Mercedes’ new 563bhp SLS AMG Roadster here late next year with £180k price
13 September 2011

Mercedes has revealed its all-new £180k soft-top version of the SLS AMG, which promises to be one of the most potent and exclusive cabrios on UK roads.

UK dealers will start taking orders next month. The first production slots for right-hand-drive cars are available in November.

As might be expected from a sports car that was conceived from the outset as a soft-top as well as coupé, the Roadster appears a particularly neat conversion. It features new frameless doors with conventional hinges, designed to replace the exotic gullwing design of the coupé.

See official pics of the new Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster

Because the SLS’s lightweight alloy structure was designed with an open-top body structure in mind, minimal reinforcements have been added, which also keeps weight gain to a minimum.

The thickness of the sill material is beefed up and there are struts off the centre tunnel to support the dashboard ‘cross-car beam’.

Structural stiffness at the rear is boosted by a strut between the soft top and the fuel tank.

read Autocar's full road test of the Mercedes SLS AMG coupe

Thanks to the roof and its hydraulic motors, the Roadster is heavier than the coupé — but by a fairly modest 40kg. That gives it a kerb weight of 1660kg.

Despite this, Mercedes claims very similar performance figures from the 563bhp 6.2-litre V8: 0-62mph in 3.8sec and a top speed just shy of 200mph.

The three-layer roof can be opened ‘on the fly’ at up to 30mph, and takes 11sec to open. It features magnesium, alloy and steel in its frame construction, and a glass rear window.

Despite folding into a storage area behind the driver and passenger, boot volume only drops by three litres, to 173.

Julian Rendell

See all the latest Mercedes SLS reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?