There’s a changing of the guard happening at the most exclusive end of the luxury market—and a ratcheting-up of expectations—yet the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is staying at the heart of it.
With the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet, the esteemed nameplate adds an open-air version of the S-Class Coupe introduced this past year—with a soft-top setup—that could prove an interesting and entertaining alternative to the Bentley Continental GTC and BMW 6-Series
Slated to make its official bow later this month at the Frankfurt Auto Show, it’s the first flagship four-seat convertible, as Mercedes-Benz sees it, since 1971, as well as the fourth variant of the current-generation S-Class lineup.
A soft top, but one without any comfort overlooked
At about 198 inches long, the S-Class Cabriolet will be one of the longest convertibles on the market—and that should translate to some very usable back-seat and trunk space. Also, Mercedes-Benz claims to have a vehicle with “exemplary low wind noise”—thanks to a low coefficient of drag, underbody paneling, rear axle cladding, and wheel spoilers.
The top itself is a three-layer acoustic soft top, including an insulating layer that actually does double duty—in also assuring that the convertible structure’s bows aren’t seen from the outside.
ALSO SEE: Google Exec Buys Wife A Ferrari FXX K
The well-proven and much-loved Airscarf system, which helps provide some warm air to you neck during open-top driving, is standard here, and it makes driving on cool, sunny days considerably more enjoyable. There’s also an Aircap wind-deflector system that helps cut turbulence, and a Thermotronic automated climate control system that takes into account inputs from a dozen different sensors, helping to keep cabin comfort ideal for everyone on board.
Add a Warmth & Comfort package, and the S-Class Cabriolet adds heated armrests (center console and doors) plus a heated steering wheel.
A 449-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 powers the S550 Cabriolet, making 449 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque from just 1,800 rpm. It’s hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission, and can get this big drop-top to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. For those seeking more power, there's the model from the Mercedes-AMG skunkworks.