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Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster Snapped In The Wild

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On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 9:31AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster Snapped In The Wild

The famously gullwinged Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG launched last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Featuring a 563-hp 6.3-liter V8, 3.7-second 0 to 60 mph time and 197 mph top speed, the SLS has given Mercedes a place in the high-end sports car market. And that place will get a little bigger sometime in the future when Mercedes launches the roadster version of the SLS at next year's Frankfurt Motor Show or possibly Geneva show. That model was recently spotted out testing.

The drop-top SLS will feature the same 6.3-liter V8 engine as the hard-top. The fabric roof will be electronically controlled, operating similarly to the roof on the E-Class convertible. The roof is stored under the contrasting bright red cover that you see in the photo.

Bigger than the change to an electronically controlled fabric roof is the loss of the SLS AMG's iconic gullwing doors. Obviously, without a roof to hinge them to, you don't have gullwings, so the roadster version will lose that defining feature in favor of traditional side-swingers. The test model pictured also shows off some different star-shaped wheels rather than the standard SLS AMG, wheels that appear on other AMG models like the SL 63.

Given the added weight accompanying any soft-top, the SLS Roadster will be slightly slower than its sibling with a 0 to 60 mph time somewhere around four seconds. Top speed will likely reside somewhere in the low 190s.

The SLS AMG carries a base price of $183,000 in the U.S., and the roadster is expected to be slightly more expensive when it hits the market late next year. So expect to see a price in the range of $200,000.

For those who don't have SLS coin, Mercedes is also rumored to be working on a smaller, less expensive car based on the SLS. That model will use a smaller engine worth about 500 horses and will be positioned against sports coupes like the Porsche 911. It's expected sometime around 2014.


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