The new SLS AMG Roadster – AMG’s second production vehicle designed and developed entirely in-house – marries scintillating performance and white-knuckled dynamism with the indulgent pleasure of open-top driving to create a unique two-seater roadster unlike any other.
Pricing and Options
The SLS AMG Roadster is now on sale in the UK and is priced at £176,950 on the road. It is comprehensively-equipped and features seven-spoke AMG alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlamps with integral LED daytime driving lights, heated electrically-adjustable AMG sports seats with designo leather upholstery, and integrated Airscarf® neck-level heating, COMAND multimedia system with satellite navigation, an AMG Performance multi-function sports steering wheel and Parktronic as standard.
The SLS AMG Roadster’s fully-automatic triple-layer fabric roof – available in black, red and beige – retracts at speeds of up to 30 mph and folds cleanly in to a compact Z-shape into the area behind the seats. The roof takes just 11 seconds to stow, with the central roof section neatly doubling up as a cover for the roof compartment. Boot capacity is barely compromised – at 173 litres with the roof up or down, it’s just three litres less than that of the SLS AMG Coupé.
Beneath the SLS AMG Roadster’s vast bonnet sits a bespoke version of AMG’s award-winning 6208cc V8 engine. Generating 571 hp at 6,800 rpm and 650 Nm at 4,750 rpm, it rockets the Roadster to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 197 mph. The all-alloy unit weighs just 206kg and features motorsport-derived dry-sump lubrication. It’s hooked up to an AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed transaxle transmission via a lightweight sand cast aluminium torque tube with a DTM-derived carbon fibre propshaft that weighs just 4kg.
Like the SLS AMG Coupé, the SLS AMG Roadster features an all-aluminium chassis. The lightweight and incredibly rigid spaceframe weighs just 243kg – just two kilogrammes more than the bodyshell of the Coupé. This, as well as the motorsport-inspired double-wishbone suspension made from aluminium plays a key role in achieving a low 1735 kg kerb weight. Superb weight distribution and a low centre of gravity is assured by mounting the engine low and well behind the front axle, and by housing the transmission over the rear axle.
The SLS AMG’s incredibly rigid and robust chassis is the perfect foundation for delivering superb impact protection – it’s reinforced A-pillars, for example, can support three times the Roadster’s weight. Class-leading levels of active and passive safety are assured by the eight airbags, three-stage ESP®, ASR Acceleration Skid Control, the AMG high-performance brake system and the sophisticated tyre pressure monitoring system that are fitted as standard.
Drawing inspiration from glamour of a jet’s flightdeck, the SLS AMG Roadster’s snug and low-slung leather-wrapped cabin features a glass draught-stop that sits between the two seats that all but eliminates roof-down turbulence. Airscarf®, the innovative cabin warmer that wraps the driver and passenger’s necks and shoulders in warm air, is also fitted as standard.
The SLS AMG Roadster is packed with advanced technical features, including a lightweight carbon fibre drive shaft, four-stage gearshift speed selection, nano-particle paint technology, carbon ceramic composite brakes, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, Race Start launch control, and a bespoke 11-speaker 1,000 Watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG audio system complete with a powerful central subwoofer for a rich sound experience roof up or down.
It’s not difficult to imagine how huge a technical leap forward the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster was when it was unveiled in 1957. Wrapped in lightweight aluminium sheetmetal and powered by a 2996 cc, 225 hp straight six engine that featured Bosch direct fuel injection, the 300 SL combined drop-dead gorgeous ragtop looks with formidable 160 mph performance, easily making it the most potent roadster of its time.
Pricing and Options
The SLS AMG Roadster is now on sale in the UK and is priced at £176, 950 on the road.