First Look: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is known for its signature gullwing doors. But while they fly away on the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, the rest of what the SLS is famous for is still there, and for those lusting for a drop-top version of Benz's halo car, the tradeoff will be worth it.

JJust like its gullwing sibling, the roadster will receive AMG's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the 6.3-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 engine rated at 563 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. And while its wings have been clipped, it will still fly just as fast as the coupe -- Mercedes claims a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 197 mph. Other performance figures weren't released, but we predict nearly identical numbers as the gullwing, since additional weight was kept to a minimum. Mercedes says the roadster's curb weight is 3661 pounds -- just 88 pounds more than the gullwing.

The additional weight is attributed to the structural reinforcements needed to compensate for the loss of the fixed roof. The body shell of the convertible SLS receives extra support struts at the windshield frame and around the transmission tunnel, while the rear axle is reinforced by a strut support mount placed between the softtop and fuel tank. Behind the seats, engineers have placed a cross-member that serves dual duty as support for the integrated fixed rollover bars and as housing for the Bang & Olufsen sound system subwoofer. AMG says the roadster's bodyshell weighs 536 pounds, just 5 pounds heavier than the bodyshell of the coupe.

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