We love it when automakers make our lives easy by announcing a car that describes itself, like the Mercedes AMG GT R roadster. The contents match the label: This is the convertible version of the most powerful GT variant.
The GT R coupe is already a winner in our book, having placed fifth in 2017's Best Driver's Competition. We were blown away by this car's massive ability and how it blends that with high levels of approachability and refinement. The GT R roadster matches the tin-top's hardware with a twin-turbo V-8 that delivers 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque and that works through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Mercedes claims a zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds, same as the hardtop, and a top speed of 197 mph.
As with the GT and GT C convertibles, the roof is made from three layers of cloth and boasts a lightweight frame made of aluminum, steel, and magnesium. Replacing a metal roof with fabric can reduce a car's torsional stiffness, but our experience with the GT and GT C roadsters showed us that the GT's super-stuff carbon-fiber-braced body does just fine when it goes topless, and we have no reason to believe the GT R will be any different.
All of the technological wizardry from the R hardtop transfers to the convertible, including the adjustable suspension, active rear-wheel steering, active aerodynamics, active engine mounts, and programmable driving modes. The GT R roadster gets Mercedes' Airscarf system, which blows warm air on your neck to fight off the chill on blustery days.
Two things set the GT R roadster apart: Available matte-finish graphite gray paint and a limited production run of just 750 units. Pricing has not been announced, but if we had to take a guess, we'd expect it to start in the low $170,000 range, if not more due to the short build run.