South Africa Gets The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet has reached the South African market, with a fabric soft-top.

“In keeping with the motto “four seasons, four passengers”, all-year-round suitability was right at the top of the developers’ list of priorities. With the new E-Class Cabriolet, the cabriolet season lasts the whole year. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet provides pleasurable driving and comfort whether the roof is open or closed,” says Eckart Mayer, Divisional Manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars.

New features on the E-Class Cabriolet include AirCap, an automatic turbulence stop for passengers, AirScarft, heating for your neck and Acoustic soft-top.

The roof will be able to open and close in 20 seconds, and this will be possible when driving at speeds of up 40km/h.

Engines include the E350 V6 and the E500 V8 motor. There will be 200kW for the V6, with 350Nm of torque while the E500 will boast 285kW with 530Nm of torque.

Acceleration figures, or the standard 0-100km/h test, stand at 6.9 seconds for the E350, and 5.3 seconds for the E500 model.

A standard feature on the E500 will be the 7G-Tronic seven-speed gearbox.

Press Release

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

Four seasons, four passengers

* Comfortable: AIRCAP® automatic draught-stop plus AIRSCARF®
* Quiet: acoustic soft top as standard
* Safe: robust roll-over protection and new headbags

The highly appealing and emotionally charged Cabriolet is the latest addition to the successful Mercedes-Benz E-Class line-up. The open-top two-door model, features a classic fabric soft top, making for a stylistically pure cabriolet feeling. Viewed from the side, the new model is an intriguing proposition – with its clear proportions and a flawless cabriolet silhouette.

“In keeping with the motto “four seasons, four passengers”, all-year-round suitability was right at the top of the developers’ list of priorities. With the new E-Class Cabriolet, the cabriolet season lasts the whole year. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet provides pleasurable driving and comfort whether the roof is open or closed,” says Eckart Mayer, Divisional Manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars.

New features include:

* AIRCAP® automatic draught-stop: always on board and easily controllable at the push of a button, it reduces turbulence substantially for all four seat occupants
* Modified AIRSCARF® neck-level heating system
* Acoustic soft top fitted as standard

The soft top can be opened and closed fully automatically within 20 seconds – even when driving at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The cabriolet roof is stowed in a special compartment behind the rear panel. A retractable cover separates the soft top compartment from the boot area; this cover must be closed in order to close the soft top. If the roof is to remain closed, the cover can be slid rearwards, in which case the boot capacity is increased by 90 litres to 390 litres. A through-loading feature is included as standard for the new Cabriolet, as is EASY-ENTRY – a manually operated entry and exit aid for the rear passengers.

The proven powerplants for the new E-Class Cabriolet, E350 V6 and E500 V8, come with a number of practical measures. These include on-demand activation of the steering and fuel pumps, and an alternator control system which takes account of the current driving situation and the vehicle’s electrical power requirements, plus the crucial factor of outstanding aerodynamics. The Cabriolet’s cd figure of 0.28 is the best in its class, marking a continuation of the E-Class success story in the field of aerodynamics.

An overview of the engines:

* E 350 Cabriolet: 200 kW 350 Nm
* E 500 Cabriolet: 285 kW 530 Nm

The E 350 Cabriolet is powered by the proven V6 engine, this six-cylinder powerplant develops 200 kW and provides a peak torque of 350 Nm from 3 000 r/min. The powerful E500 with a V8 engine develops 285 kW and reaches a peak torque of 530 Nm. The seven-speed automatic transmission comes as standard on both models. The V6 engine provides a unique driving experience and takes 6.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, whilst the V8 engine takes 5,3 seconds. CO2 emissions are kept to a 229 g/km for the E350 and 257 g/km for the E500.

Precision-modified eight-cylinder engine

The eight-cylinder unit in the E 500 Cabriolet is the flagship powerplant, providing a blend of high output and torque yield with exemplary refinement and effortlessly superior agility. The extent of the powerplant’s capability is highlighted by the performance figures for the top-of-the-range model, which is equipped with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission as standard: 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds.

Less turbulence, easier to use: AIRCAP® is a world-first

In 1989, Mercedes-Benz introduced a world premiere in the shape of a draught-stop for the SL model series, followed in 2004 by the AIRSCARF® neck-level heating system to further enhance comfort in open-top models. Now comes another world-first: the AIRCAP® automatic draught-stop, which can be activated at the push of a button, greatly reduces turbulence in the interior of the new Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet, creating a sea of warm air. It is also much easier to implement and use than conventional draught-stops: there is no tricky installation, the two individual rear seats are easily accessible and the Cabriolet’s flowing side lines remain uninterrupted. AIRCAP® is therefore a classic Mercedes innovation: functional, comfort-enhancing, elegant and safe.

AIRCAP® consists of two components: a wind deflector that can be extended by around six centimetres with a net in the windscreen frame and a draught-stop between the rear seats.

The functions of the two components:

* Elevation of the free flow above the interior
* Net at the front reduces the annoying vacuum in the interior
* Draught-stop at the rear reduces the backflow

As well as enhancing occupant comfort and wellbeing, the reduction in draught when AIRCAP® is activated (it can be activated at speeds of up to 160 km/h and can remain in use right up to the car’s top speed) reduces the interior noise level – so passengers in all seats find it much easier to communicate.

The Cabriolet Comfort package includes AIRCAP® with AIRSCARF®. This patented system functions like an invisible scarf, which warms the occupants’ head and neck areas. AIRSCARF® is integrated into the backrests of the front seats and provides warm air through outlets in the head restraints.

The Mercedes engineers have modified this unique innovation specifically for the E-Class Cabriolet: in this model, an adjustment wheel pivots the outlet nozzle upwards and downwards by a total of 36 degrees over and above the head restraint height adjustment range, meaning that the driver and front passenger can enjoy the unique neck-level heating regardless of how short or tall they are.

Quiet, warm and windproof: acoustic soft top fitted as standard

Thanks to its acoustic soft top, fitted as standard, even the closed E-Class Cabriolet has one of the quietest interiors in the segment for four-seater premium cabriolets with a fabric roof. The soft top’s exceptionally high-quality insulation brings about a clearly noticeable reduction in the interior noise level compared to conventional fabric soft tops. Exterior noise caused by other vehicles and wind noise are therefore absorbed more effectively. On the road, the difference is audible from speeds of just 80 km/h, for example when driving through a tunnel or overtaking a convoy of trucks. At higher speeds, the benefits of the acoustic soft top are even more tangible. For instance, it is possible to have a perfectly normal phone conversation in hands-free mode even when travelling at a speed of over 200 km/h.

The soft top is of course waterproof and windproof. Plus it can be put through an automatic carwash without any hesitation. With a total thickness of 23.5 mm, the fabric soft top offers excellent thermal insulation, meaning that the E-Class Cabriolet is also ideal for use in winter.

Safety: robust structure, anticipatory protection and windowbags

The new Cabriolet offers the wealth of safety innovations one would expect from a Mercedes model. Highlights of the open-top two-door model include roll-over protection, the A-pillars reinforced by two additional tubes and the plug-in B-pillars. This new model is also the first Mercedes cabriolet to feature headbags. The roll-over protection consists of two robust bars, each with a diameter of 35 mm, which are housed in the rear head restraints in modules behind the rear seat backrests. If the sensors housed in the airbag control unit detect imminent danger to the occupants, pre-tensioned pressure springs are activated by pyrotechnic means, i.e. extremely quickly.

Consequently, both roll-over bars in the rear head restraints are extended. They reach their highest point and are locked automatically within a fraction of a second. In combination with the robust A-pillars, each of which is reinforced with two high-strength steel tubes, the steel bars provide highly effective roll-over protection. The plug-in B-pillars are extremely robustly connected as they engage in the side skirts, thus offering highly effective protection in the event of a crash. A shoe made from ultra-high-strength steel braces the inside of the B-pillar against the rear seat crossmember.

With seven airbags fitted as standard, belt tensioners and belt force limiters for all seats, not to mention crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger, the new E-Class Cabriolet offers the most extensive safety equipment package in this vehicle category. The airbags, which can deploy in milliseconds in the event of an accident, include front airbags and sidebags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag on the driver’s side, and headbags. The latter, which appear in a Mercedes cabriolet for the first time, are housed in the door panelling in the beltline area. Covering a wide area – around 0.7 x 0.5 metres with a volume of 17 litres when deployed – the airbags provide extremely effective protection for occupants large and small in the event of a crash. The side protection system – comprising headbag and thoraxbag – optimises the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the body. Rear sidebags are available as an option.

Further exemplary safety equipment available for the E-Class Cabriolet includes ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection, PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant
protection, the sophisticated Intelligent Light System, and
DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control.

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