2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster Review: Cheaper But Still Capable

Apr 08, 2017 10:10 PM EDT | BC Tabotabo

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster has amazing performance. While it is not as fast as the GT C Roadster, it is still a great performing vehicle.

According to a report by Motor Trend, the new Mercedes-AMG GT has a chart-topping performance similar to Led Zep's classic "The Song Remains the Same." When the song was launched it was controversial, experimental, but wildly successful. Jimmy Page Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones all did a beautiful job and the result was a masterpiece.

Moreover, the song is a five and a half minute guitar solo which is punctuated by a both refreshing but surprising down-tempo break. Similarly, the GT Roadster is also a hard-rockin' sports car which still manages to keep healthy doses of civility at low speeds.

The AMG GT was engineered from day one with a convertible in mind. The chassis was designed with enough rigidity and support to remove the roof. With all of the convertible roof hardware, Roadsters only add 77 up to 110 pounds to their coupe counterparts.

The minimum weight gain gets commensurate additions to both horsepower and torque. The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster adds 20 horsepower and 31 pound-feet of torque. All in all, the base GT Roadster has a total of 476 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque.

The Roadster out-muscles its coup counterpart thanks to the additional boost from the two turbos lurking underneath the engine. The engine is of course a powerful 4.0-liter V8. Mercedes-AMG is the performance division for a reason and they made sure to design the GT well.

Mercedes-AMG conservatively estimates that the vehicle can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds flat. It is likely that it will go faster since coupes have done the same sprint at the 3.2 seconds mark. This 2018 Mercedes-AMG Roadster is more powerful and only slightly heavier than equally-specced convertible.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is not just enhanced with raw power, it also borrows tricks of the trade from the track-focused GT R coupe. It has the GT R's signature slotted grille and shutters at the back, which helps open for cooling the aerodynamic improvements. In addition, the Roadster has a mechanical limited-slip and driver-adjustable dampers as standard. A performance exhaust will come optional as well as carbon-ceramic brakes.

But are the upgrades worth the cost? The answer is an astounding yes. The car will perform impressively quick, but it feels more sports car than supercar. Handling-wise it feels like a large car with a quick and lively steering. It also isn't very playful and is rather sluggish when speeding into corners.

The cockpit needs improvement. Over-the-shoulder visibility is difficult and rear visibility is even worse. The mirrors and the rearview camera are necessary to avoid a neck injury. In addition, the cargo space is tiny. It can probably only store two hand-carry bags, but there are cars with even smaller cargo space out there.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster sets its eyes on the Porsche 911. While it is not as exciting as the GT C Roadster and not as powerful as the top of the line GT R, the Roadster is still a very capable sports car. Car and Driver reported that it will be available by the fall starting at around $130,000.

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