The new SLS droptop appears to be camera shy. Mercedes-Benz has just released its first batch of official photos of the SLS AMG Roadster, but we were surprised to discover the snapshots also contained small amounts of camo covering parts of the trunk, headlights, taillights and all exterior emblems.
Also conspicuously missing from the photos and the press release was any indication or mention of the engine that will make it to production. Will it be the 6.3-liter naturally aspirated engine currently used in the gullwing coupe or will AMG stuff the new 5.5-liter turbo eight under the hood? Well, a few pages into the release reveals that the roadster is rated at 563 horsepower, the same output as the coupe. So for now we can safely assume that it’s getting the same engine as the gullwing.
The main focus of this latest release, however, are details of the extensive engineering and testing that went into the roadster. AMG’s first independently-developed car was the SLS gullwing coupe, so it makes perfect sense that its second car would be the convertible, since a bulk of the development for both cars were performed at the same time. AMG, along with some help from its colleagues at Mercedes, strengthened many areas of the convertible to ensure it performed just as well as the fixed-roof gullwing.
The body shell of the convertible SLS receives extra support at the windshield frame and center tunnel, while a structure between the soft top and the trunk strengthen the rear chassis section . Engineers also placed a cross-member behind the seats. The cross-member also houses the subwoofer that is part of the Bang&Olufsen BeoSound stereo system. Despite the added measures taken to ensure rigidity, AMG claims that the roadsters bodyshell weighs 536 pounds, just 5 more than the weight of the gullwing coupe.
The three-layer fabric soft top, which can be opened and closed at speeds up to 31 mph, is stored behind the seats. AMG put the convertible top through brutal weather testing and an endurance test of 22,500 closing cycles to ensure the rag top performs right and seals tight. Engineers also ensured that wind noise was kept at bay, claiming that the SLS convertible can be driven at its 197 mph top speed even with the top down.
The Roadster is set to debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show this September and should go on sale in the United States shortly after.
Source: Mercedes-Benz USA