What is it?
Conventional wisdom has it that when buying a convertible you must go for the sweetest, most splendid engine you possibly can.
It’s not hard to understand why. Roof down you’re going to that much more exposed to its charms – or otherwise – and because such cars champion laid-back luxury you really should have a powerplant of commensurate depth and refinement. Unless you’re talking about a carbon-tubbed supercar, convertibles are also heavier than their coupe counterparts, so going with a punchier powerplant is of practical benefit, too.
For the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet, that engine is the 2996cc twin-turbo V6 tested here. It crowns a range mainly consisting of turbocharged four-cylinder diesel and petrol options and does so because unlike the more compact C-Class and barge-sized S-Class Cabriolets, with the E-Class there is no Affalterbach-built beast badged ‘AMG’ to delight in. It’s an engine that touts 328bhp and 354lb ft, with the latter arriving usefully early at just 1600rpm.
Going for the E400 obliges you have AMG Line trim (which includes larger wheels, a dotted front grille and more aggressive bumpers and skirts) and 4Matic four-wheel drive. Meanwhile the only gearbox option is Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic unit, which we know to be superbly smooth in the coupe.