Luxury automakers are exceedingly talented at plugging holes in their lineups that most people wouldn’t even consider holes. Sometimes, this exercise creates a new vehicle niche, as was the case for BMW’s X6 – the first crossover coupe. More often, though, premium brands simply re-package their current offerings to achieve a new price or performance tier.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster is most certainly an example of re-packaged gap-fill. Jamming itself between the GT Roadster and the GT C Roadster, the GT S drop-top makes more power and costs a premium over the GT, while not encroaching on the GT C’s stats. Powered by the same twin-tubocharged 4.0-liter V8 as both GT convertibles, the GT S produces 515 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels.
Performance figures are predictably middling among its GT siblings. The 0 to 60 mph takes 3.7 seconds and top speed is 192 mph. The GT S borrows the GT C’s adaptive dampers and electronic rear differential, but forgoes the former’s rear wheel steering and wide body kit. Other upgrades over the entry-level GT include braking improvements and a “Race” drive mode.
Styling will fall in line with the GT S Coupe, meaning a Panamericana-derived grille, 19 or 20-inch wheels, slender LED taillights, and three color options for the power-folding fabric roof. Inside, the GT S Roadster carries on unchanged, with a V-design center stack, 7-inch infotainment, and a choice of leather or microfiber suede seating material.
Though we’ve only spent time in one Mercedes-AMG GT product, it was the fixed-roof counterpart to the GT S Roadster. That car packed plenty of thrills (namely, the slidey, smoky kind), and we expect the convertible will deliver a similar experience — plus a bit more V8 noise (and who could argue with that?).
The GT S roadster will arrive at U.S. dealers later this year, though pricing has not yet been announced. Our best guess puts the middle child GT Roadster around $145,000. The GT S Roadster will compete against Jaguar’s F-Type R convertible, Porsche’s 911 S Cabriolet, and Aston Martin’s Vantage.