These ‘junior’ versions of Mercedes’ V8 roadster started with the 380SL. In September 1981, after just a year in production, the engine was changed for a small-bore/long stroke V8 of the same capacity but with a slight drop in power and something like a 10% improvement in fuel economy. From 1985 the capacity was upped to 4.2 litres, which at least restored power figures to their original level of 218bhp. All have automatic gearboxes, but it’s the highly-regarded four-speed unit and not the three-speed used in pre-1980 SLs.
Price at launch:
Independent, double wishbones, coil springs
Independent, semi-trailing arms, coil springs