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Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107


Mercedes-Benz R107 (SL) and C107 (SLC)
Mercedes-Benz 350 SLC (C107) coupe (Australia)
ProductionSL: 1971–1989
SLC: 1971–1981

300,175 built[1]
SL: 237,287
SLC: 62,888
AssemblySindelfingen, Germany
PredecessorMercedes-Benz W113 (SL)
Mercedes-Benz W111 (SLC)
SuccessorMercedes-Benz R129 (SL)
Mercedes-Benz C126 (SLC)
Body style(s)Roadster
Coupe
LayoutFR layout
Engine(s)I6
2.8L (SL, SLC)
3.0L (SL)
V8
3.5L (SL, SLC)
3.8L (SL, SLC)
4.2L (SL)
4.5L (SL, SLC)
5.0L (SL, SLC)
5.6L (SL)
Transmission(s)Automatic
3 speed (SL, SLC)
4 speed (SL, SLC)
Manual
4 speed (SL)
5 speed (SL)

The Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107 automobiles were produced from 1971 through 1989, being the second longest single series ever produced by the Mercedes, after the G-Class. They were sold under the SL (R107) and SLC (C107) model names. The R107 replaced the W113 SL-Class in 1972 and was replaced by the R129 SL-Class in 1989. The SLC replaced the W111 in 1971 and was replaced by the C126 S-class coupe in 1981.

Contents

[hide]

Model history

The R107 took the chassis components of the mid size Mercedes-Benz W114 model and mated them to the larger engines from the S-Class (W116).

The SL variant was a 2-seat convertible/roadster with standard soft top and hardtop and optional foldable seats for the rear bench. The SLC (C107) derivative was a 2 door hardtop coupe (stretched roadster with a fixed roof, convertible was not available), with normal rear seats. Although some may air this car as an 'SL coupe'- though technically it might be, but in the real world it was an S-class coupe (modern day CL), replacing the former saloon-based 280/300 SE coupé in Mercedes lineup. The SLC was replaced earlier than the SL, in 1981, with a much larger model, the 380 SEC based on the new S class.

Mercedes-Benz 560 SL (Japan)

Volume production of the first R107 car, the 350 SL, started in April, 1971 alongside the last of the W113 cars; the 350 SLC followed in October. Sales in North America began in 1972, and cars wore the name 350 SL, but had a larger 4.5L V8 (and were renamed 450 SL/SLC for model year 1973); the big V8 became available on other markets with the official introduction of the 450 SL/SLC on non-North American markets in March, 1973. US cars sold from 1972 through 1975 used the Bosch D Jetronic fuel injection system, an early electronic engine management system.

From July, 1974 both SL and SLC could also be ordered with a fuel-injected 2.8L straight-6 as 280 SL and SLC. US models sold from 1976 through 1979 used the Bosch K Jetronic system, an entirely mechanical fuel injection system. All US models used the 4.5 liter engine, and were called 450 SL/SLC.

In September, 1977 the 450 SLC 5.0 joined the line. This was a special version of the big coupé featuring a new all-aluminum five-liter V8, aluminum alloy doors, hood and trunk lid - and a black rubber rear spoiler.

Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0 - note longer wheelbase and different rear pillar

Starting in 1980, US cars were equipped with lambda control, which varied the air/fuel mixture based on feedback from an oxygen sensor. The 350, 450 and 450 SLC 5.0 models (like the 350 and 450 SL) were discontinued in 1980 with the introduction of the 380 and 500 SLC in March, 1980. At the same time, the cars received a very mild make-over; the 3-speed automatic was replaced by a four-speed unit, the 280 models came with a standard 5-speed (formerly a 4-speed) manual and all five-liter cars gained a black rear spoiler lip.

The C107 SLC has had a successful rally career

The 280, 380 and 500 SLC were discontinued in 1981 with the introduction of the 126 series 380 and 500 SEC coupes. A total of 62,888 SLCs had been manufactured over a ten year period of which just 1,636 were the 450 SLC-5.0 and 1,133 were the 500 SLC. Both these models are sought by collectors today. With the exception of the SL65 AMG Black Series, the SLC remains the only fixed roof Mercedes-Benz coupe based on a roadster rather than a sedan.

Following the discontinuation of the SLC in September, 1981, the 107 series continued initially as the 280, 380 and 500 SL. At this time, the V8 engines were re-tuned for greater efficiency, lost a few hp and consumed less fuel, helped by substantially numerically shorter axle ratios (that went from 3.27:1 to 2.47:1 for the 380 SL and from 2.72:1 to 2.27:1 for the 500 SL). From September, 1985 the 280 SL was replaced by a new 300 SL, and the 380 SL by a 420 SL; the 500 SL continued and a 560 SL was introduced for certain extra-European markets, most notably the USA. Also in 1985, the Bosch KE Jetronic was fitted. The KE Jetronic system varied from the earlier, all mechanical system by the introduction of a more modern engine management "computer", which controlled idle speed, fuel rate, and air/fuel mixture. The final car of the 18 years running 107 series - 500 SL painted Astral Silver was built on August 4, 1989 and it currently resides in the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

Models timeline

[hide]v · d · e Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107 timeline
Type1970s1980s
01234567890123456789
350 SL


350 SLC


350/450 SL (US)


350/450 SLC (US)


450 SL


450 SLC


280 SL


280 SLC


380 SL


380 SLC


500 SL

500 SLC


380 SL (US)


380 SLC (US)


300 SL

420 SL

560 SL (US)

[edit] Technical data

Technical data Mercedes-Benz R107/C107 (non-USA models)[2] (Manufacturer's figures except where stated)
[hide]
Mercedes-Benz280 SL/SLC*300 SL350 SL/SLC**380 SL/SLC†420 SL450 SL/SLC***500 SL/SLC****‡
Produced: MY 1974–1985 (SL)
MY 1974–1981 (SLC)
MY 1985–1989MY 1971–1980MY 1980–1985 (SL)
MY 1980–1981 (SLC)
MY 1985–1989MY 1973–1980MY 1980–1989 (SL)
MY 1980–1981 (SLC)
Engine: 6-cylinder-inline engine (four-stroke), front-mounted90° 8-cylinder-V engine (four-stroke), front-mounted
Bore x Stroke: 86 mm x 78.8 mm88.5 mm x 80.25 mm92 mm x 65.8 mm92 mm x 71.8 mm92 mm x 78.9 mm92 mm x 85 mm96.5 mm x 85 mm
Displacement: 2746 cc2962 cc3499 cc3818 cc4196 cc4520 cc4973 cc
Max. Power @ rpm: 185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp) @ 6000188 PS (138 kW; 185 hp) @ 5700200 PS (150 kW; 200 hp) @ 5800218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp) @ 5500218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp) @ 5200225 PS (165 kW; 222 hp) @ 5000240 PS (180 kW; 240 hp) @ 5000
Max. Torque @ rpm: 238 N·m (176 lb·ft) @ 4500255 N·m (188 lb·ft) @ 4400286 N·m (211 lb·ft) @ 4000299 N·m (221 lb·ft) @ 4000392 N·m (289 lb·ft) @ 3750377 N·m (278 lb·ft) @ 3000402 N·m (296 lb·ft) @ 3200
Compression Ratio: 9.0: 19.2: 19.5: 19.0: 19.0: 18.8: 19.0: 1
Fuel feed: Fuel injection, Bosch D- or K-Jetronic, from 1985 KE-Jetronic
Fuel tank capacity: 90 L (23.8 US gal; 19.8 imp gal), from 1985: 85 L (22.5 US gal; 18.7 imp gal)
Valvetrain: DOHC, duplex chainSOHC, duplex chain
Cooling: Water
Gearbox: 4- or 5-speed manual
standard on 380/420/450/500: 3-speed automatic, from 1980: 4-speed automatic
rear wheel drive
Electrical system: 12 volt

Double wishbones, coil springs, additional rubber springs,
Front suspension: 
stabilising bar
Rear suspension:: Diagonal swing axle, coil springs, stabilising bar
Brakes: Disc brakes (Ø 278 mm front, 279 mm rear; from 1985: 284/279 mm), power assisted
ABS from 1980 on request or standard
Steering: Recirculating ball steering
Body structure: Sheet steel, unibody construction




Dry weight: SL: 1,560 kg (3,400 lb)
SLC: 1,610 kg (3,500 lb)
1,530 kg (3,400 lb)SL: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb)
SLC: 1,650 kg (3,600 lb)
SL: 1,640 kg (3,600 lb)
SLC: 1,690 kg (3,700 lb)
1,600 kg (3,500 lb)SL: 1,640 kg (3,600 lb)
SLC: 1,690 kg (3,700 lb)
SL: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb)
SLC: 1,570 kg (3,500 lb)
Loaded weight: SL: 1,920 kg (4,200 lb)
SLC: 2,040 kg (4,500 lb)
1,930 kg (4,300 lb)SL: 1,960 kg (4,300 lb)
SLC: 2,050 kg (4,500 lb)
SL: 1,960 kg (4,300 lb)
SLC: 2,050 kg (4,500 lb)
2,020 kg (4,500 lb)SL: 2,015 kg (4,440 lb)
SLC: 2,095 kg (4,620 lb)
SL: 1,960 kg (4,300 lb)
SLC: 2,005 kg (4,420 lb)


Track front/
rear: 
1,452 mm (57.2 in) 1,440 mm (57 in)
from 1985: 1,461 mm (57.5 in) 1,465 mm (57.7 in)
Wheelbase: SL: 2,460 mm (97 in)
SLC: 2,820 mm (111 in)


Length: SL: 4,390 mm (173 in)
SLC: 4,750 mm (187 in)
Width: 1,790 mm (70 in)
Height: SL: 1,300 mm (51 in)
SLC: 1,330 mm (52 in)




Tire sizes: 185HR14205/65VR15205/70VR14205/70VR14205/65VR15205/70VR14205/70VR14




Top speed: 207 km/h (129 mph)210 km/h (130 mph)212 km/h (132 mph)215 km/h (134 mph)210 km/h (130 mph)218 km/h (135 mph)215 km/h (134 mph)
Fuel Consumption (estimates): 15.5 litres per 100 kilometres (18.2 mpg-imp; 15.2 mpg-US)14.5 litres per 100 kilometres (19.5 mpg-imp; 16.2 mpg-US)18.5 litres per 100 kilometres (15.3 mpg-imp; 12.7 mpg-US)18.5 litres per 100 kilometres (15.3 mpg-imp; 12.7 mpg-US)15.5 litres per 100 kilometres (18.2 mpg-imp; 15.2 mpg-US)18.5 litres per 100 kilometres (15.3 mpg-imp; 12.7 mpg-US)18.5 litres per 100 kilometres (15.3 mpg-imp; 12.7 mpg-US)
Notes: * in 1976/77 rated at 177 PS (130 kW; 175 hp) @ 6000
** in 1976/77 rated at 195 PS (143 kW; 192 hp) @ 5500, from 1978 at 205 PS (151 kW; 202 hp) @ 5750
*** from November, 1975 (change from D-Jetronic to K-Jetronic) rated at 217 PS (160 kW; 214 hp) @ 5000, from 1978 again at 225 PS (165 kW; 222 hp) @ 5000
**** from November, 1981 rated at 231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp) @ 4750, from 1985 at 245 PS (180 kW; 242 hp) @ 4750, catalyst version at 223 PS (164 kW; 220 hp) @ 4700
† from autumn 1981 a different 3.8L engine was used (bore/stroke 88 x 78.9 mm, 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp) @ 5250); this engine already was in use for North American versions
‡ the 450 SLC 5.0 used a slightly larger version of this engine (Type M117): bore/stroke 97 x 85 mm, 5025 cc, 240 PS (180 kW; 240 hp) @ 5000

[edit] North American models

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL (North America)
1983 Mercedes-Benz 380 SL US version

Sales of the SL and SLC models begun in the US one year later than in the Europe.

The R107/C107 since introduction on North American market sported quad headlights, and from 1974 front and rear bumpers had added 8 inches (203 mm) of rubber on each end to comply with US regulations.

When the first 350's were exported to the US, because of the strict horsepower robbing emission requirements, the US 350's were shipped with low compression 4.5 liter engines.

The 450 SL was produced until 1980. Model years 75 and 76 450 SL's suffered from vapor lock and hard re-start because of the under-hood position of the catalytic converter. Starting in MY 77, the catalytic converter was moved to replace the resonator, located just behind the transmission in the exhaust system.

Next was the 380 SL imported from 1981 to 1985. The 380 SL was the least powerful of the US imported R107 roadsters. This engine came with a single row timing chain from 1981 through 1983. MYs 1984 and 1985 came with a double row timing chain from the factory. These early 380 models were plagued with chain failure problems and the problem was corrected by Mercedes-Benz, free of charge. Some models, however, escaped retrofit and may at some point fail as a result.

Another problem area for late 450 SL's and early 380 SL's was the automatic climate control system. Based on a "servo", which controlled coolant flow to the heater core, as well as vacuum to actuate the vents in the interior of the car, the system proved unreliable. It was installed on 450 SL's from 1978 through end of production in 1980, and continued on the 1981 MY of the 380 SL. Models produced prior to 1978 had a manual climate control system, models produced after 1981 received a more reliable automatic climate control system.

The more powerful 500 SL with 5.0 liter engine, produced from 1980–1989, was not available in the US through Mercedes-Benz and was popular in "gray market" import before the arrival of the 560 SL (only made for the USA, Japanese and Australian market) in 1986-1989.

Despite the larger 5.6 liter engine of the 560 SL, the 500 SL is recorded as being the fastest production 107 produced (mostly because of the lack of emission restraints) The 500 SL was published by Mercedes-Benz as having 0-60 mph times of 7.4 seconds for a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). Torque for the 500 SL is 296 lb·ft (401 N·m) at 3200 rpm and for the 560 SL 287 lb·ft (389 N·m) at 3500 rpm.

Technical data

Technical data Mercedes-Benz R107/C107 (North American models)[3] (Manufacturer's figures except where stated)
[hide]
Mercedes-Benz350 (450) SL/SLC380 SL/SLC560 SL
Produced: MY 1972–1980MY 1981–1985 (SL)
MY 1981–1982 (SLC)
MY 1986–1989
Engine: 90° 8-cylinder-V engine (four-stroke), front-mounted
Bore x Stroke: 92 mm (3.6 in) x 85 mm (3.3 in)88 mm (3.5 in) x 79 mm (3.1 in)96.5 mm (3.8 in) x 94.7 mm (3.7 in)
Displacement: 4520 cc3839 cc5549 cc
Max. Power @ rpm: 190 hp (142 kW) @ 4750
later 180 hp (134 kW) @ 4750
155 hp (116 kW) @ 4750227 hp (169 kW) @ 5200
Max. Torque @ rpm: 240 lb·ft (325 N·m) @ 3000
later 220 lb·ft (298 N·m) @ 3000
196 lb·ft (266 N·m) @ 2750287 lb·ft (389 N·m) @ 3500
Compression Ratio: 8.0: 18.3: 19.0: 1
Fuel feed: Bosch fuel injection
Fuel tank capacity: 90 L (23.8 US gal; 19.8 imp gal), from 1985: 85 L (22.5 US gal; 18.7 imp gal)
Valvetrain: SOHC, duplex chain
Cooling: Water
Gearbox: 3-speed automatic, from 1980: 4-speed automatic
rear wheel drive
Electrical system: 12 volt
Front suspension: Double wishbones, coil springs, additional rubber springs, stabilising bar
Rear suspension:: Diagonal swing axle, coil springs, stabilising bar
Brakes: Disc brakes (Ø 278 mm (10.9 in) front, 279 mm (11.0 in) rear; from 1985: 284/279 mm), power assisted
Steering: Recirculating ball steering
Body structure: Sheet steel, unibody construction




Dry weight: SL: 3,597 lb (1,632 kg)
SLC: 3,625 lb (1,644 kg)
SL: 3,460 lb (1,570 kg)
SLC: 3,440 lb (1,560 kg)
3,650 lb (1,660 kg)


Track front/
rear: 
57.2 in (1452.9 mm) 56.7 in (1440.2 mm)57.6 in (1463 mm) 57.7 in (1465.6 mm)
Wheelbase: SL: 96.9 in (2461.3 mm)
SLC: 111.0 in (2819.4 mm)


Length: SL: 172.5 in (4381.5 mm)
SLC: 186.6 in (4739.6 mm)
SL: 182.3 in (4630.4 mm)
SLC: 196.4 in (4988.6 mm)
180.3 in (4579.6 mm)
Width: 70.5 in (1790.7 mm)
Height: SL: 50.8 in (1290.3 mm)
SLC: 52.4 in (1331 mm)




Tire sizes: N/A




Top speed: N/A
Fuel Consumption (estimates): N/A

References

  1. ^ Werner Oswald: Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, vol.5. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-613-02131-5, p. 52.
  2. ^ Oswald, Werner (1. Auflage 2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 4. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5. 
  3. ^ Mike Covello, op. cit., p. 527-545.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107
[show]v · d · eMercedes-Benz SL-Class lineage, 1950s–present

W198 (1954) · W121 (1955) · W113 (1963) · R107 (1971) · R129 (1989) · R230 (2001)

[show]v · d · eMercedes-Benz CL-Class lineage, 1950s–present

W187 (1951) · W180 (1956) · W128 (1958) · W111/W112 (1961) · C107 (1971) · C126 (1981) · C140 (1992) · C215 (1999) · C216 (2006) ·

[show]v · d · e « previousMercedes-Benz road car timeline, 1946–1970s — next »
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6-cylinderSedanW187W105 / W180 / W128W111W114W123
CoupéW187W180 / W128W111C107
Large carSedanW111W108 / W109W116
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[show]v · d · e « previousMercedes-Benz road car timeline, 1980s–present
ClassModelBody1980s1990s2000s2010s
01234567890123456789012345678901
MiniAHatchW168W169
SmallBW245
CompactCSaloonW201W202W203W204
EstateS202S203S204
ExecutiveESaloonW123W124W210W211W212
LimousineV123V124V212
EstateS123S124S210S211S212
LuxurySSaloonW126W140W220W221
LimousineV126V140V220V221
PullmanW100VF140VF220VF221
LandauletA140
CompactCLC | CCoupéCL203CL203
ExecutiveCLK | EC123C124C208C209C207
CabrioletA124A208A209A207
CLSCoupéW219
LuxuryCLC107C126C140C215C216
SportsSLKRoadsterR170R171R172
SLR107R129R230
ExoticSLSCoupéC197
SLRC199
RoadsterR199
SpeedsterZ199
SmallVaneoMPVW414
ExecutiveVianoW638W639
LuxuryRV251
CompactGLKSUVX204
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LuxuryGLX164
UtilityGW460W461
W463
VitoLCVVitoVito
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