Automotive

Mercedes drops the top on the S-Class

Mercedes drops the top on the ...
The S550 Cabriolet joins the already massive S-Class lineup, which includes a Coupe, long and short wheelbase versions and a Maybach limousine
The S550 Cabriolet joins the already massive S-Class lineup, which includes a Coupe, long and short wheelbase versions and a Maybach limousine
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The S-Class soft top can be put up or down at up to 60 km/h.
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The S-Class soft top can be put up or down at up to 60 km/h.
The roof has three layers to make sure the cabin is whisper quiet
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The roof has three layers to make sure the cabin is whisper quiet
Mercedes says the roof takes just 20 seconds to open
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Mercedes says the roof takes just 20 seconds to open
The roof uses butyl for improved water resistance
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The roof uses butyl for improved water resistance
It's over 5 meters long, but the S-Class Cabrio manages to avoid looking like a boat
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It's over 5 meters long, but the S-Class Cabrio manages to avoid looking like a boat
Up front, owners can spec the car with headlamps that incorporate Swarovski crystals
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Up front, owners can spec the car with headlamps that incorporate Swarovski crystals
The cabin is standard S-Class fare - beautifully built and full of tech
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The cabin is standard S-Class fare - beautifully built and full of tech
The car's climate control system is designed to work just as well with its roof up or down
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The car's climate control system is designed to work just as well with its roof up or down
It might have lost the roof, but Mercedes claims the S-Class Cabrio is rigid without being any heavier than the Coupe
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It might have lost the roof, but Mercedes claims the S-Class Cabrio is rigid without being any heavier than the Coupe
As you'd expect, owners can customise the interior on their cars for a properly individual luxury experience
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As you'd expect, owners can customise the interior on their cars for a properly individual luxury experience
Roof up, the car's profile is similar to the Coupe's
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Roof up, the car's profile is similar to the Coupe's
With the Aircap system specced, the S-Class creates turbulence to cut down on cabin noise
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With the Aircap system specced, the S-Class creates turbulence to cut down on cabin noise
The red leather seats might be a bit bright, but they would work will with the optional burgundy roof
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The red leather seats might be a bit bright, but they would work will with the optional burgundy roof
If you get too exuberant and roll the car, automatic roll-hoops spring up to keep you protected
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If you get too exuberant and roll the car, automatic roll-hoops spring up to keep you protected
The S-Class in its natural enviroment - the beachside display home
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The S-Class in its natural enviroment - the beachside display home
The climate control system uses 26 sensors to make sure the cabin temperature is properly maintained regardless of external conditions
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The climate control system uses 26 sensors to make sure the cabin temperature is properly maintained regardless of external conditions
Mercedes has utilised lightweight materials to make sure the extra body bracing hasn't dulled the S-Class' handling
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Mercedes has utilised lightweight materials to make sure the extra body bracing hasn't dulled the S-Class' handling
Power comes from a 4.7-liter V8 in the S550
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Power comes from a 4.7-liter V8 in the S550
With 700Nm of torque, you're not going to struggle to overtake on the go
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With 700Nm of torque, you're not going to struggle to overtake on the go
For a big car, the S-Class looks brilliant
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For a big car, the S-Class looks brilliant
The rear lights are straight off the Coupe S-Class, and make the rear of the car look low and wide
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The rear lights are straight off the Coupe S-Class, and make the rear of the car look low and wide
The S-Class Cabriolet is the first S-Class convertible in 44 years
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The S-Class Cabriolet is the first S-Class convertible in 44 years
For the full luxury-yacht look, white leather can't be beaten
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For the full luxury-yacht look, white leather can't be beaten
Mercedes has done a good job making the Cabriolet look like a purpose-built convertible - not a limousine that's lost its head
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Mercedes has done a good job making the Cabriolet look like a purpose-built convertible - not a limousine that's lost its head
The sides of the car are sharply surfaced, which helps to keep it from looking like a boat
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The sides of the car are sharply surfaced, which helps to keep it from looking like a boat
Mercedes' diamond grille makes an appearance on the S-Class Cabrio
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Mercedes' diamond grille makes an appearance on the S-Class Cabrio
If you're completely addicted to power, the S63 AMG is the car for you.
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If you're completely addicted to power, the S63 AMG is the car for you.
Mercedes' new corporate face has made its way onto everything from the A-Class to the Maybach
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Mercedes' new corporate face has made its way onto everything from the A-Class to the Maybach
Thanks to the butyl layer in the roof, there are no major ridges in the roofline
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Thanks to the butyl layer in the roof, there are no major ridges in the roofline
The S-Class family continues to grow
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The S-Class family continues to grow
It's been 44 years since Mercedes has lopped the top off its range topper
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It's been 44 years since Mercedes has lopped the top off its range topper
The S-Class Cabrio is challenging the C-Class Coupe for best looking car of 2015
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The S-Class Cabrio is challenging the C-Class Coupe for best looking car of 2015
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The S-Class sleek profile apes that of the Coupe
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The S-Class sleek profile apes that of the Coupe
We can only assume this photo was taken by a friendly bird
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We can only assume this photo was taken by a friendly bird
The S550 Cabriolet joins the already massive S-Class lineup, which includes a Coupe, long and short wheelbase versions and a Maybach limousine
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The S550 Cabriolet joins the already massive S-Class lineup, which includes a Coupe, long and short wheelbase versions and a Maybach limousine
The S63 AMG has 900 Nm of torque
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The S63 AMG has 900 Nm of torque
View gallery - 37 images

Mercedes has added yet another string to its top-end luxury bow with a new variant of the S-Class. The S-Class Cabriolet joins long wheelbase, short wheelbase, coupe and super luxurious Maybach versions of Mercedes' flagship, backed by the bold claim that it is the world's most luxurious convertible.

The major problem that comes with creating a convertible is rigidity. By chopping the roof off a car, you're removing a major structural element, which means manufacturers are stuck in a bind: add weight and strengthen the body, or try and save weight and sell your car with a weaker body.

For the new S-Class, Mercedes has addressed the issue by using a magnesium luggage bulkhead and aluminum in the bootlid, resulting in the Cabriolet having a rigid structure but weighs the same as the S-Class Coupe.

The roof uses butyl for improved water resistance
The roof uses butyl for improved water resistance

The S-Class Cabriolet body pulls off another clever trick – even though it's more than five meters long, Mercedes has managed to keep it from looking like a boat. In fact, the latest S-Class is a fantastic looking car. With its broad, long taillights and sharply surfaced sides, Mercedes has outdone its own C-Class Coupe in the race for best-looking car of 2015.

The Cabrio's body is also aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of 0.29. Thanks to extensive underbody paneling around the engine compartment, main floor, rear axle and wind-tunnel-optimized wing mirrors, the S-Class Cabriolet's aerodynamic prowess helps to cut down on wind noise and fuel consumption.

If you manage to roll an S-Class Cabriolet, pyrotechnically activated roll hoops spring out from behind the rear headrests. The headrests are triggered by new yaw rate sensors that are more accurate than the tilting cone systems used on older systems. The pyrotechnic system is supported by a reinforced wall behind the seats, which also contributes to the extra structural rigidity in the body.

As you'd expect, owners can customise the interior on their cars for a properly individual luxury experience
As you'd expect, owners can customise the interior on their cars for a properly individual luxury experience

Also contributing to the car's low in-cabin noise levels are improved door seals, better window glazing and its three-layer fabric roof, which now utilizes a butyl layer for improved water resistance and a smoother profile.

If you're the sort of convertible buyer who doesn't want to hear the elements buffeting them with the roof down, Mercedes has created an optional Aircap system that utilizes a wind deflector and an extendable draught stopper that is designed to create turbulence that reduces noise levels.

The S-Class Cabriolet's climate control system is fully automatic regardless of whether the top is up or down. The system is fully networked with the rest of the car's functions and utilizes 12 sensors and 18 actuators to detect the levels of solar radiation and interior and exterior temperatures – there's even a separate sensor to check the quality of the air coming in.

On the go, the system constantly works to make sure the footwells and blower temperature work to perfectly meet with what the passengers have asked for.

We can only assume this photo was taken by a friendly bird
We can only assume this photo was taken by a friendly bird

Under the S500's long, low bonnet is a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 335 kW (455 hp) and 700 Nm, while using just 8.0 L/100km (29.4 mpg). But the engine that tops the range (and if you're buying this car, you want the range-topper) is the 5.5-liter, twin turbo V8 in the S63 AMG model.

The AMG V8 puts out 430 kW (585 hp) and a scarcely believable 900 Nm of torque. Those massive outputs make for less-than-impressive fuel efficiency figures, with the S63 slurping 10.4 L/100km (22.6 mpg) and emitting 244 g/km of CO2 on the New European Drive Cycle.

The S-Class Cabriolet will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this month. Gizmag will be on the ground covering all the action. Stay tuned!

Source: Mercedes

View gallery - 37 images
3 comments
guzmanchinky
FINALLY they have something to compete with the BMW 650i convertible! It would now be a tough choice between the two... Now if only I had the money... :)
EZach
Premium drop tops are almost free from any kind of noise or buffeting. But on modest roadsters, one must have an additional wind deflector to keep the bogey in check. The problem was so overwhelming that my car guy mounted a BackBlade windstop or something on it! And admittedly, my Cabrio is now silent no matter I hustle it along or take it on an easy Sunday morning cruise!
AndyWilliams
@EZach, I too have affixed a Backblade windblocker on my ride few weeks ago, and the wind noise and turbulence have almost vanished. Maybe there are other wind deflectors that are as good as this, but I would always vouch that this assuredly does its job well.