2001 Mercedes SL 500
With its long bonnet and wedge-like profile, the fourth-generation car laid the template for all SLs that have followed.
The shape still looks great today, and thanks to its exceptional build quality, the SL 500 we drove still felt as well screwed together as it did on the day it left the factory.
Acceleration is pedestrian next to the new 429bhp SL500, though, as the car’s 5.0-litre V8 delivers ‘only’ 318bhp.
This SL featured a number of innovative safety features, including a pop-up full-width rollover bar – similar to the hoops that you’ll find in more modern convertibles.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe line up the new Mercedes SL with its forebears in an exclusive showdown
- 21955 300 SL GullwingFor any car fan, it’s a privilege to lift the surprisingly light gullwing door, climb over the wide sill and drop into the 300 SL’s low-slung seat.
- 31956 190 SLThe 190 SL was built to be a 300 SL for the masses, and is far less satisfying from behind the wheel.
- 41969 280 SL Pagoda
- 51980 450 SLThe third-generation SL first went on sale in 1971, and it stayed in showrooms for 18 years – so if you're in the market for a cheap classic SL, this is the one to go for
- 62001 SL 500 - currently reading
- 72005 SL 55 AMG
- 82012 SL 500