Mercedes-AMG GT goes topless for 2017

Apparently, 2016 is the year of the Mercedes-AMG GT. Following the lurid green GT R's unveiling a few months ago, today the manufacturer has revealed the GT Roadster, a new way to get your fast grand tourer fix. But now it's got a bit more headroom.

Actually make that two ways. The German automaker will offer both a GT Roadster and a quicker GT C Roadster variant. They each share the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 of their fixed-top brethren, but with different outputs. The standard GT Roadster makes 469 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque while the GT C Roadster makes 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 mph times of 3.9 and 3.7 seconds, respectively, match the normal GT and GT S coupes despite both hardtops having less power. That's likely a result of the droptops weighing more. Mercedes didn't disclose curb weights, but the convertibles have thicker rocker panels with more "chambers," a rear shock tower brace and additional bracing behind the dashboard. Add in all of the soft-top mechanisms and you'll likely see a substantial weight gain.

On the outside, the GT C gets the wider rear fenders of the top-tier GT R, which house wider wheels and tires. The GT C also hides active rear steering, AMG RIDE CONTROL adjustable suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential under those fenders. The upgraded model gets the AMG performance exhaust system, as well. The regular GT makes do with AMG Sport suspension, a mechanical limited-slip differential and rear wheels that don't steer.

The two roadsters have more in common up front. The two cars share front fascias and electronically controlled grille shutters that stay closed for better aerodynamics, but can open to allow for additional cooling. The GT C gets larger front brakes and an extra "RACE" mode for the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that speeds up shifts and adds "highly emotional sound."

Inside, you get pretty standard Mercedes-AMG GT fare with a low, wide dash, a tall center console, lots of leather and an iPad-esque center screen. The big news here is that you can choose a light beige interior for the first time on a GT. You can also coordinate it with three soft top colors: red, black and beige.

If you want one of these drop-top GTs, you'll need to wait until next year. The roadsters will hit US dealers sometime in the fall, with the GT R coupe launching first. Pricing has yet to be announced for the convertibles, but expect the GT Roadster to have a noticeable premium over the GT coupe's $112,125 base price, and the GT C Roadster to slot somewhere between the GT S coupe's $132,125 and the unannounced price of the GT R.

Original article: Autoblog

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