Mercedes' V8 supercar loses its roof - and its gullwing doors

These are the latest spy pics of Mercedes-Benz’s drop-top SLS roadster, spied virtually undisguised during cold weather tests in Scandinavia.

The SLS Roadster is tipped to appear in late summer 2011, allowing a public debut at the Frankfurt motor show. It features an electrically operated fabric hood, similar in materials and construction to the roof on the E-class convertible.

See the spy shots of Mercedes' SLS Roadster

The biggest difference between the SLS and its open-top sister will be the removal of the original car’s gullwing doors. Because under the bonnet will be the same 563bhp 6.2-litre V8 powerplant as the regular car.

The convertible’s performance should be slightly short of the hard-top’s, thanks to a few extra kilos in the roof mechanism and body strengthening. Expect a 0-62mph time of around four seconds.

The price should be slightly higher, too, with an expected 10 per cent mark-up over the regular coupé. That should put it just over £170,000.

Read Autocar's full road test of the new Mercedes SLS AMG

See all the latest Mercedes SLS reviews, news and video

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Comments
18

13 December 2010

I really like the design of this, the shape looks well portioned and I think I prefer it to the hardtop.

13 December 2010

I think it is a great looking car, takes design back a few years and gets it very right! Although I have to say, I don't like most of the wheels, not to my taste but maybe to others! What do people think?

13 December 2010

To my eyes the side on view has an air of TVR about it.

Personally, have never been convinced about the SLS in any form. It has always struck me as a slightly more refined, rich persons Viper.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

13 December 2010

Not a fan of the SLS normally but looks a little better in rag top form. Pity about the shit colour drab canvas though.

13 December 2010

[quote TegTypeR]Personally, have never been convinced about the SLS in any form. [/quote]

Of course everyone has his own opinions. but pretty much everyone who's driven it seems to have been impressed...Clarkson even named it as his all-time most favourite car.

If you're not convinced by the styling, I suggest you see it in the metal. I did just that this weekend, and was amazed at how better it looked in real life than in the pictures (not that I thought it was bad-looking in the pictures, mind)...something that seems to be true with most modern Mercs.

[quote TegTypeR]It has always struck me as a slightly more refined, rich persons Viper.
[/quote]

Why? If Dodge had to release a new Viper now, I don't think it would be as good as the SLS.

 

- Follow your own star -

13 December 2010

[quote Christian Galea]If Dodge had to release a new Viper now, I don't think it would be as good as the SLS[/quote]

I'm sure it wouldn't - the Viper has always been a very low tech car, hated by Tiff and Plato and Clarkson alike as just not good enough. But looks-wise it's a dead ringer. The long flat bonnet and general proportions of the car are Viper all the way. It's almost as if there was some kind of a link between Chrysler and Mercedes...

14 December 2010

[quote MHanna]The long flat bonnet and general proportions of the car are Viper all the way.[/quote]

Well, the proportions also happen to be very similar to the 300SL Gullwing, which came out way before any Viper (nearly 40 years before, actually)...so if anything the SLS should be more comparable to the 300SL than a Viper.

[quote MHanna]It's almost as if there was some kind of a link between Chrysler and Mercedes...[/quote]

I think you're referring to the rumours that the SLS originally started as a Viper...and this, I think, is why so many people associate the SLS with the Viper and forget that the 300SL ever existed...the thing is, though, that so far they are just rumours. And even if the SLS did indeed start as a Viper and was initially developed by American engineers before the project was handed over to Mercedes, I'm sure the Germans would have made some serious revisions so that it practically shares nothing with its American origins.

 

- Follow your own star -

14 December 2010

[quote Christian Galea]If you're not convinced by the styling, I suggest you see it in the metal. I did just that this weekend, and was amazed at how better it looked in real life than in the pictures (not that I thought it was bad-looking in the pictures, mind)...something that seems to be true with most modern Mercs.[/quote]

I assume you mean the hard top - I have too and am still not convinced. It is true however that I haven't driven one but from what I have read (Clarkson aside who's opinion I tend to take with a pinch of salt), I am not sure it is all the car it could have been.

As I said though, just how I feel about it.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

14 December 2010

[quote TegTypeR]I assume you mean the hard top [/quote]

Yes, sorry for not being clearer...

[quote TegTypeR]Clarkson aside who's opinion I tend to take with a pinch of salt[/quote]

I know what you mean, but sometimes he does come up with some good and believable arguments...I think this is one of them - I think he really does like the SLS.

[quote TegTypeR]from what I have read...I am not sure it is all the car it could have been. [/quote]

Of course, it depends what sorts of publications you read, but again those that I read suggest that it is quite a good car...in fact, in a group test by a German car magazine, the SLS came just second after a Porsche 911 Turbo S and ahead of the Audi R8 V10...considering that this publication has a tendency to prefer anything related to VW (Audi in particular), I admit I was quite surprised to see that the SLS came ahead of the Audi and just short of a car that's been fine-tuned for so many years.

And, as you suggested, I would really like to drive one to give my own final opinion; after all, it's one's personal opinion that counts, not the journalists'.

[quote TegTypeR]As I said though, just how I feel about it.[/quote]

Fair enough...thankfully, everyone has different tastes and opinions :)

 

- Follow your own star -

27 October 2010

taking the roof off has definitely improved its looks by a fair amount - the windscreen seems to create an odd optical illusion though of looking quite abrupt from the top down view.

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