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While the hefty 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL (“sports light”) was anything but, it was also far from sluggish. Despite being the heaviest of the 560s at 3,781 pounds, the 560 SL was capable of a top speed of almost 140 mph. Its new 5.6-liter, V-8 engine boasted 227 horsepower and 287 foot-pounds of torque and was more than capable of powering the luxury automobile.
The 560 SL had a new rear suspension, a limited-slip differential for improved handling of the additional power, anti-lock brakes, leather upholstery, an alarm system, and an airbag. It cost $48,000 at the time, close to $115,000 today. The 560 SL proved to be a popular model, with more than 12,000 automobiles sold annually.
Chock Full of Stock
Already brimming with luxurious stock amenities, the 560 SL came with only two options: heated seats and electronically adjustable headrests.
End of the Line
The 560 SL was the last in Mercedes’ R107 series (also known as the W107). The line debuted in 1971 and was produced with various upgrades through 1989. In contrast to its more diminutive 1960s predecessor, the 560 was larger, heavier, more comfortable, and easier to drive.
For automobile historians, the 560 SL is notable for being one of the first cars to be designed with computer assistance. Designers used computer modeling to gauge the stresses and loads on portions of the body shell.
1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Specs:
- 5.6 liter, single overhead cam V-8 engine
- 237 hp
- 287 foot-pounds of torque
- Four-speed automatic transmission
- Coil-spring independent front suspension
- Swing axle independent rear suspension with coil springs
- Four-wheel power hydraulic disc brakes
- 96.9-inch wheelbase
- Weight: 3,781 pounds