Topless Beauty: 2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster [Video]

After releasing photos of a prototype in April, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the first production photos and full specifications for its 2012 SLS AMG Roadster.

On the heels of its official unveiling, Mercedes-Benz has dropped a video of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster in its natural habitat. Let the ogling begin. If you were floored by the still shots of the latest confection from AMG, the video will leave you gibbering lump.

Though the Roadster loses the coupe’s iconic Gullwing doors, it keeps its performance credentials and only gains a scant 88 pounds. Power doesn’t budge, but somehow Mercedes claims the topless SLS is quicker than the coupe to 60 by one hundredth of a second. That isn’t much, but faster is faster.

Designed to be the pinnacle of open-top motoring, the Roadster features a three-ply soft top that can be raised or lowered in eleven seconds at speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h). While the roof is fully automatic and has a glass rear window, it doesn’t steal any trunk space as the SLS has a cargo capacity of 6.1 cubic feet (173 liters) regardless of the top’s position.

Inside, the cabin is elegantly appointed with designo leather upholstery, metallic trim and AMG sports seats with AIRSCARF. Options include a Bang & Olufsen audio system and an AMG Performance Media system that displays real-time vehicle information.

Power is provided by a 6.3-liter (6,208cc) V8 engine that produces 563 hp (420 kW / 571 PS) and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 197 mph (317 km/h), same as the SLS Gullwing.

To ensure the Roadster handles just like the SLS Gullwing, engineers made numerous improvements to strengthen the chassis. Despite the changes, Mercedes estimates the car will weigh 3,661 pounds (1,661 kg) which is just 88 lbs (40 kg) heavier than the coupe.

According to Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, “Systematic lightweight construction, outstanding performance and a breathtaking design combined with sensuous open-air driving pleasure – the new SLS AMG Roadster perfectly embodies the AMG philosophy of German engineering and craftsmanship. The gullwing model has already thrilled sports car fans all over the world, and now the convertible version is bound to cause a sensation.”

The car also has a soft top. Pricing will be made available closer to the car’s debut this fall at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. To see the newest SLS in action, check the video above. [via AutoBlog, NY Times and Motor Authority]

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