IF THE thought of owning a convertible Mercedes-Benz has every crossed your mind, there are more than just a few luxury drop-tops to choose from.
Want to cruise around in style and comfort with three of your best friends in tow? Then the drop-top C-Class is for you. How about if you want the latest technology at your fingertips? Opt for the E-Class Convertible.
However, if you’d rather something with a little more precision and poise around the corners, the SLC might be the two-seat roadster for you. You can even go all out and pick up the folding hardtop SL if you want a little more poke.
But Mercedes has added a new convertible to its line-up, one which has just made the decision of which topless German to choose from so much easier. Introducing the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster.
Available in two flavours – the base GT and GT C – Mercedes’ flagship drop-top model is powered by AMG’s booming 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, churning out 350kW/650Nm in entry-level form and a gargantuan 410kW/680Nm in top-spec guise.
With power being sent exclusively to the rear wheels via a Speed Shift seven-speed automatic transmission, the GT Convertible is able to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4.0 seconds flat. The GT C? Even faster with a 3.7s sprint time.
Did we mention that the roof also comes down to expose open skies and unlimited headroom? At the press of a button the folding rag-top roof disappears in just 11 seconds and can even be operated at speeds up to 50km/h.
The roof is triple layered, available in three different colours and even folds into a unique Z shape behind the seats to make the most of the space available.
Oh, and Mercedes also says both models will hit a top speed in excess of 300km/h. That’s a lot of wind in your hair.
Mercedes says the GT was developed from the ground up to be convertible model and it absolutely shows. The topless GT still displays its perfectly proportioned panels proudly and even the lack of a roof is not enough to upset its low, wide stance and slick styling.
Wider rear hips also help accommodate fat 19-inch wheels, while both models make use of active rear-wheel steering, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, 390mm-sized front brake rotors and a variable performance exhaust.
Of course, AMG has included switchable driving modes in the GT Convertible to allow drivers to find their preferred settings for transmission, engine, steering and driver aids with modes including Comfort, Sports, Sport+ and Individual.
GT C variants even include a Race mode for the adventurous, or foolhardy, which switches off all driver assists and maximises engine and transmission performance.
Mercedes has fitted the GT Convertible with thicker side sills and increased frame bracing to ensure the same dynamic characteristics as its fixed-roof sibling, while also including permanent roll hoops behind the seats and a plethora of safety technology including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist.
All this doesn’t come cheap though. Mercedes is asking $284,000 before on-roads for the GT Convertible, while the GT C will wear a $339,000 sticker price. That’s $25,000 and $54,000 more expensive than the GT Coupe. Ouch.
However, stack it up against some of its drop-top rivals and the Mercedes-AMG GT Convertible offers a pretty good dollar to performance ratio.
Aston Martin’s Vantage V12 S Roadster costs $383,525 and produces 421kW/620Nm, the Ferrari California T is a $409,888 affair but outputs 421kW/620Nm from a twin-turbo V8, while the world-renowned Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet will set you back $406,100 and makes do with 397kW/710Nm from a turbocharged flat six.
The Mercedes-AMG GT Convertible ticks a lot of boxes then – it’s mouth-wateringly gorgeous, there is plenty of poke under the long bonnet and it is (relatively) cheap. See what we mean? Decision made.
Tung Nguyen GoAuto.com.au