S-Class Cabriolet due in 2016
Mercedes-Benz has released a sketch of what its upcoming S-Class Cabriolet may look like when it is launched in 2016.
The Cabriolet is based on the S-Class Coupé, which for a change is actually a two-door coupé instead of a four-door made to look like a coupé, and will feature the world’s largest folding fabric roof on a production vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz has tried to keep the silhouette of the coupé intact with the folding roof, which also features a large glass panel. But concessions have had to be made at the rear of the car, which is more angular, and which has smaller rear passenger windows.
A large tonneau cover is located behind the rear seats which opens up to swallow the roof at the push of a button. To make sure that the lack of a roof has not compromised the car’s rigidity, Mercedes-Benz has strengthened the window frame.
There is still seating for four adults, as well as electronically adjustable seats for those sitting at the rear – the independently sculpted rear seats are separated by a centre console. But while it might be able to seat four, the folding roof also eats into the Cabriolet’s spacious luggage area when stowed, so trips might have to be limited to overnighters.
Mercedes-Benz will initially release the oversized cabriolet with a choice of two petrol engines, namely a 4,6-litre twin-turbocharged V8 which will serve as the S500, and the S63 AMG with the familiar 5,5-litre twin-turbocharged V8. The S500 will produce 335 kW while the AMG will thump along with 430 kW.
AMG is expected to also add a S65 AMG version, complete with a twin-turbocharged 6,0-litre V12 and 462 kW later in the S-Class Cabriolet’s lifecycle.
While the car will be rear-wheel driven as standard, at least one version will also be available with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic four-wheel drive system, which is good news for anyone who will want to boast a quick off-the-line time.
In the current S-Class range, the S63 AMG 4Matic is 0,3 seconds faster from standstill to 100 km/h than the rear-wheel driven S65 AMG, which has 33 more kW.
As you would expect from any car that wears the S-Class badge, it will come brimming with the latest safety features. This should include adaptive headlights and near-autonomous Distronic-Plus which can steer the vehicle for short periods of time.
The forward collision system is also able to apply the brakes if it detects an obstacle and operates at speeds from 7 km/h to 200 km/h.
A new tilt function is expected to form part of the car’s Magic Ride Control. This system will be able to lean the car in a corner similar to how a motorcycle would lean into a turn at high speed, aiding stability and passenger comfort.
The S-Class Cabriolet is expected to debut in Europe early next next year, while South Africans will probably have to wait until Q3 2016.