It’s kind of a no-brainer, adding a convertible version of the Mercedes-AMG GT. Its predecessor, the SLS, was offered as a roadster, and Mercedes-Benz has a long tradition of open sports cars. Indeed, an AMG GT roadster was ready for production some time ago. Part of what has kept the company from launching it earlier was concern that it would hurt sales of the Mercedes-Benz SL. Maybe it will. But now it’s here: Meet the AMG GT roadster—and its wilder derivative, the AMG GT C roadster.
The roofectomy works well, because the AMG GT was designed from the outset to be a roadster. The compact, muscular rear end works well with the long hood and the low profile. This is a sports car that evokes classic roadsters of the 1950s and ’60s.
The AMG GT roadster comes in two versions: There’s a standard GT, rated at 469 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque; it charges from zero to 60 mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds and tops out at a governed 188 mph; above that, AMG is launching a new power and equipment level, the GT C, which sits above the GT S but below the GT R versions of the coupe. (Mercedes is mum on the subject of a GT C hardtop.) The GT C roadster makes 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque, it’s said to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and the governor is reprogrammed to 196 mph. We suspect AMG wants to save the 200-plus-mph software for a Black Series version, which is sure to hit showrooms eventually. All AMG GT models are powered by the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, internally code-named M178.
The roadster sits atop the same chassis that forms the basis of the remarkably capable AMG GT coupe. The GT C further adds to its capabilities by fitting a number of enhancements that surpass even the GT S coupe, because they’re taken from the GT R. They include rear-wheel steering, which turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels at lower speeds, and in the same direction at 62 mph and above, to enhance agility and high-speed stability.
The GT C roadster also comes with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, whereas the regular GT roadster lacks that feature. The gearing of the GT C’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is revised, and the drive mode selector offers an additional Race mode. A lithium-ion battery saves valuable pounds. And perhaps most obviously, the AMG GT C roadster is wider—by a whopping 2.3 inches. The wider rear track enables cornering-enhancing wider tires, and it lends a distinct look to this most extreme of AMG roadsters.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but the base roadster is sure to exceed the standard coupe’s tariff of $112,125. And with the GT S hardtop at $132,125, the GT C convertible could be in the $150K neighborhood. We expect the new model to appear at dealerships by fall 2017.Up front, both the roadsters are fitted with the new Panamericana grille first seen on the GT R. It is part of a front fascia that includes active aero elements. Eventually the GT and GT S hardtops will receive the new front end as well.