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.
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