Mercedes R230 SL-Class 2001 – 2010

Mercedes Benz R230 SL-Class 2001 – 2010

The SL class is rear breed of cars, which have created for the pleasures of driving and being on the road. They first came in to being in 1989 with the introduction of R129. This model, R129 replaced the previous model, R107 and was the first to be sold under the name, SL class.

This model became famous and stayed on top till the year 2001 when it was replaced by R230. Now R230 is a much modern car designed to lead the automobile industry into the 21st century. It’s loaded with new generation styling and gizmos which completely fulfils the all new generation car enthusiasts who are looking forward to living their life in style and comfort.

The car came out in five different engine models. The SL500 also known as SL550 in United States has a 303 cubic inch V8 engine that pumps out 302 horsepower. This baby has enough brain churning power to knock anybody senseless.

The SL 55 AMG has a monstrous 331.9 cubic inch V8 engine, which delivers 469 horsepowers to the wheel. This car is certainly overkill on roads making the owner the undisputed ruler without question. Both these models, the SL55 AMG and SL500 were introduced in 2001, and continued until 2006. The other models came to being later.

During its production, safety was one of the major concerns of the design. Since these vehicles were high powered and can take drive enthusiasts to the limits. Its safety features also had to adjust according to its high speed requirements.

A lot of careful thinking went into the process, the result is a car, which is more stable at high speeds, and the brakes have been made so that they can stop a car quickly from running at very high speeds. Overall, it is a much safer car than its predecessors.

The Mercedes-Benz SL: Living sports car legend

  • Fifth generation of SL sports car legend lines up at the start
  • Unique package of sophisticated driving dynamics systems
  • World premiere for new Sensotronic Brake Control
  • Exciting design incorporating styling features from the legendary 300 SL
  • Roadster and coupé in one thanks to vario-roof
  • Powerful V8 engine for sporty performance
  • Lightweight body with high aluminium content

Autumn 2001 will see Mercedes-Benz continue its long SL-Roadster tradition with the launch of a stylistically scintillating and technically sophisticated sports car. The new open-top two-seater is the fifth generation of this successful Mercedes series, a series which began its quest for world glory in 1954 with the legendary “gullwing-door” 300 SL. Since then, the Stuttgart brand has produced some 490,000 of these exclusive sports cars which dreams are made of.

A combination of state-of-the-art electronic chassis systems, which is unique to the world, enables the new SL to serve up an unparalleled, dynamic driving experience and, at the same time, provide maximum active safety. Making the SL a new breed of sports car.

Driving dynamics: combination of sophisticated systems unique to the world

Of all the technical milestones on display, it is Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) – the electro-hydraulic braking system – that leads the way. Mercedes-Benz is the first automobile brand in the world to offer this system. SBC works together with ESP® – the proven electronic stability program –  and with Active Body Control (ABC) suspension.

The latter reduces body roll to a minimum when cornering or braking. All of which means that the new SL-Class comes with a unique package of high-performance electronic control systems fitted as standard.

These innovations revolutionise chassis design, active safety and drive dynamics. And, in the medium term, they may well change the entire concept of automotive development.

Sensotronic Brake Control pushes open the door to the future world of “by-wire” systems. This technology communicates the driver’s commands electronically via cable, rather than mechanically or hydraulically, as has traditionally been the case.

Among the foremost performance characteristics of SBC are the extremely fast build-up of pressure and the precise observance of driver and vehicle behaviour by a complex sensory system. If the driver switches his foot quickly from accelerator to brake pedal, SBC recognises the early signs of an emergency situation.

With the help of the high-pressure reservoir, the system automatically raises the pressure in the brake lines and instantaneously presses the pads onto the brake discs, which can then spring into action with full force as soon as the brake pedal is pressed. This system can reduce emergency stopping distances by up to three percent.

Furthermore, variable brake force distribution means SBC can provide increased safety when braking around corners. And, thanks to its greater speed and precision, it also enhances the performance of the Brake Assist and the ESP® electronic stability program.

Design: stylish mix of traditional and modern

Impressive lines symbolise the new SL sports car’s technological superiority and, at the same time, ignite feelings of passion, enjoyment and excitement at the prospect of open-top motoring. The designers have captured the spirit of the great grandfather of the SL family from 1954 discreetly yet effectively.

And, in so doing, they have given the SL a bright future to go with a past steeped in tradition. Classic SL features stylishly and harmoniously combine with more recent Mercedes forms which propel the roadster far into the future. The headlamps are one example, a new and markedly more dynamic variation on the familiar “four-eyed” theme. The sophisticated clear glass look adds an extra quality to the headlamps and ensures a distinctive lighting design.

Vario-roof: from roadster to coupé in just 16 seconds

Further proof of the sheer design quality of the new SL can be seen in the perfect integration of the newly developed vario-roof which communicates the same messages whether open or closed: uninhibited driving pleasure and unmistakable elegance.

The vario-roof transforms the sports car into an adventure car without compromise, combining the driving pleasure of an open-top roadster with the comfort of a Mercedes coupé. At the push of a button, the roof can be opened or closed within 16 seconds, during which time a new, intelligent tilting mechanism ensures that the roof components retract into the top section of the boot to save even more space.

Under this is a luggage compartment with 235 litres of capacity (VDA measuring method). When the vario-roof is closed, the boot of the new SL-Class (including the luggage box in the spare wheel well) holds a total of 317 litres, 52 litres more than the predecessor model.

A glass version is planned from mid-2002, giving the vario-roof that typical roadster feeling of freedom. Not to mention a bright interior ambience by virtue of the glass expanse.


Engine: 306 hp and 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds


A further guarantee for that dynamic sports car experience comes in the form of the powerful V8 engine. Squeezing 225 kW/306 hp and 460 Newtonmetres of torque from its five-litre capacity, it ranks as one of the most potent engines in this vehicle class, meets the strict EU-4 emissions requirements and propels the new SL 500 from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds. And with a fuel economy of 12.7 litres per 100 kilometres, the new model is on a par with its predecessor, despite a host of new comfort and safety equipment.

These fuel consumption figures are thanks in no small part to the SL sports car’s sophisticated, lightweight body: the bonnet, front wings, doors, boot lid, fuel tank partition and other components are made from aluminium, the most prominent lightweight component being the bonnet measuring some 1.40 metres in length.

Never before has such a large and complex component been mass produced using aluminium alone. It is about 15 kilograms lighter than a comparable steel bonnet.

Another fuel-saving feature is the perfect aerodynamic form of the SL body. The cp value of 0.29 is more than nine percent lower than in the case of the predecessor model.

Safety: new head-thorax bag for optimum side impact protection

Thanks to an integral vehicle safety concept, the SL-Class is on course to set the standard for a whole new generation of sports cars. The concept encompasses every aspect of vehicle safety – from crash avoidance by means of electronic safety systems such as SBC, ABC, Brake Assist or ESP®, and the high-strength body structure, to the fastest possible rescue of the car’s occupants in the event of an accident.

Occupant protection is optimised by the high-strength body structure and, among other things, two-stage airbags for the driver and passenger, new head-thorax bags in the doors, new integral seats, seat belt tensioners, belt force limiters and the sensor-controlled roll-over bar.

Equipment: innovative systems and maximum exclusivity as

The comprehensive package of standard equipment in the new Mercedes-Benz SL-Class meets the requirements of the discriminating car driver who, besides technical perfection, attaches great importance to comfort and exclusivity.

Automatic climate control, xenon headlamps, leather-covered integral seats, multi-function steering wheel, stereo car radio, memory function for the electrically adjustable seats and numerous other invaluable details are all part of the standard equipment package in the SL 500.

Optional equipment includes innovative assistance systems such as DISTRONIC autonomous intelligent cruise control, TELEAID automatic emergency call system, COMAND control and display system and the electronic tyre pressure monitor.

Interior: reminiscing in the Mercedes-Benz sports car tradition

Leather, fine wood and aluminium are the materials used to guarantee classic SL exclusivity and quality in the interior. Mercedes customers can choose from two types of leather, four high-quality trims and five interior colours. Shimmering matt chrome provides the surround for the four individual instruments in the SL cockpit, and adorns other lovingly crafted interior details.

The cockpit immediately catches the eye by virtue of four individual instruments in the classic chronometer design, evoking images of the sports cars from days gone by.

The automatic climate control continues this theme, sporting aesthetically-pleasing aluminium rings around its user-friendly controls.

The legend is well and truly alive. And the “SL” badge remains the mark of an automobile which, besides perfect technology, embodies two characteristic quality features above all: excitement and passion.

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