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Paris preview: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster

by Ronan Glon

The Roadster lineup is broken down into two distinct models.

Putting an end to a long-standing rumor, Mercedes-AMG has introduced a topless version of the 911-fighting GT sports car. And, as previously reported, the Roadster lineup is broken down into two distinct models.

Called simply GT Roadster, the first model is essentially a topless version of the GT coupe. That means it uses a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine tuned to deliver 469 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 465 pound-feet of torque from 1,700 to 5,000 rpm. It hits 60 mph from a stop in 3.9 seconds, and goes on to a top speed of 188 mph.

Dubbed GT C Roadster, the second model is positioned between the GT S and the 577-horsepower that debuted a few months ago during the Goodwood Festival of speed. The C boasts an evolution of the regular GT's eight-cylinder that makes 550 horsepower from 5,750 to 6,750 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,900 to 5,750 rpm. The extra power lowers its zero-to-60 time to 3.7 seconds, and raises its top speed to 196 mph.

Both models come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles and a limited-slip differential. However, the GT C features an electronically controlled differential (as opposed to a mechanical unit) and it offers an additional driving mode named Race. All told, the C is the more dynamic of the two. It further stands out with wider rear wheel arches that give it a more muscular look, and a trick four-wheel steering system borrowed from the GT R.

The two roadster models use a three-layer cloth soft top, a setup chosen over a folding hard top because engineers were asked to make the GT Roadster as light as possible. The top opens or closes in 11 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph. It's available in black, red, or beige.

The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and GT C Roadster will greet the public for the first time in a couple of weeks during the Paris Auto Show. They're both scheduled to arrive in showrooms next year, though pricing information has not been announced yet.

What's next?

Although this is pure speculation, we wouldn't be surprised to see a hardtop version of the GT C unveiled in the coming months.

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