The traditional birth order for children goes from oldest to youngest and biggest to smallest. But cars are a little different. If the market allows for it, you can slot in a middle child almost anywhere you like. Formerly a two-trimmed affair, the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is following the hardtop’s lead by expanding its ranks to include a middle-weight bruiser.
For the 2019 model year, AMG Roadsters will now come in a GT S trim. Better than the base unit, but not quite as impressive as its bigger brother, the formula for the mid-level trim is identical to the coupe variant that shares its name — just with an infinite amount of headroom.
The AMG GT and AMG GT C boast 469 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, and 550 hp and 502 lb-ft, respectively. Slotting itself between them, the AMG GT S uses the same 4.0-liter biturbo V8 to produce 515 hp and 494 lb-ft. The combination is good for an 0-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds (estimated) and a top speed of 192 mph — splitting the difference between its siblings once more. That’s the predominant theme with the GT S. You’re getting more just about everywhere, but not so much to negate the GT C’s existence.
However, it’s closer than you might think. The GT S Roadster comes standard with AMG’s sports suspension with adaptive damping system, an electronically controlled limited slip on the rear axle, and variable performance exhaust — items which the base model lacks but come standard on the fancier GT C.
The two models also share multiple programable drive modes, including the “Race” setting that’s unavailable on the lower trim. But it lacks things like rear-wheel steering and has an interior with slightly less leather upholstery as standard. You can, of course, choose to upgrade.
An AMG high-performance composite brake system is obligatory. The front axle features composite discs measuring 15.4 x 1.42 inches, with six-piston fixed calipers, and 14.2 x 1.02 inch single-piston units at the rear. Mercedes will allow you to upgrade them to oversized high-performance ceramics, but we say pass unless you’re a track day junkie.
Standard wheels measure 19 inches up front and 20 in the back and come in a 10-spoke design. However, numerous designs are available for purchase. That might not be a bad investment either, because all three of the roadsters look practically identical. There are a handful of subtle tells, though.
Unlike the base model, the GT S comes with added chrome on the air inlet fins inside of the front bumper. There is also a little bit around the rear diffuser and front splitter. The red calipers are another giveaway. However, that doesn’t help much when trying to differentiate the mid-trim AMG from the GT C Roadster. All you can really do is hunt for more chrome around the lower portions of the bodywork.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet but the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster has to be slotted in-between $124,400 and $157,000. We expect it to follow the coupe’s lead and be on the higher end of that spectrum, too.
[Images: Daimler AG]