Introducing a double shot of driving excitement, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and more-potent GT C Roadster debut at the Paris Motor Show. Borrowing key design elements from the competition-inspired 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R, these open-air 2-seaters match bold styling with turbocharged V8 power and model-specific performance technologies.

Although both new Roadsters boast hand-built 4.0-liter AMG Biturbo V8s beneath their hoods, the GT makes 469 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque while GT C produces 550 horses and 502 lb-ft. The hotter GT C also benefits from an AMG Performance Exhaust System. That added output trims the GT C’s 0-60 mph sprint from 3.9 to just 3.7 seconds and bumps top speed to 196 mph compared to 188 for the GT. Shifts are accomplished via an AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed transmission, but the GT C’s unit features revamped ratios and has a “Race” mode that enhances track performance. 

Alloy and composite construction

While the new AMG GT and GT C Roadsters share visual and mechanical elements, closer examination reveals significant differences. Both structures have been reinforced to increase rigidity while reducing mass and are wrapped in lightweight bodywork that mixes alloy and composite materials – including an innovative new decklid made from an SMC/carbon fiber combination. The AMG Panamericana grille introduced on the GT R -- complete with its auto-deploying active air management shutter system -- also is common to both as is a fully automatic fabric soft top that cycles in 11 seconds and can do so when the cars are traveling at up to 31 mph. However as you move to the rear of these new Mercedes sportsters,  the GT C Roadster adopts a more aggressive attitude thanks to wider rear fenders that accommodate its larger wheels and tires and wider track. And while both cars feature an articulated spoiler, the GT C boasts a larger rear bumper with bigger vents that improve airflow.

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The same kind of relationship is found in the chassis design of the GT and GT C. A purpose tuned AMG Sport Suspension forms the basis for both, but the GT C setup adds AMG Ride Control continuously variable damping and an electronically controlled locking rear differential in place of the GT’s mechanical unit. Finally, the GT C also features the same active rear-axle steering system introduced on the GT R that sharpens responsiveness at speed and reduces the turning circle in tight confines.

Inside, the new Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster has Nappa leather upholstery and an AMG Performance steering wheel in its long list of standard equipment. Highlights of the modest option roster for both include two Burmester premium audio systems along with AMG Performance Seats which for the first time offer full climate control as well as Airscarf neck warming. The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and GT C Roadster will arrive in showrooms next fall. Pricing will be released closer to their on-sale date.

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