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Roof-Down Rapidity: The 197-MPH Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster Is Here

Go hard-core and let the sun shine in.

We love it when automakers make our lives easy by announcing a car that describes itself, like the Mercedes AMG GT R roadster. The contents match the label: This is the convertible version of the most powerful GT variant.

The GT R coupe is already a winner in our book, having earned a place on our 2018 All-Stars list. We were blown away by this car's massive ability and how it blends that with high levels of approachability and refinement. The GT R roadster matches the tin-top's hardware with a twin-turbo V-8 that delivers 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft  of torque and that works through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Mercedes claims a zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds, same as the hardtop, and a top speed of 197 mph.

As with the GT and GT C convertibles, the roof is made from three layers of cloth and boasts a lightweight frame made of aluminum, steel, and magnesium. Replacing a metal roof with fabric can reduce a car's torsional stiffness, but our experience with the GT and GT C roadsters showed us that the GT's super-stuff carbon-fiber-braced body does just fine when it goes topless, and we have no reason to believe the GT R will be any different.

All of the technological wizardry from the R hardtop transfers to the convertible, including the adjustable suspension, active rear-wheel steering, active aerodynamics, active engine mounts, and programmable driving modes. The GT R roadster gets Mercedes' Airscarf system, which blows warm air on your neck to fight off the chill on blustery days.

Two things set the GT R roadster apart: Available matte-finish graphite gray paint and a limited production run of just 750 units. Pricing has not been announced, but if we had to take a guess, we'd expect it to start in the low $170,000 range, if not more due to the short build run.