Review and Test Drive: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Coupe/Roadster

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The V8 responds with immediate power (Mercedes says it will take 6.4 seconds to go from a standstill to 60 mph or 96 km/h) and the fully independent suspension gives the SL excellent road holding capability and poise. The power-assisted steering provides good feedback but it nonetheless feels like a heavy car, which at 4,165 pounds (1,889 kilograms), 665 pounds (302 kilograms) less than the full-size Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL sedan, it is.

Top speed is 155 mph (250 km/h) and, while on U.S. highways we didn’t take it quite that fast, it was as quiet and surefooted at 100 mph (160 km/h) as it was at slower speeds.


Once underway, the ride was smooth and surefooted in a way that today’s cars don’t seem to replicate. It isn’t a true sports sedan, the driving experience is somewhat detached for that, but as a luxury roadster/coupe, it’s in a class by itself. If anything, it’s reminiscent of a well-equipped S-Class with a supersized sunroof.

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1993 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Coupe/Roadster
Base price/price-as-tested $98,500/$TBD
Drivetrain Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 5.0-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque 315 / 347
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 4,165
Wheelbase (inches) 99.0
Length x width x height (inches) 176.0 x 71.3 x 51.3
0-60 mph (seconds) (est.) 6.4
Fuel economy (mpg) (city/hwy) 16/20

(Photos: Accura Media Group)


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