Vijay Pattni05 May 2011

Mercedes unveils SLS roadster

Jeremy gets his wish: drop-top version of AMG’s finest ditches the gullwing doors...

SLS

Good news! Mercedes has revealed some new pictures of the convertible SLS AMG. Bad news! Gullwing doors are no more.

The scalped version of AMG's finest has been revealed ahead of its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show this coming September.

See more pics of the Mercedes SLS AMG roadster

The car you see above is still in development (hence the disguised badges), but Mercedes assures us most of the work has been completed, as ‘the coupe and roadster were created in parallel'.

For Mercedes, the focus of the new AMG roadster was on bodyshell rigidity, handling, the soft-top and the noise/vibration/harshness triumvirate.

You still get the aluminium spaceframe as in the coup', but because it loses the gullwing doors the side sills have been made ‘robust'. The cross-member carrying the dashboard has additional supporting struts, while another strut mounting stay between the fuel tank and soft top helps strengthen the rear axle. Don't think that this extra scaffolding has turned the SLS into a bloater though, because the bodyshell is only 2kg heavier than the coupe.

Clarkson on the SLS AMG

The soft-top has three layers, takes 11 seconds to open and close and the entire contraption is made of magnesium, steel and aluminium. It's also been tested to oblivion (it's been closed 20,000 times on a stationary test rig) and is designed for speeds of up to 196mph with ‘no intrusive flapping, booming, hissing, clattering or howling'. Those noises might still occur, only you'll be making them. Don't forget, roof down means you can sample that 6.2-litre 563bhp AMG V8 even more.

The final, production-ready and spangly-fresh SLS roadster will make its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show on 13 September. Does the roadster excite your firework, or does removing those gullwing doors make it just another car?

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