Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet revealed

There hasn’t been a full-size luxury convertible in the Mercedes-Benz range since 1971. However, that situation is about to be rectified by the new S-Class Cabriolet, which will debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show later this month.

Based on the existing S-Class Coupé, it features a three-layer powered soft-top that comes in a choice of beige, black, dark blue or dark red. Opening and closing take around twenty seconds, with operation possible at speeds up to 37 mph (60 km/h).

Mercedes-Benz S 500 Cabriolet (2016) Front Side

As a consequence of losing a fixed metal roof, extra bodyshell strengthening and the installation of a pyrotechnic roll-over protection system behind the rear head restraints have been necessary.

Such measures usually mean lots more weight but, remarkably, Mercedes-Benz asserts the Cabriolet is no heavier than the Coupé. That feat has been achieved mainly by avoiding the use of steel for some elements. The luggage compartment bulkhead is made from aluminium and magnesium, for example, while the rear floor section is aluminium.

To keep occupants warm when the roof is down, Thermotronic automatic climate control is fitted and all four seats are heated. Furthermore, Aircap automatic wind protection, Airscarf neck-level heating and even heated armrests are on the options list.

The S 500 Cabriolet is powered by a 4.7 litre V8 engine producing 449 bhp (335 kW / 455 PS) with 700 Nm (516 lb/ft) of peak torque. It’s complemented by a nine-speed automatic transmission and Airmatic semi-active air suspension.

Also being unveiled at Frankfurt is the Mercedes-AMG S 63 4Matic Cabriolet. This performance variant, which boasts a 576 bhp (430 kW / 585 PS) 5.5 litre bi-turbo V8 and rear-biased all-wheel drive, completes the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in just 3.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).

Availability of 4Matic is being restricted to left-hand drive markets only, though. AMG models with their steering wheels on the right are getting plain rear-wheel drive instead, but both versions are equipped with a seven-speed Speedshift MCT automatic transmission.

Prices for the 2016 S-Class Cabriolet have yet to be announced.

Mercedes-Benz S 500 Cabriolet (2016) InteriorMercedes-Benz S 500 Cabriolet (2016) Rear Side

Mercedes-AMG S 63 4Matic Cabriolet (2016) SideMercedes-AMG S 63 4Matic Cabriolet (2016) Front Side

Mercedes-AMG S 63 4Matic Cabriolet (2016) Rear SideMercedes-AMG S 63 4Matic Cabriolet (2016) Interior

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