To further diversify their ever growing lineup of models Mercedes
has developed a convertible version of the E-Class.
Based on the E-Class Coupe, the 2011 E-Class Cabriolet
will take over from the CLK convertible and bring a slightly
more premium and contemporary style to the market.
It's not a pretty car but then potential buyers probably aren't
the type to be too bothered about having the best looking convertible
on the block. Instead what the E-Class Cabriolet will do is
offer a quality product with sturdy build quality and impressive
longevity. As expected from a company like Mercedes it's also
packed with technology designed to make the lives of the driver
and passenger as comfortable as possible.
In keeping with the motto "four seasons, four personalities",
all-year-round suitability was right at the top of the designer's
and engineer's list of priorities. With the new E-Class Cabriolet,
the cabriolet season lasts the whole year because, while many
cabriolets tend to disappear from the roads in the Fall, the
E-Class Cabriolet provides driving pleasure and comfort whether
the roof is open or closed.
To help keep passengers warm in less than ideal conditions for
a convertible car the E-Class Cabriolet features the AIRCAP
automatic draft-stop system which at the push of a button reduces
turbulence substantially for all four seat occupants. The AIRSCARF
system provides neck-level heating.
The soft top can be opened and closed fully automatically within
20 seconds even when driving at speeds of up to 25mph.
The cabriolet roof is stowed in a special compartment behind
the rear panel. A retractable cover separates the soft top compartment
from the trunk area; it 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 capacity is increased
by 3.17 cu. ft. to 13.8 cu. ft. A through-loading feature is
included as standard for the new Cabriolet, as is EASY-ENTRY
a manually operated entry and exit aid for the rear passengers.
The new Cabriolet offers the wealth of safety innovations one
would expect from a Mercedes-Benz model. Highlights of the open-top
two-door model include roll-over protection, the A-pillars 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 1.4 inches, which are housed in the rear head
restraints in modules behind the rear seat backrests. A tilting
cone sensor detects imminent danger to the occupants based on
extreme skidding movements or acceleration caused by impact.
If this sensor then sends a corresponding signal, pre-tensioned
pressure springs are activated by pyrotechnic means, i.e. extremely
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 extremely robustly connected as they
engage in the side skirts, thus offering 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
With seven airbags fitted as standard, belt tensioners and belt
force limiters for all seats, not to mention 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 latter, which appear in
a Mercedes cabriolet for the first time, are housed in the door
panelling in the beltline area. Covering a wide area – around
2.3 × 1.6 feet with a volume of 17 liters 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 – optimises
the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the
body. Rear sidebags are available as an option.