The Mercedes-Benz R129 SL is a roadster which was produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1989 until 2001. The R129 replaced the R107 in 1989 and was in its turn replaced by the R230 SL-Class in 2002 for the 2003 model year. The R129 was offered as a two-door roadster with an automated (electro-hydraulic), fabric convertible roof, colour-matched, automated tonneau cover and a manually detachable hardtop that could be fitted over the stored fabric convertible roof and tonneau.
Designed in 1984, the R129 was based on the shortened floorpan of the Mercedes-Benz W124 and featured many innovative details for the time, for instance electronically controlled damping (Adaptive Damping System ADS, optional) and a hidden, automatically extending roll-over bar. The R107's rear suspension with semi-trailing arms gave way to a modern multi-link axle. The number of standard features was high, with electric action for the windows, mirrors, seats and hydraulic convertible top. The new SL-class was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1989, with left-hand drive sales beginning that summer and right-hand drive sales in the autumn. It came runner-up behind the Citroen XM for the European Car of the Year accolade.
Starting in 1993 for the 1994 model year, R129 were re-designated so the 500 SL became SL 500.