It’s is no big secret that Mercedes-Benz has been working on a convertible version of the Mercedes SLS Gullwing. In fact, the first unit for North America was sold to our Publisher at the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance (it went under the hammer alongside the first R8 GT and a certain Ferrari). The first Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster will land stateside in fall 2011. The SLS AMG Roadster comes with a soft-top convertible mechanism. To cut the top off, Mercedes-Benz had to spend some extra time reinforcing the car’s structure and tweaking its handling.
Additional support structures will add to the vehicle’s weight (90 or so pounds) but allow the top to be opened or closed at speed, specifically at speeds up to 31 mph. There is no latch to unlock as the opening/closing process is fully automatic and takes only eleven seconds. The soft top will be available in three colors—black, red and beige—and, surprisingly, won’t eat into the car’s trunk space. Through no fault of Mercedes and despite paying homage to the original 300 SL of the 1950s, some may not be fond of the new SLS without its trademark gullwing doors. Still, there is no denying that the Roadster is well proportioned. The SLS AMG Roadster features the same long hood, rear-positioned cabin, small rear deck, wide track, and short overhangs that make the SLS Gullwing coupe so appealing.
Also, like the coupe, the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster features an aluminum space frame, 6.3-liter V-8 developing 563 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and sports suspension. New for both in 2012 is an optional adaptive suspension. The electronically controlled dampers in the suspension function in one of three modes: “Comfort,” “Sport,” and “Sport plus.”
Like many new exotics, the SLS features an interior inspired by aviation. The dashboard is in the shape of a wing, the air vents are cruciform nozzles reminiscent of jet engines, and the shifter is in the shape of an aircraft’s thrust control. For the 2012 Mercedes SLS Gullwing and 2012 SLS Roadster, the center console’s control unit can be equipped with a new AMG Performance Media. It not only allows the driver to adjust the optional Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension, but also gains access to numerous metrics such as engine output; 0–60, quarter-mile, and lap times; and lateral and linear acceleration.
Optional on all new Mercedes-Benz convertibles and standard on the SLS AMG Roadster is Mercedes-Benz’s exclusive Airscarf system, which warms the head and neck areas of the occupants for top-down motoring in cooler climates. A new color, Sepang Brown Metallic, and 10-spoke wheels painted in matte black with a high-sheen rim flange will premiere with the 2012 SLS Roadster and be available on the coupe.
When considering the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG price, one must realize there was nothing like it before, and we won’t see such a car again. As the first car to be styled and engineered by Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance division was given a blank check. Well-equipped models of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG for sale were offered just under $200,000. This represented a new aluminum chassis, suspension tuned for the world’s best tracks, and the swan song for the historic naturally aspirated V8.
Because only a handful of parts are shared with other Mercedes-Benz models, you should not trust it to anyone except the dealer for service. To see what makes the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG specs so unique, let’s consider the purpose of the car. Being a successor to the legendary Gullwing would never be easy. Therefore, they chose to build a proper GT around the big-block V8.
- Price: $192,175
- Engine: 6.2-liter V8
- Transmission: 7-speed Dual Clutch
- Horsepower: 563 hp
- Torque: 479 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: 3.6s
- 1/4 mile: 11.7 @ 124.3 mph
- Top Speed: 196 mph
- Weight: 3,765 lbs
Everything before the Mercedes SLS AMG for sale was scared to offer a front-mid mounted V8. Even a novice driver can appreciate the crisp steering response along with a thundering soundtrack. From here on, V8 engines are tiny with turbocharging, and the cars are loaded with too many systems. The Bang & Olufsen Beosound audio offers 1,100 watts to both passengers without being muddled by complexity. You deserve a carbon-fiber torque tube and incredible grip in any situation.
The team knew this car would never be replicated, so the SLS AMG Final Edition was limited to 350 cars. Based on the SLS AMG GT, it was offered as a coupe and roadster. Exposed carbon fiber was borrowed from the Black Series, and the interior was loaded with designo leather and 3D Alcantara. Badging and wheels are also specific, keeping the SLS AMG Final Edition price comparable to the best classics on the market.