► Option of all-wheel drive for first time
► 25th Anniversary edition at launch
► Significantly larger than its predecessor
This is the new Mercedes E-class cabriolet, which makes its official debut at the 2017 Geneva motor show.
Merc is making much of its suitability as a practical, all-year round car.
A practical convertible?
To an extent. The E-class Cabriolet is available with 4Matic all-wheel drive for the first time, and a through-loading function with 50:50-split folding seats.
Optional Aircap draught stopper and Airscarf neck-level heating should keep you toasty on wintery roof-down dashes to IKEA, then.
Boot space is a reasonable 385 litres with the roof closed and 310 litres open.
The roof itself is insulated and can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. It’s available in dark shades of brown, blue and red. Or black.
How about engines?
Mercedes is being rather coy at the moment, simply saying that a choice of powerful and efficient petrol and diesel engines will be available.
However, expect a similar choice of petrol and diesel engines to the coupé, which spans from the E220d (2.2-litre four) and E350d (3.0 V6) diesels to the E200 (2.0 four) and E400 (3.5 V6).
Nine-speed automatic transmission is standard.
It’s lowered by 15mm compared to the saloon. Adaptive dampers with Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings are optional, as is electronically controlled air suspension.
Mercedes is claiming exceptional levels of floorpan stiffness, using a mix of die-cast aluminium and steel. Front wings, bonnet and boot lid are aluminium.
It’s bigger, you say?
It’s grown by 123mm in length, 74mm in width and added 113mm to the wheelbase. Mercedes says the result is an extra 102mm of rear legroom.
It must be full of electronic gizmos?
Distronic active distance assist with active steering assist appears, enabling the E-class to follow the car in front at speeds up to 130 mph all by itself – as tested/questioned by CAR in the E-class saloon.
Also as with the E-class saloon and coupe, the standard instruments consist of twin dials and a 7in central display screen, with optional twin 12.3in screens under a single cover.
Pick the right options and you can lock, unlock and start the car using your smartphone. LED headlamps are standard.
What’s the 25th Anniversary edition about?
It will be available from launch to celebrate the debut of the first mid-size Mercedes cabriolet, the 300 CE-24, with 20in alloys, a choice of red or silver metallic paintwork and a dark red soft top.
Otherwise, the E-class Cabrio is available in entry-level Avantgarde trim with 17 inch alloys, or in AMG-line, which adds larger wheels, modified bumpers and side skirts.
Anything else I should know?
Optional Magic Vision Control integrates water ducts into both sides of the wiper blades to squirt a dash of screen wash just in front of the wiper’s leading edge, thus preventing the usual sight-blurring splurge onto the screen and over the roof. More specifically, it should put a stop to any embarrassing open-top monsoon moments. It’s not quite as exciting as the name suggests, then, but useful and in line with the Cabrio’s newfound practicality theme.
The new Mercedes E-class Cabriolet is just one of the many stars of Geneva 2017: click here for a full listing of all the new cars at the show.