Only a tiny number of cars have been unquestioned status symbols for six straight decades. The Mercedes-Benz SL is one of them, and – just like another one, coincidentally – it's new for this year. Although "Magic Sky Control" doesn't have the same classic ring as "pagoda roof," the R231 2013 SL aims to keep the streak going.

For folks who might not know where the streak began, there's a short refresher video after the jump that will speed you from the 1952 300 SL up to the present day. Enjoy.



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  • 35 Comments
      Sealy
      • 2 Years Ago
      We have a 1965 and a 1988. The '65 is marvelous - gorgeous, basic, and fun to drive. The '88 shows all the improvements, but it's not nearly as much fun to drive. Sometimes, making something "better" doesn't.
        vc-10
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sealy
        I am so jealous right now. I would kill for a'65 SL.
      Kai F. Lahmann
      • 2 Years Ago
      And I own all of them… well, in 1/87 scale ;)
      TangoR34
      • 2 Years Ago
      AB should show us images of all SLs during the entire 60 years....
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I much prefer the previous generations of SL to this new one, but I was really hoping the video was some hour-long documentary on the model from its inception to now. A few shots of each generation of car isn't enough.
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not a Mercedes guy but that new SL in that color is hot!
      mikelee
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some of the older models look beautiful. The new 2012 SL looks horrid(!)
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love all of them, but the R107 will always hold a special place in my heart.
      BlackDynamiteOn
      • 2 Years Ago
      That ended with a thud! BD
      Cristobal
      • 2 Years Ago
      60 years without improvements on engines, just the same petrolhead company no inovation no groundbreaking technology, no electric power, just the same 60 years of shame.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cristobal
        No groundbreaking technology? What? So ABS, airbags, traction control, and cruise control aren't groundbreaking technologies? Because MB invented (yes, invented) all of those.
          Cristobal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Cruise control is groundbreaking??? you are driving the same fuel engine from 60 years ago, there is no innovation for such big company. all these innovations you mentioned are not the in the middle of the problem, get faster, get longer, get efficient, get simple. Tesla cars are faster than any MB, with less more years of production. We are observing an industry with retro high tech engines Veyron W16, 4 turbos, 64 valves, to get the same acceleration of a simple electric engine?? this is not human brain capabilities. Compare a Cellphone 20 years ago to now. Compare a performance car like ferrari f40 to a new one, is just the same. Just cosmetics. regards,
        stevenh
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cristobal
        Guess you have never driven an old car, today's gasoline engines are well engineered that produce incredible power, low emissions, and excellent driveability. Start an old car with carbs and choke, and try driving until it is fully warmed up, it is lumpy, stinky and lacks power. Today's car runs smoothly from a cold start to fully warmed up
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cristobal
        60 years without improvements on engines? Really? MB must be the only auto maker on the planet to have not improved its engines then. Even if that were the case, then it would certainly debunk the rest of your theory, that their engines were something to be ashamed of over the last 60 years. That's a bold statement, if ever there was one, too bold to back up.
      Justin Campanale
      • 2 Years Ago
      The SL is a sad, sad story. It was formerly a track sta supercar, nowadays it has morphed into a bloated GT type vehicle. There are so many great sports cars priced around the same as the SL that offer much more for the money and are much more engaging and connected to the road. Leave it to MB's crappy management to take the soul of of a vehicle, just like they've softened up all of their vehicles over the years. But of course, the idiot MB fanboys like Spellchecker are going to act like the SL is the greatest thing since sliced bread and will downvote anyone who dares disagree.
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        *track star*
          themanwithsauce
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Aside from the very first SL, when was it a track star? The C-class was in DTM and the CLK GTR was in lemans and the 190E was used in DTM but never the SL. It has ALWAYS been a GT two seater.
          Justin Campanale
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          The SL was always a middle ground between a pure sports car and a GT. A sports car that was fit for everyday use but wasn't too soft. Kinda like my '95 964 911 Turbo. In the 90's, the SL began moving towards the luxury GT end of the spectrum, and subsequently, its price balooned.
      BlackDynamiteOn
      • 2 Years Ago
      The car was getting better-looking with each generation. Now, Mercedes wanted to try going the other way....... BD
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        I agree. With each generation, it seemed to get a little longer and sleeker in appearance, and then like everything else of late, it seems to have taken a turn for the chunky. The downward sloping rear deck and the big ginormous grille and lights ruin its looks. It's not bad, but I still prefer the one from ten years ago.
        waetherman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        I disagree. The SL peaked in 1963 and went downhill (aesthetically) basically from the day the last 300 SL Roadster left the line until 2001 when it started climbing again, though not nearly to early SL levels.. I'm not even sure how I feel about this new one - it's better than the last I suppose, but it still comes in second place to the true 300 SL successor, the SLS AMG.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        Sorry vwfailsagain, but despite the M6 looking boring to me, it trumps this in looks.
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