Mercedes-Benz is launching an open-air season of motoring with a range of cabriolet cars (sadly its immediate rivals are not doing the same as they have similar products in their product portfolio overseas) First came the 2 seat compact SLC range and then there was the E-Class 4 seat cabrio and now a brand new cabriolet model based on the C-Class, which is rounding off its range of cabriolets with a classic fabric soft top.
The new cabriolet’s design interprets modern luxury with a youthful touch. Featuring plenty of high-quality details, its distinctive character is most apparent when the top is down. For exceptional 4 passenger comfort during open-top driving 365 days a year this C 250 could be your ticket to topless driving enjoyment.
Sporty and youthful
As the new entry-level model into the cabriolet world of Mercedes-Benz, the C‑Class Cabriolet is also a consistent embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy: sensual purity as the definition of contemporary luxury. It exhibits an independence of character with a visibly sporty expression and youthfully fresh appeal.
With its top up, the profile of the new two-door cabriolet resembles that of the C‑Class Coupé with virtually identical basic dimensions: with a striking front end featuring a diamond radiator grille, LED High Performance headlamps, long bonnet and high beltline. Its tightly stretched soft top with glass window transitions harmoniously into the distinctly styled rear end, which has a highly sporty look with its wide shoulders and flat LED tail lights. With a capacity of 360 litres (285 litres with the roof open), the boot is capable of holding an exceptional amount of luggage for a cabriolet, thus offering high everyday practicality.
Premium-class fabric soft top
The fully automatic classic cabriolet fabric soft top comes in a multi-layer acoustic soft top which significantly reduces the wind/driving noise. This is made noticeable in the form of improved speech intelligibility, including at high speeds, and better insulation from disruptive ambient noise. The acoustic soft top thus offers optimal climate comfort and quiet-running characteristics.
Based on the big daddy S-Class Cabriolet, the soft top also meets high quality standards in terms of durability and function. It can be opened and closed in less than 20 seconds up to a speed of 50 km/h. After opening, it folds down quietly and carefully and is stored in the soft-top compartment in the boot. In terms of its shape and colour, the cover of the soft-top compartment is an integral part of the interior and is made of the same material as the beltline.
The occupants enjoy an ambience that, while based on the interior of the C-Class Saloon, offers a fresh interpretation with typical cabriolet features but with sport seats added with muscular side bolsters and organically integrated head restraints. Automatic belt extenders as standard help the occupants with buckling up.
Light and safe bodyshell
In a cabriolet, the lack of a roof often results in reduced body stiffness. This fact was taken into consideration by the designers in developing the C-Class Saloon. This allowed them to adapt the bodyshell at the front end and on the floor to meet the particular needs of the Cabriolet. Consequently, this model, too, features an exemplary stiff design of the kind required for high driving dynamics.
The Coupé’s intelligent lightweight construction with a high proportion of aluminium was retained – among others, the wings, bonnet and boot lid are made of light alloy. The Cabriolet not only meets all current national and international laws, but also all rating requirements as well as the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety requirements, which are based on what actually happens in a real-world accident.
In an accident, optimal protection is afforded by the high structural safety of the body as well as by the restraint systems, especially the comprehensive complement of airbags. These include:
· adaptive front airbags for driver and front passenger
· a kneebag on the driver’s side
· thorax/pelvis bags for driver and front passenger
· windowbags integrated in the top edges of the front door panels
The roll-over protection system is specific to the Cabriolet. It consists of two cartridges that are fully retracted behind the rear seats and therefore invisible. If a roll-over is imminent, these cartridges are pyrotechnically fired, whereupon they shoot out to provide a survival space together with the A-pillar.
Sensitive climate control for open-air driving
Specially developed for cabriolets, the climate control system responds to whether the vehicle is being driven with the roof up or down. With the roof closed, the system performs in the same way as in the Coupé. With the soft top down, the climate control system adapts by, for example, deactivating the air recirculation function. The special adjustments for open-top driving make allowance for whether cooling is required and respond sensitively to the transition zones in between.
There is only one way to explain the sensuous nature of open top driving. You easily get comfortable behind the wheel and once the engine has started you will find the smooth ride from the 211bhp 4-cylinder turbocharged engine entertaining when called on and it will easily have you enjoying your daily commute in this stylish machine, especially when you have the roof down and it ‘Sports’ mode.
The steering is light with enough road feel to give the driver some hint of feedback. The spring and damper set-up on this topless beauty is pretty much spot on; its relatively firm through corners, providing good levels of body control and limited roll. Ride quality is also good, smoothing bumps with authority. As for handling and road manners, there are no issues with this luxury cabriolet. The large and wide tires on the new stylish AMG wheels grip eagerly on wet or dry surfaces and this cabriolet offers first-rate front-end grip with predictable understeer during really hard cornering. The new quick shifting 9-speed G-Tronic automatic gearbox is a dream to use and there is hardly a hint of shift and kick down effect even when confronting a quick immediate pickup or emergency slowdown. Use the ‘Sport’ mode and the throttle is more sensitive providing a little more immediate reaction to your requests.
Best part is the reaction from other road users and kerb dwellers. The looks they give and the envy in the eyes alone supports the monthly payments on this Mercedes cabriolet.
Take a no obligation test drive and realise that now is the time to be totally impressed with a car that makes similar priced cars look, feel and drive like a 2nd place vehicle.