Drop-top E-class testing ahead of launch early next year
9 October 2009

Mercedes has been final testing its new E-class cabriolet ahead of the launch early next year - and this new grainy shot shows that it has been undergoing development in the UK.

The car replaces the CLK convertible and will have a traditional canvas roof in favour of a folding metal lid, benefiting space for passengers and luggage.

See the full and updated spy hi-res gallery

Visually the car will be very similar to the coupe version, although the rear wings and bootlid will be unique to the drop-top.

One trick Mercedes hopes will create a new benchmark in drop-top refinement is a retractable wind deflector atop the E-class’s windscreen.

The small spoiler on the top of the windscreen is designed to direct wind over the top of the passenger compartment, eliminating buffeting and reducing noise with the roof down.

Another application could be to improve aerodynamics by keeping the air flowing over the car. Convertibles are often less aerodynamic than their hard-top cousins and Mercedes’ new innovation may help.

The coupe version of the new E-class is the world’s most aerodynamic production car with a Cd of 0.24, and Mercedes is keen to use slippery shapes to improve efficiency.

It is likely the deflector can be raised or lowered to give a more traditional wind-in-the-hair experience.

Mercedes is also rumoured to be working on a warm air 'scarf' system for both the front and rear passengers.

The car has already been testing at the Nurburgring and it would appear that the Stuttgart firm is viewing the new Lexus convertible and BMW’s 3-series as the car’s competitors. Engineers have been comparing the three models for refinement and performance.

When the E-class cabrio arrives next year it will have the same range of four, six and eight-cylinder engines as the latest E-class saloon and coupe, including the twin-turbo four-cylinder E250 CDI. Most models are expected to get the seven-speed automatic transmission.

Photos: Carparazzi

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Mercedes reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
7

8 October 2009

That's a handsome car, especially the classic convertible side profile.

[quote Autocar] the Stuttgart firm is viewing the new Lexus convertible and BMW’s 3-series as the car’s competitors[/quote]

I doubt Stuttgart gives two hoots about the Lexus - it'll be the Bimmer and the new Audi A5 soft-top convertible it'll be aiming to trounce. Lexus is way off the pace.

8 October 2009

Profile and rear look good but am not sold on the headlights and grill. Same effect as the girl with the great body who, when you take a good look in the mirror as you pass doesn't have a pretty face. Jag XF suffers the same syndrome.

8 October 2009

I really like this car, it's a proper four seater convertible, none of that cramped up in the back rubbish. I'll probably end up with the E250 CDI...

8 October 2009

[quote Topkat]

I really like this car, it's a proper four seater convertible, none of that cramped up in the back rubbish. I'll probably end up with the E250 CDI...

[/quote]

You'll have to wait a bit longer. The injectors on this new diesel engine family, made by Delphi(not the usual, better Bosch ones), have been packing up - an electrical fault apparently, blamed on the supplier's production process. Merc are recalling and fitting new ones. Production of all cars fitted with the new diesel has been throttled back to allow supplies of the non-faulty injectors to go to remedying cars in the field first.

What do you expect from Delphi(ex-GM, back with GM?), American tat. Stick with Bosch, Benz, even if they cost a few more pennies.

8 October 2009

[quote rogerthecabinboy]What do you expect from Delphi(ex-GM, back with GM?), American tat. Stick with Bosch, Benz, even if they cost a few more pennies.[/quote]

Acura, Ferrari and Holden all use Delphi MagneRide suspension; is that "American tat"? I guess Bosch hasn't figured out how to make a car handle yet as Audi and BMW use Delphi MagneRide suspension as well. Good old American know how underpin the R8, TT, M5, M6 and other premium models.

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
—Robert Allen Zimmerman

14 October 2009

[quote rogerthecabinboy]

The injectors on this new diesel engine family, made by Delphi(not the usual, better Bosch ones), have been packing up - an electrical fault apparently, blamed on the supplier's production process. Merc are recalling and fitting new ones. Production of all cars fitted with the new diesel has been throttled back to allow supplies of the non-faulty injectors to go to remedying cars in the field first.

What do you expect from Delphi(ex-GM, back with GM?), American tat. Stick with Bosch, Benz, even if they cost a few more pennies

[/quote]

I can only assume that this badly informed person works for Bosch. The Delphi direct acting piezo injectors are part of the reason for the E250 and C250 having one of the best diesel engines ever. It's new technology, outrageously advanced, and all the road tests are full of praise for the results. We should congratulate Daimler for being the early adopter.

14 October 2009

Yep American owned company, but what you probably didn't realise is that the Delphi piezo injectors are designed and developed in the UK!!!

Although they are manufactured in France!


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?