1996 Mercedes- Benz SL-Class

From 1990 to 2002 there was hardly a car that made more appearances in the movies and in music videos than the Mercedes-Benz SL500.  This car was touted in action movies for the power and performance that would give you everything you wanted in a top end luxury car.  With a performance, prestige and engineering excellence the Mercedes-Benz SL was everything you wanted in a car with the understated luxury at the top of the performance platform for the Mercedes- Benz lineup.  What worked then still works today on the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class to give us some of the right features that we want to enjoy.

During the 1990s, the appeal of this amazing car was more than the luxury feature but the raw power it possessed.  With a lineup of powertrains that included an inline-six, a V8 and a V12 you could get some great power from the car and would also get a standard power-operated canvas top or an optional fitted hardtop that would handle the needs to keep the vehicle weather tight and be ready for whatever was to come.  An additional feature that made this a great car was the stance and footing the car offered, which was different than many luxury cars of the time, even those that were built for performance.

During the 1990s, most luxury cars had a very narrow footing in order to offer the luxury feeling of a drive, but did not actually offer the ability to perform like a sports car would normally be able to do.  At the time, the SL500 offered a wide track, athletic stance and gave the driver the ability to handle nearly every challenge that was presented to the car including some of the most daring Hollywood stunts that looked great on the screen and gave us a view of what this awesome vehicle can do.

Each series during the time went through its own engine progressions.  The 300 SL (1990-1993) offered a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produced 228 horsepower and 201 lb.-ft. of torque.  The next version  the SL320 (1994-1997) used a 3.2-liter engine that brought in 228 horsepower and 232 lb.-ft. of torque.  These beauties can still be found today and is well-maintained will still perform pretty well for you in order to give you a car that can give you a drive you will love even today, but if this model was not your cup of tea, maybe the next one would be.

At the 500 series the engine offered tow V8 engines that gave you plenty of great power and made it one of the best driving vehicles and was the one you saw most in the movies. This version showed up from 1990 to 1998 as a 5.0-liter engine that made 315 horsepower and 347 lb.-ft. of torque.  The other version was the same size engine but was a SOHC M113 that was made from 1999 to 2002 that brought 302 horsepower and 339 lb.-ft. of torque.  The first version was tagged the DOHC M119 and was the one that offered better longevity and was the car that inspired and excited the imagination of many.

As the most powerful version in the lineup, the 600 series arrived in 1993 and ran the rest of the model time until 2002.  This model featured a 6.0-iter M120 V12 engine that offered up a strong 389 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque.  The reason the power was not astoundingly more from four more cylinders had to do with the added weight of the much larger engine that held the car back from making a huge jump in the power numbers.

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class of today carries on the bold and beautiful tradition this car began so many years ago.  With a car that has been built on for so many years you can see the desire to continue to have cars that allow a tradition of excellence to go forward.  Whether you are scouring the classified ads looking for this fourth-generation model or you are ready for a brand new SL-Class, Mercedes-Benz offers you the excitement and comfortable feeling of driving vehicles that are at the top of the luxury class and show off with awesome performance such as the SL500 that made so many on screen appearance in the 1990s.

Written by Carl Durrek

Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food. He writes about cars for several publications and lives in northern California.

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