I must admit I’ve never been a fan of the gullwing doors on the SLS AMG, they add complexity where it really wasn’t needed and distract from the SLS AMG’s virtues as a driving machine. The New SLS AMG Roadster, that Mercedes officially revealed this morning, returns to a more purist design with the added bonus of releasing more of the AMG 6.3-litre V8’s wonderful sound for the enjoyment of its driver and passenger.

The technological highlights of the SLS AMG Roadster read like an A-B-C of modern sports car engineering: the combination of an aluminium spaceframe body, an AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine with dry sump lubrication developing a peak output of 563 bhp and 650 newton metres of torque, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission in a transaxle arrangement and sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones is guaranteed to make the hearts of sports car enthusiasts beat faster.

The compact fabric soft top of the SLS AMG Roadster opens and closes in just eleven seconds, and can be operated on the move at speeds up to 50 km/h.

The new AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping is available as an optional extra. It enables the damping characteristics to be modified at the touch of a button. Using the AMG DRIVE UNIT, the driver of the SLS AMG Roadster is therefore able to choose his own suspension setup. Three modes are available: “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus”.

SLS AMG Roadster and Coupe

“AMG Performance Media” is a unique new feature: this innovative multimedia system, which Mercedes say was inspired by motorsport, offers a combination of numerous telemetric displays such as lateral and linear acceleration, various engine data and lap times on a racetrack, and also features high-speed mobile internet access.

Key features include:

  • Real-time display of engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid temperature
  • Real-time display of engine output, torque and accelerator position
  • Real-time display of individual tyre pressures
  • Real-time display of acceleration time from 0-62 mph (alternatively: quarter-mile)
  • Real-time display of lateral and linear acceleration combined with braking performance and accelerator position, including memory function
  • Recording of individual lap times on a closed-off racetrack, with sector times and memory function
  • Integration of DRIVE UNIT functions to save setup data to memory and initiate RACE START

The chassis and body of the SLS AMG Roadster are of aluminium, a design combining lightweight construction with high strength. With a DIN kerb weight of 1660 kilograms, the Roadster is only 40 kilograms heavier than the Coupé. In fact the weight-optimised aluminium spaceframe weighs 243 kilograms, tipping the scales at just two kilograms more than the gull-wing model.

SLS AMG Roadster

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The SLS Roadster is a super sports car, cruiser and highly desirable dream-car all in one. In its own distinctive way, it continues the succession of iconic and exciting sports cars from Mercedes-Benz.”

Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “Systematic lightweight construction, outstanding performance and a breathtaking design combined with sensuous open-air driving pleasure – the new SLS AMG Roadster perfectly embodies the AMG philosophy of German engineering and craftsmanship. The gull-wing model has already thrilled sports car fans all over the world, and now the open-top version is bound to cause a sensation.”

The SLS AMG Roadster was designed and developed in parallel with the Coupé and will be produced at the largest Mercedes-Benz production plant in Sindelfingen. The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine produced by the AMG engine workshop in Affalterbach, continues the hand-assembled philosophy at AMG of “One man, one engine”.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster will be available in the UK from November 2011 and whilst UK Specification and pricing is yet to be confirmed, the selling price in Europe is € 195,160, which would equate to around £180,000 here in the UK.