Last Mercedes R230 SL rolls off assembly lineby Ronan Glon
Precisely 169,434 R230 SLs have been built.
The Mercedes-Benz R230 SL is about to leave showrooms and enter the pantheon of automotive history.
After a decade of production, the 169,434th and final example of it was built at the Bremen, Germany assembly line a couple of days ago. The final R230 is an SL350 equipped with the optional sport package and powered by a 315 horsepower V6. It is finished in Iridium Gray and it will go straight to the Mercedes-Benz museum where it will be displayed next to previous generations of Mercedes' popular roadster.
The R230 was introduced in 2001 to replace the R129 SL. The latter was designed at a time when boxy cars were still in vogue and its styling was terribly outdated by the early 2000s. The R230 was infinitely more modern looking and quickly became one of the most popular cars in its class. It was given a slight facelift in 2006 and a redesigned version of it bowed at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.
Mercedes has released teaser images of the next SL, called the R231 internally, but it has not yet beenfully revealed. Production of it will begin in the Bremen plant in two weeks and it will hit showrooms around the world in the spring of 2012.
Mercedes' Bremen plant was opened in 1978 and has built over 370,000 SLs since the model was first built there in 1989.