The folks from “Merc” have chosen the right time to reveal their summer bodies with an array of drop-tops now available to the South African market. From Mercedes-Benz, we have the C -Class Cabriolet and the S-Class Cabriolet which have both let their hair down. The C-Class Cabriolet is undoubtedly the most important of the two as it’s more accessible to the general public. As a result, this car should be the volume seller amongst all the cabriolets offered by Mercedes-Benz. It also operates against strong contenders such as the BMW 4 Series Convertible, a car loved by many a South African. The S-Class Cabriolet, on the other hand, is a tastefully luxurious affair, limited to those who have the means to enjoy the lavish offerings it features. As a result, this is a very exclusive car but offers rich brand heritage and a specific grandeur that only be achieved by this type of car.
Looking at both the C-Class and the S-Class, there is a noticeable similarity in design language. They have styled the cars to have a father and son appeal, both looking very sophisticated and handsome. The interior keeps to the chic theme of the exterior with modern and clean lines on the fascia and luxurious seats to match. The aim is to keep you driving with the top down, so measures have been taken to ensure a comfortable open-air experience. AIRCAP is one of the systems used to do this. This feature reduces interior turbulence in the car while driving to stop your ears from exploding, a feeling not loved by many. Another handy feature for the colder months is AIRSCARF, a feature known to many Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet drivers. This feature heats up the neck area of the person seated, allowing them to keep the top down even when the weather is frosty. If it does get unbearably cold or hot, you’ll be happy to know that it only takes 20 seconds of the soft-top to open and close on both the S-Class and C-Class. The difference is that you can operate the mechanism up to a speed of 60km/h in the S-Class and only 50km/h in the C-Class.
They see my floating, they hatin…
Another cool feature about these new Cabriolet’s is the AIRMATIC suspension that is optional on the C-Class and standard on the S-Class. This electronically controlled air suspension can be adjusted depending on which mode you want the car in. An option of ECO, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual is available, with Individual allowing you to customise the setup. The suspension is not the only smart thing in the S-Class though, an all new intelligent climate control system called THERMOTRONIC allows the occupants to have a fully automatic air-conditioning system. By using 12 sensors and 18 actuators, the system can provide optimum air distribution when the top is up or down. As a result, there will no longer be a need for a driver to save a setting for the car, it knows how best to keep you cool, literally and figuratively.
If the fancy looks of these new convertibles are not enough for you and you seek a little bit more power, you’ll be happy to know that there’s an answer. On the C-Class side, you have the C43 4MATIC which produces 270kW of power. If that’s still not enough, you can get the full blown C63 and C63 S cabriolets. The C63 produces the same 350kW you’ll find in the sedan and the S version makes a healthy 25kW more, giving it 375kW. The S-Class also has AMG versions with the “entry level” AMG being the S63 which ONLY makes 430kW and 900Nm whereas the S65 produces 463kW and (wait for it) 1000Nm.
So the long and short of all this is that if you want some drop top Mercs, you’re spoiled for choice. Whether you’re a slick executive or an Oligarch, Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG will have something to keep you busy with this summer.