2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster: I'd Choose the Gullwing...Or a Bentley
April 24, 2013
I adore the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. I adore it so much, there's a scale model of one sitting on my desk here at Edmunds alongside a Z8 and 22 other model cars of various sizes. OK, so I have a toy-collecting problem, but that's not the point here.
After a weekend spent in the SLS Roadster, including a brief road trip down to San Diego, I came to the realization that despite my adoration for the SLS, I most definitely wouldn't get the Roadster. For one, I would never lower the top enough to warrant it. Second, there's less headroom than in the Gullwing and at 6-foot-3, my hair annoyingly grazes the fabric roof. Third, no convertible can avoid the rattles and creaks associated with a removable roof. Fourth, visibility is even worse and it can feel quite claustrophobic in the cabin with the roof up.
Oh, and the gullwing doors are awesome. I cannot deny those play an enormous part in my affection for the SLS.
Yet, as my seat time increased this weekend, I realized that even the Gullwing might not be the best choice for the hypothetically uber-rich Riswick. For, though I'm quite comfortable around town and in shorter, exuberant mountain drives, I started to get fidgety as the journey got longer and straighter. No matter how I adjusted the seat, I couldn't recline or track it back far enough to get my long legs comfortable.
As the dimensions indicate both Gullwing and Roadster have identical legroom, neither would be a good choice for a road trip. I know most supercar owners will never take their pretty motoring baubles on such journeys, but I sure-as-hell would, and they'd be a lot longer than just L.A. to San Diego.
Furthermore, there's a ton of road noise that gets awfully tiresome. The adjustable suspension could use a cushier setting, too. So damn it, that would probably put hypothetically uber-rich Riswick into a Bentley Continental GT V8. It's without question less lustworthy, its doors are boring and it's not amongst the 24 model cars sitting on my desk. But it's impeccably built, goes like hell, sounds fantastic and even looks better since its redesign.
Ah, screw it, I'm hypothetically uber rich. I'd get both. Hypothetical dilemma avoided.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 21,970 miles