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Mercedes-Benz SL 280 R129

R129 SL Series

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The Mercedes-Benz R129 were produced from through 2002. They sold under the SL-Class names. The R129 replaced the SL-Class in 1989 and was in its turn by the R230 in 2003 (US).


Designed in 1984, the was based on the shortened floorpan of the W124 and featured many details for the time, for instance controlled damping (optional) and a automatically extending roll-over The R107’s rather dated diagonal swing axle way to a modern multi-link axle. The of standard features was high, electric action for the windows, seats and convertible top.

had minor updates for the car:

switched from mechanical to

Option for portable cell with voice activated

Clear front turn indicators for US SPEC models

stereo now standard, rear and subwoofer

1996+ models minor facelifts for the car:

fender vents updated; 2 rounded slots, rather 3 squared slots

Bumpers are now color

V8 and V12 upgraded to 5 speed transmission; previous transmission was 4-speed

Xenon HID headlamps on SL600, optional on SL500

of side airbags

1997 were the first year to an option of the panoramic roof. newly available:

A new front-seat sensor could deactivate the airbag when it determined the passenger seat held than 26 pounds

Sport became an option

Automatic windshield wipers standard

Three-way programmable garage opener HomeLink transmitters into the rear-view mirror

the earlier climate control with one with a much LCD

Remote control uses infrared (IR) and radio control

A second facelift for models 1999+ which

V8 engine switch from to M113

Soft Nappa seats replace the perforated seats

Body color handles

Tail lights curved faces replacing the square stepped lights

wheels standard: Wheels are now x 17 with 245/45ZR17 tires. package is 8 (front) and 9 (rear) x 18 245/40 and 275/35 tires

Fiber-Optic digital audio to the CD player instead of analog

One-touch starting- called Once the key is turned, the engine on its own until it catches and starts.

cluster now has silver rings each gauge

Oil pressure replaced by oil temperature

Different vanity cover

Removed the lock on the left rear compartment which houses the subwoofer

1989 — All models: small light just behind main closure will enable you to off the trunk light and leave lid open should you need to air out the or just leave it open for periods of time while battery use.

1999 2002: If you fail to close the deck, an alarm will upon the vehicle engaging in any It is similar to the sound made pre-setting radio stations, is louder and consecutive.

1989 1996 models: you can place foam blocks on the floor of the top storage compartment approximately 1.5 1997 — 2002 come with this as a feature, which prevents creasing in the plastic rear

1999 — 2002: the odometer reset button two in a row; this will remaining milage to next A or B

Engine history

Initially, were three different available:

300 SL with a M103 3.0 L SOHC L6 (190 PS (140 kW; 190 hp) at rpm)

300 SL-24 with a 3.0 L 24-valve DOHC L6 (231 PS kW; 228 hp) at 6300 rpm)

500 SL with a 5.0 L 32-valve DOHC V8 (326 PS kW; 322 hp) at 5500 rpm)

and joined in 1992 by:

600 SL with a M120 6.0 L DOHC V12 (389 hp/290 kW) @ rpm)

There was a choice of manual or 4-speed automatic for the cars; the V8 and V12 could only be with an automatic gearbox.

In 1993 Mercedes-Benz rearranged and models. Also, the 300 SL was replaced by:

SL 280 a M104 2.8 L 24-valve DOHC L6 hp(145 kW) at 5500 rpm)

SL 320 a M104 3.2 L 24-valve DOHC L6 hp (161 kW) at 5500 rpm)

the 280 was available with a manual SL 500 and 600 continued with their engines.

A second facelift, in late 1998, comprised new mirrors, 17 wheels and new bumpers. new were the engines:

SL 280 with a 2.8 L 18-valve SOHC V6 (204 PS kW; 201 hp) at 5700 rpm)

SL 320 with a 3.2 L 18-valve SOHC V6 (224 PS kW; 221 hp) at 5600 rpm)

SL 500 (306 PS (225 kW; 302 hp) at 5600 Гі full throttle enrichment

The V12 engine remained unchanged.

from 1990-1995

Front Independent damper struts separate coil springs and shock absorbers, triangular control arms with geometry and stabilizer bar.

suspension Independent 5-arm with separate single-tube shock absorbers and coil geometry for antilift, antisquat and control, stabilizer bar.

8.0Jx16H2 aluminum alloy and

Tires 225/55 ZR 16 steel-belted

Brakes 2-circuit hydraulic 4-wheel discs. Antilock System (ABS).

Chassis 1996-1997

Body construction convertible with front and crumple zones and removable

Front suspension Independent strut with antidive and stabilizer bar. Separate absorbers and coil springs. steering.

Rear suspension 5-arm multilink with for antilift, antisquat and alignment and stabilizer bar. Separate absorbers and coil springs.

Recirculating ball with power assist and hydraulic Steering wheel turns 3.0.

Tires Steel-belted Performance 225/55ZR16.

Wheels 8.0Jx16 H2.

Brakes 2-circuit power-assisted 4-wheel disc. front, solid rear discs.

Antilock Braking (ABS) ABS senses impending lockup under heavy and pumps the front brakes or the rear brakes together (to maintain stability), as needed, up to 30 per second to prevent lockup and steering ability.



Wheelbase 99.0 in

weight 1989: 1800 kg 3,970 lb 1991: 1819 kg 4,010 lb 1993: 1830 kg 4,035 lb 1994: 1855 kg 4,090 lb

Trunk capacity 7.9 cu ft

Fuel 79.9 l — 21.1 gal

Wheelbase 99.0 in

Curb 1989: 1880 kg — lb 1993: 1889 kg — lb 1999: 2188 kg — lb

Trunk capacity 7.9 cu ft

Fuel 79.8 l — 21.1 gal

Wheelbase 99.0 in

Curb 2020 kg — 4,455 lb

Mercedes-Benz SL 280 R129

capacity 7.9 cu ft

Fuel capacity 21.1 gal

Interior Features

Automatic climate control

day/night rearview mirror

Seating and trim


10-way power seats 3-position memory

Audio, and communication

Bose Acoustimass system (1994)


SRS with driver air bag

Front air bag (1991)

Automatic pop-up bar

Exterior Features 1990-1995

washers with wipers

hardtop with electrically rear window

ADS (Adaptive System) / Standard on 600SL, on 500SL

Removable wind

8-hole alloy wheels

ASR (Automatic Slip Control)


AMG had already offered an SL while still independent, the AMG 500 SL 6.0 of After being taken by Daimler-Benz, there were AMG SL-models available through D-B

The SL 60 AMG was the most numerous of these cars. Sold from to 1998, it used a 6.0 litre V8 producing 381 PS (280 kW; 376 hp) at 5500 AMG claimed a 0-62 mph (100 speed of 5.6 seconds. Its top speed was to 250 km/h (155 mph), but the limiter removed, it was capable of 185 mph (298 km/h). AMG later conceded that 0-60 mph was like 5.0 seconds and the engine between 405-410 bhp.[citation

Extremely rare was the SL 73 AMG, through Mercedes-AMG in 1995, and the most powerful V12 engine put into an SL up to that time. a brief hiatus, the SL73 was again from 1998 to The same 7.3 L V12 was later used by in the Zonda.

The SL 55 AMG was sold in the R129 from 1998 to 2001 in numbers (5.4L V8, 354 PS (260 kW; 349 hp) at rpm). It was the predecessor of the production SL55 AMG sold later, was normally aspirated in the R129 and not as in its R230 successor.

Only 300 cars in the SL-class were by AMG prior to the 2003 model

Mille Miglia Edition 1999, 2000, 2001)

In Mercedes released the Mille edition, to commemorate the 40th of Stirling Moss’s win of the 1955 Miglia road race. The edition was available in either or SL500 guise, came in Silver metallic, and had Evo II six-spoke alloys, red and black leather carbon-fibre trim and extra Stirling Moss was given the SL500 built.

Silver Edition

Special edition of SL 500/SL 600 made to celebrate the car with the same name 1930). Two-tone interior on steering wheel and seats, wheels, etc.

For the US market, 1550 Silver Arrow were produced; 100 units of the and 1450 units of the SL500.

The 2002 Silver Arrow was a prominent feature in the 2001 video Rollout (My Business) by Ludacris.

Other Editions

other editions were of the 129 body SL. These include:

Anniversary Roadster Edition

Special Edition (1998)

Edition (2000)

SL Edition

Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess Diana’s Mercedes R129 came to public in 1991 when Diana, of Wales sold her Jaguar XJS to a J-reg metallic-red 500SL and the first member of the royal to use a foreign car. This was not controversy as it sparked a media as it questioned whether a member of a royalty should drive cars. Media pressure forced her to return the car to Mercedes-Benz in with whom it now resides in the Museum

Original content references and bibliography for the above:

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Mercedes-Benz SL 280 R129
Mercedes-Benz SL 280 R129
Mercedes-Benz SL 280 R129

Mercedes-Benz SL 280 R129

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