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2003 SL500, 2003 SL55, 2005 S55, (2) 1991 300SLs, 1994 E320 cabriolet
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A sleek-looking car like the R230 could not be produced today since it does not conform to government regulations. A c. 2012 issue of Car and Driver explains:

Think modern cars look bloated? Of course you do. Part of what you're seeing is the effect of European and Asian pedestrian-protection requirements that went live last decade. The idea is to leave enough space beneath the hood to keep a struck pedestrian's head from caving it in far enough to hit the top of the engine. So, you'd expect higher hoods and taller noses. But that little bit of air over the intake manifold ripples through and changes everything.​

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2005 SL500 ‘AMG’ sport package.
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2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-Class: What We Know So Far

Yes I read that in C/D years ago that cars would start to look nosier and higher in the front. Even take the new Miata for ex. it has that big grill. The bmw 7 series has been that way since its redesign in 2002. You can even witness it on the r231.

Check this new 2022 design in the car and driver article. No more hard top but a sportier Amg gt based vehicle with a softie. Makes me feel happy to have a hard top r230. All the reason it is such a modern classic.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-Class: What We Know So Far

Yes I read that in C/D years ago that cars would start to look nosier and higher in the front. Even take the new Miata for ex. it has that big grill. The bmw 7 series has been that way since its redesign in 2002. You can even witness it on the r231.

Check this new 2022 design in the car and driver article. No more hard top but a sportier Amg gt based vehicle with a softie. Makes me feel happy to have a hard top r230. All the reason it is such a modern classic.

First of all, I do not want a soft top. The R230's vario roof is really no more complex than the canvas roof I had in my W209 CLK550, but I don't have to worry about the canvas, and it makes the lines of the car look better with the roof closed. The vario roof does compromise trunk space, but who cares. If I need cargo space, I drive my wife's BMW X5.

The other thing that is puzzling is why have the AMG GT and the SL? Adjusted for inflation, the AMG GT is about the same price as the SL, so is the new SL going to be less expensive? That makes no sense from a business perspective. Especially if the SL has a back seat. Of course that back seat is likely going to be unusable except by small children, so why put it in there at all?

I am NOT at all happy with the direction MBZ has taken with the SL. This is their most important product from a heritage standpoint.
 

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2003 SL55
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Thanks for the interesting info. I knew I liked the lines of my car far better than the newer ones, but gave it no more thought.
 

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2005 SL500 ‘AMG’ sport package.
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First of all, I do not want a soft top. The R230's vario roof is really no more complex than the canvas roof I had in my W209 CLK550, but I don't have to worry about the canvas, and it makes the lines of the car look better with the roof closed. The vario roof does compromise trunk space, but who cares. If I need cargo space, I drive my wife's BMW X5.

The other thing that is puzzling is why have the AMG GT and the SL? Adjusted for inflation, the AMG GT is about the same price as the SL, so is the new SL going to be less expensive? That makes no sense from a business perspective. Especially if the SL has a back seat. Of course that back seat is likely going to be unusable except by small children, so why put it in there at all?

I am NOT at all happy with the direction MBZ has taken with the SL. This is their most important product from a heritage standpoint.
The SL will be easier to produce than the gt since it is less car on the same platform. Less carbon and a soft top. It could be really sporty though, just wish they had hard topped it. For the back seats, I’m sure Mercedes customers have complained about no rear seat in their SL’s while all the bmw’s have it etc. They will tailor to that. Just makes r230’s that much more special to me!
 

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2005 SL500 ‘AMG’ sport package.
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Name me one car right now that looks as good as this 15 year old SL?
View attachment 2668061 View attachment 2668062
Sweet ride! I prefer the lines of the r230 over many vehicles, even the Porsche 996. It was and is still futuristic. Today there are some beautiful cars that have come out over time. But when you have to reach to a better car than the SL, you start to think about halo cars like the Viper or even Ferrari’s. The 997 Porsche 911, and corvette c7’s are absolutely sick when customized too.

I’m hearing you can pick up an early model panamera for cheaps nowadays, though it doesn’t look as great as the r230 the tech and performance is above it for a bargain and probably a great investment also they are very reliable.
 

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The SL will be easier to produce than the gt since it is less car on the same platform. Less carbon and a soft top. It could be really sporty though, just wish they had hard topped it. For the back seats, I’m sure Mercedes customers have complained about no rear seat in their SL’s while all the bmw’s have it etc. They will tailor to that. Just makes r230’s that much more special to me!
I have to disagree with "easier to produce". It's all marketing. Case in point, compare a my R230 SL550 to my former A209 CLK550. They have the same engine and transmission. Both have hydraulically operated convertible roofs. The CLK has a back seat, so there are extra parts and build steps there. The SL has ABC and SBC, which would add complexity to its build. Otherwise, they have pretty much all the same other parts, thought the SL's chassis is stiffer with extra longitudinal structures. The SL was close to twice the MSRP of the CLK ($117K s. $64K). Was there really that much more "money" in the SL? No, it was more expensive because it was a roadster and had an "SL" label on it.

I think this really is all marketing. The AMG GT is more of a "sports car" where the SL will become an S-Class convertible. Unfortunately, that is not the heritage of the car. I mean, what's next? Ford building an SUV version fo the Mustang? :p
 

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2007 SL550 (R230) and 2012 SClass Designo (W221)
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Yes, Marketing departments in Automotive manufacturers carry great power in deciding models life cycle, features and price, bundled options, financing packages, yada yada. As we have learned the accounting department has great power too. “Engineering cost accountants” have tremendous say in final packaging and every part down to the gaskets gets shopped hard. While it was Daimler Chrysler the Chrysler accountants reduced the cost of metal preparation giving the 1990 era cars rust in every possible place. Many others bone head decisions are in evidence today.

Rudely gives great inisight on a comparable build from a parts and assembly cost point of view... there is not a great deal of difference. Soft top vs. hard top, ABC do add cost. But Marketing says Demand and Supply can dictate MSRP. Hence high price SLs and lower volume...Exclusive....Rare...Unique... Expensive... it all drives product position in the market. SL was an original in the Roadster segment and still holds a enviable position and share. Many could argue they blew it along the way.
So, we who choose to buy these cars and enjoy them have to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done .
 

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W164 GL450, W221 S550, R230 SL600TT, R170 SLK230, W140 S500, More
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What other cars are like these!! Beautiful, comfortable, as fast as you want it to be, as safe as they could make them... ridiculously expensive new, depreciation like crazy means there's hardly a better car any where for the money.
 

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2007 Mercedes Benz SL600
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This is a car worth spending money on to get it right, I love the look of the SL R230, I had a 15 911 GTS with Aero Cup kit and I thought that was the most beautiful car made, this SL matches it in looks and better in high end power but not from 0 mph start, I noticed the car loses grip when I press on it aggressively when starting from low speed or at a curve, Porsche behaved better in that respect.
 

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This is a car worth spending money on to get it right, I love the look of the SL R230, I had a 15 911 GTS with Aero Cup kit and I thought that was the most beautiful car made, this SL matches it in looks and better in high end power but not from 0 mph start, I noticed the car loses grip when I press on it aggressively when starting from low speed or at a curve, Porsche behaved better in that respect.
I’m hearing a lot of great things about SL600! I’d be terrified of maintenance costs where I live though. As far as performance vs that Porsche, she can keep up in HP but trust me the suspension is nowhere near on the same level, completely different beasts. It’s amazing to be able to lift and lower the vehicle at a button! But Abc is just old tech now.. One reason I’m considering coil overs, I simply demand ultimate road performance and seeing I may not come across a vehicle with the potential performance, acceleration, and class my r230 provides for quite some time, I’m planning to make every reasonable modification to make sure she drives exactly the way I want her to. The R230 platform benefits from it. For now, I’m abc set up like the rest of you though! And I still
Love her. Safe and Happy driving!
 

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Porsche was lighter car by much, but having had both cars I would say the performance of the ABC suspension makes the car handling as good as a Porsche (almost), on the other hand you have 80 hp more in the SL and around 100 lb.ft or so more in torque, which makes the drive as interesting and enjoyable. SL is the more comfortable car and it is convertible on top of it, my GTS was not. Btw I just replaced the ABC pump and had the engine dropped to repair coolant leak at turbo supply lines.

I love both cars equally and this SL600 is a terrific roadster indeed.
 

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Porsche was lighter car by much, but having had both cars I would say the performance of the ABC suspension makes the car handling as good as a Porsche (almost), on the other hand you have 80 hp more in the SL and around 100 lb.ft or so more in torque, which makes the drive as interesting and enjoyable. SL is the more comfortable car and it is convertible on top of it, my GTS was not. Btw I just replaced the ABC pump and had the engine dropped to repair coolant leak at turbo supply lines.

I love both cars equally and this SL600 is a terrific roadster indeed.
Whoa! That new abc pump’s big $$$$. I’d like to have all accumulators replaced on my car but my mechanic said forget it move on to Coil overs because the struts are showing a lot of wear, some of the bounce of the suspension won't go away on me. If the sl600 feels like a 911 That’s amazing! But trust that is not the review of abc for Most folks!! It is long hated and despised. Even new car reviewers (At time of r230 Release) like car and driver were disappointed in its lack of sportiness. A lot of folks have nice roads to Drive these on! I have some but also Rough roads with dips. On the new highways and turns there is no body roll or lean from The vehicle. Amazing! But on dippy roads it feels too relaxed to the point it jostles me. Kind of sporty!! Hahah
 

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I love the ride and I have no complains yet, I would say I drive on good roads generally and very few not so good, but then I did not own the car for long time, only one month and so far so good.
 

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I love the ride and I have no complains yet, I would say I drive on good roads generally and very few not so good, but then I did not own the car for long time, only one month and so far so good.
07 is a NICE year for sl600!! You have the updated bumper with the classic headlights still. Post pic on this thread please! Wow 510 hp and 600 lb ft torque.. that is amazing. Also The abc is slightly updated for 07 and on I read! And your engine is more powerful than the earlier r230 sl600’s.
 

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But Abc is just old tech now..
Well, ABC may be old for MBZ, but Maclaren is using it. and I think Audi is, too. And while MBZ abandoned SBC, it's showing up all over the place these days - from EV's and hybrid economy cars to the C8 Corvette.
 
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