Hot on the heels of the AMG GT-R launched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes has pulled back the sheet on the GT Roadster. Don't be fooled by its soft top, this is no boulevard cruiser. Instead, AMG promises it will offer a driving experience to match the coupe, albeit with a lot more headroom.
Mercedes is offering the Roadster in two distinct flavors. There's a regular GT – if anything with 350 kW (476 hp) and 630 Nm (465 lb-ft) could ever be called regular – which sits below the 410-kW (557-hp) GT C in the Roadster range. The GT C isn't just a mildly boosted version of its less powerful stablemate with AMG going all out to make sure it feels like an altogether more focused package.
Both cars share the same basic 4.0-liter V8, but the 60-kW (81-hp) power advantage and extra 50 Nm (37 lb-ft) of torque in the GT C make its 3.7 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) a healthy 0.3 seconds faster than the base GT. Top speed also jumps from 302 km/h (188 mph) to 316 km/h (196 mph) in the GT C.
It's not just in a straight line where the GT C should show the GT a clean set of heels, thanks to a set of chassis touches borrowed from the GT R parts bin. At the rear, wider fenders make room for a 57 mm (2.24 in) wider track and broader 305/30R20 tires, fitted to improve traction at the limit. Slotted between the rear wheels is an electrically controlled differential, compared to the mechanical unit fitted to the regular car.
Perhaps the most notable piece of handling tech stolen from the GT R is the rear-wheel steering system fitted to the GT C. At low speeds the back wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts for sharper turn in, but push past 100 km/h and they turn in the same direction as the fronts to create a feeling of long-wheelbase stability.
One thing both cars share is a set of stunning looks. Rather than looking awkward and fussy like some convertibles, the Roadster manages to make topless long bonnet, short tail proportions look totally natural. It even looks good with the roof up, which is no mean feat when we're talking about soft top performance cars.
Inside it's standard GT Coupe fare, which means lots of lovely leather and a high center console with lots of buttons controlling everything from gearshift ferocity to phone contacts. Speccing the AMG performance seats swaps the standard pews for deeper buckets with heating and cooling, but the excellent airscarf neck-warming system is an option.
The GT Roadster will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show, where New Atlas will be on the ground covering all the action.
Check out the Mercedes trailer for the new GT and GT C Roadsters below.
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