New Mercedes E-class Cabriolet first detailsE-class Cabriolet majors on safety and refinement
17 December 2009
Mercedes has announced details of its new E-Class Cabriolet, which enters the range as a replacement for the CLK Cabriolet.
The new Mercedes-Benz E-class Cabriolet features a traditional fabric top in combination with high-tech features intended to make it a car for every season of the year. The roof opens or closes fully automatically in just 20 seconds, and can be operated at speeds of up to 25mph - impressive considering its size.
Aircap keeps passengers warm
The main innovation for the new E-class Cabrio is the introduction of the ‘Aircap’ automatic draught stop. This consists of two parts - a draught stop between the rear seats and a wind deflector that pops up from the top of the windscreen.
It can be operated at speeds up to 100mph, and works all the way up to the car’s maximum speed. Mercedes claims it not only creates a ‘sea of warm air’ for passengers, but also reduces turbulence and wind noise, improving refinement.
In addition to this, front seat passengers can benefit from Mercedes’ established ‘Airscarf', which vents hot air from the front seatbacks to warm the neck. This has its biggest ever range of adjustment on the E-class - all the better for tall and short passengers.
Window airbags for E-class Cabrio
The new E-class is the first Mercedes convertible to feature window airbags, which act to protect heads in the event of an accident. The total number of airbags fitted as standard is seven, with an extra pair of rear sidebags available as an option.
Should the worst happen, the E-class Cabriolet features pop-up rollover bars in the rear headrests, which are pyrotechnically activated to lock into place ‘within a fraction of a second’.
Additionally, the convertible can be specified with the complete selection of other E-class safety aids - including Attention Assist (which monitors the driver for drowsiness), Active Bonnet (which pops up to protect pedestrians on impact), and Pre-Safe (which anticipates the onset of a crash and prepares the car to keep passengers as safe as possible).
New E-class cabriolet engines
The E-class Cabriolet is to be offered with a choice of three turbodiesel and four petrol engines when it goes on sale - with a high-performance AMG version likely later. Following the trend set by other E-class models, the Cabriolet is the most aerodynamic car in its class.
The fabric roof is 23.5mm thick, and made from acoustic materials - meaning it should provide excellent levels of warmth and refinement. Mercedes says the cabin is very quiet even at high speeds.
The boot is 300 litres with the roof folded, and up to 390 litres with it raised. A through-load system is fitted as standard, as is an easy-exit system for rear-seat passengers.
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet goes on sale in March 2010. Prices will be revealed nearer the time.
Follow Which? Car on Twitter
The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.
We're monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.
Don't worry if you haven't got a Twitter account - you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.