Merc SLS roadster vs Bentley GTC vs Aston Virage Volante
West Scotland is icy, dark and dangerous this time of year. The perfect place to head with £500k of lairy supercabrio metal...
Posted: 10 Feb 2012
I'm in the SLS, and, though the big Merc hasn't protected me from the Bentley's rock onslaught, I couldn't care less. I mean, look at it. This is an absolute event of a supercabrio: improbably low, absurdly wide, bonnet ending several postcodes from the seating position nestled up to the rear wheels. We worried the necessary loss of the coupe's gullwing doors would shear the SLS Roadster of visual drama, render it no more than a gussied-up SL. It didn't. It isn't. Despite the replacement of the hard-top's ostentatious, roof-hinging signatures with a pair of conventional doors and a neat Z-fold fabric roof that stows into a stand-alone compartment behind the seats, the Roadster exudes menace.
Menace morphs into sofa-chewing lunacy as you poke the glowing start button on the SLS's centre console to fire its 563bhp, 6.2-litre V8. With no roof to protect you from the mad threshing of pistons, this engine doesn't so much bark to life as detonate directly into your cortex. Things get no more relaxing as you swing the SLS out onto the road for the first time. This car is at least a foot too broad for the British countryside, and wriggly with it. With your bottom parked right up against the rear axle, every shimmy and squirm from the driven wheels shoots straight up your spine in hi-def arse-o-vision.