Remembering the monstrous Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG

Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG

Before powerful AMG variants of just about every Mercedes-Benz line was commonplace, the two companies partnered to develop a beastly, and very rare version of the R129 SL.

With a lifespan that stretched from 1989 to 2001 and with more than 213 000 units built, the R129-generation of Mercedes-Benz's SL was a commercial success and also saw the introduction of some very limited-edition variants that have future classic status written all over them. 

Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG engine

Ignoring the Mille Miglia, Silver Arrow and La Coste editions, as examples, the rarest R129s include some very powerful AMG cars. The SL 60 AMG is the most well-known (280kW 6.0L V8), but there were also a SL 70 AMG (365kW 7.1L V12) of which 150 were made and the SL 72 AMG (380kW 7.1L V12). Near the end of the R129's life cycle a SL 55 AMG was introduced with a 260kW naturally aspirated 5.4L V8. Only 65 units of the SL 55 AMG were produced. 

Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG

But the king of the R129s is undoubtedly the SL 73 AMG, powered by a 386kW version of the 7.3L M297 V12 engine, the same unit used later in the Pagani Zonda hypercar.

Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG

With 750Nm of torque developed at 4 000rpm, the SL 73 AMG was a real hot-rod of a roadster, with a 0-100kph time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of over 320kph! It is said that only 85 were made.

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