By Nauman Farooq
Mercedes-Benz is a very confident company, so confident that Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of this prestige brand said: “The E-class Cabriolet will be the most beautiful car you’ll see here in Detroit .”
A strong statement considering all the beautiful cars present at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.
The new E-class Cabriolet takes over from the CLK Cabriolet, however mechanically they are not that different.
For instance, both the engines on offer at the launch of the new E-class Cabriolet, a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268hp and a 5.5-liter V8 producing 382hp, are carried over from the previous CLK. A more powerful AMG version is also in the pipelines.
Both the new E350 Cabriolet and the E550 Cabriolet also use the seven-speed automatic gearbox as previously seen on the outgoing CLK, and both the new models are also driving just the rear wheels.
So is it just a new frock over the same mechanicals?
While that might be true about the powertrain, there are plenty of new features to be found in and around the car.
For instance, the new inch-thick power soft top roof can be raised or lowered even while on the move, at speeds up to 40 km/h.
The most notable new feature has to be the AIRCAP system. This is a wind deflector that pops out from the top of the windshield which Mercedes-Benz says will cut down on wind turbulence in the cabin at highway speeds.
To make top down motoring even more comfortable, the now popular AIRSCARF system (as first seen on the SLK-class and SL-class), which blows warm air on your neck via ducts built into the headrest, is also available on the new E-class Cabriolet.
To avoid you getting too distracted while enjoying this cars new comfort features, the E-class Cabriolet also features ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness and alerts the driver accordingly.
It also features PRE-SAFE which exerts extra brake pressure in a panic situation and alerts air bags and pop-out roll over bars to spring into action much more quickly in the event of an accident.
So be in no doubt, this is a very safe car, probably one of the safest convertibles ever made.
The E-class Cabriolet goes on sale later this year, and while pricing has not been announced, it will probably be around the same as the outgoing CLK Cabriolet.