Worldwide, 750 people will have the chance to own this softtop version of the top Mercedes-AMG model.
The important difference from the GT R coupe is, of course, the possibility of open-air motoring, complete with Mercedes-Benz's Airscarf.
A plethora of AMG luxury equipment, from the AMG Performance flat-bottom steering wheel to the AMG Night cosmetic package, sets this car apart.
UPDATE 5/30/19: Pricing for the GT R roadster has been released, and as you would expect it is quite expensive. At $190,745 to start, the roadster carries a $26,850 premium over the GT R coupe. The matte-blue paint seen here is an additional $3950, while other options like the $8950 carbon-ceramic brakes and a $5300 carbon-fiber exterior trim package can push the price up even further. Fully loaded, the GT R roadster costs close to $230,000.
In the roughly six years since the Mercedes-AMG GT debuted, the maker has developed a certain cadence of introducing new GT variants: First comes the new model, generally identified by a single letter affixed to its name, followed by a roadster version within the next 18 months or so. The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R roadster is the latest model to arrive under that product timing strategy; its production will be limited to 750 units.
As the softtop version of the GT R coupe, Mercedes-AMG's self-professed "top model," it should come as little surprise that roadster's DNA is a near match for that of the coupe. That includes its 577-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, coil-over suspension and adjustable dampers, active rear steering, and active aerodynamics. The top is constructed of a triple layer of fabric stretched over a frame made of aluminum, magnesium, and steel.
Although the powertrain is nearly identical to that of the GT R, we'll bring you up to speed: Rated for 577 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque across a broad plateau of 2100 to 5500 rpm, the engine mates to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. For the record, that’s 27 more horsepower than the GT C and GT C roadster versions, 62 more horsepower than the GT S and GT S roadster, and 108 more than the standard GT and GT roadster.
To make that amount of power, the GT R and GT R roadster engines utilize unique turbochargers, a smaller boost-pressure control valve, specific engine-management software, and 2 psi of additional boost, compared with standard GT models. Additionally, the exhaust ports have been optimized and the compression ratio modified. Intake air is cooled by a separate, two-stage low-temperature water circuit; the first cooler stage is composed of two parallel coolers in the left and right wheel arches, followed by another set of intercoolers downstream. Combined with the AMG Speedshift seven-speed dual clutch transmission and electronic rear axle locker, Mercedes-AMG is calling for 3.5-second zero-to-60-mph runs and a top speed of 197 mph.
Weighing in at approximately 30 pounds, the carbon-fiber torque tube that connects the engine to the transmission is said to be about 40 percent lighter than the unit in the standard GT models. Carbon bracing in the tunnel and carbon-fiber braces in the engine bay also contribute torsional stiffness, always a concern in convertibles. Carbon-fiber front fenders add 1.8 inches of width in front, and aluminum sidewalls add 2.2 inches of width to the rear as compared to standard GT models. Exclusive 10-spoke forged wheels fill the wells, sized 10 x 19 in front and 12 x 20 in the rear. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are standard, sized 275/35ZR in front and 325/30ZR at the rear.
The active aerodynamics incorporate a speed-sensitive carbon-fiber element that extends approximately 1.6 inches downward at speed to produce a venturi effect that "pulls" to the road. Mercedes-AMG claims it reduces front axle lift by approximately 88 pounds at 155 mph. The large rear wing can be manually adjusted for pitch to suit different conditions. Brakes measure 15.3 inches in diameter in front and 14.2 inches in the rear; the brake calipers are painted yellow as standard. Ceramic high-performance brakes are available.
Standard interior touches include the new AMG Performance flat-bottom steering wheel and the AMG Night package, which brings high-gloss black shift paddles, steering-wheel spokes, and seat insert. Combined with the traditional AMG carbon-fiber and piano lacquer trim elements gives the roadster a touch of exclusivity. Nappa leather standard sport seats feature Mercedes's Airscarf warm-air vents to add comfort to top-down motoring in cooler environments. A "1 of 750" badge on the center console reminds the occupants of just how special they are.
Mercedes-AMG seems determined to leave no void in the lineup unfilled, no matter how tiny the jump. Although limited in production, the GT R roadster is sure to suit the taste of certain discriminating buyers in addition to ensuring that the GT lineup has enough iterations to go toe to toe in the showroom with its Teutonic nemesis, the Porsche 911 Carrera.
This story was originally published on March 3, 2019.
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