The Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed Concept Is a HALO-Topped Speedster


Mercedes performance division AMG has an odd problem. It sells an outlandish world class hypercar in the AMG One and a solid grand touring sports car in the AMG GT, but the large range in-between — once filled by cars like the Mercedes-McLaren SLR and SLS AMG —remains empty. Or at least, it did until now.

Enter the Mythos series, a collection of AMG models that are more special than the average GT but less specialized than the One. And the Mythos line is kicking off with a new open-top “concept car” called the AMG PureSpeed, which has just been revealed in Monaco ahead of the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

mercedes amg concept mythos sl speedster

Mercedes-AMG

Effectively, the AMG PureSpeed is a highly-customized, uniquely styled speedster based on the current SL-Class roadster. At first blush, it may seem like Mercedes is simply getting in on the trend of ultra-high-end roofless variants of existing cars that Ferrari and McLaren have been exploring since the end of the 2010s, but it’s actually a revival of an idea Mercedes first popularized with their own SLR Stirling Moss a full decade and a half back.

Like the Stirling Moss before it, the PureSpeed pays tribute to a Mercedes that won one of Italy’s two iconic open road races. While the earlier car honored a silver 1955 SLR that won the Mille Miglia, the PureSpeed wears red and grey in a gradient in honor of the 1924 Targa Florio winner. But unlike the Stirling Moss, the PureSpeed has something resembling a windscreen: a Formula 1-style halo.

While the halo design is an interesting homage to the Mercedes-AMG F1 team that dominated the Twenty-Tens and continues to compete near the top of the sport today, the halo system used in F1 is designed to deflect debris away from a driver and, by sitting right between the driver’s eyes, disrupt their field of view as little as possible. This system, however, sits between a driver and a passenger, making it potentially more obstructive to visibility and less useful as a safety device. Still, since the car has no other pillars, visibility should be exceptional even with the massive device encompassing the driver’s compartment.

Performance details have not been shared, but since the PureSpeed seems to be based on the current SL, that gives us a good place to start. The top SL-Class, the SL 63 S E Performance, is a hybrid that offers an outrageous 803 hp. The car is also available with 577 hp as the normal SL 63, with 469 horses as the SL 55 and 375 hp as the four-cylinder SL 43. Given the exclusivity of this model, the ultra-powerful hybrid makes the most sense as a starting point; that said, the PureSpeed doesn’t seem to have a charging port door on the rear fascia the way the E Performance SL does, at least to our eyes.

While the PureSpeed is called a concept, Mercedes says that 250 of the cars will be sold. Those, the brand says, “will only be available to the most dedicated Mercedes‑Benz enthusiasts and collectors.” No other details about the Mythos program or other low-run cars were shared, but this is almost guaranteed to be just the first super-high-end machine out of many to come from Mythos.



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