Mercedes gives you wings. More than six decades since the inception of the legendary supercar, Evo puts the Mercedes Gullwing 300 SL to the test. Their quest? Find out if it really was the first-ever supercar, as Mercedes claimed.
About 1,400 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing coupes were manufactured between 1954 and 1957 and around 80% of them were sold in the US. Out of these, Mercedes manufactured 29 units with a body completely made of aluminium which only weighed 80 kg. Beneath the 300 SL’s front hood, there was a modified 3,0 litre OHC (170 PS) engine, taken from the Mercedes 300 limousine-series.
A lightweight tubular frame was designed by the german specialists under Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s supervision and a very simple-looking body came to cover it. The technical solutions adopted at that time are very modern for our times also: direct petrol injection engine or gullwing upwards-opening doors.
Evo’s video simply sets out to remind us what an insane car the Mercedes 300 SL was at the time of its debut. It really was one (if not the first!) true supercar produced on the basis of a race car, winning the Mille Miglia, Le Mans and other Grand Prix all over the world.
As the 300 SL went into production in 1954, the VW Beetle developed precisely from 25 to 30 hp, reached 110 km / h and costed 3,950 German marks. This corresponds to 19,100 euros in today’s purchasing power, similar to the price of a Golf 1.2 TSI with 110 PS. Compared to the Beetle the Mercedes 300 SL was 29,000 marks (140,500 euros today that would be) or eight times as expensive and with 215 hp, over seven times as strong and more than twice as fast at 235 km/h.
Compared and converted to today’s values displayed by the Golf, it means that the 300 SL was good for 790 hp and 417 km / h. The Mercedes 300 SL truly was the Bugatti Veyron of the 20th century. On the edge of your seat already? ENJOY THE VIDEO REVIEW FOR YOURSELF!