Winner in the categories “Classic of 1947-1961”, “Classic of 1980-1991”, “Sports car of 2012” and “Off-road vehicle of 2012”
SLS AMG and G-Class now already classic models
As the SL marks its 60th birthday, two SL sports cars among the winners in reader poll
Stuttgart – Readers of the German classic car magazine “Motor Klassik” have voted Mercedes-Benz vehicles the winners in a grand total of four categories in the “Motor Klassik Awards 2012” competition. The SLS AMG and the G‑Class, as well as two classic SL model series, each took the majority of votes in their respective categories. In issue 1/2012, “Motor Klassik” invited readers to cast their votes for the “Classic of the year” in 16 different categories. Awards were made in six chronologically arranged categories across the full spectrum of classic (“oldtimer”) and modern classic (“youngtimer”) vehicles, with a further prize for racing cars. On top of the classic car poll as such, awards were made to current vehicle models with the major potential to become classics of the future, as well as for outstanding personalities, events and auctions.
Among all the vehicles in the current Mercedes-Benz portfolio, the readers of “Motor Klassik” selected two models that, while generally already deemed to be classics, still have a long future ahead of them. The winner in the category “Off-road vehicle of 2012” was the G-Class, which has been part of the Mercedes-Benz model range since 1979 and is still considered the ultimate cross-country vehicle. Its exceptional status as an off-road icon can be attributed to a constant and systematic process of further development over more than three decades. The latest generation of the G-Class thus offers an impressive package of state-of-the-art powertrain engineering and high-quality interior appointments. At the same time it has managed to maintain those highly prized virtues that have marked this model out from the very beginning, such as its extreme robustness and excellent off-road capability.
Another vehicle that, in the opinion of readers, already has the qualities and fascination to make it a classic model is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG super sports car, honoured in the category “Sports car of 2012”. With its exciting design and gullwing doors, it is evocative of the legendary 300 SL sports car of the 1950s. On top of which it features a stunning array of superb technology. Highlights include its aluminium spaceframe body, a 6.3-litre AMG V8 front mid-engine with 420 kW/571 hp, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission in a transaxle configuration and an aluminium double-wishbone sports suspension. It is a high-tech combination that ensures driving dynamics of the very finest.
Appropriately enough, as we mark the 60th birthday of the SL, readers also voted two of the sports cars from this exceptional Mercedes-Benz model family among their favourite classic cars: in the category “Classic of 1947-1961”, the winner was the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, the famous Gullwing Coupé of the W 198 model series. The production-model sports car was derived from the then W 194 racing sports car with which Mercedes-Benz re-entered international motor racing after the end of the Second World War and which was to prove so successful in international motorsport. This was the vehicle responsible for creating the aura of legend around the SL that still exists today. The series-production Gullwing model, built from 1954 to 1957, was a dream car in its own lifetime – and has remained so ever since. A total of 1,400 units were built. The closed sports car was then succeeded by the 300 SL Roadster (W 198 II).
The Mercedes-Benz 500 SL from the R 107 model series came out tops in the category “Classic of 1980-1991” in the “Motor Klassik Awards” competition. This lovely Roadster, with its powerful V8 engine (177 kW/240 hp), celebrated its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1980. Compared with the 450 SL, the model that it replaced, the new top-of-the-range model had a light-alloy V8 engine. This was complemented by interior appointments that were on a par with those of the then just recently introduced S-Class. From its launch until 1989, a total of 11,812 units of the 500 SL were built. The model series R 107 was altogether extremely successful and went on to be built for 18 years from 1971 until 1989 – quite possibly a record. Over this period, a total of 237,287 units of this open sports car model were produced.
The decisions made by readers of “Motor Klassik” represent at the same time a clear signal from lovers of classic cars: Mercedes-Benz vehicles of years gone by are among the key icons of automotive history. And every current model already has the genuine potential to become a classic of the future.