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1997 SL500 LE
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Discussion Starter #1
According to the Ken Rockwell article:

"A "Sport" package became an option in 1997. It just adds different trim and different wheels and tires. The four standard 225/55VR16 tires on 16 x 8.0" rims are replaced by 245/40ZR18 tires on 18 x 8.0" rims front and 275/35Zr18 on 18 x 9.0" wheels rear. They have the same engine and gearing as the regular versions."

What is the "different trim" that was added in the Sport package? Are the rims the AMG rims that are on the AMG package. Are the rims worth the extra price, or would it be better to go with a non-Sport version and then just replace the existing rims with AMG or Lorinser or something to get better performance?

I am in the market for a 1998 500SL, and I want to cover all the bases. Thanks.
 

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07 s550 4matic black/black
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240 Posts
i have a 2001 sl500. in 2001 (and 2002), the amg sport package came as standard equipment (or a 'no cost option' if you will) where in 2000 and earlier models is was an option.

the 'trim' to which you refer is in the exterior body cladding - lower front fascia, side skirts and rear apron - all amg styling. it gives the car a more sporty, aggressive look. you are correct on the wheels and tire differences. i don't believe the interior is any different, but then again, i don't have anything against which to compare it.

buying just the rims and tires as you indicate you would like to do accomplishes part - but not all - of the transformation. also - please note well that these rims and tires are extremely susceptible to damage and excess wear - and expensive to replace. the tires alone will cost you north of $1,000 to replace. my car has (only) 19,000 miles on it, and i will be replacing the tires in april (usually when i pull the car out of storage).

other than that -- i love the car. there is no performance difference with the amg package (oh, cornering might be a little better with the bigger, thicker tires) as to power. in fact, i think your 98 is quicker than my 01 because i think benzo cut the bhp in the later years; mine has 302bhp.

hope this helps. cheers.
 

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98 SL500 SPORT SLVR
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280 Posts
I JUST PICKED UP A 98 SL500 SPORT. I THINK THE PACKAGE IS WORTH IT FOR THE EXTERIOR TRIM ALONE. THERE ARE KITS YOU CAN BUY TO CHANGE A NORMAL SL 500 TO A SPORT BUT ITS NOT WORTH THE MONEY AND TIME IF YOU CAN FIND A SPORT AND PAY A LIL MORE.

THE AMG RIMS ARE QUITE DESIRABLE EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE EASY TO DAMAGE. THEY ARE WORTH BIG BUCKS. I HEARD THEY CAN BE REDONE FOR $100 PER RIM.

THE SPORT ALSO HAS A GRAY SOFT TOP VERSUS A BLACK SOFT TOP. I HAVE SEEN THIS IN PRINT BUT IT HAS BEEN TRUE FOR EVERY SPORT I HAVE SEEN AND I HAVE SEARCHED FOR THE LAST YEAR OR MORE. I ALSO HAVE THE PANORAMIC TOP. SWEET!!

I BELIEVE THE SPORT ALSO HAS A DIFFERENT STEERING WHEEL THAN THE REGULAR 98.

SO I WOULD SAY IF YOU CAN FIND A GOOD REGULAR ONE FOR GOOD DEAL. GET IT. BUT IF IT HAS THOSE WACK STOCK RIMS, FIGURE ON SPENDING UPWARDS OF $1000-$1500 FOR NEW RIMS UNLESS YOU FIND SOME KNOCK-OFFS ON EBAY WHICH I HEARD SUCK BIG TIME. AND IF YOU WANT THAT SPORT AMG BODY KIT I THINK MATERIAL ALONE IS AROUND $2000 - $3000. AND THE TIRES? WELL I JUST SPENT $400 TO REPLACE THE 2 IN THE BACK. I THINK MY KUMHO'S ARE THE CHEAPEST YOU CAN GET TOO! LOL

ITS JUST LIKE ANY CAR. THE GT IS ALWAYS WORTH MORE! THE RARER THE BETTER! THINK ABOUT YOUR RESALE VALUE.......
 

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SL500, CL55, E350, E320
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Go with the Sport Package one. I upgraded my car to the Sport Package and spent $5,000 for paint, fog lights, front apron, rear apron, side skirts, front apron covers (left and right), screen covers (left, right, and center) ... (not include the wheels and tires). It was the first time I did so it took me 5 (half) days to get the job done.

The AMG Sport Package makes the car look 200% better, cosmetically alone, IMO.
 

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lnguyenh - 3/10/2005 3:46 AM

Go with the Sport Package one. I upgraded my car to the Sport Package and spent $5,000 for paint, fog lights, front apron, rear apron, side skirts, front apron covers (left and right), screen covers (left, right, and center) ... (not include the wheels and tires). It was the first time I did so it took me 5 (half) days to get the job done.

The AMG Sport Package makes the car look 200% better, cosmetically alone, IMO.
What he says.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening triple black, xenons, AMG facelift to 2002 style.
~1999 SLK 230 Kompressor, silver/black leather, CD, immaculate
~1999 Lexus LX470, sand/ivory leather.
~1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara. black & silver.
~ex 350SL, 230E, 280E, MX5, Jaguar Daimler and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice.

<img src="http://www.kensilver.com/newSLsig.jpg">
 

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1998 SL 500
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22 Posts
I've got a 98 with the sport package. It's the only way to go. When I was shopping around for a 98 I took my time until I ran across the right one.

But true, the AMG rims can be damaged if you are not careful. I've not had mine rebuilt yet but did get a quote for $120/ea. When I replace my next set of tires I'll get them redone.
 

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'96 sl500, 87 300td
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134 Posts
I had Ye Ole Wheel Shop in Elkridge MD straighten and repaint 2 AMG Mono Block II wheels. Each rim was slightly bent at the bead. $95. to straighten and $95. to repaint and machine the outer lip. I bought 2 new rims and you could not tell the difference between the new rims and the repainted rims. They do an excellant job.
 
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