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Mercedes Turned the SL Into an Open-Top Roadster With an F1 Halo Bar

Mercedes-AMG on Wednesday revealed the first car in its ultra-limited, high-cost “Mythos” series, dubbed the PureSpeed. It’s an open-top two-seater roadster that takes inspiration from the company’s iconic vintage race cars and from Formula 1. 

Though Mercedes doesn’t say it, the PureSpeed is very clearly based on the company’s SL convertible, using that car’s headlights and taillights. The front bumper eschews the traditional Mercedes grille for a streamlined grille-less sharknose look up top, while the lower grille gets a white-painted AMG logo. 

The windshield is gone, replaced by a halo bar structure like you’d see on an F1 car. The flying buttresses behind the seats are inspired by the 300 SLR that Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson used to win the 1955 Mille Miglia, according to Mercedes. The paint, which transitions from Le Mans red to graphite grey, takes inspiration from the Mercedes that won the 1924 Targa Florio.

Other parts of the car used learnings from the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar. There are carbon fiber aero bits on the lower section of the PureSpeed to improve aerodynamics. The carbon wheel covers are also there for aero efficiency, optimizing airflow around the wheels and improving brake cooling.

Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed Concept

“The Concept Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed offers a glimpse of what is probably the most direct way to experience performance and driving pleasure,” says AMG chairman Michael Schiebe. “Radically open, neither a roof nor the windscreen separate the two passengers from the elements. You can experience light, air and passion unfiltered with all your senses. As the concept of our first Mythos vehicle, it embodies the highest level of exclusivity. Design elements such as the HALO also create a Formula 1 feeling.” 

Mercedes did not detail the PureSpeed’s powertrain in its announcement, though it’s likely to borrow the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 from the SL63, whether in 577-horsepower base form or in 805-hp E Performance guise. Either way, it’s likely the most exciting SL you can buy right now.

If you can get ahold of one, that is. Mercedes is limiting production to just 250 units, and they’ll only be available to “the most dedicated Mercedes‑Benz enthusiasts and collectors,” according to the brand.

Pricing hasn’t been revealed, though we suspect chosen buyers won’t have an issue paying a premium for such an exclusive product.

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