2019 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster is top-down motorsport-inspired thrills

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Taking the top off the Mercedes-AMG GT R to create the Mercedes-AMG GT R is what everyone expected the Affalterbach division to do. The new droptop vandal puts a three-layer fabric roof atop the same goodness one finds in the hardtop R. That means the same twin-turbo V8 with 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, same widened body and adjustable coilover suspension, same active aero, same staggered wheelset with 19-inchers in front and 20-inchers in back. Even the 0-60 time and top speed match the R: 3.5 seconds for the dash, 197 mile per hour terminal velocity.

It’s possible no one expected Mercedes-AMG to limit the roofless race to just 750 units worldwide. The carmaker says this offering is “addresses a new, lifestyle-oriented group which pursues peak experiences.” When cars selling for 10 times the price of this roadster — whatever that might be — sell out before the public hears about them, it’s clear there are far more than 750 ready takers globally in that “lifestyle-oriented group.” The AMG GT R Roadster is a free shot at the goal in terms of profit. Perhaps AMG’s kicking leg gets tired after 750 easy reps.

There are a couple of small differences from the tin-top GT R, beyond getting a motorsports-derived blast of wind through the hair. The roadster adopts exclusive wheel arch liners with special cooling-air slits to pass more air through the arches. Inside, the AMG Performance steering wheel comes standard, adding the two configurable display buttons alongside the bottom spoke. And there’s an exclusive color for the model, designo graphite grey magno matte finish, a flat departure from the four silver-ish metallic finishes currently on offer.

Inside, the standard design will combine AMG Performance seats in Nappa leather and diamond stitching with the AMG Exclusive Trim Package and carbon fiber. That means a center console and center vent rings in black piano lacquer, the center console insert, four instrument panel vents, and armrest trim strips in high-gloss or matte carbon fiber. They’ve thrown in the AMG Interior Night Package, too, for steering wheel spokes, shift paddles, and seat inserts in high-gloss black. Naturally, the neck-heating Airscarf comes with the kit. Three other interior treatments are available, all with diamond stitching: Saddle Brown/Black, Macchiato Beige/Black, and Silver Pearl/Black.

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