Here's our first look at the new Mercedes E-class Cabriolet, unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Auto show. It's the fourth addition to the E-class range, and as with the latest E-class Coupe, the new drop-top replaces the old CLK.
The new E-class Cabriolet shuns a hard-top and continues to favour the more traditional folding fabric arrangement - the hood can be opened or closed in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 25mph. Boot space with the roof closed is 390 litres, dropping to 300 litres when it is retracted.
So what's new on the Mercedes E-class Cabriolet?
Top of the list of swanky features on the E-class Cabriolet is a new AIRCAP system. Mercedes claims it's a world first: a wind deflector rises six inches out of the windscreen rail, and together with a wind deflector between the rear seats, cuts down the draught. The AIRCAP wind deflector can be activated at speeds of up to 100mphm and will stay in place up to the E-class Cabriolet's top speed.
Allied to this innovation is a modified AIRSCARF function with pivoting outlet nozzles. It means the warm air can be directed up or down by a total of 36-degress, depending on how tall or short you are.
And to keep you safe there's seven airbags fitted as standard (including headbags), plus 35mm thick rollbars and Merc's Attention Assist drowsiness detection system.
Enough about scarfs. What's under the bonnet?
Well, there's plenty to choose from. Several new direct-injection motors are available, ranging from a 168hp diesel unit to a 383bhp petrol V8.
Here's a rundown of the full line-up:
• E220 CDI - 168bhp
• E250 CDI - 201bhp
• E350 CDI - 228bhp
• E 200 CGI 181bhp
• E 250 CGI 201bhp
• E 350 CGI 288bhp
• E 500 - 383bhp
As a sign of the times, all engines bar the V8 feature Merc's BlueEfficiency tech, which is the company's answer to BMW's EfficientDynamics programme. The E-class Cabriolet also boasts a drag co-efficient of 0.28, making it the most aerodynamically efficient car in its class, says Mercedes. Low-resistance tyres that reduce friction between the rubber and the road are used, as is an alternator control system that adjusts the car's electrical flow according to the driving environment.
The Mercedes E-class Cabriolet goes on sale in the UK in March 2010, with prices starting at around £32,000.
>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think of the new Mercedes E-class Cabriolet