1981→1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

1981→1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

1981→1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1980 the SL and SLC presented themselves in updated form. The interior appointments including steering wheel were matched to those of the 126-series S-Class, and the engineering was brought up to the same level.

The new 500 SL, equipped with the 5.0-litre V8 (M 117) familiar from the 450 SLC 5.0, replaced the 450 SL and made an output of 177 kW at 5000 rpm available, to give the new top-of-the-range model a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration of 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 225 km/h.

From the outside the new models were almost indistinguishable from the previous models, except for the model plate. All three SL models now had a light-alloy bonnet and the discreet front spoiler familiar from the 450 SLC 5.0; the 500 SL also got a light-alloy boot lid with black plastic rear spoiler, already familiar from the five-litre Coupé.

But even after ten years of production no thought was being given to a replacement for the SL models. Four years after the Energy Concept was presented, they even came in for extensive refinements, and so in September 1985, again at the Frankfurt show, a completely revised SL model range was introduced. The emphasis was on a restructured engine range. A discreet facelift, primarily recognisable from the front spoiler and wheels with aluminium rims (diameter: 38.10 centimetres), was also part of the package. The front axle was done over and the brakes enlarged with fixed callipers. To prevent the cars from pulling to one side during braking, the steering offset was reduced.

The 5.0-litre engine (M 117) also was modified; with catalytic converter operation in mind it now had an electronic ignition system and the electronically/mechanically controlled Bosch KE-Jetronic injection system and developed an output of 180 kW at 4750 rpm. With catalytic converter the output was 164 kW at 4700 rpm. These values helped the 500 SL attain a top speed of 225 km/h (with catalytic converter: 215 km/h) and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds (7.8 seconds).

In Detail

tags r107
submitted by anonymous
type Series Production Car
production years 1981 – 1989
built at Munich, Germany
price $ $ 75,000
engine V8
position Front
aspiration Natural
valvetrain DOHC
fuel feed Injection
displacement 4973 cc / 303.47 in³
bore 96.5 mm / 3.8 in
stroke 85 mm / 3.3 in
compression 10:1
power 182.7 kw / 245 bhp @ 4750 rpm
specific output 49.27 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 152.53 bhp per tonne
torque 398.60001 nm / 294 ft lbs @ 2750 rpm
body / frame Steel
driven wheels RWD
front brakes Disc
rear brakes Disc
curb weight 1606.25 kg / 3538 lbs
transmission 4 speed automatic
top speed ~215.61 kph / 134 mph
0 – 60 mph ~7 seconds


Auction Sales History


1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SL WDB107.0461A043322 – sold for €100,050
Fewer than 8,000 kilometres from new. This superb 500 SL was purchased by the owner from Mercedes-Benz Young Classics in October 2011 and since then has formed part of his private collection. Finished in Diamantblau metallic with black leather interior, it comes complete with factory hardtop and black canvas convertible hood. Factory fitted optional extras include a driver’s airbag, external temperature gauge, limited-slip differential, heated external rear view mirrors, theft alarm, armrest, air conditioning, headlights washing system, and heated seats for driver and passenger. A true ‘time warp’ classic, still retaining its original underseal, this exceptional 500 SL convertible is offered with German registration documents and TüV valid until August 2015. One for the connoisseur.
Auction Source: The Mercedes-Benz Sale 2015 by Bonhams

1986 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL Sports Convertible – sold for €30,475 This 500 SL was delivered new to Japan and returned to Germany in 2013. Finished in its original silver paintwork with grey leather interior, it comes complete with factory hardtop, the latter featuring the rare optional heated glass. The car has covered only 65,665 kilometres from new and is described by the vendor as damage free and in generally good original condition. Offered with German registration papers.
Auction Source: The Mercedes-Benz Sale 2015 by



2000 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Convertible AMG Sport – sold for $16,500 AMG Sport option. California car. Detachable hard top with rear window defoger. Heated seats. Electric soft top. Hardtop rolling storage rack included. Custom car cover and hard top cover. Includes factory installed CD changer in trunk. Pop up roll bar with detachable wind screen. 4 new Ultra Performance low profile tires.
Auction Source: 2012 Daytime Auction by Mecum