The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
MB USA Press Release
The Cabriolet is the latest addition to the successful Mercedes-Benz E-Class line-up. The open-top two-door model, which goes on sale in Europe on January 11 2010, features a classic fabric soft top. Viewed from the side, the new model has clear proportions and a flawless cabriolet silhouette.
In keeping with the motto "four seasons, four personalities", year-round drivability was at the top of the developers' list. The new E-Class Cab provides driving pleasure and comfort whether the roof is open or closed.
New features include:
The soft top can be opened and closed automatically within 20 seconds at driving speeds of up to 40 km/h. The roof is stowed in a special compartment behind the rear panel. A retractable cover separates the soft top compartment from the trunk area, which 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 trunk's storage capacity is increased to 13.7 cubic feet. A through-loading feature is standard for the new Cabriolet, as is EASY-ENTRY - a manually operated entry and exit aid for the rear passengers.
The European powerplants for the new E-Class Cabriolet are equally innovative: the new direct-injection diesel and gasoline models combine efficiency with effortlessly superior power delivery. Low fuel consumption been achieved through the use of new engines and a number of practical measures. These include on-demand activation of the steering and fuel pumps, low rolling resistance tires, an alternator control system that takes account of the current driving situation and the vehicle's electrical power requirements, and 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:
Less turbulence, easier to use: AIRCAP® is a world-first
In 1989, Mercedes-Benz introduced a world premiere in the shape of a draft-stop for the SL series. This was followed in 2004 by the AIRSCARF® neck-level heating system, which further enhanced comfort in open-top models. Now Mercedes-Benz introduces another world-first: the AIRCAP® automatic draft-stop. This can be activated at the push of a button, and greatly reduces turbulence in the interior of the new Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet. This new feature actually creates a sea of warm air. It is also much easier to implement and use than conventional draft stopping devices: there is no tricky installation, the two individual rear seats remain free and the Cabriolet's flowing side lines remain uninterrupted. AIRCAP® is therefore a typical Mercedes innovation: functional, comfort-enhancing, elegant and safe.
AIRCAP® consists of two components: a wind deflector that can be extended by around two inches with a net in the windscreen frame and a draft-stop between the rear seats.
The functions of the two components:
As well as increasing comfort, AIRCAP® reduces the interior noise level, allowing passengers in all seats to find it easier to communicate. AIRCAP® can be activated at speeds of up to 100 MPH (not that anyone recommends this be attempted in the US) and remains in use right up to the car's top speed.
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. This allows the driver and front passenger to 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, the closed E-Class Cabriolet has one of the quietest interiors in the four-seat / soft top market. The soft top has exceptionally high-quality insulation, and brings about a clearly noticeable reduction in the interior noise, in comparison to conventional fabric soft tops. The top absorbs exterior noise caused by other vehicles and wind. On the road, the difference is clearly detectable when driving through tunnels or overtaking 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 when traveling at speeds over 125 MPH (naturally hands free and in Europe).
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 wet and or snowy winter weather.
Safety: robust structure, anticipatory protection and windowbags
The new Cabriolet offers the wealth of safety innovations we've come to expect from Mercedes-Benz. Highlights include roll-over protection. The A-pillars are 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. A tilting cone sensor detects danger to the occupants based on extreme skidding movements or acceleration caused by impact. When this sensor sends a signal, pre-tensioned pressure springs are pyrotechnically activated.
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 strongly connected, as they engage in the side skirts. This offers 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 standard airbags, belt tensioners, belt force limiters, and 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 headbags, which appear in a Mercedes cabriolet for the first time, are housed in the door paneling in the beltline area. Covering a wide area - around 1.5 x 2.5 feet with a volume of .6 cubic feet when deployed - the airbags provide extremely effective protection for occupants large and small in the event of a crash. The three-part side protection system - comprising headbag and thoraxbag - optimizes the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the body. Rear sidebags are available as an option.
For safe, economical, open top motoring, this new model is a welcome addition to the E-Class family.