Mercedes-Benz SL-Class History

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class History

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class History


First introduced in 1954 as a coupe, the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class became the roadster we know and love in 1957, establishing itself as an automotive icon. Its success continues even today after sixty years on the market with many notable public figures using the vehicle to get around town.

Early History

When the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class was first introduced, it was in a coupe form with gullwing doors, which were hinged at the roof instead of towards the front of the car. In 1957, this changed with the introduction of the 300SL roadster, a body style that Mercedes continues to produce even today.

Recent History

Now in its sixth generation, the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class offers a variety of roadsters, some with coupe bodies and others with either a soft or hard convertible top. It has seen a multitude of engines with one of the most recent being a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated unit that churns out a healthy 518 horsepower.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Fun Facts

  • Until his death, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, would swap out a silver SL55 with his leasing agency every six months to avoid needing license plates
  • The original gullwing doors were the first of their type
  • Made its racing debut at the 1953 Mille Miglia in Italy
  • Was criticized for being “Americanized” in its fourth generation

2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Overview