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E-Class cabrio retains fabric DNA

2009-12-15 09:08
Merc has released details of its forthcoming E-Class cabriolet before the car’s public debut, set for the Detroit Auto Show in January.

The W212 four-seater open-top retains its predecessor’s retractable fabric roof design, opting for a voluminous retention of boot space instead of folding hard-top styling symmetry.


With the fabric roof in place the new E-Class cabriolet boasts nearly 400l worth of boot space – truncated only by 85l when the fabric top is reclined.

Why is boot space important? Well, because the E-Class soft-top has always been a four-seater cabriolet and is as such required to transport four adults (and their baggage) effortlessly.

A neat feature of the latest E-Class soft-top is a load space beneath the roof’s enclosure, which enables the effortless transportation of longer items (skis, golf bags, surfboards and Christmas trees).

Aft deck surfacing neat - in traditional E-Class soft-top tradition. Peculiar W212 rear styling works better with the cabrio lines.

Comfy too

Despite the cabin cueing its architecture from the rather underwhelming E-Class sedan interior design, a neat feature (migrated down from the SL) is the presence of Merc’s Airscarf – which ventilates a channel of warm air around the neckline of the front passengers.

Posing has always been the raison d'etre of owning (and driving) any E-Class cabriolet.

With this in mind the W212 cabriolet enables you to seamlessly keep up speeds of 160km/h without any wind buffeting (rendering hair inch-perfect on arrival) thanks to the AirCap system.

AirCap is a 60mm deflector screen which deploys from the rear windscreen fold, significantly working against wind noise and cabin draft. This enables passengers to converse with each other at speed with the roof retracted.

And safe

The W212 is also the first Mercedes-Benz with head airbags in a convertible. The latest E-Class soft-top boasts seven inflatable safety restraints and the obligatory rear pop-up roll-bar.

Mechanically there will not be an AMG version, yet the E350 V6 (200kW/350Nm) and E500 V8 (285kW/530Nm) should suffice.

Ironically the 5.5l V8 powering the E500 cabriolet squares exactly the same outputs as the previous generation CLK55 AMG soft-top, which makes it an AMG-light of sorts…


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Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

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