SLS AMG roadster revealed

Mercedes has unveiled its drop-top version of the SLS AMG, almost 18 months after the coupe debuted at Frankfurt in 2009.

What you lose in Gullwing doors (and a tin-top), you gain in an electrically-folding fabric soft top that opens and closes in just eleven seconds, and can be operated on the move at speeds of up to 50km/h.

The aluminium spaceframe has been strengthened to compensate for the roof-rigidity loss. Extra struts are applied to the dashboard cross-member, a curved-reinforcement strut is placed between the soft-top and the rear axle, and a reinforcing cross-member exists behind the seats to support the fixed roll-over protection system.

Despite the extra strengthening, the SLS AMG Roadster weighs just 40kg more than the coupe, at 1660kg, thanks mainly to the heavy Gullwing doors being flicked. Performance from the 420kW 6.2-litre V8 will be similar, meaning sub-4sec 0-100km/h. Whether the roof is open or stowed, the Roadster’s boot capacity remains 173 litres, just 3L less than its coupe sibling.

Three soft top colours are available – black, red and beige – to match with nine exterior and eight interior colours.

The SLS AMG Roadster will be available in Australian showrooms early 2012. Merc Oz is yet to reveal local pricing, however with the coupe priced at $464,000, don’t expect much change from half a million…

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