Mercedes SLS Roadster (2011) drops its top

Published: 27 October 2010

These new photos of the Mercedes SLS Roadster have leaked overnight in Germany, affording our best view yet of the forthcoming open-top SLS convertible.

The overhead shot of the SLS reminds us of the sheer scale of the SLS; it really is front-mid-engined, with the V8 mounted well back behind the front axle – and that bonnet stretches on and on.

What no gullwings?

Wake up at the back. The SLS's pop-up gullwing doors are obviously dispatched along with the roof, leaving conventional front-hinged doors and an electrically operated roof that stows under a brightly coloured tonneau for the SLS Roadster. The roof is said to be very similar to the mechanism on the SLR.

Two roll hoops are built into the rear structure and we'd expect them to deploy higher in the event of a rollover. And is that an Airscarf vent we can see in the empty passenger seat? It's difficult to tell in this shot, but we wouldn't be surprised if Merc' neck-heating tech appeared in the al fresco SLS.

Only a V8 will be offered initially, but we wouldn't rule out extra powertrains - even an electric Roadster EV - in the longer run.

When can I buy the SLS roadster?

With these pictures appearing suspiciously in Germany, it seems the official launch can't be far away. Look out for a motor show debut this winter, with sales kicking off in 2011.  

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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