New Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster: the GT drops its top

Mercedes-AMG GT C RoadsterMercedes-AMG will show an new open-top version of its potent GT sports car at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, with the new GT Roadster range including an intriguing new GT C range-topper.

The Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster is a fresh variant unique to the Roadster range, one that sits in between the GT Coupe S and R variants. Producing 557hp, it combines the open-top body with some of the Lewis Hamilton-approved bespoke chassis  of the GT R – including a wide-track rear with rear wheel steering and an electronic rear differential.

Alongside the GT C is a regular GT Roadster producing 476hp: both use the same basic 4.0-litre twin-turbo AMG V8 engine, driving the rear wheels through the firm’s AMG-Speedshift seven-speed DCT gearbox.

Pleasingly, the GT Roadster uses a traditional, lightweight folding soft-top roof, rather than the Mercedes-Benz SL’s heavy and complex folding hard-top. Offered in three colours, it opens and closes in just 11 seconds, and can be operated at up to 31mph to ensure you’re not embarrassed at the traffic lights.

Mercedes-AMG has engineered thicker side skirts to reinforce the roofless structure and the elegant rear has a composite bootlid in what’s a Mercedes-Benz first.

The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster will do 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds and has a top speed of 187mph; the potent GT C Roadster clocks 3.7 seconds and a thrilling 196mph.

And it’s the GT C Roadster that’s the clear focus of the range (and will likely easily be the best-seller). This model is 57mm wider at the rear, has active rear wheel steering and an electronic rear differential. The AMG sports suspension includes AMG Ride Control adaptive damping and adds an additional ‘Race’ mode to the suspension configurations.

Both versions have the same active air management system as the AMG GT R: that’s why they both share the same AMG Panamericana grille with 15 vertical chrome-plated bars, giving them some added AMG GT3 race car kudos.

But it’s not all about sporting aggression: reflecting the additional elegance roadster buyers often seek, Mercedes-AMG has introduced a fancy new light0-coloured macchiato beige nappa leather colour. An optional ultra-clear Burmester ‘Externed Coupled Subwoofer’ system will also deliver an open-air concert sound experience while on the move as well.

Prices have yet to be announced: the AMG GT Coupe is a relative bargain considering its performance; although it will cost well into six figures, expect the AMG GT Roadster to do the same when it goes on sale ready for summer 2017.

Managing Director at @editorial_mr. Runs a bit. Loves the motor industry. https://about.me/richardaucock

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