Mercedes-Benz has announced that it is to add an SLR McLaren super sports car in the form of a roadster with a fully retractable top.

Mercedes says it, too, will be made of carbon fibre in order to ‘endow the vehicle with a very high degree of safety as well as extreme torsional stiffness at the same high level as the coupé version.’

The maximum speed of the new high-performance sports car, which is powered by an AMG V8 compressor engine delivering 460 kW/626 hp, is 332 km/h (207 mph) – the same level as the coupé.

Apart from two aluminium engine frames, its body is made entirely of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials.

The fully retractable top ‘endows the high-performance sports car with characteristics that are exceptionally unusual in a roadster’.

Mercedes says that ‘conversation is still possible at well over 200 km/h (124 mph) on open-air journeys thanks to the favourable aeroacoustics’.

The roof opens and closes semi-automatically in less than ten seconds.

The new Mercedes-Benz SLR Roadster, like the coupé, is produced at McLaren’s Formula 1 factory in Woking, England, in accordance with stringent Mercedes-Benz quality criteria and will be available as from September 2007.