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Popping the Top: The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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A surging collection of German engineering and unlimited supercar prominence; little more needs to be added about the alluring Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG after almost two years adorning the limelight of almost every auto show or automotive publication. As a limited production vehicle, the frequency for unique version of the SLS supercar is near unprecedented. Shown through factory cars as well as the creations of aftermarket houses such as Brabus and KICHERER, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has been nothing less than stunning.

With so many variations presented in the form of a hardtop ‘Gull-Wing’ configuration, Mercedes-Benz has realized the only natural course was to remove the permanent roof in favour of a more air open diving experience. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is that latest stage in the supercar’s rally to stay fresh and exotic.

While the proper introduction to the world will not take place until September’s International Auto Show in Frankfurt, a mildly disguised version of the Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming drop-top supercar is undergoing the final stages of a 3-year development shake down. A rigorous assessment through Mercedes-Benz quality control tests conducted by engineers and professionals has taken the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster through rain tests, corrosive tests and even 10,000 kilometers on the famed Nurburgring circuit.

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Realizing that the creation of the SLS AMG Roadster involves more than chopping off the car’s roof, Mercedes-Benz has performed a number of frame enhancements. Careful to assure just the right amount of rigidity is being added to the high-performance car, supporting struts have been integrated behind the SLS AMG’s dashboard as well as in the rear between the fuel tank and soft-top roof. Utilizing the soft top instead of a heavier hardtop decreases the weight penalty the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster endures over the coupe version. For the bodyshell, the SLS AMG Roadster adds only 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) compared to the Mercedes-Benz’s coupe counterpart.

To feature a power-activated soft top, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster’s three-layer covering to the interior is designed to be opened or closed in just 11 seconds. Creating a retractable roof able to be operated at speeds up to kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour), testing of the SLS AMG Roadster involved 20,000 cycles for the soft-top roof mechanisms. Though many details to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG roadster’s interior will remain secret until the September unveiling, a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound sound system is specially developed for the car.

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One note that has been leaked was the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster power potential from the 6.2 liter V-8 engine. Featuring an 8 horsepower boost over this year’s Gull-wing coupe, the Roadster version’s 571 horsepower will sing with the harmony AMG’s Affalterbach facility is renowned for furnishing to automobiles. Like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gull-wing, top speed of the SLS AMG Roadster will be electronically-limited to 197 miles per hour.

As the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster goes through final preparations in being sold to the lucky supercar customers, the impact this German automobile is leaving on the global stage in 2011 sets up an anticipated welcome. In racing, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 cars are lighting up the grid of the FIA GT3 Championship in Europe facing all-out combat with other sports car greats like Aston Martin and the Chevrolet Corvette. As Mercedes-Benz gains focus on the race track for the SLS AMG GT3, the upcoming Roadster is nowhere near the end of the planning stages for production variants. Demonstrating a radical all-electric version of the SLS AMG coupe called the E-Cell last year, Mercedes-Benz was persuaded quickly to make this vehicle available for future sales. Though the SLS AMG will not be the prevalent, intimate sight some eager motorists would craze in their dreams, Mercedes-Benz is devoted to at least assuring those fantasies can remain colourful and rich.

Information and photo source: Mercedes-Benz UK Via Newspress UK