Mercedes-Benz has revealed its all-new soft-top version of the SLS AMG, which promises to be one of the most potent and exclusive cabrios on the road.
As might be expected from a sports car that was conceived from the outset as a soft-top as well as coupe, the Roadster appears a particularly neat conversion. It features new frameless doors with conventional hinges, designed to replace the exotic gullwing design of the coupe.
Because the SLS's lightweight alloy structure was designed with an open-top body structure in mind, minimal reinforcements have been added, which also keeps weight gain to a minimum. The thickness of the sill material is beefed up and there are struts off the center tunnel to support the dashboard "cross-car beam." Structural stiffness at the rear is boosted by a strut between the soft top and the fuel tank.
Thanks to the roof and its hydraulic motors, the Roadster is heavier than the coupe – but by a fairly modest 88lbs. That gives it a curb weight of 3,660lbs. Despite this, Mercedes claims very similar performance figures from the 563hp 6.2-liter V8: 0-62mph in 3.8sec and a top speed just shy of 200mph.
The three-layer roof can be opened "on the fly" at up to 30mph, and takes 11sec to open. It features magnesium, alloy and steel in its frame construction, and a glass rear window.
Despite folding into a storage area behind the driver and passenger, trunk volume only drops by three litres, to 173.
The car will make its official debut at the Frankfurt auto show in November.