Mercedes-AMG’s drop-top flagship is spotted lapping the ‘Ring at full chat, boss Tobiers Moers promises a “proper sports car”

The storming Mercedes-AMG GT is due to lose its roof for next year, and our spy photographers have caught it lapping the Nurburgring racetrack ahead of its unveil. It’s part of an expansion of the Mercedes-AMG sports car range which includes the hardcore new Mercedes-AMG GT R variant.

The prototype, seen going all-out on the infamous circuit, is only thinly disguised as we’ve seen before. Looking at the roof it’s clear to see that – as bosses confirmed to us previously – the AMG GT Roadster will ditch the SL and SLC’s folding hard-tops in favour of a less complex (and lighter) cloth item.

Speaking to Auto Express at the launch of the GT R, chairman of the Mercedes-AMG division Tobias Moers told us that a soft-top version was coming in 2017, but could be revealed for the first time at the end of this year.

“The convertible has moved well beyond the drawing board” Moers told us. “it will be the next AMG GT model to arrive”.

Moers didn’t reveal specific details about the drop-top’s engineering, but he strongly countered suggestions that it would cross into territory occupied by the SL. “The SL is a grand tourer, this will absolutely be a proper sports car”.

He also highlighted that the stiffness of the regular AMG GT’s chassis meant it would still be a sharp driver’s car, even accounting for the structural losses of the roof. The suspension won’t require major changes over the hardtop, either.

The electric fabric hood will keep both weight, complexity and cost down, but the perspex rear window of this prototype should be ditched for a proper glass item. It’s likely to be available as both the regular 456bhp GT and the 503bhp GT S at launch, but still expect a premium of at least £10,000 for the cabrio.

Moers also confirmed another road-legal GT model is on the way, but refused to give out details on that. It’s likely that we could see an even more powerful range-topper, possibly called ‘Black Series’, in 2018. We will also see a GT4 customer racing car that sits below the GT3 model.