Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Revealed

Mercedes has now revealed full details of its forthcoming SLS AMG Roadster, ahead of the model’s public debut at September’s Frankfurt motor show.

While pictures of a ‘minimally disguised’ (read that as ‘not really disguised at all’) example were released early in May – and hence the overall look of the car comes as no surprise – Mercedes has decided not to wait for Frankfurt to give the full gamut of technical highlights, many of which it shares with its coupé sibling. Highlights include its aluminium spaceframe body (which tips the scales at 243kg, incidentally, a mere 2kg more than the gullwing model), the 563bhp, 650Nm AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine with dry sump lubrication, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and aluminium, double-wishbone sports suspension. The open-top SLS AMG accelerates from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds (with an electronically limited top speed of 196mph) – in other words, comparable performance to the coupé.

The fabric soft-top opens and closes in just eleven seconds and can be operated on the move at speeds up to 31mph (50km/h). AMG Ride Control sports suspension, with electronically controlled damping, comes as an option, allowing the damping characteristics to be switched from Comfort to Sport to Sport Plus at the touch of a button.

A new feature is the AMG Performance Media, an innovative multimedia system ‘inspired by motorsport’ that offers a combination of telemetric displays such as lateral and linear acceleration, various engine data and lap times, as well as high-speed mobile internet access.

Says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, “Systematic lightweight construction, outstanding performance and a breathtaking design combined with sensuous open-air driving pleasure – the new SLS AMG Roadster perfectly embodies the AMG philosophy of German engineering and craftsmanship. The gullwing model has already thrilled sports car fans all over the world, and now the open-top version is bound to cause a sensation.”

Design-wise, the car’s proportions come as no surprise: a long bonnet, the cabin positioned well to the rear, a short rear end and wide track – combined with large wheels: 265/35 ZR19 (front) and 295/30 ZR20 (rear). Reminiscent of the classic 300 SL Roadster are the wide radiator grille with its large Mercedes star, the wing-shaped cross-fin, and the fins on the bonnet and vehicle flanks. Inside, the ‘aircraft’ ambience is most dramatically defined by the dashboard “in the shape of a wing section” and the jet-engine-looking air vents.

The SLS AMG Roadster returns 21.4mpg (NEDC combined), with CO2 emissions of 308g/km. It is scheduled for UK launch in November and, while UK specifications and pricing are still to be confirmed, the European price tag is 195,160 euros, including 19% VAT.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photo: Mercedes-Benz

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