Mercedes-Benz 190SL

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Mercedes-Benz 190SL
MB 190 SL am 2006-07-16 (ret kl).JPG
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Production 1955-1963
25,881 built[1]
Assembly Stuttgart Untertürkheim, Germany
Body and chassis
Class grand tourer
Body style roadster
Layout FR layout
Platform Mercedes-Benz W121
Related Mercedes-Benz W198 (300SL)
Mercedes-Benz W120/121
Engine 1,897 cc M121 SOHC I4
Transmission 4-speed manual, fully synchronized
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length 4,290 mm (168.9 in)
Width 1,740 mm (68.5 in)
Height 1,320 mm (52.0 in)
Curb weight 2,552 lb (1,158 kg)
Successor Mercedes-Benz W113 (230SL)
See Mercedes-Benz SL-Class for a complete overview of all SL-Class models.

The Mercedes-Benz 190SL (internally to Mercedes-Benz named W121 BII or W121 B2) is a two-door grand touring roadster with an optional removable hardtop that was produced by Mercedes-Benz between May 1955 and February 1963. A prototype was first shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show.

The 190SL was sold alongside the faster, more expensive Mercedes-Benz 300SL, which it closely resembled both in its styling, engineering, detailing and fully independent suspension, both cars having double wishbone suspensions at the front and swing axles at the rear. However, the 190SL did not use the 300SL's purpose-built tubular spaceframe W198 platform, but was built on a shortened and monocoque R121 platform that modified from the W121 small saloon.[2]

The 190SL was powered by a new, slightly oversquare 1.9 L straight-four SOHC engine (Type M121 BII), that developed 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) (or 120 gross hp) that earned itself a reputation for not running that smoothly[3] mostly due to the difficulty in properly synchronising the twin-choke dual Solex carburetors, and that, in detuned form, was later also used in the W120 180 and W121 190 models. The four-cylinder engine block of the 190SL was based on the six-cylinder engine of the 300 SL.[4] The 85 mm bore was transferred unchanged from the larger engine to the smaller, although the stroke for the 190 SL was reduced from 88.0 mm to 83.6 mm.[4] The car was available either as a soft-top convertible (initially priced at DM 16,500/US$ 3,998[5]) or with removable hardtop (DM 17,650/$ 4,295). Optional was a third-passenger transverse seat that could not even fit an adult. During its first years the 190SL was available as a sports-racing model with small perspex windscreen and spartan one-piece leather covered bucket seats and aluminum doors, although any competition aspirations were modest. In 1959, the hardtop's rear window was enlarged.

Both the 190SL and the 300SL were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz 230SL in 1963.

1962 Mercedes-Benz 190SL with removable hardtop

Technical data[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 4. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5. 
  2. ^ "RitzSite Mercedes-Benz 190 SL 1955-1963; page 2". Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  3. ^ Oswald, op. cit., p. 31
  4. ^ a b Smith, Maurice A., ed. (28 October 1966). "Used cars on test:1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Coupé". Autocar. 125 (3689): pages 944–945. 
  5. ^ US prices: Mike Covello: Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946-2002. Krause Publication, Iola 2002, ISBN 0-87341-605-8, p. 528.