Mercedes has caused history to repeat itself as they have come out with a roadster version for one of their popular coupes. This trend was seen in the SLR McLaren and will now repeat itself with the SLS AMG coupe version. The SLS AMG Roadster will be revealed in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but right now the car is under extreme testings.
In terms of design, the roadster version will remain faithful to the coupe version. However, it will drop the gullwing doors in favor of more traditional units. The SLS Roadster will be offered with Mercedes’ traditional retractable soft-top which can be opened and closed electrohydraulically while on the move up to 30 mph.
The Mercedes SLS AMG roadster version will be powered by a 6.3-liter V8 engine with 563 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. However, being a much heavier model, it will rocket from 0 to 60mph in 4.0 seconds before topping out at approximately 192 mph.
In Europe, prices will start from € 195,160, or about $278,000 at the current exchange rates. The Mercedes’ US debut will be made later this fall.
UPDATE 11/07/2011: Mercedes has unveiled a new video presenting the history behind the SLS AMG Roadster photo shoot with Michael and Ralf Schumacher.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster.
Exterior and Interior
Like with the coupe version, the roadster version will feature a long bonnet, large wheels, and a short rear end. Both coupe and roadster versions are also built on an aluminum spaceframe, but due to the omission of a fixed roof and gullwing doors for the roadster, it was necessary to design the side sills more robustly.
Tobias Moers said: "The SLS AMG Roadster is a super-sportscar – just like the Coupé. It goes without saying that AMG is also determined to achieve superior driving dynamics with this open-top variant."
The roadster model will be further distinguished from the coupe with additional supporting struts at the windscreen frame and at the center tunnel, a strut mounting placed between the soft top, and a fuel tank that makes the rear axle even more rigid.
The new Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster will be offered with a three-layered fabric soft top which is deposited behind the seats in a Z-formation to save space. The sports car offers a low center of gravity and is designed for speeds up to 196 mph.
See the many options for the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster by checking out their online configurator.
Under the hood, the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster will feature the same engine as the coupe: a 6.3-liter V8 engine located front-mid that will develop 571 hp and up to 479 lb-ft. of torque. The engine will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Mercedes has also announced that the roadster will be capable of a top speed that is just one mph lower than the coupe: 196 mph.
The new Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster will be put on sale after its official debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Prices will start from about $200,000. The 2012 SLS AMG Roadster will make its U.S. debut in Fall 2011.
In Europe the car is priced from € 195,160, or about $278,000 at the current exchange rates.
As with the coupe version, the new Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster will target models like the Ferrari 458 Italia and the McLaren MP4-12C in their convertible versions.
The 458 Italia Spyder will feature the same 4,499 cc V8 engine found in the coupe version. This engine delivers 570 HP at 9,000 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 6000 rpm and is mated to an F1 dual-clutch gearbox. The sprint from 0-60 mph will take a tad longer than in the coupe at 3.4 seconds while top speed will sit below 201 mph. Clearly, the performance for this Spyder is that much more than in the Mercedes, so the 458 Italia still sits higher on our "Want It" list. Of course, the 458 Italia Spyder will probably cost more since the coupe is priced at $225,000. This leaves the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster at a minimum of $25,000 cheaper than the Ferrari.
As for the McLaren MP4-12C, the company already has plans to offer a roadster version in the next few years. That roadster model’s engine will match that of the coupe with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 592hp at 7,000rpm and 443 lb-ft. of torque between 3,000 and 7,000rpm. Top speed will remain in the 200 mph area. The 12C will reach 60mph in 3.3 seconds and an even faster 3.1 seconds with the optional high-performance tire option. Its speed tops out at 205mph. This model beats the Mercedes once again in terms of performance, but the price tag increases as well. We don’t know how much the roadster will end up costing, but the coupe starts off at $229,000.
Jay Leno Drives The SLS AMG Roadster
Cheaper than competition
Same level of performance as the coupe version
Competitors might deliver better performance numbers
Look is a bit outdated