By Vishnu Raj:
No folks, this is not about Heidi Klum or Gisele Bundchen going topless. But it’s about the newest baby from the German auto major Mercedes, the E-Class going topless. The all new Mercedes E-Class cabriolet or convertible as they call it in America.
Not more than 8 months back… there was news about Mercedes India losing its market share to fellow German rivals viz. BMW & Audi. Mercedes recently launched the SLS AMG, the C Class CGI and the E Class Coupe recently and seems to be riding high with as many as 17 launches in a quick span of time. Mercedes has also over taken BMW and become the largest selling Luxury car maker in India a title which it held for long before BMW took over that spot. In the recent past the company has gone into overdrive mode with a whole lot of new launches & the latest offering being the E-Class cabriolet. This adds to the already present E-Class portfolio comprising of the saloon & the two door coupe in India & yes, the station wagon version which is available in the west.
According to Mercedes, the Cabriolet version of the E-Class represents freedom of driving and celebrates the fun of motoring while cocooning the driver in top-class luxury while making a lifestyle statement. Interestingly, the E-Class in India has seven different versions with the Cabriolet being the latest offering. This makes the E Class a model with the most options. Mercedes claims to have sold 12700 E-Class cars since its Indian launch way back in 1995. Dr. Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz India Pvt. Ltd says that the E-Class Cabriolet heralds a new era of Open top motoring and that with its launch the versatility of the E-Class range is further reinforced.
Remember those old low slung convertibles where one could just jump in without opening the doors; the E-Class is not like that. It’s got a very elegant design & also a strong road presence. It still retains the youthful feel in it. Let’s not forget the kind of customer buying the car is going to be more sophisticated. The front headlamps & grill are very much similar to the E-Class saloon.
The new Mercedes Benz E Class Cabriolet is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 engine that makes 272bhp @ 6000rpm. This engine also has very impressive torque figures of 355Nm between 2400Â and 5000 rpm. This powerful engine is capable of hitting the 100kmph markÂ in just 6.9 seconds and takes the Cabriolet to a top speed of 250kmph.
The seven forward gears on the 7G-TRONIC transmission ensure that you always drive in the optimum engine speed range, which means that fuel consumption can be reduced.
The gearbox is very responsive & makes the car fun to drive.
Unlike the other premium convertibles which come with hard top, Mercedes has gone with the soft top fabric which has 3 layers, to insulate the cabin from external noise & protect from the other elements like rain, dust etc. The E Class Cabriolet also features unique AIRCAP features which in simple terms mean an automatic wind deflector that can be activated at a press of a button. This AIRCAP feature cuts through air and doesn’t let the wind come in the cabin even with the roof fully down. A very good feature to keep your hair style intact while driving with the Cabriolet’s roof down.
Speed is part of the cabriolet’s DNA, even the fully electric fabric top exhibits this, with the ability to retract or open within 20 seconds – at speeds up to 40 kmph. Available in options of black, dark blue or dark beige, the 3-layer fabric can be matched to the paint finish to suit one’s personal choice. The car fulfils the requirements in the safety department, other than the airbags it has roll bars neatly tucked in behind the rear headrests.
Then there is the optional set of Harman Kardon speakers. It comes with 12 loudspeakers & a subwoofer. This 450-Watt Dolby Digital 5.1 system provides a first-class musical experience. The speed-dependent volume regulation enhances your pleasure even further by ensuring a constant sound impression.
Mercedes have priced the Cabriolet at Rs.64.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) which makes it a direct rival to the BMW Z4 which was launched last year.
The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.