 107 model series. The premiere of that model series was 50 years ago in the spring of 1971. For the first time in the history of the SL, the car was powered by an eight-cylinder engine. With more than 18 years of production, the R 107 model series set an internal brand record that is unlikely to be surpassed. Understandably, there was a very wide range of engine variants available over the life of this model series.

  • Cylinders: V8
  • Displacement: 4,973 cc
  • Output: 177 kW (240 PS) at 5,000 rpm
  • Top speed: 225 km/h
  • Production period of the series: 1971–1989
  • Number of units of the series: 237,287
Internationally a great success: the Mercedes-Benz SL model series R 107, produced from 1971 to 1989.

Internationally a great success: the SL model series R 107, produced from 1971 to 1989.

The innovator.

Mercedes-Benz SL 500 “SL Edition”, 2000.

Mercedes-Benz launched the SL in model series R 129 at the Geneva Motor Show in 1989. The stylish design with its extremely harmonious overall effect is still regarded as a masterpiece of the design department under the direction of Bruno Sacco at that time. For the first time, there is a twelve-cylinder. This SL also set new standards in terms of safety: key features were the automatic pop-up roll bar and the power-absorbing integral seats. The vehicle on display is an “SL Edition” from the year 2000.

  • Cylinders: V8
  • Displacement: 4,973 cc
  • Output: 235 kW (320 PS) at 5,600 rpm
  • Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
  • Production period of the series: 1989–2001
  • Number of units of the series: 204,940

With the folding Vario roof.

Mercedes-Benz SL 500 “Edition 50” (R 230), 2004.

The R 230 model series SL generation debuted in 2001. Its most striking innovation was the folding Vario roof made of steel panelling: within just 16 seconds, the vehicle transformed into a roadster – or back into a coupé. Its design merged tradition and the future, for instance with the striking lateral air inlets in the front wings and narrow, wing-like profiles that were reminiscent of the legendary 300 SL in model series W 198. The vehicle on display is an “Edition 50” from 2004.

  • Cylinders: V8
  • Displacement: 4,966 cc
  • Output: 225 kW (306 PS) at 5,600 rpm
  • Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
  • Production period of the series: 2001–2012
  • Number of units of the series: 169,433
Roadster and coupé in one: Mercedes-Benz SL of the R 230 model series.

Roadster and coupé in one: SL of the R 230 model series.

Fascination revisited.

Mercedes-Benz SL 500 “Mille Miglia 417” (R 231), 2015.

In January 2012, Mercedes-Benz presented model series R 231 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the SL. One focus of the new design was on reducing the weight of the sports car. It had an aluminium bodyshell, the boot lid was made of steel and plastic, the roof system used magnesium combined with plastic. The exhibition features the special “Mille Miglia 417” model, presented in 2015 to commemorate the motorsport success of John Fitch and Kurt Gessl with the 300 SL in the endurance race in 1955: they finished fifth overall and won the standard-production sports car category.

  • Cylinders: V8
  • Displacement: 4,663 cc
  • Output: 335 kW (455 PS) at 5,250 rpm
  • Top speed: 250 km/h (electronically limited)
  • Production period of the series: 2012–2020
Racing triumph: Mercedes-Benz SL 500 “Mille Miglia 417” (R 231) commemorating the Mille Miglia finish of John Fitch and Kurt Gessl in 1955.

Racing triumph: SL 500 “Mille Miglia 417” (R 231) commemorating the Mille Miglia finish of John Fitch and Kurt Gessl in 1955.

The multifaceted special exhibition with a wide range.

Sporty handling with comfortable travel: the exhibition picks up on these characteristics of the SL and uses a stretch of windy road as a suitable presentation area for the vehicles. Other items include a showcase of innovations in 70 years of the SL, other original exhibits and a wall design showing postcards from all over the world. The SL has fans everywhere: from the 1950s to the present day – and, of course, into the future.

Postcards from all over the world.

Postcards from all over the world. 

Image gallery.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 20.09.2021.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

8 Alle technischen Angaben sind vorläufig und wurden intern nach Maßgabe der jeweils anwendbaren Zertifizierungsmethode ermittelt. Es liegen bislang weder bestätigte Werte vom TÜV noch eine EG-Typgenehmigung noch eine Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

9 Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle” entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.