Mercedes-Benz has completed its E-Class family with the new E‑Class Cabriolet. The new Cabriolet is the fifth and youngest member of Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class family, which has been renewed entirely within the space of one year. “The passion for extraordinary vehicles, which we share with our customers, is reflected in our new E-Class Cabriolet in a unique way. It is a car that lets people enjoy comfort and luxury in the open air,” says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG with responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales.
Suspension that is 15 millimetres lower than that of the Saloon emphasises the sporty character of the E-Class Cabriolet. The fabric soft top is available in the colours dark brown, dark blue, dark red or black. A fully automatic acoustic soft top comes as standard. Its multi-layered structure with sophisticated insulation is designed to reduce wind and driving noise. Mercedes says that the soft-top structure is equally effective when it comes to climate comfort, making the Cabriolet suitable for use all year round.
Derived from that of the S-Class Cabriolet, the soft top can be fully opened and closed in 20 seconds when travelling at a speed of up to 50 km/h (31 mph). After opening, it folds down and is stored in the soft-top compartment in the boot. A retractable cover separates the soft top from the remaining boot space. Thanks to the fully electrical control included in the optional Cabriolet Comfort package, the driver does not have to stop to operate the boot separator manually. The boot capacity is 385 litres (310 litres when the roof is open). The new 50:50 folding rear seat backrests create a through-loading feature in the interior.
Two optionally available high-resolution 12.3-inch displays (31.2 cm, 1920 x 720 pixel resolution) – a unique selling point in this segment – merge beneath a shared glass cover to create a widescreen that appears to be floating. The driver can choose from three different styles for the virtual instruments in the instrument cluster: “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”.
The driver has multiple options for operating the instrument cluster, multimedia system and other functions: touch controls in the steering wheel for finger-swipe control, a touchpad that recognises handwriting and the Controller in the centre console, LINGUATRONIC voice control and direct-access buttons, e.g. for controlling the air conditioning and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driver assistance systems.
The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the optionally available enhanced ambient lighting with 64 colours (standard in UK) and a special feature in the shape of a rear light in the roof liner of the Cabriolet soft-top.
Mercedes says maximum open-air comfort is possible in the E-Class Cabriolet thanks to the optional AIRCAP automatic draught-stop system and the AIRSCARF neck-level heating, which are designed to make the fresh air much more enjoyable even at low outside temperatures. The AIRCAP draught-stop system was developed specifically for Mercedes-Benz cabriolets. It consists of an electric wind deflector module integrated into the roof frame and an electric draught stop behind the rear seats. At the press of a button, this system reduces the interior turbulence for the rear passengers, too. AIRCAP is part of the Cabriolet Comfort package, which also includes AIRSCARF neck-level heating for the driver and front passenger by circulating warm air around the neck area when temperatures are low outside.
Compared with its predecessor, the new E-Class Cabriolet has grown in length, width and wheelbase: with a vehicle length of 4826 mm, a vehicle width of 1860 mm and a height of 1428 mm. Mercedes says the main benefit of the wider track, with 1605 mm at the front (+ 67 mm) and 1609 mm at the rear (+68 mm), is the driving dynamics.
At the market launch, there is a choice of petrol and diesel engines, including versions with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive for the first time. Further engines will be added to the line-up in due course. As standard, all models are equipped with the 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission.
The suspension on the new E-Class Cabriolet is designed to offer agile driving pleasure as well as a comfortable ride. Comfort-tuned DIRECT CONTROL suspension with an amplitude-dependent damping system, which is 15 millimetres lower than the Saloon’s suspension, is fitted as standard.
The likewise lowered DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL suspension with adjustable damping is available as an optional extra. With this suspension, the driver can modify the vehicle’s damping characteristics using the switch for the DYNAMIC SELECT system. There is a wide range of adjustment options available between the “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+” modes.
The Cabriolet also has the option of AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension, as already seen on the E-Class Saloon. Thanks to three chambers of different size in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle, the driver can control the hardness of the suspension in three stages. In this way, the occupants enjoy soft basic suspension, along with stability at higher speeds.
The multi-chamber air suspension is augmented by an electronically controlled adaptive damping system. It adjusts the damping at each individual wheel automatically to suit the current driving situation and condition of the road – such as in the case of evasive manoeuvres or on rough tracks.
Using the DYNAMIC SELECT switch, the driver can also select different suspension characteristics in combination with the AIR BODY CONTROL system: “Comfort”, “ECO”, “Sport”, “Sport +” and “Individual”.
However, the DYNAMIC SELECT system also enables the driver to influence other vehicle settings – such as the throttle response, ECO start/stop function, shift points of the automatic transmission and more. Depending on the equipment level, DYNAMIC SELECT provides the following transmission modes: “Comfort”, “ECO”, “Sport”, “Sport +” and “Individual”. “Individual” allows the driver to configure their own preferred transmission settings.
In a cabriolet, the lack of a roof often results in reduced body rigidity.Mercedes-Benz engineers employed specific measures to counteract this during development. For instance, they made the bodyshell structures at the front end and on the floor exceptionally stiff.
The lightweight construction in aluminium hybrid design – a feature of the Coupé – has been retained. Most of the bodyshell components are made of die-cast aluminium and sheet steel. The front wings, bonnet and boot lid are made of sheet aluminium. The Cabriolet not only meets all current national and international crash requirements, but also the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards, which are based on what actually happens in real-life accidents.
As a member of the current E-Class family, the new Cabriolet offers all the familiar features from the E-Class Saloon and Coupé. Active Brake Assist comes as standard. Further highlights include the Driving Assistance package with the further developed Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC including Active Steering Assist: on all roads, it is not only able to keep the car the correct distance behind vehicles in front, for the first time it can also follow them automatically at a speed of up to 210 km/h (130 mph).
Optional extras include MAGIC VISION CONTROL, a wash/wipe system for the windscreen. Its water ducts integrated into both sides of the wiper blade supply the cleaning fluid to a point just in front of the wiper blade lip every time, according to the direction of movement of the wiper. It allows cleaning of the windscreen without the familiar splash of water that can briefly disrupt the driver’s field of view. Furthermore, when the soft top is down, the Cabriolet function’s electronic control system reduces the amount of water, supplying the required amount of water to a point just in front of the wiper blade lip, mainly on the downward stroke of the wiper arm. In this way, the windscreen can be cleaned at any speed and with the roof open – without any of the water spraying into the vehicle interior. The complete system, including the wiper blades, is heated when the outside temperature falls to prevent snow or ice from sticking in winter.
Mercedes says the E-Class Cabriolet is suitable for all seasons and all weather conditions thanks to the optional AIRCAP automatic draught-stop system and the AIRSCARF neck-level heating.
The optional COMAND Online infotainment system enables integration of the smartphone into the infotainment system by means of capacitive aerial coupling and wireless charging. In this way, compatible mobile phones can be charged wirelessly and connected to the vehicle’s exterior aerial. Using Near Field Communication, the customer’s smartphone becomes the digital vehicle key with which the car can be locked and unlocked as well as started.
If the vehicle is equipped with COMAND Online, it is possible to use Apple’s smartphone-based infotainment system CarPlay as well as Google’s Android Auto.
The infotainment system Audio 20 USB is available as an alternative to COMAND Online. Like COMAND Online, this comes with a Bluetooth hands-free system and also has internet capability with a Bluetooth-capable mobile phone with mobile phone card and data option. In conjunction with the GARMIN MAP PILOT SYSTEM, the Audio 20 USB and COMAND Online are able to receive current and precise traffic information from Live Traffic Information in real time. With COMAND Online, a new “Free Flow” technology uses green lines to make it visually clear to the driver where the clear routes are. It also takes account of traffic reports away from the main roads and depicts them visually.
Specially developed for cabriolets, the climate control system responds to whether the vehicle is being driven with the top up or down. In contrast to conventional systems, the climate is controlled fully automatically. This means that the driver does not need to select a mode for closed or open top, nor is it necessary to save a temperature setting for these driving conditions. An overlapping function performs the feat of achieving an unnoticeable transition between closed and open top (and vice-versa) for maximum climate comfort.