Last R 230-generation Mercedes-Benz SL rolls off the assembly line

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 9, 2011

Teasers for the next-generation SL roadster from Mercedes-Benz have started to come out. To prepare for the new car’s arrival, the production line for the current R 230-generation SL in Bremen, Germany, has been shut down last week. The last car that rolled out in this assembly line – an Iridium Silver SL350 with the sport package – is meant to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s collection located in Stuttgart.

Michael Bock, the chief of Mercedes-Benz Classic and CEO of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, said that each SL series is seen as a milestone in Mercedes-Benz’s history.

He said that these will be featured in the car’s anniversary to be celebrated next year. He added that the automaker’s collection will be “enriched” with this last vehicle produced in the R 230 series.

Over 165,000 units have been sold throughout the globe of this R 230-series SL, which was launched in 2001. Mercedes offers a range of V-8- to V-12-powered models in the U.S., from the 302hp SL500 with a 5.0-liter V-8 to the 661hp bi-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 SL65 AMG Black Series.

SL got an upgrade in 2006 that included a 5.5-liter V-8 that could deliver an extra 81 hp. In the U.S., it is named the SL550. In 2009, there was a dramatic facelift that included an all-new front fascia and revised interior. It also comes with the 518hp SL63 AMG that is equipped with AMG’s naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8.

The transmissions range from five to seven speeds over the R 230’s run. All of the models are rear-wheel drive. Set to debut at the Detroit auto show in January, the next-generation SL that’s codenamed R 231 will start selling in Europe in March 2012. Mercedes’ plant in Bremen will produce this model together with the C-, E-, GLK-, and SLK-Class product lines.

The latest Mercedes Benz SL-Class is developed to enhance the Roadster’s sporty character. In fact, this concept is already evident on the newly designed front end with forward thrusting stance. Just the same, the new generation model now features a much wider centrepiece that makes the V –shaped front grille more noticeable than ever.

The powerful performance of the new SL Class is much more defined with its new horizontal louvers. With this, the radiator looks wider just like the previously released Roadster models. This element also gives the new generation SL Class the sportier attitude.

The rear also gets its sportier touch with the new diffuser bumper style. This, along with the new trapezoidal tailpipes is waiting to show the world how the new generation roadster has achieved a new powerful look.

For over five decades, the motorsport tradition has been utilizing new elements of the Mercedes Benz’s modern design philosophy. As a matter of fact, Mercedes’ legendary 1954 300 Roadster design continues to inspire the new model series. The amazing designers had interpreted a new approach on the iconic gill-style air intakes and the bonnet with two power domes.

Needless to say, the deep-set headlamps and V- shaped grille at the front have always been part of its standard features. All in all, the new SL-Class serves as the new example of what we can expect in all the Mercedes’ upcoming passenger vehicles.

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