The 2012MY Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

By -


AMG is presenting a new dream-car: the 2012MY SLS AMG Roadster. This super sports car thrills with a perfect combination of open-top driving pleasure, outstanding driving dynamics and sophisticated lightweight construction. The 2012 SLS AMG Roadster will make its U.S. debut in Fall 2011.

The technological highlights of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster include an
aluminum spaceframe body, an AMG 6.3-liter V8 front-mid engine with dry
sump lubrication developing a peak output of 563 hp and 479 pound-feet
of torque, a seven-speed dual clutch transaxle transmission and a sports
suspension with aluminum double wishbones – all of which will raise the
pulse of sports car enthusiasts while providing outstanding driving
dynamics and driving pleasure.

The compact fabric soft top of the SLS AMG Roadster opens and closes
in just eleven seconds, and can be operated on the move at speeds up to
31 mph. The new Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension with electronically
controlled damping is available as an attractive optional extra. It
enables the damping characteristics to be modified at the touch of a
button. Using the AMG DRIVE UNIT, the driver of the SLS AMG Roadster is
therefore able to choose his own suspension setup. Three modes are
available: “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus”.

“AMG Performance Media” is a unique new feature: this innovative,
motorsport-inspired multimedia system offers an unrivalled combination
of numerous telemetric displays such as lateral and linear acceleration,
various engine data and lap times on a racetrack.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG
and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The SLS Roadster is a super sports car,
cruiser and highly desirable dream-car all in one. In its distinctive
way, it continues the succession of iconic and exciting sports cars from

Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “Systematic lightweight
construction, outstanding performance and a breathtaking design
combined with sensuous open-air driving pleasure – the new SLS AMG
Roadster perfectly embodies the AMG philosophy of German engineering and
craftsmanship. The gullwing model has already thrilled sports car fans
all over the world, and now the convertible version is bound to cause a

Pure roadster design with perfect proportions

The new Roadster adds a second exciting dream-car to the SLS AMG
family. Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz, Gorden Wagener: “As in the
gullwing model, the pure, athletic design immediately catches the eye.
Whether with the roof open or closed, the SLS AMG Roadster is an
impressive visual delight!” The perfect proportions are particularly
memorable: a long hood, the greenhouse positioned well to the rear and a
short rear end. Plus the automatically extending rear wing, long
wheelbase, wide track and short overhangs – in short, the convertible
SLS AMG exudes effortless performance and an authentic charisma. The
pronounced shoulder sections are reminiscent of tensed muscles, and
suggest sheer power in combination with the large wheels – 265/35 ZR 19
(front) and 295/30 ZR 20 (rear). The attractive AMG Sepang brown
metallic paint finish and weight-optimized forged wheels in a 10-spoke
design, painted in matte black with a high-sheen rim flange, are
available as new optional extras.

Features reminiscent of the 300 SL Roadster, the classic dream-car
from the 1950s, include not only the wide radiator grille with its large
Mercedes star and the wing-shaped cross-fin, but also the fins on the
hood and on the vehicle sides. Like the SLS AMG Roadster, the 300 SL
Roadster appeared slightly later than the original gullwing 300 SL, but
unlike the SL’s both AMG dream cars are available at the same time.

Interior atmosphere like an aircraft cockpit

The interior continues the breathtaking design idiom of the exterior,
and awakens associations with an aircraft cockpit: prominent features
include the dashboard in the shape of a wing and the air vents with
adjustable, cruciform nozzles reminiscent of jet engines. The extended
center console of matte, solid metal and the new E-SELECT lever in the
shape of an aircraft’s thrust control are also design features adopted
from the world of aviation. Another discreet, fine detail is the
embossed AMG emblem on the leather-lined selector lever.

The AMG DRIVE UNIT – which like numerous other interior features is
available in genuine carbon-fiber – is the central control unit in the
center console: it allows the driver to choose a personal vehicle setup,
including adjustment of the optional Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension. The
AMG Performance steering wheel with its high-grade premium leather
lining and flattened bottom rim section provides perfect vehicle
control. The shift paddles and lower steering wheel bezel are made of
solid metal.

Fully automatic, weight-optimized soft top

The sensual experience in the 2012MY SLS AMG Roadster is further
enhanced when the soft top is open, and the powerful, naturally
aspirated eight-cylinder engine with 563 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque
asserts itself and makes the heart beat faster with its distinctive AMG
eight-cylinder sound. The fabric soft top can be opened and closed
while on the move at speeds up to 31 mph; the fully automatic
opening/closing process takes only eleven seconds. The driver only needs
to operate the roof control unit conveniently integrated at the front
of the center armrest. When open, the soft top is space-savingly
retracted behind the seats in a folded Z-configuration. Three soft top
colors – black, red and beige – are available to suit the nine exterior
and eight interior colors.

The three-layered fabric soft top is a weight-optimized
magnesium/steel/aluminum construction, and contributes greatly to the
car’s low center of gravity. The soft top has a seamlessly bonded rear
window of heated singlelayer safety glass. The flush, gap-free
transition between the outer roof skin and the rear window keeps wind
noise low. A continuous, flexible water pocket running under the soft
top catches rainwater and directs it to the underbody via two apertures
on each side. The trunk capacity is 6.1 cubic feet with the roof either
open or closed, and therefore roughly equal to that of the SLS AMG Coupé
(6.2 cubic feet).

Outstanding material quality and finish

The finest leather, matte-finished solid metal or optional, genuine
carbon-fiber trim create an exclusive ambience and correspond with the
authentic feel of the cockpit. Precisely executed decorative and
contrasting stitching enhances the visual impression, heightens the hand
crafted look and reflects the attention to detail which is the hallmark
of Mercedes design.

The standard appointments of the SLS AMG Roadster include black
designo leather, heated AMG sports seats, a detachable glass windstop,
COMAND with Navigation and DVD player, anti-theft alarm system with
tow-away protection and interior monitoring, dual-zone automatic climate
control and the KEYLESSGO starting function. The standard AIRSCARF®
system exclusive to Mercedes- Benz acts like an invisible scarf warming
the head and neck areas of the occupants. It is integrated into the
backrests of the AMG sports seats, and blows warm air from vents in the
head restraints. The airflow can be adapted for different occupant sizes
by means of adjustable louvers, and the level of warmth can be selected
in three stages at the touch of a button.

Leather-lined roll-over bars with integrated mesh in a “Silver
Shadow” look are available in conjunction with designo Exclusive leather
to reduce turbulence in the cockpit. Ambient lighting is integrated
into the electrically folding exterior mirrors. Single-tone or two-tone
designo leather in espresso brown is available as a new interior color –
this dark shade of brown perfectly matches the new metallic paint
finish AMG Sepang brown.


AMG Performance Media and Bang & Olufsen as optional highlights

In addition to the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound
system, another optional entertainment highlight is the AMG Performance
Media. In an unprecedented way, this racing-inspired system combines
numerous telemetric displays such as engine data, lateral and linear
acceleration and lap times on a racetrack. AMG Performance Media is
activated by pressing the AMG key in the AMG DRIVE UNIT, and operated
using the COMAND Controller. Key functions at a glance:

  • Real-time display of engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid temperature
  • Real-time display of engine output, torque and accelerator position
  • Real-time display of individual tire pressures
  • Real-time display of acceleration time from 0-60 mph (alternatively: quarter-mile)
  • Real-time display of lateral and linear acceleration combined with
    braking performance and accelerator position, including memory function
  • Recording of individual lap times on a closed racetrack, with sector times and memory function
  • Integration of DRIVE UNIT functions to save setup data to memory and initiate RACE START

The different functions of AMG Performance Media are shown by the
color display integrated into the dashboard. Three displays are shown at
any one time, with the most important information positioned in the
center. Digitally simulated dial instruments with red needles ensure
outstanding legibility.

Specifically reinforced aluminum spaceframe, low curb weight

In addition to maximum comfort, the key factor for driving pleasure
in the new SLS AMG Roadster is the outstanding performance. The basis
for this is the innovative body design: the chassis and body are made of
aluminum, a design combining intelligent lightweight construction with
high strength. With a curb weight of 3,661 pounds (estimated), the
Roadster is only 88 pounds heavier than the Coupé. The result is a
remarkable power-to-weight ratio of 6.5 pounds per hp.

To achieve the same level of driving dynamics – without a fixed roof,
the SLS AMG Roadster incorporates several features specifically
designed to strengthen the bodyshell, including side skirts with greater
wall thicknesses and additional chambers. The dashboard cross member is
supported against the windshield frame and center tunnel by additional
struts, and a curved strut between the soft top and the tank reinforces
the rear axle. The lack of a roof and gullwing doors means that the
open-top SLS AMG has a reinforcing crossmember behind the seats to
support the fixed roll-over protection system. This also accommodates
the 250 watt subwoofer of the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end
sound system.

All this prevents unwanted vibrations right from the start, and makes
it unnecessary to use the additional, weight-increasing vibration
dampers that are often found in open-top sports cars. The
weight-optimized aluminum spaceframe weighs 536 pounds, tipping the
scales at just 4.5 pounds more than the gullwing model.


Intelligent material mix and low center of gravity

50 percent of the intelligently designed, weight-optimized aluminum
spaceframe is made of aluminum sections, 26 percent of sheet aluminum,
18 percent of cast aluminum and 6 percent of steel. Maximum occupant
safety requires the use of ultra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the

The entire vehicle has been designed to achieve the lowest possible
center of gravity. This applies both to the low connection points of the
powertrain and axles, as well as to the arrangement of the rigid
bodyshell structure, which has been kept as low as possible. Examples
include the rigid flexural and torsional connections between the front
and rear section and the passenger safety cell, which have been designed
to use force paths that are as low as possible.

Content provided by Mercedes-Benz

(Click here to join the SLS AMG talk at MBWorld’s Forums!)

Comments ()