Friday, December 18, 2009

New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible in Depth, Plus 55 High-Res Photos

For those of you that fancy a topless E-Class, Mercedes-Benz has revealed a convertible version of the coupe that will make its world premiere at next month's Detroit auto show. The fourth member of the E-Class family, which essentially replaces the CLK Cabriolet, features a classic fabric soft top can be opened and closed fully automatically within 20 seconds at speeds up to 40km/h or 25mph.

Mercedes says that E-Class Convertible's boot capacity with the roof open is 300 liters (13.5 cu.ft.) , raising to 390 liters (13.8 cu.ft.) when closed.

The most significant new feature for the four-seater cabriolet is the AIRCAP system that consists of two components, a wind deflector on top of the windscreen that can be extended by around six centimetres or 2.5 inches and a draught-stop between the rear seats.

As well as reducing wind turbulence in the cabin, Mercedes says that the system also reduces the interior noise level. The AIRCAP can be activated at speeds of up to 160 km/h and remains in use right up to the car's top speed.

Other highlights include the redesigned AIRSCARF system that is integrated into the backrests of the front seats and provides warm air through outlets in the head restraints.

All E-Class Convertible models are equipped with seven airbags fitted as standard and a roll-over protection system that consists of two bars, each with a diameter of 35 mm, which are housed in the rear head restraints in modules behind the rear seat backrests.

At least in Europe, there are plenty of direct-injection engines to choose from, ranging from a 204HP four-cylinder diesel (to be followed shortly after launch by a 170HP E220 CDI model) to a 388HP V8 petrol. Here's the complete range:

  • E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Cabriolet (diesel): 150 kW/204 hp
  • E 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Cabriolet (diesel): 170 kW/231 hp
  • E 250 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY Cabriolet (petrol): 150 kW/204 hp
  • E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY Cabriolet (petrol): 215 kW/292 hp
  • E 500 Cabriolet (petrol): 285 kW/388 hp
In North America, the new E-Class Convertible will be offered only with the 292HP 3.5-liter V6 (E350 CGI) and the 388HP 5.5-liter V8 (E500).

Mercedes said that the four-seater cabrio will go on sale in March 2010.