Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

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Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
MB 190 SL am 2006-07-16 (ret kl).JPG
25,881 built[1]
AssemblyStuttgart Untertürkheim, Germany
Body and chassis
ClassSports car / Grand tourer
Body styleroadster
LayoutFR layout
PlatformMercedes-Benz W121
RelatedMercedes-Benz W198 (300 SL)
Mercedes-Benz W120/121
Engine1,897 cc M121 SOHC I4
Transmission4-speed manual, fully synchronized
Wheelbase2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length4,290 mm (168.9 in)
Width1,740 mm (68.5 in)
Height1,320 mm (52.0 in)
Curb weight2,552 lb (1,158 kg)
SuccessorMercedes-Benz W113 (230SL)
See Mercedes-Benz SL-Class for a complete overview of all SL-Class models.

The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (W121) is a two-door luxury roadster produced by Mercedes-Benz between May 1955 and February 1963. Internally referred to as W121 (BII or B2), it was first shown in prototype at the 1954 New York Auto Show, and was available with an optional removable hardtop.

The 190 SL presented an attractive, more affordable alternative to the exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing, and fully independent suspension. Both cars had double wishbones in front and swing axles at the rear. Instead of the 300 SL's expensive purpose-built W198 tubular spaceframe the 190 SL rode on a shortened monocoque R121 platform modified from the W121 small saloon.[2]

The 190 SL was powered by a new, slightly oversquare 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) Type M121 BII 1.9 L straight-four SOHC engine. Based on the 300 SL's straight six,[3] it had an unchanged 85 mm bore and 4.3 mm reduced 83.6 mm stroke, was fitted with twin-choke dual Solex carburetors, and produced gross 120 hp (89 kW; 122 PS).[3] In detuned form, it was later used in the W120 180 and W121 190 models.

The car was available either as a soft-top convertible (initially priced at DM 16,500/US$ 3,998[4]) or with removable hardtop (DM 17,650/$ 4,295). A small third-passenger transverse seat was optional. During its first years the 190 SL was available as a sports-racing model with small perspex windscreen and spartan one-piece leather covered bucket seats and aluminium doors. In 1959, the hardtop's rear window was enlarged.

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

1962 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL fitted with softtop
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. ^ a b Smith, Maurice A., ed. (28 October 1966). "Used cars on test:1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Coupé". Autocar. 125. No. 3689. pp. 944–945.
  4. ^ US prices: Mike Covello: Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946–2002. Krause Publication, Iola 2002, ISBN 0-87341-605-8, p. 528.