In 2013, Mercedes-Benz unveiled their S-class Coupe Concept, a stunningly delicious thing that brought grown men to their knees at the Frankfurt Motor Show. To say the least, it made an impact. It was one of the most talked about cars at the show and reminded us all that the boys from Stuttgart know a thing or two about making desirable cars.
Looks like they’re hoping to emulate that again this year with the unveiling of the S-class cabriolet. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a full-sized convertible from the brand, 44 years to be exact since the last W112-platform drop-top rolled off the line in 1971. The S-Class cabriolet is the sixth model in the S-class family after the sedan, long-wheelbase sedan, Maybach, Coupe and Pullman variants. I guess there are as many ways to stick it to the unwashed masses as there are crocodile-skinned wallets.
The German translation of that is, “The new S-Class Cabriolet symbolises our passion for individual and timelessly exclusive mobility, which we share with our customers”, remarks Ola Källenius, Board Member of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.
Aside from being nice looking cars, Mercedes-Benz cabriolets probably have the best “investment value” of any of the mass market luxury brands. Values cited by the renowned American Hagerty Insurance’s price guide bear testament to this. In its estimation, a 280SE 3.5 from 1971, has a value of around USD290,000 – ten years ago, that figure was USD115,000. But that’s just a guide price with actual transactions going for much higher: for instance, a specimen of this model in excellent condition was auctioned last August by RM Auctions for USD429,000.
Mercedes Benz has had a long standing tradition of luxury cabriolets stretching back to the 1920s. Post WWII, there were the 170S (W136) from 1949, the 220 (W187) from 1951 and the 300S (W188) from 1952. After the “Ponton” cabriolets 220S (W 180) and 220SE (W128) built from 1956 to 1960, in 1961 the 220SE Cabriolet (W 111) was launched, an open-top four-seater, whose design is still considered timeless to this day. In this 10-year production period Mercedes-Benz offered five different models in these model series: the 220SE, 250SE, 300SE (W112), 280SE and, as a late top model, the eight-cylinder 280SE 3.5 – in total 7,013 units of these five cabriolets were manufactured in Sindelfingen.
Information on the new car is scant but the company has indicated that lucky owners won’t have to worry about freezing their bums off while cruising down Damansara Heights with the automatic wind protection system AIRCAP, the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, heated armrests, and seat heating for the rear.
After the unveil in Frankfurt, the car is expected to go on sale sometime in the first half of 2016.