The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT family has grown to six models, with the addition of two high-performance convertibles, the 2018 AMG GT Roadster and the 2018 AMG GT C Roadster.
The six-figure open-top grand tourers supplement the German automaker’s track-oriented GT family, which spans the $112,400 GT Coupe to the $157,000 racetrack-ready GT R coupe. The model line is the flagship of the high-performance AMG brand, which sold nearly 100,000 vehicles worldwide last year. The GT portfolio, which also includes the $132,400 GT S and $145,000 GT C coupe, takes cues from the AMG GT 3, the brand’s racecar that's built for the track and illegal on the street.
Now the $124,400 GT Roadster and $157,000 GT C Roadster offer an alternative to the hardtops while underscoring the lineup’s emotional appeal. “We sell every GT that we make,” said AMG Chief Executive Tobias Moers. That’s 15,000 last year, with the U.S. as the largest market. All models will be in dealerships by summer, except for the GT C coupe, which arrives in the fall.
Within Mercedes’ portfolio, the new convertibles slot between the SL grand touring roadster and the upper end of the GT lineup – sportier and more performance-oriented than an SL and more comfortable and luxurious than the rest of the hardtop GT family. But just because convertibles by nature aren’t necessarily cut out for the track doesn’t mean that this pair, equipped with an AMG handcrafted 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, doesn’t put up the numbers. The GT Roadster delivers 469 horsepower and achieves a top speed of 188 mph. The GT C Roadster is even faster and more powerful, returning 550 horsepower and reaching 196 mph. The power is thrilling, but one drawback worth mentioning is that a three-figure odometer reading can feel well below the legal speed limit.
On a recent drive across northern Arizona’s Interstate 17, dirt roads, and ghost towns from Scottsdale to Sedona, we sat back in AMG Performance seats trimmed in Macchiato Beige Nappa leather with plush waterfall diamond stitching and watched heads turn. Both cars cutting especially dashing figures against the backdrop of Sedona’s Red Rock State Park, with their long hoods, muscular rears, and retro AMG Panamericana grille that dates back to the 1952 300 SL racing car. On country roads, we enjoyed the roadsters’ three-layer fabric soft top that opens and closes in 11 seconds (when the car is traveling below 31 m.p.h.) and Mercedes’ Airscarf system that regulates the temperature of the air blowing onto your neck, a useful feature under both the open mountain sky and the desert sun.