The AMG GT Roadster has broken cover ahead of its Paris motor show debut, with Mercedes unveiling not one but two monstrous engine options for its twin-turbo V8-powered convertible.
Mercedes will offer its brutal ragtop in two distinct trim levels: the entry-level (well, as entry level as a circa-$260k performance convertible can be) AMG GT Roadster, and the decidedly more potent GT C Roadster. Both share the same twin-turbo V8, but the latter has been fettled to produce 410kW and 680Nm – enough to send the GT C hurtling to 100km/h in just 3.7secs, and on to a blistering top speed of 316km/h.
The GT Roadster squeezes 350kW and 630Nm out of the same engine, helping produce a not-exactly-slow sprint of 4.0secs and a 302km/h top speed. Both engines channel their grunt through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and send their power to the rear wheels.
The brace of ragtops expands the international AMG GT family to five, with the GT, GT S and GT R coupes now joined by the GT Roadster and GT C Roadster. Both the GT and GT C Roadsters get a lightweight fabric roof, which opens or closes in 11 seconds, and at speeds of up to 50km/h. Both also suffer the expected weight penalty, with the GT tipping the scales at 1595kg, while the GT C weighs in at 1660kg – both higher than their hardtop siblings.
“With our two Roadster models, we are strategically expanding the AMG GT family by two exciting variants,” says Mercedes-AMG GmbH Chairman Tobias Moers.
The GT Roadster will further complement our two-seater offering in Australia. And what better way to enjoy AMG’s twin-turbo V8 than with the top down in in Oz.
“With the AMG GT C Roadster, we are also introducing a new model variant to which we have transferred main performance-related components from our top sports car, the AMG GT R. The result: a highly dynamic driving experience in a very exclusive ambience, coupled with that pure roadster feeling.”
The GT C Roadster steals some of the top-line performance kit from the recently revealed, 911 GT3 RS-bothering AMG GT R, including the active rear-axle steering system, which, at speeds of up to 100km/h, will turn the rear wheels in the opposite direction to those at the front, allowing a sharper bite into corners. At over 100km/h, the rear wheels turn the same way as the front wheels, which Mercedes says means more stability and quicker direction changes. The GT C also offers an electronically controlled limited-slip differential (the GT gets a traditional mechanical set-up).
It looks meaner, too, courtesy of its wider stance and bigger, 20-inch rear wheels, with 19-inch at the front (the GT gest 19-inch wheels both front and rear). Likewise, while both models are equipped with sports suspension, only the GT C gets AMG Ride Control with adaptive damping, and it’s the only model to get a Race drive mode, which joins Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.
Both Roadster variants are equipped with AMG’s clever active air management system which debuted on the GT R Coupe. The system controls two electronic louvres below the front fascia that can open or close in one second. They largely stay closed to optimise aerodynamics, but when the Roadster reaches a critical temperature they open automatically, sending a rush of cool air to the engine.
Mercedes-Benz is still confirming whether the GT C will be offered locally, but expect one or both to touch down by the middle of 2017, which local pricing and specification to be confirmed early next year. Best start saving your pennies, though. The hardtop AMG GT S Coupe wears a $259,000 list price locally, and you can expect a premium on the GT Roadster, while the GT C will undoubtedly land closer to the estimated $400k sticker price of the GT R Coupe.
While Mercedes-Benz Australia wouldn’t be drawn on specifics, the brand’s local spokesman Jerry Stamoulis told CarsGuide.com.au that: “The GT Roadster will further complement our two-seater offering in Australia. And what better way to enjoy AMG’s twin-turbo V8 than with the top down in in Oz.”
Do you like the AMG GT in coupe or convertible? Tell us what you think in the comments below.