Mercedes-Benz SL W113 Needs Half a Million Dollars to Look This Great and Be Electric

2 weeks ago - 9 May 2024, autoevolution
Mercedes-Benz SL W113 Needs Half a Million Dollars to Look This Great and Be Electric
The year 1963 marked the arrival into this world of a two-seat roadster that would go on to become one of the most coveted cars of our time.

A Mercedes-Benz by trade, the SL W113 was as luxurious as it could be back then, but it will forever be remembered as one of those special vehicles that have the ability to become timeless classics.

The SL W113 came as a replacement for the 300 SL and 190 SL, and packed under the hood inline-six-cylinder engines of various displacements (2.3-liter, 2.5-liter, and 2.8-liter) controlled by either automatic or manual transmissions.

In this respect, the Merc was not necessarily extraordinary, but the model did pack enough features to make it a trendsetter. For instance,, it was the first sports car designed with a so-called safety body – a mix between a rigid passenger cell and crumple zones built directly into the structure.

The model was successful enough for Mercedes to keep it in production for eight years, pulling the plug on the SL in 1971. During this time, close to 49,000 of them were made, and 19,000 of them reached the U.S. shores. Not all of them ended up in the hands of the John Does who could afford it...

The design lines of the model, along with the comfort creatures it offered, made it a popular model among celebrities. The car's name will forever be tied to the likes of John Lennon, Audrey Hepburn, or Charlton Heston, and that makes it a prime target for companies trying to make a living by modifying cars.

The problem is you can't really go about and customize a Mercedes-Benz SL W113 the way you do a Chevrolet pickup truck from about the same era. The visual appearance of the model has to be retained, its image of timeless classic preserved, and its value, if possible, increased.

A fine touch is not what American shops usually do, so they generally steer clear of tampering with this particular model, despite close to half of the production run of this SL being sold in the country. But over in the UK a company called Everrati thinks it has what it takes to update the W113 while keeping its original flavor.

Everrati is a name you might have heard before. It's one of several European-based custom shops that have dedicated their work to electrifying cars that still mean something to our world.

The crew's electro-mod solutions are meant for Porsches, Land Rovers, and even the Superformance GT40, but exciting as they may be, these models can't really live up to the hype of an electric Mercedes-Benz SL W113.

Everrati first announced the conversion solution for the model in the fall of last year, but this week we got access to the full specs, and they paint a pretty good picture of what to expect.

First, let's talk a bit about what remains. The SL is one of the most recognizable cars in the world, and highly appreciated by collectors. That's why Everrati does not mess with how the car's body is shaped.

It does, however, improve the interior, without robbing it of its original appeal. There are a couple of choices on the table, the first (and perhaps most interesting) being the option to go for "hides more in line with those available in period."

Those looking for a different approach, though, can opt for a super soft luxury leather interior in some very fine colors, including Vanilla, Cashmere, Fawn, Fastnet, or the ever-elegant black.

The vintage feel of the ride could have been ruined by the fitting of modern-day technologies like a Bluetooth audio system, but that was integrated into the build so discreetly you'll barely even notice it's there.

The customizer also doesn't mess with the car's original structural integrity, which we're promised remains as before despite the engine being taken out and replaced with an electric drivetrain.

Electrifying the Mercedes-Benz SL W113 is not only the best way to customize a car of this caliber without ruining it, but it also comes with a series of advantages.

For instance, the swapping of the powertrain doesn't impact the car's weight and weight distribution much, as they both remain as close to the donor as possible (it's unclear exactly how small the difference is).

Because of the new powertrain and some other modifications, the chassis response and the overall performance of the car are bettered.

When it announced the conversion last year the British company spoke of a single powertrain choice, relying on a 54.4 kWh battery pack good for 160 miles (257 km) of driving. That's still on the table, but the SL also gets a more potent version.

Offered as a so-called Touring package, a larger, 68 kWh battery pack promises to offer a range of 200+ miles (322 km).

The electric motors are the same regardless of battery size, providing the Mercedes-Benz with 296 electric horsepower and an acceleration time to 60 mph of eight and seven seconds, respectively.

On top of it all, the entire process of converting the Mercedes-Benz SL W113 to run on electric motors and a battery is fully reversible, so if one ever feels sorry for going down this path, one can always go back, with little to no headaches involved.

All of the above, naturally, does not come cheap. The electro-mod package for the Mercedes-Benz SL W113 is priced at 330,000 British pounds, which is roughly $412,000 at today's exchange rates. Not including a "straight, rust free and clean title donor."

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