Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it is to launch a roadster version of its SLS AMG performance car, releasing initial — disguised — images of the vehicle.
The SLS AMG Roadster, a non-identical twin of the ‘Gullwing’ SLS AMG Coupé which made its debut in late 2009, will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, and testing is already underway ahead of the market launch.
Mercedes-Benz says that the new model was designed in parallel with the SLS AMG Coupé and therefore shares many of its features, including the performance engine.
Like its gullwing-coupe counterpart, the open version of the top-of -the-line Mercedes is powered by a 571-horsepower V8 engine built by AMG.
The car can hit an electronically limited top speed of 317 km/h (197mph) and weighs only 2 kilograms more than the SLS AMG Coupé.
Its soft-top roof can be opened and closed at speeds of up to 50 km/h and has been designed for comfort inside, with a new production process aiming to cut wind noise by improving the join between the soft top and the glass.
As well as removing the gullwing doors, Mercedes-AMG has thickened the side sills of the vehicle in comparison to the Coupé, a decision which it said improves the rigidity of the car and reduces vibration.
Inside, the automaker has rearranged the speakers of the Bang&Olufsen BeoSound AMG sound system, mounting them on a cross-member running behind the seats, as the parcel shelf of the coupé model is replaced by storage for the soft top.
Although Mercedes-Benz says its current models are prototypes (hence no badge), it looks as if the final version of the SLS AMG Roadster is pretty much complete.
It will be officially unveiled on September 13 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (September 15-25) and will go on sale in the fall.