Like a fan dancer doing a slow and carefully choreographed striptease, Mercedes-Benz is slowly lifting the fan to tease the new S-Class Cabriolet it will formally unveil at the Frankfurt Motor Show in barely three weeks time.
The German maker has been billing the droptop S-Class as “the first luxury four-seater cabriolet since 1971,” something that might come as a surprise to Bentley which will now get an only slightly less expensive competitor to its exclusive Continental GTC model.
“After 44 years we can again offer friends of our company an open variant of the S‑Class. The new S-Class Cabriolet symbolizes our passion for individual and timelessly exclusive mobility, which we share with our customers”, remarks Ola Källenius, board member of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.
We anticipate the S-Class Cabriolet will share many of the basic lines of the big Mercedes coupe, modified, of course, to accept the fabric droptop. The interior, as shown in this new image showing the new S-Cabriolet and the old ’61 220 SE Cabriolet, is virtually identical to that found in the current S-Class line, albeit pushing into the more expensive end of that spectrum.
Not set to reach showrooms until sometime around the end of the year in Europe – and possibly later here in the States – a price tag well above $100,000 is anticipated.
The image also reveals that the emphasis will be on comfort, maintaining the roominess of the current S-Class rear seat. Any sacrifice in space is likely to come in the luggage compartment.
The Cabriolet also should carry over the wide range of high-tech comfort, safety and convenience features, from the camera-based Magic Suspension system to the updated COMAND infotainment system – perhaps even the “hot stone-like” massaging rear seats.
Additional features are likely to be borrowed from other Mercedes cabriolets, such as the “Neck Scarf,” a system designed to blow heat on the back of a passenger’s neck so the top can remain down even in cooler weather.
(Mercedes planning S-Class convertible. For more, Click Here.)
The addition of the convertible will bring to six the number of different variants of the current S-Class line, at least by Mercedes’ count. This apparently includes the basic sedan and coupe versions, such as the S550, the various Mercedes-AMG performance options, and the two Mercedes-Maybach lines, including a stretched edition that will carry a price tag reaching into the $1 million range when fully customized.
(Click Here to see the new Mercedes AMG C63 coming soon.)
There have been rumors that Mercedes would go for a convertible version, and the big question was what form it would take. Some had expected the maker to opt for a four-door body, which would also be a significant milestone, a body design that hadn’t been seen since the iconic Lincoln Continental of the 1960s.
(To see more about the big ambitions for the new Smart ForTwo, Click Here.)
Such a design would pose significant engineering issues, especially in terms of meeting safety regulations, industry insiders have cautioned, one reason why Chrysler killed a project aimed at developing a convertible four-door version of the big 300C sedan a decade ago.