Mercedes AMG GT Drops its Top

If you love the swoopy-bodied Mercedes-AMG GT coupe, but would prefer a little more wind whistling through your follicles, your wait is over – a Roadster version is rushing its way to a dealership near you.

Well, kind of. The 2018 AMG GT C roadster gets its world debut at next month’s Paris auto show but, alas, will take around a year to make its way to U.S. soil.

But the wait will definitely be worth it; the car looks absolutely gorgeous. And different to the regular GT coupe courtesy of that retro-style Panamericana grille that was first seen on the crazy AMG GT R racer.

Mercedes decided on a canvas folding top to perhaps differentiate the car from the iconic, metal-roofed SL. But the bonus is that the lightweight roof – the frames are made of a magnesium/aluminum/steel mix – can whizz up and down in a mere 11 seconds, and at speeds up to 31 mph.

You can also take you pick of three colors for the roof – black, red, and beige – to compliment the 11 exterior and 10 interior hues.

One the subject of choices, you’ll also get to pick between not one, but two versions of the new roadster – the 469-horsepower ‘base’ version, and a more performance-focused GT C model packing 550 wild ponies. Each share the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 from the GT coupe.

The GT C is a pretty wild machine, sharing many of its mechanical and body parts with that lime-green GT R coupe unveiled only a few weeks back. Same wider rear fenders that add 2.3 inches to the beam, same huge wheels, and same cornering-enhancing rear-wheel steering.

And with 550-hp under that mile-long hood, the new GT C roadster should be good for 0-to-60mph sprints in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 196mph. That compares to 3.9 secs and 188mph for the regular roadster.

To ensure both roadsters stay glued to the blacktop at 180mph-plus, that new grille features louvers that will automatically close at speed to improve air flow, while at the rear a spoiler is neatly integrated into the trunk lid, raising up at speed.

As you’d expect, the roadster’s bodyshell has been reinforced and braced to compensate for the loss of a roof; it’s as stiff and rigid as the Brooklyn Bridge.

Inside the cabin mimics the AMG GT coupe’s cabin, though the optional, body-gripping AMG Performance seats come with optional Airscarf neck-level heating. Sadly the Airscarf still only provides heating when it should also be providing chilled air for us Floridian drivers.

For the time being there’s no word on pricing, though it’s fair to expect the roadsters will command a sizable premium over the $112,125 base price of the AMG GT coupe and the $132,125 sticker of the GT S coupe.

What will be interesting, however, is to see how these new roadsters will effect sales of the recently-refreshed SL line-up. I suspect the sublimely luxury-focused SLs will do just fine.

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