On this day of March 12 in 1952, Daimler-Benz AG sent out preliminary technical information and a picture of the new Mercedes-Benz 300 SL sportscar undergoing testing on a public road. It was the first public appearance of the new racing sportscar and drew a great deal of interest.
Exactly 69 years later, Mercedes-AMG has sent out another press release – electronically this time rather than by postal mail – of a SL undergoing testing. This is the eighth generation of the model line and while the SL300 of the 1950s was tested along an autobahn which permitted very high speeds, the testing of this 21st century successor takes place away from public eyes at a closed course in Sweden.
The testing follows extensive development work on the Roadster, configured as a 2+2-seater, which took place in digital form. However, a certain amount of real-world development driving with prototypes is still essential. For instance, the final tuning of the fully variable all-wheel drive system 4MATIC+, which will now be offered for the first time in the SL as well, is being undertaken in snowy regions.
The redesigned fabric roof has also to be tested and prove itself able to meet the brand’s demanding conditions in the climate near the Arctic Circle. The handling dynamics of this iconic Roadster will also be undergoing final refinement, but this will be done on the north loop of the Nurburgring circuit (amongst other places). It is there, on the most challenging racing circuit in the world, the specialists from Mercedes-AMG will make sure the new SL, due for launch later this year, confirms its sporting roots.
Different variants of the Roadster will progressively be available, branded exclusively under the Mercedes-AMG name.
On March 12, 1952 (a Wednesday), Daimler-Benz revealed the 300 SL (W 194) for the first time. The media was able to see it on a stretch of autobahn near Stuttgart. Only a few weeks later, the brand began its participation in international motorsport with that sportscar. In 5 races the car entered, it had 4 victories. Responding to calls for a production version of the highly successful racing, Mercedes-Benz launched the 300 SL Coupe in 1954 in New York, and the SL line began.
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