A quick, cursory glance over the car market shows a few market segments not as healthily represented as they once were. Massive convertibles with sprawling room for at least four spring to mind, with the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead all but having that meal all to itself.
Well not anymore. Mercedes-Benz has unveiled an open-top boulevard-busting version of its tour-de-force S-Class. Following the sedan (W222) and coupe (C217) versions, the S-Class Cabrio features the same 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8 (335kW and 700Nm) in the S 500 Cabrio, or the fire-spitting 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 (430kW, 900Nm) in the S 63 AMG and S 63 AMG 4MATIC (AWD) iterations. The latter will cover 0-100km/h in under 4.0 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited 250km/h top end. Both engines are tied to a nine-speed automatic.
The roof itself can be deployed in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 60km/h – despite its added length borne from having to shelter a proper, capacious four-seater interior. The roof features three-layer acoustic sound deadening. Whats even more remarkable is the drag coefficient of 0.27 with the roof closed, or 0.29 with it open. Astounding figures on such a large car, let alone with a turbulence-provoking drop top.
Mercedes will be showing off the new drop-top at the Frankfurt Motor Show in a couple of weeks. It’s set to go on sale in Europe in December, with deliveries taking place during the first half of 2016. An Australian introduction is expected shortly afterwards.
Published: Thursday, September 3, 2015