The convertible combines all the thrills of the coupe with the freedom of open-air driving

After seeing some recent spy photos of the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster testing at the Nürburgring, there’s now an opportunity to see the drop-top on the move there. The test driver clearly doesn’t worry about getting aggressive with the pre-production model, because he makes other vehicles get out of the Mercedes’ way.

The GT Roadster looks mostly similar to its hard-top sibling, but the addition of the power-retractable soft top forces some styling changes at the rear. The new trunk is wider, which gives the drop-top bigger hips in the back. The convertible's rear also takes a small cue from the GT R by including a narrow, horizontal slat between the taillights. Inside, the only major changes would be the installation of Airscarf in the seats and additional controls for the top.

We expect the powertrain range to carry over from the current GT. Customers can choose between two tunes of the 4.0-litre biturbo V8 with either 456 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque in standard trim, or the S with 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both trims use a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox for driving the rear wheels. The use of a soft top should save weight and leave the convertible's performance very similar to the fixed-roof version. So far, there’s no indication that Mercedes-Benz plans to drop the 585 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque variant from the GT R into the open-top model.

Speculation suggests the C moniker actually denotes a slightly hotter model between the S and R. This is because a leaked product document shows the GT C Roadster's arrival in early 2017 and a GT C Coupe coming at the end of that year. The latter of this pair is still a mystery. Between their debuts, the German brand plans to launch the E-Class Cabriolet, which is for drivers who want a luxury convertible but need four seats.

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