Mercedes R107 560SL Imperial Red Exterior

Mercedes R107 SL: Specs, Facts, and Figures

Mercedes R107 560SL Imperial Red
Our "Imperial Red" exterior R107 560SL with just over 70,000 miles!

Mercedes R107 Sales Figures and Technical Data

The Mercedes-Benz R107 is a luxurious two-door V8 roadster that was produced for model years 1971-1989. This was the second longest production run in Mercedes history, next to the infamous G-Class. The R107 also had a sister variant, the C107 coupe, which won’t be covered here as it is well-deserving of its own fact sheet. The R107 was produced at a time where the United States was making up over 10% of Mercedes’ sales, so it was designed with the USA market in mind. It turned out to be a smart move, as two-thirds of R107s ended up being sold to the American market.

MSRP and Sales (USA)

American production began in mid-1971, after being presented to the public at Indianapolis Raceway. They were slightly different than the European models as a way to conform to American emissions regulations, and saw the showroom floors in August of 1971. The base package 350SL 4.5 was the first model to be sold, and MSRP sat at $10,540 (about $79,000 in 2023 dollars). Just over a year later, the 350SL 4.5 was renamed to the 450SL, and sold with an MSRP of $12,773. 1972 saw 6,657 450SLs sold, and 1973 saw similar sales figures.

The 450SLs sold in 1974 came with a price tag of $15,540. This is when the American market vehicles saw the introduction of the crash bumper, which is so characteristic of the R107. Opinions were strong when it came to the crash bumper, with critics wondering why aesthetics seemed to be overlooked. Many factors led to a slightly slower year for the R107, with fewer than 6,000 SLs sold. The 1975 450SL models were priced at $17,653, and sales were bumped up to 6,015. Prices steadily increased until 1977, when the 450SL was pushed over $20,000 to an MSRP of $21,973. These models saw a change in regards to the catalytic converter location, in an effort to solve some hot engine issues. The past few model years also saw slight changes to further conform to US regulations as well. The 1978 models came with a new set of features like a wood trimmed dashboard, glovebox light, carpeting and seat reclining improvements, and base automatic climate control in the US. The 1979 models jumped up to an astounding $30,978, and continued to climb to $34,807 in 1980.

Mercedes R107 560SL Front Grille Crash Bumper
The crash bumper protruding from the front bumper of the R107 was a common point of criticism.

After this point, the 450SL was beginning to phase out in America, and 3.8L models were starting to be sold. This was the 380SL, which carried a unique engine for export models (markets like America, Japan, and Australia) due to emissions regulations that weren’t applicable to European countries. These models were the first facelift of the R107, and found themselves priced at $38,993 for the 1981 model year. Up until this point, the R107 was produced alongside the C107, however, 1981 was the last year for the C107s. This was due to it being replaced by the Bruno Sacco designed SEC coupe. Price increases led to a 1983 MSRP of $43,030 for the 380SL, but came standard with: hardtop, forged alloy wheels, automatic climate control, cruise control, central locking, power windows, electronically adjusted passenger mirrors, and a stereo radio. A minor price bump brought 1984 models up to $43,820 and included walnut dashboard and console trim, analog temperature gauges, an upgraded stereo, and a slight change in the crash bumper that brought it two inches closer to the body. The final year for the 380SL was 1985, which saw a few minor improvements, most notable being ABS brakes becoming standard equipment.

The 560SL was the next R107 model released to all markets for model year 1986. Surprisingly, the demand for SLs was still through the roof despite 1986 being its fifteenth year of production. This vehicle debuted with a hefty price point of $48,200, but was compensated for with plenty of standardized equipment that was never previously included: power windows, tinted glass, quartz clock, illuminated vanity mirrors, an alarm system, and more. The 1987 models started at $55,300, and yet again just about every option came standard aside from orthopedic seats, heated seats, and protective metal under shields. 1988 prices rose again to $61,130, and final edition 1989 models were priced at $64,230. These past three years from 1987 onwards were an interesting time as Mercedes-Benz was prepared to showcase the all new R129 SL. Unsurprisingly, this release was delayed until 1989 at the Geneva Motor Show because the R107s were still selling so well. Prices for the all new 300SL R129 started at $73,500.

Year by Year Production Figures

Year R107s Produced Running Total
1970 3 3
1971 6,933 6,936
1972 12,251 19,187
1973 10,301 29,488
1974 6,964 36,452
1975 7,421 43,873
1976 8,264 52,137
1977 10,107 62,244
1978 9,713 71,957
1979 11,273 83,230
Year R107s Produced Running Total
1980 12,103 95,333
1981 12,997 108,330
1982 14,388 122,718
1983 16,154 138,872
1984 16,437 155,309
1985 19,179 174,488
1986 20,314 194,802
1987 19,278 214,080
1988 15,341 229,421
1989 7,866 237,287

The year by year production of R107s continued to ramp up from its first official year of production in 1971 with 6,933 vehicles to a high of 20,314 in 1986. The total number of R107s produced worldwide was 237,287. Unfortunately, these numbers aren’t separated into different worldwide markets; however, about two-thirds were sold in the United States market. This would put the estimate for USA market R107s somewhere around 156,000 vehicles. Designers and engineers foresaw this demand for the R107 in America, and it paid off in the end with these sales figures.

The sales figures for America don’t even include “grey market” sales. These are imported vehicles that were not made for the American market. For example, a coveted 500SL, which was the fastest R107 model, was never sold in the United States due to emissions regulations. Any of the European-spec 500SLs that managed to make their way to the United States would be considered a grey market sale.

Mercedes R107 560SL Tan Interior
Complementing the red exterior is a "Mushroom" leather interior.

Engine Specifications

Below you will find a list of the different engine specifications for the R107 SL. These engine specifications are only for the United States market vehicles. The European models had distinct engines that were different from what US import vehicles carried.

M117.982 (M117 E45) Engine
Applicable Vehicles 350SL 4.5 (1972-1973)
450SL (1973-1976)
Fuel Type Gasoline
Fuel System D-Jetronic fuel-injection
Bore and Stroke 3.622 x 3.346 in
Capacity 4520cc
Cylinders V8
Power @ RPM 192 HP @ 4750
Torque @ RPM 259 lb-ft @ 3000


M117.985 (M117 E45) Engine
Applicable Vehicles 450SL (1976-1980)
Fuel Type Gasoline
Fuel System K-Jetronic fuel-injection
Bore and Stroke 3.622 x 3.346 in
Capacity 4520cc
Cylinders V8
Power @ RPM 187 HP @ 4750
Torque @ RPM 220 lb-ft @ 3000


M116.960 (M116 E38) Engine
Applicable Vehicles 380SL (1981)
Fuel Type Gasoline
Fuel System K-Jetronic fuel-injection
Bore and Stroke 3.464 x 3.106 in
Capacity 3839cc
Cylinders V8
Power @ RPM 157 HP @ 4750
Torque @ RPM 196 lb-ft @ 3000


M116.962 (M116 E38) Engine
Applicable Vehicles 380SL (1982-1985)
Fuel Type Gasoline
Fuel System K-Jetronic fuel-injection
Bore and Stroke 3.464 x 3.106 in
Capacity 3839cc
Cylinders V8
Power @ RPM 157 HP @ 4750
Torque @ RPM 196 lb-ft @ 3000


M117.967 (M117 E56) Engine
Applicable Vehicles 560SL (1986-1989)
Fuel Type Gasoline
Fuel System KE-Jetronic fuel-injection
Bore and Stroke 3.799 x 3.732 in
Capacity 5547cc
Cylinders V8
Power @ RPM 238 HP @ 4750
Torque @ RPM 279 lb-ft @ 3250


Do you own or would you like to own an R107? How do you enjoy driving it? Let us know some of your critiques, enjoyable stories, and more in the comments below!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.