Official: Mercedes SLS Roadster unveiled image

Mercedes Benz has offered up a sneak preview of its upcoming SLS Roadster soft-top supercar, ahead of the car’s official unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

For reasons that don’t make a lot sense since no one is going to be fooled, the pictures show the Mercedes badges covered over as the car undergoes testing in Germany.

Mercedes says the SLS’s lightweight aluminium spaceframe took into consideration a Roadster version right from the very start of its development. Therefore the side sills were reinforced to improve dynamics and increase rigidity.

Will it be the 6.3-liter naturally aspirated engine currently used in the gullwing coupe or will AMG stuff the new 5.5-liter turbo eight under the hood? Well, a few pages into the release reveals that the roadster is rated at 563 horsepower, the same output as the coupe. So for now we can safely assume that it’s getting the same engine as the gullwing.

Other changes to increase strength include a new cross member to support the dashboard and additional bracing around the window frames and transmission tunnel. Even with the lack of a roof, the SLS Roadster body shell weighs just five pounds more than the Coupe.

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After its debut at the Frankfurt show on 13 September, the SLS Roadster will reach showrooms later in the autumn. Pricing has yet to be announced.