SPIED: Mercedes-Benz' SLS AMG Roadster Loses the Top and Gullwing Doors

Mercedes-Benz is nearing the end of the development process of its forthcoming open-top SLS AMG Roadster, which will join the coupe model when it enters the market late next year. Apart from dropping the metal top in favor of an electrically operated fabric roof, as you can see from the location of the door handles in these latest spy pictures, the SLS AMG's famous Gullwing-style doors have made way for more conventional items.

The Roadster model will also gain a pair of partially hidden roll bars located behind the front passengers, which will deploy higher in the event of a rollover crash. The firm's Airscarf neck-heating system will most likely be offered on the standard list.

Under the elongated hood, the SLS AMG Roadster won't differ mechanically from its tin-top twin featuring the same 6.3-litre V8 powerplant with 571HP and 650Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will handle the delivery to the rear wheels. However, buyers should expect some minor losses in performance because of the added weight of the body-strengthening measures, which compensate for the removal of the rooftop.