This week in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz premiered the latest addition to its popular E-Class family - the 2011MY E-Class Cabriolet. The soft-top convertible is the first car to feature Mercedes’ new AIRCAP draught-stop, an air-deflection system that greatly reduces interior wind turbulence for all four passengers, front and back. Mercedes also announced the upcoming release of the much-anticipated SLS AMG. This gull-winged beauty is a stylistic throwback to the classic 1950’s 300SL, but with the technology of today.
The motto for the Cabriolet is “Four seasons, four people”, referring to the fact that all four passengers can ride comfortably with the top down, all year around (One would assume no Siberians will be buying this car). This degree of comfort is made possible by the AIRCAP, which not only reduces turbulence but also creates a “warm air bath” in the seating area. Unlike some conventional draught-stops, the AIRCAP doesn’t need to be installed after-market, doesn’t block access to the rear seats, and won’t take away from the aesthetics of the car’s profile.
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When you do want the roof up, it can be opened and closed within 20 seconds, even at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. Once it’s up, Mercedes promises the acoustically-insulated soft top will create one of the quietest interiors of any fabric top convertible available. The Cabriolet also features the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, that blows warm air from the front seat head restraints onto the neck and shoulders of the occupants. And like all the E-Class vehicles, the Cabriolet sports features such as the Attention Assist drowsiness detection system, the Pre-Safe accident protection system, and the Distronic Plus proximity control system.
The SLS AMG could have absolutely no special features, but still be lusted after. It is pretty nicely kitted out, though, to the point that Mercedes-AMG considers it “the highlight of the company’s history.” The car features an aluminum spaceframe body, an AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid-engine developing 571 hp, a seven-speed transmission in a transaxle configuration, and aluminum double wishbone suspension. It’s pretty peppy, too - 0 to 60mph in 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of 197mph.
The SLS and Cabriolet should both be available in the spring. No word yet on price, but it would probably be a good idea to start saving your pop bottles right now.View gallery - 36 images