WEIGHT: 63 kg
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Good feeling through the steering wheel, a sensuous exhaust note rising from the fat rear pipes, and an unlikely ability to feel playful by way of throttle application and quick application of steering. None of that has disappeared with the Roadster — the car may look as serious as a hedge fund manager, but it really rewards you for getting after it. The stiffer, more traditional feeling of big brother SL is nowhere to be found. Moreover, the droptop has the kind of movie star good looks that make me feel pretty special as soon as I drop behind the wheel.
The convertible is lovely, no two ways about it. The low, round, female lines almost obviate that story before I hear it; clearly the Roadster was shaped by the wind, and only assembled by humans. Mainline competitors like the Porsche Cabriolet and Audi R8 Spyder are both striking, but neither are so sensuous or classic.
Controls are a bit quirky — the buttons and knobs and starter button on the massive center console take a little getting used to, as does the dinky gear selector… and the very odd ignition inside the cubby under the armrest. Great quality leather and exceptional touch points make up for the slightly weird control layout, I decide. A triple-layer cloth top not only clears my head, but it snugs up the interior in really impressive quiet. The fact that it can be raised in about 11 seconds is just the cherry on top.
Remind me why we need retractable hardtops again? A pretty defensible position, considering that the market-dominating can be had in dozens of flavors.
The GT Roadster will go to market with two variants in the fall of this year, joining some four versions of the GT Coupe for a full-frontal assault on Porsche. The base GT Roadster offers horsepower and pound-feet of torque from its biturbocharged, 4. Driving more than miles of suburban, wilderness, and freeway routes, I can report that the C feels quicker, though its little brother is far from slow.