Alongside the recently-introduced Coupé and soon-to-arrive new E-Class Estate (also due here in April ), the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet completes the family of models derived from the new E-Class Saloon whose arrival here last June has helped propel Mercedes-Benz back to the top of the executive and luxury car league.
Designed to be driven in comfort at any time of year, the Cabriolet has a sound-dampening soft top that can be opened or closed in just 20 seconds, even at speeds of up to 40km/h. However, I always suggest stopping your car while you open or close any cabriolet roof. Mercedes-Benz tells us that when used in the closed position, the top provides extremely high-quality insulation and one of the quietest interiors in its segment.
One feature that comes into play during open-top driving is their patented Aircap automatic wind deflector which Mercedes-Benz claims is a world-first. Button operated, it reduces interior air turbulence when the top is down whilst leaving the side profile of the car undisturbed by dispensing with the assembly required for conventional wind deflectors.
Other standard equipment and options include a new generation neck-level heating system with the appropriately named title Airscarf. Like an invisible scarf, it works by blowing heated air from adjustable vents in the front head restraints to warm the neck area of the driver and front seat passenger.
Safety items include the much-publicised drowsiness detection system, a distance control and braking mechanism that reduces the risk of rear-end collisions and an occupant protection package that includes the full range of driver and passenger airbags.
Combining comfort, elegance and year-round usability, the four-seater Cabriolet comes equipped with the same choice of engines and technical features found across the E-Class range generally.
The cabriolet model line-up consists of three diesel and three direct-injection petrol engines, including two new four-cylinder models that Mercedes-Benz say consumes up to 17 per cent less fuel whilst delivering significantly more power and torque.
In Ireland, attention will focus on the launch model E 220 CDI Cabriolet with Blue Efficiency, which comes on the market at €52,275 ex works.
Developing 170 bhp from its 2,143cc diesel engine, it consumes about 50 mpg in manual version. CO2 emissions from just 143 g/km put it within the Band C category with annual road tax of just €302.