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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - S-Class - Cabrio

Frankfurt show: Benz to drop S-Class top

Tops down: Pricing and timing for S-Class Cabrio Down Under are yet to be confirmed, but it will go head to head with the likes of the Bentley Continental Convertible.

Benz S-Class Cabrio to make debut at next month's Frankfurt motor show

Mercedes-Benz logo17 Aug 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

MERCEDES-BENZ is gearing up to rip the covers off its two-door S-Class Cabriolet at this year's Frankfurt motor show, with the release of a teaser sketch via social media over the weekend.

Benz says the new-generation drop-top will be the first “flagship-level luxury four-seater” from Mercedes since 1971. The last large four-seat Cabriolet was the W111 built between 1961 and 1971 that pre-dated the first model to officially carry the S-Class name in 1972.

The Cabrio will be the sixth body style in the current W222 sixth-generation S-Class range that already includes the regular S-Class sedan, the long-wheelbase version, an ultra-luxury Maybach, the soon to be released Pullman limousine, and the S-Class Coupe on which the Cabrio will be based.

The German car-maker is keeping details under wraps for now, but British publication AutoCar is reporting that the S-Class cabriolet will have the largest folding fabric roof ever produced.

According to the online report, the S-Class roof will feature a large glass rear window, will be fully automatic and multi-layered, and has been designed to resemble the roofline of the Coupe, but due to packaging requirements for the roof, the Cabrio will have a longer boot deck and smaller rear side windows than its hardtop sibling.

Local timing and pricing is yet to be confirmed, but it is likely to arrive late in 2016, and the range should mimic that of the S-Class Coupe.

Currently that range starts with the 335kW/700Nm 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8-powered S500 from $319,000, plus on-road costs, the S63 AMG with the 430kW/900Nm 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 from $409,000, and the flagship S65 AMG from $499,000 powered by a 463kW/1000Nm 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12.

It is believed that Mercedes will pitch the drop-top against the likes of the Bentley Continental GT Convertible that starts from $419,100 and tops out at $507,400, plus on-roads, while Rolls-Royce's yet-to-be-seen Wraith-based Dawn is also likely to be in Benz's sights. .

Other obvious rivals include the BMW 6 Series Convertible priced between $193,900 and $308,600 for the convertible version of the brutal M6.

More details of the flagship Merc cabriolet are expected at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

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