Mercedes’ S-Class Cabriolet has been a poorly kept secret for some time, but finally the German manufacturer has revealed its flagship drop-top for all to see ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Cabriolet is swooping in with the hope of stealing sales from the Bentley Continental GTC, and is the first car of its type in Mercedes’ product range in over 40 years.
With the roof in place, the cabrio’s profile is almost entirely unchanged from the sleek S-Class Coupé. The same graceful long bonnet and swept-back headlamps trail into the steeply raked windscreen and distinctive side kinks on the flanks. The rear has been revised slightly, with a longer deck meeting the more upright window of the soft-top, but the Cabriolet’s overall dimensions are identical to the Coupé’s.
As you’d expect, the roof is state-of-the-art. An ‘acoustically optimised’ multi-layer lining combines with a (rubber-like) butyl outer coating and double glazing to make it one of the most insulated soft-tops on the market. It folds down electrically in 20 seconds – either remotely or at speeds of up to 37mph – on to an automatically extending luggage divider in the boot.
And there’s a host of new tech to make the experience as luxurious as possible. A new Thermotronic climate control system uses sensors and actuators to automatically compensate for the lowered roof and maintain the temperature, and can even detect the presence of harmful gases entering the cabin. Draft-reducing electric wind deflectors and Mercedes’ Airscarf neck-level heating are also available. Under the skin, Mercedes has concentrated on making the S-Class cabrio both as rigid and as light as possible.
The use of aluminium and magnesium in the rear floor and firewall compensate for the additional weight of the roof mechanism, while extra floor bracing and die-cast cross members help to maintain rigidity.
From launch, two versions will be made available to buyers. The S 500 will feature a 449bhp twin-turbo 4.7-litre V8 engine that emits 199g/km of CO2, while the S 63 AMG is powered by a 577bhp 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8. It takes the cabrio from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, and the flagship features carbon ceramic brakes and air-suspension as standard.
In terms of pricing, we expect the Cabriolet to add around £10,000 to the standard Coupé’s £96,000 starting figure.
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