When it takes the Germans 44 years to come up with something, you know it’s going to be pretty special. The last big open top S-Class was launched in 1971, with the W111 generation, and now Mercedes has finally made a successor. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the new S-Class Cabriolet.
As you can already make out it’s a S-Class Coupe with the fixed roof replaced with a fastidiously engineered folding soft top. It’s claimed to be the largest soft top in production at the moment. The roof is compromised of three layers, because anything less would be too simple, and can be raised and lowered in 20 seconds and up to speeds of 60 km/h.
In true Mercedes fashion, the S-Cabrio comes packed to the rafters with all sorts of high-tech wizardry. The fully automatic climate control system for example will actually adjust itself depending on whether the roof is up or down. There are also dew point detectors to avoid fogging up the double-glazed windows, and there’s even a detector for solar radiation. Nice.
Of course, it also gets Mercedes’ AIRSCARF and AIRCAP systems, as well as heated and cooled leather seats. Like the S-Coupe, the S-Cabrio will be able to transport four people in top class luxury and comfort. And we can’t forget the LED headlights bejewelled with Swarovski crystals.
60% of the body is carried over from the Coupe, however thanks to the use of aluminium (half of the car is made from the stuff) and magnesium, Mercedes claims the S-Cabrio is no heavier than the Coupe and is “exceptionally rigid”. Luckily it’s also exceptionally beautiful. I’m a huge fan of the S-Coupe, which to my eyes is one of Mercedes’ best looking cars. But taking the roof off has made it even more beautiful and glamorous to my eyes.
The S-Cabrio is the sixth and final model in the S-Class range. As this sits at the top end of the Mercedes range, providing a grander open top experience than the SL roadster, there’s no diesel, hybrid, or V6 entry model. Instead the S-Cabrio range starts off with the 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8 S500. With 449bhp and 700NM of torque, it’s more than adequate for effortless touring capabilities.
Though, if crossing continents with a hurry with a thunderous soundtrack is more you’re thing then the S63 AMG Cabriolet might be for you. With AMG’s tried-and-tested 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 developing 577bhp and 900NM of torque, the S63 Cabrio could the ultimate cross-continental cruiser. That is, until the V12 S65 AMG comes along.
The S-Class Cabrio is due for a late 2016 launch in NZ, which gives us plenty of time to save up for what will undoubtedly be a very pricey automobile. Would you pick this over a Bentley GTC, Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, or the upcoming Rolls Royce Dawn?