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Old 05-05-2011, 03:10 AM
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Lightbulb 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster trades gullwings for a soft-top

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster - Click above for high-res image gallery

Mercedes-Benz has pulled the wraps off its latest supercar, the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster. Gone are the gullwing doors and fixed roof; in their place are traditional entry-ports and a folding cloth softtop. The car is still undergoing testing, but these shots reveal far more of the car than we've previously seen in various spy photos. A more polished version will be revealed to the world at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

Before the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster hits the show circuit, it needs to spend some more time with Mercedes' engineers. The MB team has put a lot of work into this drop-top SLS, and ditching the fixed roof has required more than simply taking a sawzall to the bodywork.

Though the aluminum spaceframe was originally developed with both a coupe and convertible in mind, Benz engineers added beefier side-skirts to the roadster. This allows for improvements in both crash performance and overall rigidity. Further aiding in the quest for increased strength, a cross-member that supports the dashboard was given additional bracing at both the window frame and transmission tunnel. Despite this increased rigidity, the bodyshell of the SLS AMG Roadster weighs just five pounds more than the bodyshell of the SLS AMG Coupe.

Like its hardtop sibling, the roadster is capable of hitting an electronically limited top speed of 197 miles per hour. The convertible top is constructed from three layers of fabric, magnesium, steel and aluminum. It's lightweight, strong and can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.

You can see the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster being put through the testing paces by clicking through the gallery below. Be sure to click past the jump to read more about the new SLS convertible in the full press release.Continue reading 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster trades gullwings for a soft-top

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster trades gullwings for a soft-top originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 03:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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05-05-2011 04:01 AM
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