Feature

The SLS AMG Roadster

What the critics say about Mercedes-Benz’s $196,100 new convertible.

Automobile
As a spinoff version of Mercedes-Benz’s “legendary gull-wing sports car,” the SLS AMG Roadster has much to live up to. Happily, this Benz convertible is a match for the current gull-wing coupe, one that “amazes us with its ability to combine performance and usability.” Reinforcement for the drop-top has added beefiness in places, plus a few pounds, but it hasn’t affected drivability. The powerful 6.2-liter V8 begs you to “gun it and savor the high-pitched shriek.”

Car and Driver
Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance division took a risk in altering its “principal work of art,” but the soft-top SLS “provides a more captivating experience” than the gull-wing—and some notable improvements. Its seven-speed gearbox has a race-start setting for “idiot-proof launches,” and design tweaks eliminate such typical “supercar peccadilloes” as poor visibility and “I’m-going-to-put-you-in-this-ditch” handling. Those iconic gull-wing doors? Keep ’em. The Roadster is “a bit less special but ultimately more attractive.”

AutoWeek
Thanks to adjustable suspension and transmission settings, this two-door is as suitable for daily commuting as for “crisscrossing every pass in the Alps.” Sure, you could find a sportier sports car, but this two-seater offers the complete package—looks, capability, and “a profound presence.”

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