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Frankfurt show: Mercedes chops S-Class top

Open for business: Mercedes has taken the tin opener to its gorgeous S-Class Coupe to produce the final member of the S-Class family.

S-Class Cabriolet returns to Mercedes line-up after 44-year hiatus


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2 Sep 2015

MERCEDES-BENZ has completed its S-Class family with a Cabriolet joining the sedan and coupe ahead of the drop-top's first public showing at the Frankfurt motor show this month.

The German car-maker claims its all-new S-Class Cabriolet is the most comfortable convertible on the market and has spared no expense to make the returning model as decadent as possible.

Based on the S-Class coupe launched earlier this year, the cabriolet has a folding fabric roof that electrically stows in about 20 seconds and can be operated at up to 60km/h.

Initially available from late next year as an entry level S500 and more performance-focused AMG S63 4Matic Cabriolet, if the drop-top follows the lead of its Coupe cousin, it will be joined by an even more potent AMG S65 version further down the track.

Local pricing is still a while away but the Cabriolet will almost certainly command a premium over the Coupe line-up, which ranges from $318,610 before on-road costs for the S500 to $498,610 for the S65.

Like the Coupe equivalents, the S500 has a 4.7-litre V8 that pumps out 335kW and 700Nm of torque, while the AMG takes the capacity up to 5.5-litres with a increase in output to 430kW and 900Nm.

The performance flagship of the cabriolets will get to 100km/h from standstill in 3.9-seconds and will crack 250km/h flat out, but when driven more conservatively will return fuel consumption of 10.4 litres per 100 kilometres.

In the case of the S500, power is sent exclusively to the rear wheels via a 9G-Tronic nine -speed automatic transmission, while the AMG gets all-wheel drive and a Speedshift seven-speed version.

Both cabriolets roll around on Airmatic air suspension with adaptive dampers, and drivers can choose Sport or Comfort modes. The system can also raise the ride height by 30mm for negotiating tricky surfaces.

Mercedes says it has broken new ground with the comfort and luxury of its new convertible and the multilayer fabric roof offers a quiet and cosy environment for its occupants.

Double glazing and a three-layer roof with “acoustic optimisation” keeps cabin noise to a minimum.

The roof is available in black, dark blue, beige and dark red, houses up to four occupants and can be operated remotely with the electronic ignition key.

With the top open, Mercedes describes the vehicles atmosphere as “yacht-like” and like an “open-air lounge”.

Passengers in the front row are kept toasty by the hot air-blowing Airscarf, heated seats and arm rests, while rear occupants also have seat heating.

The S-Class' Thermotronic Intelligent Climate Control automatically adapts when the roof is opened to maintain the same cabin conditions.

Twelve sensors and 18 actuators monitor the environment and send information to the control module, which maintains a constant temperature. The system also monitors humidity to keep the windows fog-free.

When open, the roof folds and occupies part of the boot space in a retracting compartment. When the roof is closed, the compartment automatically folds away freeing up the full luggage area.

With a low drag coefficient of 0.29, Mercedes says wind noise sets a new benchmark for the segment thanks to underbody paneling, wheel spoilers, rear axle cladding and specially designed exterior mirrors.

Interiors can be customised with a range of materials and colours and choices of standard, Nappa or Exclusive leathers, six different interior colour concepts including sea blue and porcelain combination, which Mercedes says is another nod to the nautical theme.

The S63 interior gets unique AMG seats, a perforated leather steering wheel and AMG lettering throughout.

On the outside, Mercedes says its big convertible has “a sensual and pure design idiom,” with a the black diamond radiator grille forming the centrepiece. When optioned with the LED headlight package, Swarovski crystals form the indicators and daytime running lights.

Sixty per cent of the Cabriolet bodywork is shared with the Coupe, but the use of die-cast, sheet and pressed aluminium has allowed the S-Class to retain a rigid chassis despite having a soft-top.

For the AMG version, weight has been minimised with the use of a magnesium bulkhead, lighter lithium-ion battery, and 19-inch AMG alloy wheels. Kerb weight for the C63 is just over 2.1 tonnes.

Other than the Cabrio-specific kit, all of the Coupe's equipment carries over to the drop-top with adaptive cruise control that operates down to stop and start traffic, autonomous braking, lane-keep assistance, cross-traffic alert and adaptive headlights.

Roll over protection is provided by pop-up roll bars that extend from behind the rear head restraints if the car detects an impending roll.

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