It’s fair to say that the AMG GT R caused something of a stir on its 2017 arrival. While the standard GT was good, the R was incredible, as aggressive and rewarding as anything we’ve known from AMG. Those subjective impressions were supported by that 7:10 Nurburgring lap time, too.
Now AMG is, in its own words, combining “its top model brimming with motorsport technology with the freedom of the open-air driving experience” with this car, the AMG GT R Roadster. Somewhere squeezed in between the S65 Final Edition, GLE53, SL Grand Edition, the last SLC and whatever the heck else Mercedes has planned, the GTR R will be shown to the world at Geneva this week.
To all intents and purposes, despite AMG dedicating more than 6,000 words to the press bumf, it’s the AMG GT R that we know (and very much like) with the GT Roadster described on PH as “the best thing AMG has done to the GT”. Which sounds pretty encouraging, no?
For the GT R side of things, that means the 585hp 4.0-litre hot-V V8 with seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox in a transaxle, six drive modes and the very clever AMG Dynamics technology. Those beyond even its ‘Master’ setting, which works in conjunction with Race drive mode, will be pleased to find the latest AMG Traction Control fitted as standard in the GT R Roadster. Once the driver has ventured to ESP off, they can use a wheel-mounted dial to “pre-select the slip on the driven rear axle nine levels.” So yes, sadly that means the very cool dash mounted TC selector has gone, but at least the technology remains.
Other modifications from GT to GT R include composite brakes (with ceramics optional), the rear axle steering, the AMG coilovers, forged aluminium suspension bits and Michelin Cup 2 tyres. Don’t forget, too, the active aero underneath, wider rear arches, that giant spoiler and forged wheels - GT to GT R was a serious transformation, and that’s carried over almost wholesale to the Roadster.
As for the conversion from coupe to cabrio, the GT R uses the same aluminium, magnesium and steel roof as the other soft tops in the range. AMG says it’s a light weight structure, and keeps the centre of gravity low. In terms of overall weight the Roadster carries an 80kg penalty over the standard GT R, meaning an official figure of 1,710kg with a driver. For a point of reference, an R8 V10 Plus Spyder is 1,770kg by the same measure and a Ferrari Portofino is 1,739kg, so the AMG is in the ballpark; it’s just that a McLaren 600LT Spider is 1,481kg with fluids and driver…
That’s a relevant comparison, too, because this AMG GT R Roadster will be a limited-run car just like the McLaren. Mercedes will make 750, marked out by a centre console plaque. AMG boss Tobias Moers describes it as a “highly exclusive variant” that “embodies Mercedes-AMG in form, function and vehicle dynamics and enriches our GT family.”
For now it’s unclear how many GT R Roadsters will be allocated to the UK from the run of 750, leave alone how much they might cost. For some idea, a GT R Coupe is £145,730, and the regular GT Roadster models carry a premium of £11,400 over their hardtop equivalents. Factor in the exclusivity of a limited run and the GT R Roadster could be in excess of £160,000 - full spec details as we have them.