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

Frankfurt show: First look at Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet

All in the family: The new S-Class Cabriolet is joined here by its great-grandfather, the W111 S-Class Cabriolet that was launched in 1961.

Information drip feed continues on Mercedes’ first four-seat cabriolet in 44 years

Mercedes-Benz logo25 Aug 2015

By TIM ROBSON

MERCEDES-BENZ has released a single image of its forthcoming S-Class Cabriolet – a car that has been 44 years in the making – ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

The abbreviated image does not fully reveal the new model’s external appearance, but it is unlikely to vary from the C217 S-Class Coupe on which it is based.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy confirmed to GoAuto today that the car would come to Australia late in 2016, initially in S500 and S63 variants.

A range-topping V12-powered S65 AMG variant is yet to be confirmed.

Mr McCarthy said the company expects the cabriolet to mirror the sales of the coupe, which is predicted to sell more than 50 units in its first year on sale.

“We haven’t got a handle on price yet, but we feel confident that it will do well,” he said. “It’s a niche, sure, but it’ll do very well.”

Mr McCarthy expected the sales mix to be split evenly between the two models.

“There’s interest from dealers currently, but it’s a bit early in the cycle for customers,” he said.

“Demand for cabriolets waxes and wanes. We expect an initial burst of interest before demand settles at a consistent level.”

The coupe is currently sold in Australia in three variants: a 335kW V8-powered S500, a 430kW V8 S63 and a 463kW V12 S65.

Sales are currently skewed 80:20 towards the S63, but Mr McCarthy expects the scales to balance as more S500s become available from the factory.

A four-seat interior for the cabriolet mimics the look and feel of the coupe, with heavily sculpted front seats complemented by equally shaped rears. Not only are the front seats heated, according to Mercedes-Benz, but the front armrests and rear seats are also fitted with warmers.

It borrows from the SL and SLK ‘Air Scarf’ neck-warming feature and the unusual ‘Air Cap’ spoiler that rises from the top of the windscreen surround and acts to deflect air and reduce turbulence in the cabin.

A pair of TFT screens complements a beam-style leather-covered dash, while rear seat passengers have full access to climate controls.

The cabriolet is likely to mimic the coupe’s specification levels, including the S-Class’s Magic Ride pre-emptive damping and corner-lean suspension system first see in the sedan, a nine-speed automatic transmission on the S500 and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission on the S63. The S63 will use the same engine as the AMG GT S.

Mr McCarthy suggested that the S-Class Cabriolet would attract “a premium” over the coupe in terms of price. The S500 Coupe starts at $319,000 plus on-roads, rising to $409,000 for the S63 and $499,000 for the S65.

The Maserati GranCabrio ($328,000) and the BMW M6 Convertible ($299,260) will potentially compete with the S500, while the ageing Bentley Continental GT W12 convertible ($449,500) compares with the S63.

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