SL-Class

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  • Stuttgart, Nov 30, 2015 - New findings make it possible for the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL to take part in the present-day Mille Miglia: the right to participate is reserved exclusively for models which were represented in the original road race that was held from 1927 to 1957 – and a 190 SL took part in the demanding "1000 Miles" from Brescia to Rome and back in 1956. That year's race featured a total of 15 Mercedes-Benz vehicles, six of them works cars: three "Ponton" Type 220 special touring cars and three 300 SL "Gullwing" models.
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  • Stuttgart, Jan 30, 2014 - 60 years ago, in February 1954, Stuttgart-based Mercedes-Benz caused a sensation when it debuted two new cars at the International Motor Sports Show in New York: enter the 300 SL (W 198) and a near-production prototype of the 190 SL (W 121). Experts and the public were equally enthralled by the Gullwing Coupé, an evolution of the 300 SL race car (W 194), and the Roadster, built on technology supplied by model 180 (W 120).
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  • Stuttgart, Oct 24, 2013 - Readers of German motoring magazine “Auto Bild Klassik” have decided: not one, but three, Mercedes-Benz cars take a top prize in the “Golden Classic Steering Wheel” awards. “With the Type 600 and type 230 SL, we have two true icons of Mercedes-Benz on the top step of the podium,” enthuses Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. “This recognition from readers delights us all the more because it is exactly 50 years since both these model series were launched.”
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  • Stuttgart, Feb 21, 2013 - The launch of the Mercedes-Benz 230 SL at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1963 caused quite a sensation: nine years after the introduction of the 300 SL (W 198) and 190 SL (W 121) sports cars in 1954, Mercedes-Benz presented the motoring world with a single successor to both these extremely successful early SL models.
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  • Stuttgart, Dec 10, 2012 - The distilled essence of fascination in one gleaming silver wind-up toy car: the 300 SL racing car, first produced in 1953 as a tiny model, is a mere twelve centimetres long. But this provides more than enough space on which to project the extraordinary reputation that surrounds the original. The Dux brand toy car, manufactured by Markes and Co. in Lüdenscheid, marked the beginning of a great and fascinating tradition.
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  • Stuttgart, Jun 27, 2012 - The Mercedes-Benz SL product range is legendary. The world premiere of the latest SL from the R 231 model series at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2012 showed impressively just how alive this legend still is. One could think that the SL is an icon which really needs no advertising of any kind. On taking a closer look, however, it becomes clear that the publicity agencies employed by Mercedes-Benz have been extremely skilful at making the most of the aura surrounding the SL – and have been doing so ever since 1952.
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  • Stuttgart, Jun 18, 2012 - New cars are constant objects of study in the wind tunnel. They are subjected to tests in order to optimise them in different ways – for example, to reduce fuel consumption, but also to improve wind noise or splash water flow.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 10, 2012 - Elegant, fast, breathtakingly beautiful and technically innovative: the stunning SL-Class sports cars have represented the Mercedes-Benz brand around the world for the past 60 years. Their story of success began with the victories recorded by the 300 SL racing car (W 194) at prestigious international races in 1952.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 4, 2012 - The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 194 series) racing car unveiled in 1952 was clearly engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s achievement. For it was Uhlenhaut, one of the rare automotive specialists with a great talent for design, who created it, laying the basis for racing successes as well as for the subsequent 300 SL (W 198) production sports car.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 4, 2012 - In the course of his career as an engineer, Frank Knothe has worked on numerous Mercedes-Benz passenger-car model series. He directed the development of the SL and SLK model series and also worked on the SLR. He retired in 2006.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 4, 2012 - In the mid-1950s, Max Hoffman was a similar stroke of luck for Daimler-Benz as entrepreneur Emil Jellinek had been for the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Daimler Engine Company) around 50 years before. Just as without Jellinek there would never have been a Mercedes, without Hoffman the Mercedes-Benz SL would never have existed as a series-production vehicle. Because the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL and 300 SL presented at the International Motor Sports Show in New York 6 February 1954 were there thanks to his initiative and vision.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 4, 2012 - The work of engineer Karl-Heinz Baumann has made a lasting contribution to the safety features of many vehicles produced by Mercedes-Benz Cars. His long list of inventions and innovations includes the automatic rollbar, PRE-SAFE® preventive passenger protection system and ESF 2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 4, 2012 - Engineer Erich Waxenberger had a sound theoretical base and yet was always a pragmatic man, too. At Mercedes-Benz vehicle testing he worked on several SL series, starting in the 1950s. Later he supervised, among other things, the company sports activities.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 2, 2012 - From the very beginning, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 194) was designed exclusively for racing. At its presentation on 12 March 1952 it caused a considerable stir with its uncompromising, streamlined racing design. Its successes during the entire 1952 season were tremendous – it won all major sports car events in international motor sports. It also passed on its sporting genes to following generations in the SL series. But it all began with the 1952 racing season.
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  • Stuttgart, Apr 2, 2012 - In the first race of the 2009 Formula 1 season a Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG was the first car to cross the finishing line: powered by the 386 kW (525 hp) 6.3-litre V8 engine, the high-performance roadster, which could sprint from a full stop to 100 km/h in only 4.4 seconds, felt clearly at home on the racetrack. All the same, the sports car was not one of the racing cars vying for the title in the elite class of motorsport. Rather it guided the field to the finish as Safety Car after a collision had occurred between Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 28, 2012 - The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has always set the highest design standards in all model series. Both outside and in, the vehicles are as if hewn from the same block and most show their credentials as future classics during their own production lifetime. The word “design”, also adopted in German for the creative process from English usage, incorporates the concept of technical design, of engineering in the English sense of the word.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 28, 2012 - Walter Häcker joined Daimler-Benz AG in the early 1930s. As a body designer he was entrusted with the design and technical realisation of production vehicle bodies, including several landmarks in company product history. Among other things, after the Second World War he designed the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W 121 I).
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 28, 2012 - Peter Pfeiffer and automotive design – in particular Mercedes-Benz design – was never a story one might logically have predicted from the start. The move towards automotive design in Sindelfingen took place in several stages. In addition, Pfeiffer’s life as a designer at Mercedes-Benz was marked by two paradigm changes in design: clay models and computer-aided design (CAD) greatly influenced the design process in terms of the time process and immediate creativity.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 28, 2012 - Bruno Sacco and Mercedes-Benz SL – this is a very special success story extending over the past few decades. For the past and, for a time, the present of SL history, from the 300 SL (W 198 series, 1954 to 1957) to the R 129 SL series (1989 to 2001), are concentrated in the person of Sacco in a way that cannot be said of anyone else at Mercedes-Benz.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2012 - In 1998, Mercedes-Benz showed a realistic vision of the future of driving; a vehicle with neither pedals nor steering wheel in the cockpit: a research vehicle based on the R 129 series (1989 to 2001) of the SL model series that was instead controlled by means of side-sticks, in a manner similar to the system used for the first time in the 1996 F 200 Imagination research vehicle.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2012 - There was not an overabundance of powerful engines in the Mercedes-Benz model range in the mid-1960s. In the six-cylinder engine category there was the 2.5-litre engine M 129 with 150 hp (110 kW), developed from the former 2.2-litre M 180 engine of the 220 model, and the 3-litre M 189 with aluminium crankcase in the 300 SE, with 170 hp (125 kW), derived from the 3-litre M 186 of the 300 model. Only the prestige saloon Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100) was equipped with a 6.3-litre V8 with an output of 250 hp (184 kW) and a torque of 500 newton metres.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2012 - The Mercedes-Benz SL, W 113 series, launched in 1963, was the first sports car in the world with a safety body. It was designed so that the area impacted upon – both at the front and at the rear – would deform, thus reducing or completely dissipating the kinetic energy in the corresponding area. The vehicle interior, the actual passenger compartment, on the other hand, was designed to be rigid in order to act as a safety cell for the vehicle occupants.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2012 - With the Mercedes-Benz SL, 129 series, presented in 1989, a new era began for open-top driving. Until that moment no car manufacturer had solved the problem involved in cabriolets overturning: the windscreen frame as sole impact point in the event of a roll-over would generally give way and kink at the waistline; there being no other supporting points behind the occupants, these were insufficiently protected and totally exposed to the rigours of the impact.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2012 - The 300 SL with chassis number 0011/52 was a very special car in the history of the SL. Developed for the 1953 racing season, it did not see action because Mercedes-Benz decided to return to Formula 1 racing from 1954 on. This made the “carpenter’s plane” – as the vehicle was affectionately dubbed by the research engineers because of its characteristic front section – an intermediate model on the way to the 300 SL (W 198 I series) production sports car that was launched in 1954.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2012 - By the middle of the 1960s, development of rotary piston engines has progressed a long way at Daimler-Benz AG. Commonly known as Wankel engines, after Felix Wankel, their inventor, they are regarded, in the search for the drive system of the future, as the alternative to the reciprocating piston engine. Wolf-Dieter Bensinger, head of engine development, is an advocate of these assemblies which Mercedes-Benz tests in a variety of demonstrators.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 26, 2012 - In the 1960s, the question of environmental friendliness began to acquire a growing importance in the automotive industry. In the USA in particular, legislation was enacted concerning environmental protection, for example, in respect of exhaust emission levels. Compliance with these was an immense challenge for car manufacturers. Each car that was launched in those years reflected the current situation – in particular the Mercedes-Benz SL, model series R 107, which celebrated its debut in 1971.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 21, 2012 - Mercedes-Benz Classic has destroyed the replica body of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. The courts have ruled that it is not legal to market the body, which was seized by German customs officials.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 20, 2012 - Readers of the German classic car magazine “Motor Klassik” have voted Mercedes-Benz vehicles the winners in a grand total of four categories in the “Motor Klassik Awards 2012” competition. The SLS AMG and the G Class, as well as two classic SL model series, each took the majority of votes in their respective categories.
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  • Stuttgart, Mar 16, 2012 - The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 194 series) racing sports car came as an overwhelming surprise: although people had hoped for a car like this from Mercedes-Benz during the post-war period, it still left the world speechless when it was presented in March 1952. That same year, the 300 SL enjoyed enormous success at all the major international racing sports car events.
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  • Stuttgart, Feb 22, 2012 - “Dear editors – The new Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (Super Light) sports car will complete test drives in public for the first time during this week. In light of this occasion, please find enclosed the car’s technical data and a photo.” This was how the company announced the debut of 300 SL (model series W 194) in a press release on 10 March 1952. Two days later, the car was shown to selected journalists on the Stuttgart–Heilbronn motorway, now the A 81.
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  • Stuttgart, Jan 9, 2012 - The roots of the SL-Class lie in motor racing: in the early 1950s, Mercedes-Benz developed the 300 SL, W 194 series racing car. It was a unique blend of three ingredients: lightweight construction, aerodynamics and reliability. The original SL was presented to the stunned press on 12 March 1952 on the motorway between Stuttgart and Heilbronn – a surprise coup absolutely in line with the later great sports successes of the W 194.
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