The opening of the press release for the new S-class cabriolet reads, “After 44 years we can again offer friends of our company an open variant of the S-class. The new S-class cabriolet symbolizes our passion for individual and timelessly exclusive mobility, which we share with our customers.” The statement is attributed to Daimler board member Ola Källenius, but we imagine it printed up in some ’60s-swank typeface in a dusty back issue of Sunset magazine. To the Germans, German-ness is a virtue. And little in the automotive world has been as relentlessly German over the past five decades as the Sonderklasse automobiles. And now, to go along with the sedan; the coupe; the long ’n’ luxe Maybach; and the longer, luxer Maybach Pullman, we have the S-class cabriolet.
Slated to be initially available stateside in Mercedes-Benz S550 and Mercedes-AMG S63 form, the droptops will cost about $15, 000 more than the $122, 475 S550 and $164, 075 S63 coupes (which are not to be confused with the Hyundai Scoupes of the late ’80s and early ’90s). While the S550 will feature rear-wheel drive, the hot AMG variant will get Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The last AWD S63 coupe we tested made the sprint to 60 in a mere 3.7 seconds—only a tenth off the 130-horses-burlier and 44-pounds-heavier (but decidedly traction-challenged) Dodge Challenger Hellcat. And given the emphasis on weight savings that Mercedes put into the cabriolet, you might not even lose a tenth or two en route to freeway speeds.
In the event of a rollover, the pop-up roll bars are now deployed via pyrotechnic charge rather than spring bar. And Mercedes would like you to note that “in keeping with the S-class cabriolet's high design quality, there are no [visible] tear lines in the paneling behind the rear head restraints.” Tear lines, gauche as a Duggar.
Oh, and if you were worried that maybe Mercedes-Benz would dispense with the perfume dispenser, given the car’s open-top mission, fear not! Not only is the fragrant Air Balance package standard on the cabriolet, Benz has even developed a droptop-specific scent called Pacific Mood.
According to the press release, the S cabrio’s competitive set consists of two cars: the BMW 6-series convertible and the Bentley Continental GTC. Given that the GTC is available with a W-12 engine and that Mercedes already builds an S65 AMG coupe and sedan, it doesn’t take a brainiac to conclude that we’ll likely also see a twelve-cylinder S cabriolet sooner than later. Bring it on.