Mercedes has revealed its all-new £180k soft-top version of the SLS AMG, which promises to be one of the most potent and exclusive cabrios on UK roads.
The Roadster is due for launch at Frankfurt in September, but UK dealers will start taking orders next month. The first production slots for right-hand-drive cars are available in November.
As might be expected from a sports car that was conceived from the outset as a soft-top as well as coupé, the Roadster appears a particularly neat conversion. It features new frameless doors with conventional hinges, designed to replace the exotic gullwing design of the coupé.
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 centre 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 coupé — but by a fairly modest 40kg. That gives it a kerb weight of 1660kg.
Despite this, Mercedes claims very similar performance figures from the 563bhp 6.2-litre 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, boot volume only drops by three litres, to 173.