Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Open sensuality: roadster performance in its perfect form

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
AMG is presenting a new dream-car: the 2012MY SLS AMG Roadster. This super sports car thrills with a perfect combination of open-top driving pleasure, outstanding driving dynamics and sophisticated lightweight construction. The 2012 SLS AMG Roadster will make its Ú.S. debut in Fall 2011.

The technological highlights of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster include an aluminum spaceframe body, an AMG 6.3-liter V8 front-mid engine with dry sump lubrication developing a peak output of 563 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque, a seven-speed dual clutch transaxle transmission and a sports suspension with aluminum double wishbones – all of which will raise the pulse of sports car enthusiasts while providing outstanding driving dynamics and driving pleasure.

The compact fabric soft top of the SLS AMG Roadster opens and closes in just eleven seconds, and can be operated on the move at speeds up to 31 mph. The new Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension with electronically controlled damping is available as an attractive optional extra. It enables the damping characteristics to be modified at the touch of a button. Úsing the AMG DRIVE ÚNIT, the driver of the SLS AMG Roadster is therefore able to choose his own suspension setup. Three modes are available: 'Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Sport plus'.

'AMG Performance Media' is a unique new feature: this innovative, motorsport-inspired multimedia system offers an unrivalled combination of numerous telemetric displays such as lateral and linear acceleration, various engine data and lap times on a racetrack.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars: 'The SLS Roadster is a super sports car, cruiser and highly desirable dream-car all in one. In its distinctive way, it continues the succession of iconic and exciting sports cars from Mercedes-Benz.'

Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: 'Systematic lightweight construction, outstanding performance and a breathtaking design combined with sensuous open-air driving pleasure – the new SLS AMG Roadster perfectly embodies the AMG philosophy of German engineering and craftsmanship. The gullwing model has already thrilled sports car fans all over the world, and now the convertible version is bound to cause a sensation.'

Pure roadster design with perfect proportions

The new Roadster adds a second exciting dream-car to the SLS AMG family. Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz, Gorden Wagener: 'As in the gullwing model, the pure, athletic design immediately catches the eye. Whether with the roof open or closed, the SLS AMG Roadster is an impressive visual delight!' The perfect proportions are particularly memorable: a long hood, the greenhouse positioned well to the rear and a short rear end. Plus the automatically extending rear wing, long wheelbase, wide track and short overhangs – in short, the convertible SLS AMG exudes effortless performance and an authentic charisma. The pronounced shoulder sections are reminiscent of tensed muscles, and suggest sheer power in combination with the large wheels - 265/35 ZR 19 (front) and 295/30 ZR 20 (rear). The attractive AMG Sepang brown metallic paint finish and weight-optimized forged wheels in a 10-spoke design, painted in matte black with a high-sheen rim flange, are available as new optional extras.

Features reminiscent of the 300 SL Roadster, the classic dream-car from the 1950s, include not only the wide radiator grille with its large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped cross-fin, but also the fins on the hood and on the vehicle sides. Like the SLS AMG Roadster, the 300 SL Roadster appeared slightly later than the original gullwing 300 SL, but unlike the SL's both AMG dream cars are available at the same time.

Interior atmosphere like an aircraft cockpit

The interior continues the breathtaking design idiom of the exterior, and awakens associations with an aircraft cockpit: prominent features include the dashboard in the shape of a wing and the air vents with adjustable, cruciform nozzles reminiscent of jet engines. The extended center console of matte, solid metal and the new E-SELECT lever in the shape of an aircraft's thrust control are also design features adopted from the world of aviation. Another discreet, fine detail is the embossed AMG emblem on the leather-lined selector lever.

The AMG DRIVE ÚNIT – which like numerous other interior features is available in genuine carbon-fiber – is the central control unit in the center console: it allows the driver to choose a personal vehicle setup, including adjustment of the optional Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension. The AMG Performance steering wheel with its high-grade premium leather lining and flattened bottom rim section provides perfect vehicle control. The shift paddles and lower steering wheel bezel are made of solid metal.

Fully automatic, weight-optimized soft top

The sensual experience in the 2012MY SLS AMG Roadster is further enhanced when the soft top is open, and the powerful, naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine with 563 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque asserts itself and makes the heart beat faster with its distinctive AMG eight-cylinder sound. The fabric soft top can be opened and closed while on the move at speeds up to 31 mph; the fully automatic opening/closing process takes only eleven seconds. The driver only needs to operate the roof control unit conveniently integrated at the front of the center armrest. When open, the soft top is space-savingly retracted behind the seats in a folded Z-configuration. Three soft top colors – black, red and beige – are available to suit the nine exterior and eight interior colors.

The three-layered fabric soft top is a weight-optimized magnesium/steel/aluminum construction, and contributes greatly to the car's low center of gravity. The soft top has a seamlessly bonded rear window of heated singlelayer safety glass. The flush, gap-free transition between the outer roof skin and the rear window keeps wind noise low. A continuous, flexible water pocket running under the soft top catches rainwater and directs it to the underbody via two apertures on each side. The trunk capacity is 6.1 cubic feet with the roof either open or closed, and therefore roughly equal to that of the SLS AMG Coupé (6.2 cubic feet).

Outstanding material quality and finish

The finest leather, matte-finished solid metal or optional, genuine carbon-fiber trim create an exclusive ambience and correspond with the authentic feel of the cockpit. Precisely executed decorative and contrasting stitching enhances the visual impression, heightens the hand crafted look and reflects the attention to detail which is the hallmark of Mercedes design.

The standard appointments of the SLS AMG Roadster include black designo leather, heated AMG sports seats, a detachable glass windstop, COMAND with Navigation and DVD player, anti-theft alarm system with tow-away protection and interior monitoring, dual-zone automatic climate control and the KEYLESSGO starting function. The standard AIRSCARF® system exclusive to Mercedes- Benz acts like an invisible scarf warming the head and neck areas of the occupants. It is integrated into the backrests of the AMG sports seats, and blows warm air from vents in the head restraints. The airflow can be adapted for different occupant sizes by means of adjustable louvers, and the level of warmth can be selected in three stages at the touch of a button.

Leather-lined roll-over bars with integrated mesh in a 'Silver Shadow' look are available in conjunction with designo Exclusive leather to reduce turbulence in the cockpit. Ambient lighting is integrated into the electrically folding exterior mirrors. Single-tone or two-tone designo leather in espresso brown is available as a new interior color – this dark shade of brown perfectly matches the new metallic paint finish AMG Sepang brown.

AMG Performance Media and Bang & Olufsen as optional highlights

In addition to the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound system, another optional entertainment highlight is the AMG Performance Media. In an unprecedented way, this racing-inspired system combines numerous telemetric displays such as engine data, lateral and linear acceleration and lap times on a racetrack. AMG Performance Media is activated by pressing the AMG key in the AMG DRIVE ÚNIT, and operated using the COMAND Controller. Key functions at a glance:
•Real-time display of engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid temperature
•Real-time display of engine output, torque and accelerator position
•Real-time display of individual tire pressures
•Real-time display of acceleration time from 0-60 mph (alternatively: quarter-mile)
•Real-time display of lateral and linear acceleration combined with braking performance and accelerator position, including memory function
•Recording of individual lap times on a closed racetrack, with sector times and memory function
•Integration of DRIVE ÚNIT functions to save setup data to memory and initiate RACE START

The different functions of AMG Performance Media are shown by the color display integrated into the dashboard. Three displays are shown at any one time, with the most important information positioned in the center. Digitally simulated dial instruments with red needles ensure outstanding legibility.

Specifically reinforced aluminum spaceframe, low curb weight

In addition to maximum comfort, the key factor for driving pleasure in the new SLS AMG Roadster is the outstanding performance. The basis for this is the innovative body design: the chassis and body are made of aluminum, a design combining intelligent lightweight construction with high strength. With a curb weight of 3,661 pounds (estimated), the Roadster is only 88 pounds heavier than the Coupé. The result is a remarkable power-to-weight ratio of 6.5 pounds per hp.

To achieve the same level of driving dynamics – without a fixed roof, the SLS AMG Roadster incorporates several features specifically designed to strengthen the bodyshell, including side skirts with greater wall thicknesses and additional chambers. The dashboard cross member is supported against the windshield frame and center tunnel by additional struts, and a curved strut between the soft top and the tank reinforces the rear axle. The lack of a roof and gullwing doors means that the open-top SLS AMG has a reinforcing crossmember behind the seats to support the fixed roll-over protection system. This also accommodates the 250 watt subwoofer of the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end sound system.

All this prevents unwanted vibrations right from the start, and makes it unnecessary to use the additional, weight-increasing vibration dampers that are often found in open-top sports cars. The weight-optimized aluminum spaceframe weighs 536 pounds, tipping the scales at just 4.5 pounds more than the gullwing model.

Intelligent material mix and low center of gravity

50 percent of the intelligently designed, weight-optimized aluminum spaceframe is made of aluminum sections, 26 percent of sheet aluminum, 18 percent of cast aluminum and 6 percent of steel. Maximum occupant safety requires the use of ultra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the A-pillars.

The entire vehicle has been designed to achieve the lowest possible center of gravity. This applies both to the low connection points of the powertrain and axles, as well as to the arrangement of the rigid bodyshell structure, which has been kept as low as possible. Examples include the rigid flexural and torsional connections between the front and rear section and the passenger safety cell, which have been designed to use force paths that are as low as possible.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

Open sensuality: roadster performance in its perfect form

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG RoadsterAMG is presenting a new dream-car: the 2012MY SLS AMG Roadster. This super sports car thrills with a perfect combination of open-top driving pleasure, outstanding driving dynamics and sophisticated lightweight construction. The 2012 SLS AMG Roadster will make its Ú.S. debut in Fall 2011.

The technological highlights of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster include an aluminum spaceframe body, an AMG 6.3-liter V8 front-mid engine with dry sump lubrication developing a peak output of 563 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque, a seven-speed dual clutch transaxle transmission and a sports suspension with aluminum double wishbones – all of which will raise the pulse of sports car enthusiasts while providing outstanding driving dynamics and driving pleasure.

The compact fabric soft top of the SLS AMG Roadster opens and closes in just eleven seconds, and can be operated on the move at speeds up to 31 mph. The new Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension with electronically controlled damping is available as an attractive optional extra. It enables the damping characteristics to be modified at the touch of a button. Úsing the AMG DRIVE ÚNIT, the driver of the SLS AMG Roadster is therefore able to choose his own suspension setup. Three modes are available: 'Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Sport plus'.

'AMG Performance Media' is a unique new feature: this innovative, motorsport-inspired multimedia system offers an unrivalled combination of numerous telemetric displays such as lateral and linear acceleration, various engine data and lap times on a racetrack.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars: 'The SLS Roadster is a super sports car, cruiser and highly desirable dream-car all in one. In its distinctive way, it continues the succession of iconic and exciting sports cars from Mercedes-Benz.'

Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: 'Systematic lightweight construction, outstanding performance and a breathtaking design combined with sensuous open-air driving pleasure – the new SLS AMG Roadster perfectly embodies the AMG philosophy of German engineering and craftsmanship. The gullwing model has already thrilled sports car fans all over the world, and now the convertible version is bound to cause a sensation.'

Pure roadster design with perfect proportions

The new Roadster adds a second exciting dream-car to the SLS AMG family. Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz, Gorden Wagener: 'As in the gullwing model, the pure, athletic design immediately catches the eye. Whether with the roof open or closed, the SLS AMG Roadster is an impressive visual delight!' The perfect proportions are particularly memorable: a long hood, the greenhouse positioned well to the rear and a short rear end. Plus the automatically extending rear wing, long wheelbase, wide track and short overhangs – in short, the convertible SLS AMG exudes effortless performance and an authentic charisma. The pronounced shoulder sections are reminiscent of tensed muscles, and suggest sheer power in combination with the large wheels - 265/35 ZR 19 (front) and 295/30 ZR 20 (rear). The attractive AMG Sepang brown metallic paint finish and weight-optimized forged wheels in a 10-spoke design, painted in matte black with a high-sheen rim flange, are available as new optional extras.

Features reminiscent of the 300 SL Roadster, the classic dream-car from the 1950s, include not only the wide radiator grille with its large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped cross-fin, but also the fins on the hood and on the vehicle sides. Like the SLS AMG Roadster, the 300 SL Roadster appeared slightly later than the original gullwing 300 SL, but unlike the SL's both AMG dream cars are available at the same time.

Interior atmosphere like an aircraft cockpit

The interior continues the breathtaking design idiom of the exterior, and awakens associations with an aircraft cockpit: prominent features include the dashboard in the shape of a wing and the air vents with adjustable, cruciform nozzles reminiscent of jet engines. The extended center console of matte, solid metal and the new E-SELECT lever in the shape of an aircraft's thrust control are also design features adopted from the world of aviation. Another discreet, fine detail is the embossed AMG emblem on the leather-lined selector lever.

The AMG DRIVE ÚNIT – which like numerous other interior features is available in genuine carbon-fiber – is the central control unit in the center console: it allows the driver to choose a personal vehicle setup, including adjustment of the optional Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension. The AMG Performance steering wheel with its high-grade premium leather lining and flattened bottom rim section provides perfect vehicle control. The shift paddles and lower steering wheel bezel are made of solid metal.

Fully automatic, weight-optimized soft top

The sensual experience in the 2012MY SLS AMG Roadster is further enhanced when the soft top is open, and the powerful, naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine with 563 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque asserts itself and makes the heart beat faster with its distinctive AMG eight-cylinder sound. The fabric soft top can be opened and closed while on the move at speeds up to 31 mph; the fully automatic opening/closing process takes only eleven seconds. The driver only needs to operate the roof control unit conveniently integrated at the front of the center armrest. When open, the soft top is space-savingly retracted behind the seats in a folded Z-configuration. Three soft top colors – black, red and beige – are available to suit the nine exterior and eight interior colors.

The three-layered fabric soft top is a weight-optimized magnesium/steel/aluminum construction, and contributes greatly to the car's low center of gravity. The soft top has a seamlessly bonded rear window of heated singlelayer safety glass. The flush, gap-free transition between the outer roof skin and the rear window keeps wind noise low. A continuous, flexible water pocket running under the soft top catches rainwater and directs it to the underbody via two apertures on each side. The trunk capacity is 6.1 cubic feet with the roof either open or closed, and therefore roughly equal to that of the SLS AMG Coupé (6.2 cubic feet).

Outstanding material quality and finish

The finest leather, matte-finished solid metal or optional, genuine carbon-fiber trim create an exclusive ambience and correspond with the authentic feel of the cockpit. Precisely executed decorative and contrasting stitching enhances the visual impression, heightens the hand crafted look and reflects the attention to detail which is the hallmark of Mercedes design.

The standard appointments of the SLS AMG Roadster include black designo leather, heated AMG sports seats, a detachable glass windstop, COMAND with Navigation and DVD player, anti-theft alarm system with tow-away protection and interior monitoring, dual-zone automatic climate control and the KEYLESSGO starting function. The standard AIRSCARF® system exclusive to Mercedes- Benz acts like an invisible scarf warming the head and neck areas of the occupants. It is integrated into the backrests of the AMG sports seats, and blows warm air from vents in the head restraints. The airflow can be adapted for different occupant sizes by means of adjustable louvers, and the level of warmth can be selected in three stages at the touch of a button.

Leather-lined roll-over bars with integrated mesh in a 'Silver Shadow' look are available in conjunction with designo Exclusive leather to reduce turbulence in the cockpit. Ambient lighting is integrated into the electrically folding exterior mirrors. Single-tone or two-tone designo leather in espresso brown is available as a new interior color – this dark shade of brown perfectly matches the new metallic paint finish AMG Sepang brown.

AMG Performance Media and Bang & Olufsen as optional highlights

In addition to the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound system, another optional entertainment highlight is the AMG Performance Media. In an unprecedented way, this racing-inspired system combines numerous telemetric displays such as engine data, lateral and linear acceleration and lap times on a racetrack. AMG Performance Media is activated by pressing the AMG key in the AMG DRIVE ÚNIT, and operated using the COMAND Controller. Key functions at a glance:
•Real-time display of engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid temperature
•Real-time display of engine output, torque and accelerator position
•Real-time display of individual tire pressures
•Real-time display of acceleration time from 0-60 mph (alternatively: quarter-mile)
•Real-time display of lateral and linear acceleration combined with braking performance and accelerator position, including memory function
•Recording of individual lap times on a closed racetrack, with sector times and memory function
•Integration of DRIVE ÚNIT functions to save setup data to memory and initiate RACE START

The different functions of AMG Performance Media are shown by the color display integrated into the dashboard. Three displays are shown at any one time, with the most important information positioned in the center. Digitally simulated dial instruments with red needles ensure outstanding legibility.

Specifically reinforced aluminum spaceframe, low curb weight

In addition to maximum comfort, the key factor for driving pleasure in the new SLS AMG Roadster is the outstanding performance. The basis for this is the innovative body design: the chassis and body are made of aluminum, a design combining intelligent lightweight construction with high strength. With a curb weight of 3,661 pounds (estimated), the Roadster is only 88 pounds heavier than the Coupé. The result is a remarkable power-to-weight ratio of 6.5 pounds per hp.

To achieve the same level of driving dynamics – without a fixed roof, the SLS AMG Roadster incorporates several features specifically designed to strengthen the bodyshell, including side skirts with greater wall thicknesses and additional chambers. The dashboard cross member is supported against the windshield frame and center tunnel by additional struts, and a curved strut between the soft top and the tank reinforces the rear axle. The lack of a roof and gullwing doors means that the open-top SLS AMG has a reinforcing crossmember behind the seats to support the fixed roll-over protection system. This also accommodates the 250 watt subwoofer of the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end sound system.

All this prevents unwanted vibrations right from the start, and makes it unnecessary to use the additional, weight-increasing vibration dampers that are often found in open-top sports cars. The weight-optimized aluminum spaceframe weighs 536 pounds, tipping the scales at just 4.5 pounds more than the gullwing model.

Intelligent material mix and low center of gravity

50 percent of the intelligently designed, weight-optimized aluminum spaceframe is made of aluminum sections, 26 percent of sheet aluminum, 18 percent of cast aluminum and 6 percent of steel. Maximum occupant safety requires the use of ultra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the A-pillars.

The entire vehicle has been designed to achieve the lowest possible center of gravity. This applies both to the low connection points of the powertrain and axles, as well as to the arrangement of the rigid bodyshell structure, which has been kept as low as possible. Examples include the rigid flexural and torsional connections between the front and rear section and the passenger safety cell, which have been designed to use force paths that are as low as possible.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

Stable even without gullwings

The convertible SLS AMG Roadster is the second car to be developed independently by AMG. The Coupe and Roadster concepts were created in parallel – very advantageous during the development process. During this 3-year development period for the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster, the engineers devoted particular attention to bodyshell rigidity, driving dynamics, the soft top and NVH.

Currently undergoing testing in Stuttgart, the 2012 SLS AMG Roadsters are minimally disguised as they cover their test routes. Easily identified by enthusiasts, these two-seaters with a fabric soft top have no Mercedes stars or model designations to be seen, just black adhesive foil at the front, rear and along the sides. The proportions speak for themselves with a long hood, large wheels and a short rear unified by breathtaking design.

There are still six months to go before the world premiere at the International Automobile Show in Frankfurt in September 2011. Time enough to verify the maturity of the new SLS AMG Roadster. The personnel responsible at AMG have already completed most of the work involved since the Coupé and Roadster were created in parallel. The development and testing of a new AMG high-performance car is based on the digital prototype (DPT). Extensive investigations help to achieve specific objectives such as the bodyshell design, weight distribution, engine position, center of gravity or axle design. The very latest simulation programs allow engineers to test handling dynamics, aerodynamics, ergonomics, crash behavior and production process. The digital prototype is therefore a complete, virtual automobile.

In the process AMG also uses the extensive know-how of colleagues at Mercedes-Benz, working with select Mercedes-Benz development departments at the Mercedes Technology Center (MTC) in Sindelfingen.

The latest simulation software and extensive test drives on all continents make the 563 hp Roadster fit for its Ú.S. market launch in late 2011. The specialists in Affalterbach particularly focused on bodyshell rigidity, handling dynamics, the soft top and NVH – 'Noise, Vibration and Harshness'.

Synthesis: rigidity, performance and a close-fitting soft top

Naturally all these development aspects are closely linked, as Tobias Moers (44), head of overall development and member of the Executive Board at Mercedes- AMG, explains: 'Without bodyshell rigidity there are no handling dynamics, and neither can the close fit of the soft top be guaranteed.' As the Roadster variant was already taken into consideration during the conceptual phase for the SLS AMG, the lightweight and extremely rigid aluminum spaceframe was specified at a correspondingly early stage. Due to the lack of a fixed roof and gullwing doors, it was necessary to design the side skirts more robustly, not just for crash performance, but because test drives showed that the driving dynamics could be improved even further by strengthening this area. Tobias Moers: 'The SLS AMG Roadster is a super-sportscar – just like the Coupe. It goes without saying that AMG is also determined to achieve superior driving dynamics with this convertible variant.'

In order to achieve handling dynamics identical to the Coupe – without a fixed roof - the Roadster has two features designed to increase the rigidity of the bodyshell: the cross-member carrying the dashboard has additional supporting struts at the windshield frame and at the center tunnel, and a structure between the soft top and the tank stiffens the rear axle. These features prevent unwanted vibrations from the start and dispose of additional weight-increasing vibration dampers often employed by competitors. Because of this rigidity, the soft top can be reliably opened and closed electrohydraulically at speeds up to while on the move at up to 31 mph. The bodyshell of the Roadster tips the scales at only 536 pounds – which is comparable to the low, 531 pounds of the SLS AMG Coupes bodyshell.2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
A few specific modifications to the aluminum spaceframe

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
Without a fixed roof and gullwing doors, the convertible SLS AMG has a reinforcing cross-member behind the seats which supports the fixed rollover protection system. The 250-watt subwoofer of the Bang&Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end sound system is located in the cross-member rather than the parcel shelf of the Coupe. One particular challenge was acoustic insulation of the cross-member, which acts as a subwoofer housing for the two 6.5-inch speakers connected in series. Numerous improvements became necessary before the required listening pleasure was met. It was only with the help of a special bulkhead within the aluminum cross-member that the system was deemed ready.

The three-layer fabric soft top of the SLS AMG Roadster, which is stored behind the seats in a Z-formation to save space, is also relevant to handling dynamics. This weight-optimized magnesium/steel/ aluminum construction provides a low center of gravity and is designed for speeds up to the maximum of 197 mph (electronically limited). Engineers stressed that whether open or closed, even at top speed there must be no intrusive flapping, booming, hissing, clattering, whistling or howling. Likewise the plexi-glass windstop and the paneling in the interior, on the soft top and along the beltline must be vibration-free. These precisely defined tests were conducted on the high-speed tracks in Papenburg, Nardo (Italy) and Idiada (Spain).

The superior acoustics, which AMG engineers verified with sophisticated measuring technology, also benefit from another special feature - the seamless, bonded-in rear window made of single-layer safety glass. A special production process not only provides a smooth transition between the outer skin of the soft top and the glass but also leads to low wind noise when the roof is closed – at any speed.

125 years of experience with innovations in convertible vehicles

Ensuring that the soft top is wind and water-proof is a complex undertaking, and AMG and Mercedes-Benz have used the enormous experience gained during 125 years of innovation. There have always been convertible vehicles throughout Mercedes-Benz history.

AMG developers of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster paid great attention to water, sand, dust, heat and cold. One special feature of the compact soft top is the continuous water pocket: this is attached below the soft top to catch rainwater and direct it down to the underbody via two openings on each side.

Endurance test with 16 criteria: the 'Sindelfingen rain test'

The rain test at the Mercedes Technology Center (MTC) in Sindelfingen is particularly demanding and every new vehicle bearing the Mercedes star is required to pass it - whether it has a fixed roof, a soft top or a retractable hardtop. Extreme amounts of water are used to ensure that the result of the development work is watertight – which is a particular challenge in the case of roadsters or convertibles. 16 tests must be successfully passed before approval is granted.

Tests include the hose test - when all soft top, door and flap seals are sprayed with a water-hose; the continuous overnight rain test, the fording test, the icing, swirl and high-pressure tests, and a final session in an automatic car wash. The rain test simulates every conceivable situation that can occur on any continent.

Bench testing and practical trials in all climatic zones

In addition to various test facilities such as the water chamber and the climate/ wind tunnel, the AMG specialists conduct test drives in all climatic regions of the world. In Laredo, Texas, for example, there is a particularly fine dust which finds its way into practically any gap, testing the absolute limits of the seals.

The compact fabric soft top, which can be conveniently opened and closed in just 11 seconds at the touch of a button at speeds up to 31 mph, must also submit to various tortures. One of these is the standardized soft top endurance test used for all new Mercedes roadsters and convertibles: 20,000 closing cycles on a stationary test rig, followed by 2,500 closing cycles while on the move (whether in extreme heat, icy cold, high humidity or dry desert winds).


2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
Endurance trial as a final quality check

Even though all the development tests have been passed, and the production tests at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen have been successful, the developers still haven't reached their goal. The focus now turns to the quality of the overall vehicle during endurance trials. These simulate an entire vehicle life under the toughest conditions in accelerated test cycles.

The endurance testing at a glance:

Long-term testing on a variety of different roads:
- all the components and systems are tested together in everyday operation. Loaded up to their permitted gross vehicle weight, the test cars are put through a precisely defined test program on country roads, highways and in city traffic.

Endurance testing on unpaved surfaces:
- in this case, the developers focus on the durability of the chassis and suspension components, the entire bodyshell and the integral subframe on which the front axle, steering and engine are mounted. The test cars are loaded up to their permitted gross vehicle weight.

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
'Accelerated' endurance testing:
- testing of the entire vehicle, focusing on the powertrain, chassis and suspension. Special features of the AMG program include 6,200 miles on both the Nurburgring's North Loop and in city traffic.

Full-load endurance testing:
- extreme acceleration and braking maneuvers with a frequent full-load operation, which place extreme demands on the cooling, fuel-delivery and braking systems.

Long-term corrosion testing:
- corrosion testing of the entire vehicle simulates the toughest dynamic and climatic environmental influences.

Final board approval:
- all-inclusive verification of the finished product.

World premiere on September 13, 2011, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show

This is an extensive and tightly scheduled program which for many AMG engineers will only be complete once the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster makes its world debut before the media at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on September 13, 2011.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

Concepts by Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Monthly Sales Volume

November 2019
33,721
October 2019
27,867
September 2019
27,433
August 2019
24,771
July 2019
24,612
May 2019
27,080
April 2019
22,949
March 2019
27,004
January 2019
22,507
Additional Sales Volume Data


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