We can’t think of too many ways to make the stunning SLS ‘Gullwing’ any more desirable, and to be honest we wouldn’t have immediately thought of removing those epic doors. But that’s just what Mercedes has gone and done, and the result is this, the SLS Roadster.
As you’ll see in the picture gallery, the car is undergoing final testing before its debut in Frankfurt later this year. Can you just imagine that job, testing one of these to destruction. We’ve got a full gallery and more specs after the jump.
If you look carefully you’ll notice the Merc badges are disguised, this is apparently a symbol that the car is not yet signed off as a production model.
The newly-engineered soft top takes just 11 seconds to open and has been tested on a stationary rig over 20 000 times to make sure that whichever billionaire buys one doesn’t get his hairpiece wet – if he doesn’t want to.
Mercedes say the rag-top has been engineered so that there is “no intrusive flapping, booming, hissing, clattering or howling”. Good to know. It’s also safe up to 196mph, which is quick.
Usually convertibles are much heavier than the coupe equivalent, not only because of all the extra machinery required to move the roof, but because the resulting loss of rigidity from chopping the roof away means the car has to be reinforced with heavy beams. However because the door assembly of the SLS is already so heavy, the Roadster is only 2kg heavier. Which is basically a big lunch.
The best part? Having the sound of that magnificent 6.2 litre V8 filter directly into the cockpit. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it.