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Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet

Side view of Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet , going fast the way it's supposed to.

Overseas model of Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet shown.

Those of you who like classic old books set in the 1920s and 1930s (have you realised that that’s nearly a century ago) have probably come across references to motoring back then in “four-seaters” and “two-seaters”.  Motoring seemed to be much more of an elegant affair back then, at least according to the books, and the open-top motoring of the day provided an excuse for special fashions of their own – special hats, gloves, scarves and even goggles.  Motoring was fast, it was fashionable and it was fun.  Is there any way to recapture this heyday of motoring?

The Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet does its very best to hark back to these early days.  Not that it’s got retro styling or anything like that. This soft-top convertible certainly looks very modern indeed – and it’s got modern specifications that they barely would have dreamed of in their wildest science fiction back in the 1920s. However, the combination of top-down fun and the ability to carry three passengers (one in the front and two in the back) brings back the fun of motoring and trips out into the countryside for the whole family or a group of friends. And a time-traveller from those days to today who got a chance to look over the new S Class Cabriolet would still find some recognisable features, such as the luxurious Nappa leather upholstery and the high-gloss walnut trim, which never go out of style, and the elegant spokes of the 20-inch alloy wheels.

However, all the other features of the Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet would leave our hypothetical time traveller from the twenties dumbfounded. The exterior styling is aesthetically pleasing and has almost organic curves (even in the glass of the exterior mirrors), and we can recognise all the aerodynamic lines and recognise the promise inherent in them as well as the deep air intakes.  Our time traveller would appreciate the trim tailoring of the lines running along the bonnet and the sides, and would be literally dazzled by the LED lights (and metaphorically dazzled by the automatic headlight function and the Intelligent Light System that adapts to the conditions).

Back in the 1920s, the very fastest racing cars of all could manage 120 mph (that’s about 193 km/h) and the average motorcar had a top speed of 60 mph (= 96 km/h) if the roads were good enough.  The top speed possible in even the base model of the S Class Cabriolet is 250 km/h… and that’s been speed limited (although one of the options allows one to increase the top speed limit to 300 km/h).  Let’s just say that engines have come a long, long way since then (and Mercedes-Benz can be smug about how they’ve been at the forefront of engine design ever since Karl Benz invented the internal combustion engine).

There are three engines that you’ll find in the Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet to go with the three variants, the S 500, the AMG S 63 and the AMG S 65.  Let’s start with the S 500. This has a capacity of 4663 cc (not sure if this is large enough to call it a five-litre or whether we’ll call it a 4.6-L) and fires on eight feisty cylinders with direct injection and bi-turbo aspiration to produce 335 kW of power and 700 Nm of torque – the sort of torque you’d only find in a farm tractor back in the 1920s and then only if you were lucky.  This comes coupled up to the 9G-tronic nine-speed transmission that sends all this power to the rear wheels so you can have fun with it… and you get to fine-tune the fun by selecting one of three transmission modes depending on your driving style.

If the S 500’s engine would more than astonish a time-traveller, then what’s under the bonnet of the AMG S 63 Cabriolet would just about make him or her pass out with disbelief.  Even to modern minds, this is an engine with the wow factor: this 5.4-L engine (which has the bi-turbo aspiration and the direct injection of its smaller sibling) can deliver 430 kW of power and the torque peaks at 900 Nm.  Gulp.  This comes harnessed to the AMG speedshift 7-speed sports transmission… not for the faint hearted.

And then you’ve got the S 65.  Forget impressing our fictional time traveller: this 6-L V12 makes MY jaw drop with its raw power (463 kW) and the staggering amount of torque.  If it doesn’t impress you, you might need to check that you’re in good health and that you still have a pulse.  The torque peaks at 1000 Nm.  Yes, that’s 1000, one thousand, a four-digit figure.  Four digits also means a 4.1-second 0–100 km/h time.  This is not a diesel engine either (and one wonders what would be possible if or when Mercedes decided to add a diesel engine to the Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet line). Just as well this has got the full body kit (front apron, rear apron and side skirts) or it would just about get airborne.

I can imagine our time traveller stammering faintly “How on earth do you not get smashed to pieces in that thing?”  The answer to this question would take a very long time and would blow the mind of our visitor from the 1920s even more.  Like all Mercedes Benz units these days, the 2017 S Class Cabriolet boasts vast range of driver aids and sensors to help keep the car on the road.  As Isaac Asimov once said, any sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic to a less advanced civilisation, and our time traveller would probably have to classify all the electronics inside this cabriolet as working by magic.  Back in the 1920s, if you drove something that had blind spot assistance, lane departure warnings and a collision avoidance system that recognised pedestrians, and had active parking assistance, you would be on a horse.  In fact, the Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet has some sensors and abilities that go beyond what even the flightiest horse could do, such as a 360-degree camera, cross-wind assistance, acceleration skid control and a full electronic stability package.  The time traveller would have to start with the brakes, but even these would be stunning: ABS brakes with hill start assistance, automatic drying in the wet and autonomous braking as part of the collision avoidance programme. Back in the 1920s, you barely even had seatbelts, let alone airbags – and this cabriolet has the full complement of airbags front, side and window for a total of eight.

Interior of the Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet .

Overseas model shown.

As for the other comfort, convenience and entertainment features in the Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet, forget impressing someone from 100 years ago.  Even 50 years ago, the sort of thing that you can find inside this topless Mercedes would be the stuff of the most far-out science fiction. Even in the 1980s, things like voice control, a high-resolution display screen for 3D navigation, Bluetooth audio streaming, the ability to read and write emails and texts by voice, a wireless LAN hotspot and 10 GB of memory for music files would have been purely fictional. (If anybody else remembers the wonder-car Kit from the TV show Knight Rider, do you remember how amazing all that sort of thing seemed back then?  Now it comes as standard in this Mercedes Benz S Class cabriolet.)  About the only thing our time traveller might recognise is all the storage space, but things like the interior ambient lighting system that allows you to select from seven different colours, keyless entry, hands-free access, remote opening of the boot and automatic climate control would be not even found in homes, let alone cars.  Mind you, with the Bluetooth audio streaming to the smartphone and the wireless hotspot (and the 12-V socket to charge devices), you might be able to make that time traveller feel a bit more at home by streaming some hot jazz thanks to Spotify – it would certainly sound good coming over the 13-speaker Burmester surround system.

If your time travelling visitor from the 1920s plucked enough courage to actually come for a ride, he or she would be pleasantly surprised by the ease with which the electrically retractable soft-top goes back – and how quiet things seemed inside when it is up thanks to the “acoustic fabric” that makes up the convertible top itself.  The AIRSCARF would also make for a pleasant surprise, as this provides a gentle stream of warm air to keep your neck warm… which is why we don’t have special driving fashions.  The draught stoppers also mean that we don’t need to wear hats and veils, either.

Aren’t you glad you’re living in modern times, where you can enjoy the best of the best of technology as well as the old-fashioned fun of driving in a convertible?

Current model series include:

  • Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet S 500
  • Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet AMG S 63
  • Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet AMG S 65

For any more information on the Mercedes Benz 2017 S Class Cabriolet, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Mercedes Benz dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!