Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

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Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
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 Sports car / Grand tourer
Body style roadster
Layout FR layout
Platform Mercedes-Benz W121
Related Mercedes-Benz W198 (300 SL)
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 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.