A launch year example of the R230 flagship 600SL powered by a 5.5-litre biturbo V12 engine. Any R230 SL is quick and capable, but the SL600 elevates the car’s performance to another level, with its 12-cylinder equalling the contemporary SL55 AMG’s 493hp output, but bettering its torque with a mighty 800Nm from just 1,800rpm. It does all this discretely, this a car, which, SL600 and V12 badging aside, reveals very little about its enormous potential.
As the range-topping model the specification is extensive, this SL600 featuring Exclusive Grey Leather covered fully electric and climate-controlled seats, a glass folding roof, Designo Alpaca Grey Alcantara headlining, Burred Walnut Wood trim, Active Body Control suspension, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and even a TV tuner within its Comand system. Its six previous owners have used it, with a little over 65,000 miles on its odometer, but in the 21 years it’s been on the road, it’s been fastidiously maintained, with its history file absolutely filled with proof of that care.
A rarefied model, which commanded a sizeable premium over the rest of the R230 SL line-up when new, the first owner of this SL600, back in 2003, spent £96,000 on this car before they’d selected a single option. People don’t spend that much then neglect to care for their purchase, and so it proves here, with this SL600 presenting in excellent all-round condition. It has moved through a number of owners since it was first ordered, but each subsequent custodian has taken time, and spent the money to keep this car looking and driving exactly as it should.
You’ll need the biturbo 5.5-litre V12’s abundant performance should you be carrying the history file in the boot, as it’s very weighty indeed. Pleasingly so, with a veritable forest’s worth of paperwork outlining its upkeep, this a car that defines, no expense spared, with servicing done when it should be, and plenty of other evidence of meticulous upkeep within the weighty documentation.
A high-performance car for those in a hurry and not wanting to shout about it, the SL600 is an incredible car and a rare one, too. The smooth V12 engine powering it is a masterpiece, effortless, but wickedly quick its mighty heart is complimented by the ABC suspension which imbues the R230 SL with agility, too. A fabulous all-rounder, that’s increasingly coveted by those who know, the SL600 has matured into a useable modern classic. Cars in this condition and specification are now sought after, and, crucially, useable, and enjoyable.