The current-generation of the (W213) E-Class family has come full circle with the market launch of its final and perhaps most eye-catching member – the E-Class cabriolet. The latest model continues a long tradition of four-seater, fabric soft top convertibles which combine beautiful styling, performance, and a luxurious driving experience.
Compared to its predecessor, the E-Class Cabriolet has grown in length by 123mm, width by 74mm, and wheelbase by 113mm.
The E-Class cabrio now measures 4,826mm in length, 1,860mm in width and a height of 1,428 mm - its closest rival the (F12) BMW 6 Series Convertible, is slightly longer at 4,897mm, slightly wider (1,895mm) and slightly lower at 1,372mm. The E-Class cabrio’s larger footprint is claimed to benefit passengers in the rear in particular.
The E-Class cabrio will initially be offered with a choice of two diesel and three petrol engines, for the first time including variants with Mercedes’ 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive system. The engine specifications are as follows:
Note, the engines are also offered in the saloon and coupe models. Further engines will be added to the line-up in due course. As standard, all E-Class cabrio models are equipped with the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission.
The new E-Class cabriolet will feature as standard, the Agility Control suspension system with an amplitude-dependent damping system, which has a 15mm lower ride height than the saloon model’s suspension. The ‘Air Body Control’ multi-chamber air suspension, as seen on the E-Class saloon will be offered as an option.
To counter the loss of body rigidity typical of a cabriolet body style – the bodyshell structures at the front end and on the floor have been strengthened. The aluminium hybrid design, a feature of the Coupe model, employs bodyshell components that are made of die-cast aluminium and sheet steel. The front wings, bonnet and boot lid are all made of sheet aluminium.
The party-piece fully automatic folding soft top features a multi-layered structure with sophisticated insulation to reduce wind and driving noise. The tech is derived from the S-Class cabriolet model and is claimed to meet high-quality standards in terms of durability and operation. It can be completely opened and closed in 20 seconds, and at speeds up to 50 km/h. Even with the soft top stowed away, the newly-developed 50:50 folding rear seat backrests create a through-loading feature in the interior, improving on everyday practicality.
On the inside - the cabrio will feature as options, twin high-resolution 12.3-inch displays that offer three different styles for the virtual instruments – ‘Classic’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Progressive’. Another visual highlight is the ‘Silvershadow’ air-cond vents which inspired by a turbine engine.
Elsewhere, the E-Class cabriolet also ensures open-air comfort on cooler days, thanks to the electric ‘Aircap’ draught-stop system and ‘Airscarf’ system which circulates warm air around the neck area when temperatures are low outside. Heat-reflecting leather also improves comfort in direct sunshine.
The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the optionally available ambience lighting with 64 colours, with a special feature in the shape of a rear light in the roof liner of the cabriolet's soft-top.
The cabriolet offers all the familiar features available for the E-Class saloon and coupe models. Active Brake Assist comes as standard, as do seven-airbags (front, thorax bags, kneebag and curtain airbags), an optional rear sidebags is also offered.
The cabriolet’s roll-over protection system consists of two cartridges that are fully retracted behind the rear seats and therefore invisible. If a roll-over is imminent, these cartridges are pyrotechnically fired, whereupon they shoot out to provide a survival space for occupants.
The E-Class cabriolet will be produced at Mercedes-Benz’s Bremen plant and will be introduced in certain markets starting September 2017.