New convertible spied undisguised for the first time; Detroit launch, on sale April
17 November 2009

This is the Mercedes E-class cabriolet, which has been spied testing undisguised for the first time.

The new cabrio has been undergoing extensive development in recent weeks ahead of its official launch next year at the Detroit motor show, including at the Nurburgring and on British roads.

See the spy pics of the Mercedes E-class cabriolet

Its front-end styling is identical to that of its coupe sibling, while it will feature a traditional folding fabric roof to boost rear passenger and luggage space, and also keep its weight to a minimum.

A retractable wind deflector sits on top of its windscreen, which 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.

When the E-class cabrio goes on sale in April, 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.

Pics: Carparazzi

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17 November 2009

At last a proper 4-seater convertible.

17 November 2009

As with anything else from the Mercedes stable - it's no looker is it? - not that BMW can do any better.

17 November 2009

I take it that the "new innovation" is something similar to an "added bonus". Or does it mean "as distinct from the old innovation"?

Journalism isn't what it used to be - there was a time when a knowledge of grammar was thought of as a tool of the trade.

17 November 2009

I saw one of these fairly lightly disguised in Austria last August. It was so obvious what it was, I assumed it was close to launch and didnt even bother taking a photo of it! Darn it, could have had a scoop!

18 November 2009

I love how it has a fabric roof. Its increasingly becoming rare.

18 November 2009

I wouldn't say they are becoming rare exactly - many of the big convertibles seem to use them - Audi A5, Maserati, Rolls Royce, BMW 6 etc. as well as a lot of the new smaller ones - Fiat 500, Mini etc.

cant really understand why they felt the need to tape over the badges though :-)

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