By: Jason Woosey

The blizzard in your hair, the amplified mechanical rock 'n roll… you know the high performance drop-top drill by now, so just take those blessings and apply them to the Mercedes-AMG GT and you have the new GT Roadsters.

Actually it's more than that in the case of the new GT C flagship Roadster, which steals a few performance bits from the brutal GT R that was revealed earlier this year.

First let's get clear on the performance hierarchy. The GT S hardtop is rated at 375kW and 650Nm, while the race-inspired GT R leads the pack with 430kW and 700Nm. The GT C Roadster builds a neat little bridge between the two, with its version of Affalterbach's 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing 410kW and 680Nm. There's also a 'standard' GT Roadster which, just like the base coupé, serves the more frugal end of the range with a 350kW/630Nm version of the aforementioned motor.

Against the clock, the GT C Roadster should get you to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds, according to manufacturer claims, making it 0.3 seconds quicker than the standard Roadster while gaining 0.1s on the GT S coupé and losing 0.1s to the GT R. To make the most of the V8's sound-track at full throttle, the GT C comes with a performance exhaust system featuring adjustable flaps.

Power, in both versions, goes to the rear wheels through a multi-mode seven-speed dual-clutch DCT transmission, which is further modified in the case of the range-topper.

The GT C Roadster borrows other pieces from the GT R too, including active rear-wheel steering, an electronically-controlled locking rear differential and broadened rear wings to house the wider wheels.

Both tackle the bends with a forged aluminium, double-wishbone AMG sports suspension system front and rear, while the GT C gains AMG Ride Control with adjustable dampers.

Like all AMG GTs, the new drop-tops have a rigid and lightweight aluminium bodyshell and in standard form the Roadster weighs just 55kg more than its tin-top counterpart, while the GT C has a 90kg weight penalty over the GT S.

Let's not forget about Roadster's main pièce de résistance: a fabric roof, available in three colours (black, red and beige), and capable of doing its electronic opening and closing thing in around 11 seconds, at speeds of up to 50km/h.

The GT Roadster makes its public debut at the imminent Paris Motor Show and you can look out for it in South African showrooms during the second quarter of 2017.

Motoring.co.za

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