The Mercedes-Benz R107 SL Celebrates Its 50th Birthday!

April 15th, 2021 by


Mercedes-Benz R107 SL Hits A Major Milestone

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Mercedes-Benz’s 1971 R107 350 SL car. This car is the first in the segment to have been paired with a V8 engine and is second to the oldest living model of the brand.

From 1971 to 1989, the luxury car company kept the R107 SL in production for a total of 18 years. This car was certainly no minivan as the two-seater received periodic makeovers and a new engine in order to stay relevant and hot for that automotive season.

When the R107 SL wasn’t considered so vintage, it didn’t have much likeness with its predecessor, the well-known Pagoda SL. The bold and daring convertible was well equipped with many advancements on both the mechanical and technological side, such as with the fuel tank fixed above the rear axle, the A-pillars created out of high-strength steel, and many other originalities. By 1980, the automaker began to implement the ABS (anti-lock braking system) in the SL, and two years later, it fitted airbags (for drivers) as well as seat-belt tensioners.

The 200 horsepower 3.5-liter V8 was brought forth from the W111 280SE 3.5. However, those who desired even more intensity had the option of selecting the 450 SL model, as it added 25 horsies; This model was exclusive in North America until 1973. The following year, Mercedes-Benz introduced a 185 horsepower 6-cylinder 280 SL to the lineup.

The redesigned 1980’s SL wowed buyers with its new and improved interior, as it became on par with the W126 S-Class. The 350 SL was swapped out for the 380 SL, and the 500 SL raised the bar from the 450 SL with its output of 240 horsepower. The company also made advancements under the hood, such as with automatic transmission.

By 1985, upgrades included 15-inch wheels, a new front spoiler (harmonious with all variants), and a refined front suspension. The range was now elevated to the base-level 300 SL with 188 horsies, the then-new 420 SL had 218 horsies, while the 500 SL got a revamped engine with an electronic ignition system. The chart-topping 560 SL was also sold in Europe, as well as North America, Japan, and Australia.

In total, Mercedes-Benz sold 237,287 units of the R107 SL-Class over a course of 18 years, establishing it as one of the most beloved SL models owing to its genius blend of opulence and sportiness.

Mercedes-Benz of Washington

Mercedes-Benz of Washington is your man…or dealership when it comes to providing range-topping SL cars, with the current model involving key features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a backup camera, blind-spot monitoring, Bluetooth®, a drivers assistance package, interior accents, keyless entry, leather seats, a sunroof, and so much more!

We also carry a plethora of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that are well-equipped in their technologies, performance, and luxurious style. Those who are interested in any of our models can simply view our online new car inventory and chat with a representative for further assistance. 

Photo Source/Copyright: Shutterstock via photographer MM Mukhin
*European Images Shown