The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

    
    Four seasons, four personalities

    -  Comfortable: AIRCAP(R) automatic draft-stop plus AIRSCARF(R)
    -  Quiet: sound-dampening soft top as standard
    -  Safe: robust roll-over protection and new head bags
    

TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - The all new E-Class Cabriolet makes its Canadian debut at the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show, held from February 12-22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This fascinating open-top two-door is the latest addition to the highly successful Mercedes-Benz E-Class line-up, and will officially go on sale in the summer of 2010.

In keeping with the motto "four seasons, four personalities", all-year-round suitability was right at the top of the developers' list of priorities. With the new E-Class Cabriolet, the cabriolet season lasts the whole year because, while many cabriolets tend to disappear from the roads in the Fall, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet provides driving pleasure and comfort whether the roof is open or closed.

    
    New features include:

    -  The standard AIRCAP(R) automatic draught-stop: always on board and
       easily controllable at the push of a button, it significantly reduces
       turbulence inside the vehicle for all four occupants
    -  The modified AIRSCARF(R) neck-level heating system
    -  The sound-dampening soft top fitted as standard
    

The fully automatic soft top can be opened and closed within 20 seconds - even when driving at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The cabriolet roof is stowed in a special compartment behind the rear panel. A retractable cover separates the soft top compartment from the trunk area. If the roof remains closed, the cover can be slid rearwards, which increases trunk capacity by 90 litres (3.17 cu. ft.) to 391 litres (13.8 cu. ft.). A through-loading feature is also included as standard for the new Cabriolet, as is the EASY-ENTRY aid for rear passengers.

The power plants for the new E-Class Cabriolet are equally innovative: the engines combine efficiency with effortlessly superior power delivery. The E350 Cabriolet is powered by a 268 hp V6 producing 258 lb-ft of torque, and the E550 Cabriolet develops 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque from the 5.5 litre V8. The exemplary low fuel consumption has been achieved through a number of practical measures: these include on-demand activation of the steering and fuel pumps, an alternator control system which takes into account the current driving situation and the vehicle's electrical power requirements, plus the crucial factor of outstanding aerodynamics. The Cabriolet's Cd figure of 0.28 is the best in its class, continuing the E-Class success story in the field of aerodynamics.

Less turbulence, easier to use: AIRCAP(R) is a world-first

In 1989, Mercedes-Benz introduced the world's first draft-stop for the SL, which was followed by the introduction of the AIRSCARF(R) neck-level heating system in 2004 that further enhanced the level of comfort in open-top models. The introduction of the E-Class Cabriolet marks another world-first: the AIRCAP(R) automatic draft-stop, which can be activated at the push of a button to greatly reduce turbulence in the interior. This new, advanced system is much easier to implement and use than conventional draft-stops: there is no tricky installation, the two individual rear seats remain free and the Cabriolet's flowing side lines remain uninterrupted. AIRCAP(R) is therefore a classic Mercedes-Benz innovation: functional, comfort-enhancing, elegant and safe.

AIRCAP(R) consists of two components: a wind deflector that can be extended by 61 mm (2.4 in) with a net in the windscreen frame and a draft-stop between the rear seats.

    
    The functions of the two components:

    -  Elevation of the free flow above the interior
    -  Net at the front increases the basic pressure in the interior
    -  Draft-stop at the rear reduces the backflow
    

In addition to enhancing occupant comfort and well-being, the reduction in draft when AIRCAP(R) is activated (it can be activated at speeds of up to 160 km/h), and remains in use right up to the car's top speed) reduces the interior noise level, making it easier for passengers in all seats to communicate.

When the standard AIRCAP(R) is combined with the optional AIRSCARF(R), the system functions like an invisible scarf that warms the occupants' head and neck areas. AIRSCARF(R) is integrated into the backrests of the front seats and provides warm air through outlets in the head restraints.

Mercedes-Benz engineers have modified this unique innovation specifically for the E-Class Cabriolet: in this model, an adjustment wheel pivots the outlet nozzle upwards and downwards by a total of 36 degrees over and above the head restraint height adjustment, meaning that the driver and front passenger can enjoy the unique neck-level heating regardless of their height.

Quiet, warm and windproof: sound-dampening soft top fitted as standard

Thanks to its sound-dampening soft top, even the closed E-Class Cabriolet has one of the quietest interiors in the segment for four-seater premium cabriolets with a fabric roof. The soft top's exceptionally high-quality insulation provides a clearly noticeable reduction in the interior noise level compared to conventional fabric soft tops. Exterior noise caused by other vehicles and wind noise are therefore absorbed more effectively.

On the road, the difference is audible from speeds of just 80 km/h, especially in situations such as driving through a tunnel or overtaking a convoy of trucks. At higher speeds, the benefits of the acoustic soft top are even more tangible. For instance, it is possible to have a perfectly normal phone conversation in hands-free mode even when travelling at over 200 km/h.

The soft top is waterproof and windproof, and the E-Class Cabriolet can even be put through an automatic carwash without any hesitation. With a total thickness of 23 mm (0.9 in), the fabric soft top offers excellent thermal insulation, which makes the E-Class Cabriolet also ideal for use in the winter.

Safety: robust structure, anticipatory protection and window bags

The new E-Class Cabriolet offers the wealth of safety innovations one would expect from a Mercedes-Benz model. Highlights of the open-top two-door model include roll-over protection, A-pillars reinforced by two additional tubes and plug-in B-pillars. This new model is also the first Mercedes-Benz cabriolet to feature head bags.

The roll-over protection consists of two robust bars, each with a diameter of 36 mm (1.4 in), which are housed in the rear head restraints in modules behind the rear seat backrests. A tilting cone sensor detects imminent danger to the occupants based on extreme skidding movements or acceleration caused by impact. If this sensor then sends a corresponding signal, pre-tensioned pressure springs are activated immediately.

Consequently, both roll-over bars in the rear head restraints are extended. They reach their highest point and are locked automatically within a fraction of a second. In combination with the robust A-pillars, each reinforced with two high-strength steel tubes, the steel bars provide highly effective roll-over protection.

With seven air bags fitted as standard, belt tensioners and belt force limiters for all seats, not to mention crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger, the new E-Class Cabriolet offers the most extensive safety equipment package in this vehicle category. The air bags, which can deploy in milliseconds in the event of an accident, include front air bags and side bags for the driver and front passenger, a knee bag on the driver's side, and head bags. The latter, which appear in a Mercedes-Benz cabriolet for the first time, are housed in the door panelling in the beltline area. Covering a wide area - around 700 x 488 mm (2.3 x 1.6 feet) with a volume of 17 litres when deployed - the air bags provide extremely effective protection for occupants of any size in the event of a crash. The three-part side protection system - comprised of head and thorax bags - optimizes the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the body.

Further exemplary safety equipment available for the E-Class Cabriolet includes: ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection, PRE-SAFE(R) anticipatory occupant protection, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, and DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE brake proximity control.

About Mercedes-Benz Canada

Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the four brands within the Mercedes-Benz Group in Canada: Mercedes-Benz, smart, AMG, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,250 people in 19 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 14 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 26,942 vehicles in 2009, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.

SOURCE Mercedes-Benz Canada

For further information: For further information: JoAnne Caza, (416) 847-7550, joanne.caza@mercedes-benz.ca; Michael Minielly, (416) 847-7509, michael.minielly@mercedes-benz.ca; Further information from Mercedes-Benz is available on the internet at: www.media.mercedes-benz.ca

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