Friday, 23 December 2011

SLS AMG Roadster

The fundamental problem with this car, much like with the original 300SL, is that when you chop the roof off, you're losing the car's coolest feature: the gullwing doors. When the SLS AMG was launched it sent motoring enthusiasts across the globe into a giddy state of nostalgic fervour; we thought that gullwings had gone the same way as pop-up lights - killed by health & safety and consigned to the history books. But the clever engineers at Mercedes-Benz designed their way around the issue (the problem was that if you roll a car with roof-hinged doors, you're trapped; M-B have fitted small explosive charges to the SLS's hinges to blast the doors off in the event of such an incident), so the mighty gullwing soars again. Except that as a roadster, it's just a regular soft top with conventional doors. The rest of the car had better be pretty bloody good to make up for this.
Fortunately, it is. Its front-mid-engined RWD chassis houses a 6.2-litre V8 offering 563bhp @6,800rpm - the world's most powerful naturally-aspirated production engine; 0-62mph takes 3.8s, top speed is 197mph, and it'll run a quarter-mile in 11.7s. As close enough as makes no odds, it's as quick as the gullwing. So the decision is this: über-cool doors, or wind in your hair?
Pics via eGarage

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