Will Mercedes-AMG build a topless version of the GT after all?

When it introduced the 911-fighting GT at last fall’s Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-AMG categorically ruled out building a convertible version of it. It looks like the Three-Pointed Star’s performance sub-division has changed its mind and German media outlets are reporting the topless GT is on track for a 2016 launch.

Tentatively called GT Roadster, the convertible will fill the gap that separates the SLK-Class and the SL. Sources close to Mercedes have indicated that the Roadster will cost about the same as a mid-level SL but it will be positioned as a more sport-focused model, while the SL will remain the luxury-oriented gran tourer that it has almost always been.

The Roadster is at the embryonic stage of development so details are few and far between. However, it will most likely use a cloth soft top in order to keep weight in check and further set itself apart from the SL, and it will feature roughly the same fastback-like silhouette as the coupe when the top is up.

Body aside, the Roadster is expected to be nearly identical to the existing GT coupe. Entry-level models will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine tuned to generate 456 horsepower and 443 foot-pounds of torque, while more expensive S models will benefit from a tweaked evolution of the eight-cylinder that will churn out 503 ponies and 479 torques.

In both models, the front-mid-mounted V8 will spin the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission located over the rear axle.

The GT Roadster will join the newly-announced AMG Sport models in helping Mercedes-AMG give its annual sales a big boost. The sub-division believes it can build a record-breaking 50,000 cars in 2016 and reach an impressive 70,000 cars the following year.

What’s next?
Mercedes will introduce several ragtops over the next few years. A topless version of the C-Class is scheduled to arrive before the end of the year, the first convertible S-Class in decades will be unveiled early next year and the aforementioned SLK will be given a minor facelift and rechristened SLC-Class before next summer.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.