The Mercedes-Benz R230 automobile was introduced in 2001. It was sold as the SL-Class convertible, replacing the R129.
|2003-2006 Mercedes-Benz SL 500 (US)|
|Engine(s)||5.5L 382 hp (285 kW) V8|
5.4L 510 hp (380 kW) V8
|Wheelbase||100.8 in (2560 mm)|
|Length||178.5 in (4534 mm)|
|Width||2005-present: 71.5 in (1816 mm)|
2003-04: 72.0 in (1829 mm)
|Height||51.0 in (1295 mm)|
|SL350||2003–2005||3.7 L M112 V6||245 PS 180kW||350 N·m|
|SL350||2006–||3.5 L M112 V6||280 PS 200kW||350 N·m|
|2002–2006||5.0 L M113 V8||306 PS 225kW||460 N·m 339 ft·lbf|
|2007–||5.5 L M273 V8||388 PS 285kW||530 N·m 391 ft·lbf|
|SL600||2003–2006||5.5 L M275 V12||500 PS 368kW||800 N·m 590 ft·lbf|
|2007–||517 PS 380kW||830 N·m 612 ft·lbf|
|SL55 AMG||2002–2003||5.4 L M113 V8||476 PS 350kW||700 N·m|
|2003–2006||500 PS 368kW||700 N·m|
|2007–Mid 2008||517 PS 380kW||720 N·m 531 ft·lbf|
|SL63 AMG||2008–||6.2 L M156 V8||525 PS 385kW||630 Nm 460 ft·lbf|
|SL65 AMG||2004–||6.0 L M275 V12||612 PS 450kW||1000 Nm 738 ft·lbf|
The SL500 was the top-selling version of the SL-Class early in the R230 series. It used a 5.0 L 24-valve V8 engine, which produced 306 hp (228 kW) and 339 ft·lbf (460 N·m).
A 5.5 L 32-valve DOHC V8 engine replaced the 5.0 L found in the SL500 for 2007. The 5.5 litre naturally aspirated V8 can also be found in the new E550 and S550. This model will retain the SL500 name in most markets, but will be sold as the SL550 in North America. It now produces 382 hp (285 kW) and 391 ft·lbf (530 N·m). It now accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).
In 2007, Mercedes will create 75 limited-edition 50th Anniversary SL550s.  According to another article, Mercedes created 550 of these cars, all pewter in colour with burgundy leather, black ash wood trim, 18-inch double five-spoked wheels, and matching 50th Anniversary Edition luggage.
The SL600 is the highest-output version of the non-AMG SL-Class models. It uses a V12 engine which produced 493 hp (368 kW) and 590 ft·lbf (800 N·m) from 2003 through 2006 and was uprated to 510 hp (380 kW) and 612 ft·lbf (830 N·m) for 2007. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. However Car and Driver achieved extremely impressive acceleration test figures with 60 mph (97 km/h) achieved in just 3.6 seconds, 100 mph (160 km/h) in 8.6 seconds and a Quarter Mile run in 11.9 seconds at 120 mph (190 km/h).
The SL55 AMG version was released in 2002 with a supercharged 5.4 Litre, 5439 cc Mercedes-AMG V8 engine. This produced 493 hp (368 kW) at 6,100 rpm and can propel the car to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.7 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Car and Driver got 60 and 100 mph (160 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and 10.9 seconds, respectively. The car completed the Quarter Mile in 13 seconds flat at 110 mph (180 km/h).
The SL55 AMG was updated for 2007 with a 510 hp (380 kW), 531 ft·lbf (720 N·m) version of the same engine. With increased power and torque, the car can now, according to the official website, accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.4 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than before. The new model has only slight visual differentiators, the most noticeable is the three-slat grille rather than the four-slat version used previously. The top speed is limited to 155 mph (249 km/h), but can be extended to 186 mph (299 km/h) for an additional cost. The 6.3 litre V8 is expected to replace the current engine for the 2009 model year. Upon release in 2002 this was for it's time the fastest automatic car in the world. Of course this was before the SLR Mclaren hit the market in 2003-present.
The SL65 AMG version offers 604 hp (450 kW) from its twin-turbocharged 6.0 liter, 5,980 cc V12 engine at 5500 rpm. It retailed for $179,720 as of 2005. Mercedes-Benz listed a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds on their official website, though several road tests show that it actually takes under 4 seconds to reach 60 mph (97 km/h). Car and Driver achieved 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in 3.8 seconds, 100 mph (160 km/h) in 8.2 seconds and recorded a Quarter Mile-time of 11.9 seconds at 123 mph (198 km/h).
Black Series version was unveiled in Monterey in 2008. The engine is rated 670 hp (500 kW).
The SL receives a face lift in 2008 featuring a new front end that evokes the classic 300SL with a large grille featuring a prominent 3-pointed star and twin "power domes" on the hood, the car also features new headlights with an optional "Intelligent Light System" and a new speed sensitive steering system. A more significant option will be the addition of a new entry-level model, the SL280 with a 228 hp (170 kW) V6. Another breakthrough for the facelift SL is a new 3.5 litre high-revving V6 with an 316 hp (236 kW) and 360 N·m (270 lb·ft) torque in the SL350, an improvement of 44 hp (33 kW) and 10 N·m (7.4 lb·ft) over the outgoing model. Also the outgoing SL55 AMG will be replaced by the newer M156 6.2 litre SL63 AMG. This has the new AMG developed 7-speed MCT "Multi Clutch Technology" semi-automatic transmission. This uses a twin clutch design, a first for Mercedes and AMG. It features a compact, wet start-up clutch and double declutching. it's fitted with four drive modes: “C” (Comfort), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual) and boasts 100 millisecond shifts in "M" mode. The face lifted SL will be debuted at the Geneva Auto Show.
- "More Muscle: The big changes come under the hood for the new SL55 AMG". AutoWeek. http://autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060224/FREE/60222003/1024/LATESTNEWS. Retrieved on February 27.
- "A Visceral Difference: SL upgrade focuses on performance". AutoWeek. http://autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060224/FREE/60222002/1024/LATESTNEWS. Retrieved on February 27.
- "Revealed: New Mercedes SL". Autocar. http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/230424/. Retrieved on January 23.
- SL-Class on Mercedes-Benz website
- SL 500 Gallery - FamilyCar.com