The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet: Open-top luxury

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet: Open-top luxury

Apr 15, 2016  Mechanical engineering 

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet: Open-top luxury
(Photo by: Daimler)

The new Cabriolet is the sixth variant of the current S-Class family and the first open-top luxury four-seater from Mercedes-Benz since 1971.

It offers a distinctive, sensual and exclusive design, the cutting-edge technology of the S-Class and a comprehensive warmth and wind protection concept which includes intelligent climate control for cabriolets. At the same time, Mercedes-AMG is presenting two superlative dream cars in the guise of the S 63 4MATIC and the S 65 Cabriolet.

For Mercedes-Benz, 2016 is the year of the cabriolet and the roadster. No other manufacturer offers so many and such young cabriolets and roadsters as Mercedes-Benz Cars. The new C-Class Cabriolet – the latest in a long line of dream cars – has just had its world premiere in Geneva, as has the Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC. Other signs of spring are the two updated SL and SLC roadsters, as well as the performance roadsters from Mercedes-AMG. The latest range of convertible dream cars extends from the smart fortwo cabrio to the S-Class Cabriolet.

"After 45 years we are once again offering an open-top variant of the S-Class. The new S-Class Cabriolet symbolises 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.

Mercedes-Benz lays claim to building the world's most comfortable convertible. When it comes to climate comfort, the enhanced automatic wind protection system AIRCAP, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, the heated armrests, the seat heating also in the rear plus the intelligent climate control ensure that this is indeed the case.

Attention to detail is also evident in the luggage compartment concept: when the soft top is opened, it folds away into a section of the luggage compartment. The soft top is separated from the remaining luggage compartment space by means of an electrically operated retractable cover which encloses the soft top. This luggage compartment partition extends automatically when opening the soft top. This means that the driver does not need to stop in order to operate the luggage compartment cover manually, providing for added convenience. Additional benefits are standard-specification electro-hydraulic remote closing for the boot lid and a through-loading facility into the interior.

"Barely three years after its launch, the S-Class family has grown to six members. We have never offered so many models in the luxury class before - and never before have we enjoyed such success," says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes‑Benz Cars Development. "The S-Class sets the pace on the global market when it comes to safety, efficiency and comfort."

The V8 engine of the S 500 Cabriolet has an output of 335 kW (455 hp). The displacement stands at 4663 cc and the engine produces peak torque of 700 Nm from 1800 rpm. In NEDC combined mode the Cabriolet gets by on 8.5 litres of premium-grade petrol per 100 km, with CO2 emissions of 199 g/km. The innovative 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission supports both a dynamic and a fuel-saving driving style.

The Mercedes-AMG S63 4MATIC is even more powerful: its 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine offers an output of 430 kW (585 hp) and peak torque of 900 Nm, AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque split as standard and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. Top of the range is the twelve-cylinder open-top Mercedes-AMG S 65 with an output of 463 kW (630 hp) and peak torque of 1000 Nm.

Design: Dynamic profile, superlative class

"With its clear design idiom, our new S-Class Cabriolet is one of the most beautiful and exclusive S-Class cars of all time," says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "It embodies modern luxury in a very special way and is an expression of both effortless superiority and progressivity."

The centrepiece of the front end is the black diamond radiator grille featuring the Mercedes star and a single louvre in silver with chrome inserts. The bonnet adds dynamic touches with two powerful character lines. The striking front bumper incorporates large air intakes in the middle and at the sides. The chrome trim adds a sporty finishing touch to the front end.

The side design of the S-Class Cabriolet presents a thrilling dynamic coupé-style profile when the soft top is closed. Features of the side design include a low greenhouse, the dropping line of the side wall descending towards the rear and the fully retractable side windows. The multilayer, taut soft top underscores the vehicle's class when closed. The soft top is available in black, dark blue, beige and dark red.

The switch in the centre console can be used to open and close the soft top within around 20 seconds while on the move up to a speed of 50 km/h. The soft top is deposited above the automatically extending luggage compartment partition. With the electronic key, the soft top can also be opened and closed from outside the vehicle. The soft top compartment lid is framed by a wide chrome trim element. The closed soft top with glass window blends harmoniously into the rear view.

The rear end underscores the impression of width with flat LED tail lights and muscular shoulders. The rear bumper with diffusor-look lower section, two visible tailpipe trims and a horizontal chrome trim element add a sporty finish.

Inside, the S-Class Cabriolet boasts a luxuriously sporty design idiom and fine materials, conjuring up an exceptionally classy interior setting. The soft top opens up to create an open-air lounge that exudes a yacht-like atmosphere. The carefully matched choice of colours and materials as well as the high-quality controls in real metal or in chrome look underscore the vehicle's highly exclusive character. To enable the broadest scope for individualisation, there is a choice of leather, nappa leather or designo Exclusive nappa leather plus six different interior colour concepts, including a maritime-inspired combination of deep-sea blue and porcelain. The materials feature the highest standard of workmanship and are hand-crafted in character.

Aerodynamics: Exemplary low wind noise

With a Cd value of 0.29, aerodynamics world champion Mercedes-Benz sets a new benchmark in this segment with the S-Class Cabriolet. The excellent air flow characteristics are attributable, for example, to the underbody panelling concept with extensive engine compartment and main floor panelling, the extensive rear axle cladding, the aerodynamically optimised wheel spoilers, the aerodynamic shape of the exterior mirrors and the well-balanced power split between front and rear axle.

Like its sister model, the S-Class Coupé – the series production car with the quietest interior of all - the open four-seater offers excellent noise-related comfort, too. A three-layer acoustic soft top comes as standard. Bodyshell measures, the sealing concept for the doors and the double glazing are also crucial to the low wind noise level in the interior.

In addition to noise-related comfort, the aerodynamics engineers have also devoted special attention to maintaining a draught-free interior. The new S-Class Cabriolet is optionally available with the AIRCAP automatic wind protection system. This can be extended at the touch of a button to reduce turbulence in the interior.

Another optionally available feature is the AIRSCARF neck-level heating. This extends the convertible season by enabling comfortable open-top driving even at low outside temperatures. With this patented neck-level heating system, warmed air circulates around the head and neck areas of the occupants from the head restraints.

THERMOTRONIC: particularly intelligent climate control

The new S-Class Cabriolet premieres an intelligent climate control system which in future will provide for ideal climate comfort coupled with maximum user-friendliness in all open-top vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. In contrast to conventional systems, the climate is controlled fully automatically. This means that the driver does not need to select a mode for closed or open top, nor is it necessary to save a temperature setting for these driving conditions. An overlapping function performs the considerable feat of achieving an unnoticeable transition between closed and open top (and vice-versa) for maximum climate comfort.

With two climate zones and three climate styles (diffuse, medium or focused), the standard-fit THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control system enables an individual feel-good climate on board. Driver and front passenger are able to control the temperature, airflow and air distribution and to vary the temperature of their footwells in five levels, independently of each other. The optionally available Warmth Comfort package provides for even cosier warm conditions. The armrests on the centre console and the doors as well as the multifunction steering wheel can be heated, in addition to the seats.

Chassis and active safety: a fully-fledged member of the S-Class family

The S-Class Cabrio is fitted as standard with the full-support AIRMATIC semi-active air suspension featuring infinitely variable damping control. This system sets standards with respect to road roar and handling stability. It can be set to a sportier or more comfort-oriented mode, according to personal tastes. The four-link front axle impresses with a high level of driving comfort, plus precise suspension action.

Like the S-Class Saloon and Coupé, the new Cabriolet is available with numerous new assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safer. Intelligent Drive systems include PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, Distance Pilot DISTRONIC with Steering Pilot and Stop&Go Pilot, Brake Assist BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and Night View Assist Plus. Standard-specification COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 100 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles.

The PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system has been upgraded to PRE‑SAFE®PLUS. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision and warn following traffic by flashing the rear hazard warning lights at a high frequency. When a danger of collision persists, the system can "lock" the brakes of the stationary vehicle prior to a rear-end collision and activate the PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners immediately before impact.

Intelligent lightweight design: exceptional torsional stiffness, remarkably light

As the sixth variant of the current S-Class, the new S-Class Cabriolet (length/width/height: 5027/1899/1417 mm) is a member of the world's largest luxury model family. Its closest relative is the S-Class Coupé, from which the Cabriolet adopts around 60 percent of its bodyshell components. A completely new feature is the rear floor, produced in aluminium for the first time. This raises the share of this lightweight metal in terms of surface area to over 50 percent in the overall intelligent mix of materials.

In all, the body engineers have achieved two essentially contradictory aims: in terms of torsional stiffness, the S-Class Cabriolet even attains values on a par with those of the S-Class Coupé which was superseded in 2014, while at the same time the bodyshell weight of the current closed sister model has been maintained.

Standard-fit roll over protection system: Fully pyrotechnic

On detecting an impending danger of the vehicle rolling over, the airbag control unit sends a corresponding signal to the roll over protection system. This is quickly extended behind the rear head restraints, helping to maintain a safe passenger compartment. The roll bars are extended not by spring force, but – for the first time on a Mercedes-Benz – by pyrotechnical means, using a gas generator. This is made possible by state-of-the-art yaw rate sensors which, in contrast to the previously employed tilting cone sensors, virtually rule out incorrect actuation.

Via Daimler
Image,video ©: Daimler