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The Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster is just right

Not as hardcore as the GT C but not as bland as the GT

There's no way you'll escape attention in this. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

Go into any McDonald’s and they’ll give you a choice of sizes for your drinks to go along with your value meal. The selection is huge and certainly tastier and more satisfying than what you get from a barangay election ballot. I saw the same thing when I browsed the catalog of the Mercedes-AMG website. Half their model range have several trim levels for you to choose from. I always thought that each AMG car had only one variant, especially track-focused ones like the Mercedes-AMG GT. But apparently, that’s not the case anymore, and the GT Roadster gets a new “medium fries and drinks” option.

The new GT S Roadster variant slots in between the regular GT and the sportier GT C Roadsters. It gets some of the GT C’s go-fast bits that give it slightly better performance and handling than the standard car without going hardcore. It also gives potential customers more options as the GT Roadster range now has three variants.

Not all glamour with 522hp and 670Nm. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The power and torque figures for the 4.0-liter biturbo V8 are where you’d expect them to be: 522hp and 670Nm. That’s smack in the middle of those in the GT and GT C versions. The same goes for the 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds and the top speed of 308km/h. Common to all variants is the dry-sump lubrication system ensuring consistent oil supply even at high cornering speeds. Mated to this engine is the seven-speed AMG dual-clutch transmission that is similar to that of the entire model range. The transaxle layout is geared toward optimum balance which the GT range is renowned for.

Just don't drive it like this on EDSA. Or in Metro Manila, for that matter. You won't like it. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The GT S Roadster has a slew of performance parts from the GT C Roadster starting with adaptive dampers. By switching between available drive modes in the AMG Dynamic Select controller, this electronically managed system adjusts damping at each individual wheel depending on the selected drive mode, the road surface and how hard the car is being driven. Besides the dampers, the controller also adjusts other key parameters such as throttle response and the three-stage stability control system.

Another component handed down from the GT C Roadster is the electronic-locking rear differential. What used to be the domain of off-roaders now finds itself doing duty in sports cars like the AMG GT to improve cornering performance. Coupled with the car’s lightweight body and already high cornering speeds, this high-tech differential allows the driver to maximize the use of engine torque by improving corner exit acceleration and stability.

We're not really fans of the soft top, but it appeals to a certain demographic. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The beauty of the Roadster, of course, is that you get the same thrills as the Coupe, but with a lot more of the noise. This noise is courtesy of the performance exhaust system from the GT C Roadster. Paired with the above-mentioned AMG Dynamic Select are flaps within the exhaust system that move depending on the selected drive mode. To improve the Roadster’s structural rigidity and rollover protection, an aluminum cross-member is fitted and the fabric roof is supported by a lightweight frame made of steel, aluminum and magnesium.

AMG’s uprated composite braking system is also standard equipment on both the GT C and GT S Roadsters. These consist of larger 390mm discs up front and 360mm discs at the rear. For those wanting even more stopping power, optional fade-free ceramic brakes are available. These boast even bigger and thicker rotors that can withstand higher temperatures and prolonged track use and abuse. They are also 40% lighter than conventional composite brake discs.

Roof or no roof, the cockpit is just asking for it. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The GT S Roadster is a new addition to Mercedes-Benz’s increasingly diverse range of AMG products. It straddles the line between the warm GT Roadster and the piping-hot GT C Roadster. Going back to my McDonald’s analogy, it’s like figuring out whether to get the chicken nuggets with the regular fries and drink, or pay extra for larger portions. Pick the former and you’ll be left wanting for more, but get the latter and you won’t be able to eat everything. And then they offer you a medium-size option that is simply just right.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.