These are our first spy shots of a new convertible version of the
redesigned 2014 S Class
, which luxury German automaker Mercedes-Benz should be launching approximately one year after the arrival of the regular sedan late next summer.
A convertible S Class has been rumored ever since the unveiling of the stunning Ocean Drive concept
at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, and if you look closely this latest prototype even has similar wheel to the ones on the original concept.
Unlike the Ocean Drive, which kept a four-door body, the new S Class convertible, which Mercedes will likely call an S Class Cabriolet, will only feature two doors. And don’t be fooled by the prototype’s hard-top roof; it’s almost certain to be a dummy unit hiding a conventional folding soft-top underneath.
The addition of new, more premium S Class variants is part of Mercedes’ plans to expand into the ultra-luxury segment now that Maybach has been discontinued
. This will see a handful of new S Class variants launched over the coming years, including the regular sedan and long-wheelbase models, an extra long ‘Pullman’ limo, this S Class Cabriolet, and a new S Class coupe to replace the CL Class.
All S Class variants will be based on the modular ‘MRA’ platform
(Mercedes Rear-wheel Architecture), which debuts in the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan and will eventually feature in most of the automaker’s mid- to full-size models. MRA is thought to feature a new four-link front suspension design that will further decouple the steering, braking and damping forces. A conventional multilink setup will remain in the rear.
Note, while the new platform will mostly consist of steel, there will still be plenty of aluminum and more exotic materials in order to keep weight down.
As for the engine lineup in this new S Class Cabriolet, expect a similar offering to that of the 2014 S Class sedan. This means a twin-turbocharged V-8 for the S550 model, with output at least matching the 429 horsepower of the outgoing S550 sedan. An S600 is also likely, with this model likely to feature a twin-turbocharged V-12 with more than 510 horsepower. It’s unclear if diesel, hybrid and AMG variants of the S Class Cabrio will be offered, though it is a possibility
Advanced technology we can expect on the car will include active suspension that reads the road ahead and automatically adjusts the damping, an autonomous-driving traffic assistant
that can follow a chain of traffic by itself, plus new interface and connectivity systems. The interior, in particular, is expected to offer much greater luxury and comfort than we’re used to seeing in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.
Look out for sales debut of the new Mercedes-Benz S Class Cabriolet in the second half of 2014, which means it will likely list as a 2015 model.
In the meantime, stay tuned for updates.