Mercedes-AMG has dropped the top on its latest additions to the GT family – the new GT Roadster and GT C Roadster.
The new soft-top sports cars are based on the existing Mercedes-AMG GT and feature the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and rear-wheel-drive layout.
Tobias Moers, chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, said: ‘With our two Roadster models, we are strategically expanding the AMG GT family by two exciting variants.’
‘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.’
So what’s the difference between the the GT and the GT C?
The GT is the entry-level version; its 4.0-litre V8 puts out 469bhp and 465lb ft. Mercedes claims that the 1670kg convertible can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.0sec and, if you’ve enough room, that it’ll hit 188mph.
Opt for the flagship GT C, however, and the V8’s output is boosted to 550bhp and 502lb ft. The kerb weight climbs slightly to 1735kg, due to extra hardware including rear axle steering, but it’s still quicker and faster – posting a claimed 3.7sec in the 0-62mph dash and a top speed of 196mph. Hold on to your hats!
There’s more to the GT C than just extra power, then?
That’s right. It’s a far more aggressive-looking machine, with a wider rear track and bigger wheels. It also gets a nappa leather interior, an AMG Performance steering wheel, a race mode for the transmission and a weight-shedding lithium-ion battery – which counters some of the weight gains elsewhere.
It should prove more capable in the corners than the GT, too, thanks to the addition of variable dampers and the aforementioned rear-wheel-steering system. Below 62mph, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts, sharpening its cornering responses. Above that speed, they turn slightly in the same direction – improving stability.
The hotter GT C also benefits from a AMG performance exhaust system with integrated flaps, permitting a choice of quiet or loud modes – allowing you to simply rattle your neighbour’s windows on a cold morning, instead of shattering them entirely.
Both cars get a locking differential, though; the GT features a mechanical LSD, while the GT C benefits from a more advanced electronically controlled locking differential.
Will the roof mechanism operate while driving?
Yes – so you shouldn’t get caught out in a sudden downpour. Mercedes states that the roof will open and close in around 11 seconds, and that it can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph.
Those looking to get their car looking exactly right need fear not, as the convertible roof can be specified in red, beige or black – while a range of eleven exterior and ten interior colours are on offer.
Has Mercedes done anything to counter the removal of the roof structure?
As you’d expect, there’s a host of structural reinforcement at play. The sill panels are thicker, there’s additional bracing in the windscreen and dash areas, while a strut brace in the back stiffens the rear.
Mercedes has also added a cross-member, located behind the seats, to allow for the fitment of roll-over protection system.
Is this the first time we’ve seen the new Roadsters?
No – Mercedes previously released a teaser image, while spy photographers had captured camouflaged versions of the cars undergoing tests on public roads.
When will we find out more?
The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and GT C Roadster will be on display at the Paris motor show at the end of the month, so stay tuned for more on the new drop-top AMGs.