It’s been photographed more times than Lindsay Lohan in Court, but these are the first official pics of the Mercedes SLS Roadster. Still undergoing testing in Stuttgart, Mercedes is putting the finishing touches on the second complete AMG built car which has been in the works for three years, despite the fact that the car’s chassis was always designed to be used as a convertible.
The experts at AMG spent a great deal of time, starting with simulator software to ensure the car has maximum body rigidity, handling dynamics and that this soft-top model is extremely quiet. The top itself can be opened or closed in just 11 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph. With three layers of fabric, it folds in a Z formation behind the seats. In addition, the folding mechanism is made of magnesium, steel and aluminum to keep it light and ensure the car has a low center of gravity. The soft-top model will be rated at an electronically limited top speed of 197-mph and comes powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 engine.
The new flagship of the Benz brand, the SLS Roadster underwent serious scrutiny by engineers, including 16 different rain tests. Durability of the soft-top is also important and so it’s been tested with 20,000 open and closing cycles while stationary, plus 2,500 while moving. Oh, and it’s got over 6,000 miles on the Nurburgring under its belt too.
Designed to have a roadster variant all along, the SLS Roadster’s body shell weights just 5 lbs more than the coupe.
Mercedes will debut the 2012 SLS Roadster at the Frankfurt Auto Show this Fall.