2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster First Drive Review
There is something special to drive with the roof that is special. The outdoor experience, even when the weather is not fully cooperating, brings a dose of liveliness to the cabin. One has the impression of being free and privileged. Apply that to a supercar, and the experience is multiplied by 100. The Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster brings the same power as its coupe brother. But with its roof down, it offers a fun ride that could be more engaging than the rigid roof.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster – The Basics
There are many similarities between the roadster and the coupe, but one thing that sets them apart (in addition to the topless capacity) is the limited production for the convertible – only 750 units worldwide. At $ 191,745 to start, you get something special. The roadster costs $ 26,850 more than the GT R coupe, and with an array of options available, both can quickly pass the $ 200,000 mark.
Sharing its powertrain with the coupe, the heart of the soft roof is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that delivers 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. We weren’t able to get the roadster on the track, but our latest GT R coupe went from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and covered the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 129.0 mph. Since the convertible is a little heavier than the coupe, you may be able to shave a tenth or two of these numbers. In our 2017 Best Driver’s Car competition, the hardtop finished in fifth place, landing in the upper center of the group, and in 2015 we named the Mercedes-AMG GT our best driver car.
Whether you drive with the top or the bottom, the roadster offers more body movement than the coupe. Editor-in-Chief Scott Evans said the soft top looks more like a sports car than a racing car, which shows how confident it is. The AMG GT R Roadster is easy to drive, showing immense grip when cornering. A large part of this credit goes to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires, which really hold the road.
Just like in the coupe, the steering comes on quickly, which takes a little getting used to. At the corners of Angeles Crest Highway, I found myself waiting for me to be around the corner to start turning – turn the direction a little earlier, and you’ll have to correct yourself.
But once you understand the turn, the AMG is threatening on winding roads. Press the accelerator, and the cabin fills with a delicious sound from the engine as the speed increases. With your back pushed against the seat, the AMG offers an exciting experience. The transmission quickly shifts to downshift and provides more power when pushed hard. The long hood and the pushed-back cab make the car longer, and the small windshield and low seating position prevent forward visibility. But this does not affect the handling.
However, the rigid suspension will affect your back. Even when driving on the highway, driving the roadster is tough and, combined with the lightly padded seats, it’s hard to find comfort inside. I felt every bump on Angeles Crest Highway in the cab, which was a little too much, even for a knife sports car. Even with the suspension set to Comfort, driving is still hard. But that’s what R offers: more power and more muscle.
Lower the top and the AMG shines even more. “Not too much wind in the cabin at high speed, not too much noise. My hair is not too swept by the wind,” said Evans, even after not having my hair cut recently. One might hope that visibility would increase from top to bottom, but this is not the case. Whether you drive with the top or the bottom, forward visibility is limited. However, the open-air powertrain combined with a punchy powertrain and excellent handling make the roadster a fantastic car to drive.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster – Interior
The convertible shares roughly the same interior as its coupe and non-R siblings. The main difference is a small numbered plaque from the limited edition model. But everything else stays the same. Despite its existence for a few years, the cabin still looks fresh and modern.
Large circular vents will grab your attention once you enter, while a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster displays everything the driver needs to know. The horizontal screen mounted above the air vents is equipped with the latest version of the Mercedes COMAND infotainment system, which supports navigation and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The aluminum trim and carbon fiber details around the cabin give the interior a sporty, upscale look.
After driving the roadster for a full day, I found the sitting position a little awkward. The small gear lever on the center console seemed to be too far behind me, and the armrest was a bit short. That, along with a driver’s seat that doesn’t offer enough support, made my trip from Palm Springs to L.A. somewhat uncomfortable. Few people will take this car on a trip, but when you spend a day driving on mountain roads, you want seats that you like. However, even as a soft roof, little road noise enters the interior of the roadster.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster – The breaking point
The Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster offers a sensational driving experience. With the top down, it’s even more enjoyable. The platform has been around for a few years and the GT is on the way out, but that doesn’t stop this convertible from providing power and emotion at the wheel. Combined with the sound of its V-8 and the outdoor experience, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster does not disappoint.
Is it the best super convertible? Stay tuned.
|2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster|
|STARTING PRICE||$ 191,745|
|DISPOSITION||Front engine, RWD, 2 passes, 2 convertible doors|
|ENGINE||4.0L V8 / 577hp / 516 lb-ft double turbo DOHC 32 valves|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed dual-clutch auto|
|EDGE WEIGHT||3,850 lbs (MT is)|
|L x W x H||179.7 x 78.6 x 49.4 inches|
|0-60 MPH||3.5 s (MT is)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||15/20/17 mpg|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY / HIGHWAY||225/169 kW-h / 100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.15 lb / mile|