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Mercedes 300 SL-24
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been driving my '81 280 SLC all day today and one simple question kept coming to my mind: why is the car so slow????
I owned a '78 W123 300D and there isn't much difference between them! The 300 would take a lot longer to get to speed in highway but it still went to 170/180 km/h.
The 280, much more powerful (88 to 185 hp...), and, I belive, less heavy, only goes at 200/210 km/h... And the time to get to 100 km/h... The guy who designed the automatic gearbox was surely thinking about a taxi... It only preforms right between 120 and 200 km/h.
So, my questions:
1. Why the "taxi like" gearbox?
2. Why the "slow" top speed? The engine seems to have enough power to go on!
Any comments??

Jorge
'81 280 SLC
 

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350SLC, 500SLC, 300TE, 190E2.3 Sportline
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690 Posts
Re performance

You are correct stating the maximum speed of the 280SLC at around 200-210km/h. The W123 300D on the other hand was only good for about 150km/h. The SLC is not very aerodynamic by today's standards which is why it was only good for about 200-210km/h, despite 185hp. Your recollections of the 300D acceleration are wrong too. It took about 18 seconds to 100km/h against about 10 for the 280SLC. The SLC is also somewhat heavier than a W123.
 

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Mercedes 300 SL-24
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, when I meant for the 0-100 km/h in the 280 is that it's too slow. The gearbox always...

Well, when I meant for the 0-100 km/h in the 280 is that it's too slow. The gearbox always changes too early. It could have been more sportive! Of course the 300 has no comparation in acceleration.
But, regarding top speed, I can tell you the 300 used to hit the end of the speed counter (180), while the 280 doesn't even get close to the red line at 210...
What I meant, in conclusion, is that the 280 is not at all the fast coupe I tought it would be. And that it preforms very poorely in a non-highway environment, specially in city traffic.
It almost remindes me of the nightmare it was to overtake with the 300 (3rd gear ended at 100, so there were no downshift you could produce for more power)!

Jorge
'81 280 SLC
 
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