Six Fast Facts About the Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL
- John Frankenheimer, a well-known television and movie director, owned a supercharged version of a 1998 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL. The vehicle was bequeathed to the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles after his death, where it is occasionally put on display until today.
- The body of the 560 SEL was designed by esteemed Italian automobile designer Bruno Sacco. He firmly believed that cars should have horizontal and vertical affinity. Horizontal affinity refers to the common styling characteristics shared by all of a company's vehicles. This allows people to easily identify vehicles and the company that made them. Vertical affinity refers to designs that are "timeless," keeping them from being obsolete even after two or three decades.
- The 560 SEL gets its name from the engine that it's equipped with, the 5.6-liter V8 M117 engine. The power of the SEL's engine is due to a number of things: the use of a longer stroke crankshaft, pistons of different height, free-flow exhaust manifold with decreased pressure backflows, and two air intake ducts. The engine also uses an electric and mechanical fuel injection system with the ignition timing being managed by a microprocessor, allowing the engine to perform at its best. At the time of its release, it was one of the most powerful Mercedes-Benz vehicles available (the other one being the 560 SEC).
- A higher compression, or ECE, version of the 560 SEL's V9 engine was available. Vehicle that came with engine did not come with catalytic converters; but even so, these vehicles were capable of passing European emission requirements.
- All models of the 560 SEL from 1986 onward came with 15" aluminum-allow slotted wheels and 205/65-15 tires. This was an improvement over past wheel and tire configurations and allowed a smoother drive.
- The 560 SEL was part of S-class vehicles of Mercedes-Benz and was intended to provide quality and luxury that few other vehicles could match. Where other cars would use lights to indicate coolant and oil temperature, the 560 SEL made use of gauges. The design of the interior was detailed and plush and even included real wood trims. The 560 SEL also had an optional burl walnut grained trim for the center console. Heated seats were standard for the vehicle, and only optional for other vehicle models.