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2011-10-06 12:07

THREE-POINTED SUPER STAR: The SLS AMG Roadster and its famous gullwinged sibling.

Mercedes-Benz’s new super sports car, the SLS AMG Roadster, makes an arresting debut at the Johannesburg International Motor Show starting on Thursday.

Sharing its elegant long sloping bonnet, short rear end, wide track and stand-out profile with its famous coupe sibling, the Roadster sacrifices the tintop’s signature gullwing doors for a snappy fabric roof.

The state-of-the-art sports car uses an aluminium space-frame body and is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V8 AMG engine good for 420kW and a thumping 650Nm of torque.

This power is channeled to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission while the Roadster’s sports suspension with weight-saving aluminium double wishbones should ensure driving dynamics to match. Despite this, Mercedes-Benz claims its latest Roadster consumes 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres of fuel while emitting CO2 emissions of 308 grams per kilometre.

INSIDE AND OUT: The SLS AMG Roadster's luxurious cabin finished in soft leathers and solid metals.


An AMG Ride Control sports suspension with electronically controlled damping, and AMG Drive Unit, to allow the driver to choose their own suspension setup (from Comfort to Sport and Sport Plus), can be ordered as extras to further enhance the driving experience.

AMG Performance Media is another feature Mercedes-Benz feels is boast-worthy. This motorsport-inspired multimedia system is packed with telemetric displays to allow the driver to track lateral and linear acceleration, various engine data and lap times while putting in the hot laps on track days. It also allows high-speed internet access.  

As for providing pleasure on another level, this AMG’s canvas roof opens and closes in 11 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 50km/h.

Furthermore, new options include the metallic AMG Sepang brown paint finish and forged wheels with a 10-spoke design finished in matt black with a glossy rim flange.


Inside the cabin, the AMG oozes more opulence with an extended centre console finished in solid metal and a new E-Select gear lever. Its flat-bottomed AMG performance steering wheel is finished in nappa leather, while shift paddles and the lower steering wheel bezel are of solid metal.

Extensive safety features include the fixed roll-over protection system, three-point seat belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters, and eight airbags including adaptive front airbags and kneebags.

See the SLS AMG Roadster along with other Mercedes-Benz highlights, at the Johannesburg International Motor Show from October 6 – 16, 2011.

Read more about the 2011 Johannesburg International Motor Show.


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