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It’s late and the boys are safely tucked in bed while the macho men have come out to play. With a wind blowing on their face they are speeding ahead on flat stretches with nothing obstructing the view of a starlit sky. Mercedes’ new beauty, the E-Cabriolet, is the ideal machine to achieve this unbelievable experience. Obviously, the 3.5-litre mill under its hood is capable of crossing the 200 km/h mark with ease, but what sets it apart is the press of a button that transforms the car into a sexy open-top luxury sedan. It gives you a unique sense of freedom and, of course, oodles of attention. It almost feels like driving with a large neon sign saying, “Look at me… I’m special”. Precisely why we came out to play in the middle of the night.

A cursory glance will immediately grab your attention. The exterior design is sharp and looks elegant with its long arrow-shaped front and a rising rear, but what makes it stand out is the classic fabric top, which completes the air of sporty refinement. I particularly like the chunky Mercedes star in the centre of the radiator grille. At a press of the button the multi-layered roof is nicely tucked away underneath a hard tanneau at the rear of the cabin, occupying the top section of the boot. This is one of the best convertible car mechanisms I have come across as it takes just 20 seconds to open or retract – even while driving at up to 40 km/h. If you like to flaunt a bit, then you can also use the car key to operate the roof from a short distance. Oooh! However, the collapsible roof eats up about 90 litres of space of the already shallow 390-litre boot. So, if you are planning a weekend getaway, the E-Cabriolet will make sure you travel light!

Like most of the German cars, the interior of the Cabriolet is top-notch, loaded as it is with Mercedes’ latest entertainment, comfort and safety features. Interestingly, the sedan comes with a gear-shift as in regular cars and not the trademark Mercedes steering shift. Just like the S-Class the Cabriolet too has a small pod on the front centre armrest, which has controls for the roof. The chrome trims are used very fashionably, enhancing the cabin’s beauty. The E-Cabriolet is among the few soft-tops that can boast of seating four adults comfortably. The rear seat of most other soft-roof cars is best used to stow away Louis Vuitton handbags or reserved for the pampered Chihuahua. The Cabriolet has individual bucket seats with integrated head restraints and the material used in the upholstery is high-quality and expertly finished.

Can you remember what happened when you lowered the car’s window while driving at a high speed on the expressway? Now imagine the turbulence in a car that doesn’t even have a roof. To sort this out Mercedes offer the AIRCAP system that comes with a wind deflector, resembling a rear spoiler, on top of the windscreen and a net-based draught-stop between the rear seats that make sure that the occupants are not disturbed by turbulence. This ensures that the occupants don’t have to scream at the top of their voices to be heard in the deafening wind noise. Even the Harman Kardon music system has speed-dependent volume regulation and 12 loudspeakers, including a sub-woofer, to enhances your pleasure even further. You have to experience this to believe it.

 

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