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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: First Drive Page 3

 
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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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Suddenly, AIRSCARF!

Thunderous performance and timeless sex appeal only go so far, you know. Safe to say, it's all unicorn kisses and kitten noses in the SLS Roadster's lavishly outfitted cockpit, too.

Every copy comes with black leather, changeable with your choice of three leathers and nine exterior colors; heated seats, with the same scant leg room as the coupe; a power telescoping steering wheel; COMAND infotainment control with AM/FM/DVD/satellite radio; automatic climate control; keyless entry; and an anti-theft system.

We mentioned brown already, right? Let us wax enthusiastic next for AIRSCARF, the venting that pipes warm air around your neck, and for the new Bang & Olufsen sound system, only a shade or two less pure than the Bowers & Wilkins systems in Jaguars and Land Rovers. The tweeters don't rise from the dash like they do in some Audis, but these B&O pieces rest proudly on aluminum pedestals of their own, perfect accoutrements to the chrome and aluminum detailing on the shift lever, door handles, down the console and delicately applied to the flat-bottomed steering wheel itself.

The carbon-fiber trim offered up for the interior and other pieces, even the mirrors, signals some seriousness that the new AMG Performance Media system brings into focus. (Even without all-caps text!) The new system essentially puts a face to your performance driving, translating lateral grip, acceleration, engine data and lap times into an ever-changing display that doubles as the car's navigation system when it's being pressed a little less. In some markets--the U.S., not as likely--the Performance Media system will also bundle in wireless Internet access, turning the SLS Roadster into its own hotspot.

It's not as if it needs the help. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster's two seats already are a hot spot, if the fickle palates of Monaco's glitterati can be trusted. They may already be over the gullwing's drama-drenched door openings by now--but clearly, they still have a thing for something taut, topless and bronzed. As do we.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster goes on sale in the fall.

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  1. Mercedes has done a magnificent job in the past 5 years to re-establish their image and branding. They went from building German Lexus clones to building cars worthy of the silver arrow. Their design and engineering teams should be given raises.
     
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