Supercars

Sportiest Mercedes-AMG drops its top

'Beast of the Green Hell', the 317km/h AMG GT R coupe, gets a Roadster brother

04 March 2019 - 16:54 By Motoring Reporter
Soft top Roadster zooms through the 0-100 sprint in a hair-ruffling 3.6 seconds. Picture: SUPPLIED
Soft top Roadster zooms through the 0-100 sprint in a hair-ruffling 3.6 seconds. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mercedes-AMG has crowned its open-top sportscar range with the new AMG GT R Roadster, with only 750 units of the limited-edition car to be made.

It is the sun-loving version of the GT R coupe launched back in 2017, the most track-focused car offered by Mercedes-AMG and nicknamed the ‘Beast of the Green Hell’ after the Nurburgring where much of its development took place.

Like its fixed-roof stablemate, the Roadster is gunned along by a V8 biturbo engine which puts out 430kW and 700Nm, enabling the rear wheel drive car to blast the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.6 seconds and reach a hair-ruffling 317km/h top speed - the same figures as the coupe.

Motor racing technology like adjustable coil-over suspension, active rear axle steering, active aerodynamics and lightweight construction makes this the sportiest open-topped Benz you can buy.

Like the other roadster models the open AMG GT R also has the triple-layer fabric soft top with a lightweight structure consisting of aluminium, magnesium and steel.

“The new AMG GT R Roadster is the essence of two worlds, blending to deliver our brand pledge, Driving Performance, in a very special way, “ says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG.

“It too embodies Mercedes-AMG in form, function and vehicle dynamics and enriches our GT family with a highly exclusive variant limited to 750 units”.

The low-slung front section and the forward-inclined AMG-specific radiator grille create a distinctive “shark nose” impression and make the car appear to sit lower on the road. At the same time, this shape lowers the vehicle’s back-pressure point, enhancing the flow of cooling air and the car’s aerodynamic performance.

Trick aerodynamics and bold design features identify this as the raciest open-top Benz. Picture: SUPPLIED
Trick aerodynamics and bold design features identify this as the raciest open-top Benz. Picture: SUPPLIED

The standard-fit LED High Performance headlamps strengthen the AMG GT family tie with their light signature. The front apron in jet wing design and the front splitter emphasise the car’s width. The large outer air inlets in the front apron guarantee the increased supply of cooling air to the engine. For this reason, they sport two aerodynamically shaped horizontal fins in place of meshes and as a result route the airflow to the radiators without loss.Additional Air Curtains on the outside of the front apron calm the airflow, improving the Cd value of the open-top two-seater.

Thanks to their narrow, vertical openings, the Air Curtains also guide the air specifically towards the wheel arches, optimising the flow properties. To ensure ideal airflow through the double wheel arch radiators, the roadster additionally features unique wheel arch liners with special cooling-air slits.

An active aerodynamics profile is concealed almost invisibly in the underbody in front of the engine.Weighing around two kilograms, this light carbon-fibre element is speed-sensitive and automatically extends around 40 millimetres downwards depending on the drive programme.

This process involves considerable change in the airflow and results in what is known as the Venturi effect, which additionally “sucks” the car onto the road and reduces the front-axle lift by around 40 kg at 250km/h. The aerodynamics profile automatically retracts again depending on the drive programme and speed.

The driver can feel the advantages in the steering: the roadster can be steered even more precisely when cornering at high speed and exhibits even better directional stability.

Mercedes hasn't yet confirmed whether any of the 750 units are headed to SA.

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