16 December 2009 - 10:00
New E-Class cabrio: airy
We've had airbags, aircon, air-o-dynamics (bit of a stretch, that one, apologies) and AirScarves. Now may we please introduce you to the latest member of the 'air' family... it's AirCap!
AirCap is found at the top of the windscreen of the new Mercedes E-Class cabrio, set to be unveiled at the Detroit show in January before going on sale in the UK in March. Sorry, no word on an Australian release yet.
It's a six-inch deflector that pushes air over the top of the cabin and away from the fragile heads of the occupants, allowing the E-Class cabrio to roll with the roof down, even in cold climates. Good news, too, for toupee wearers.
Sounds handy, but AirCap will affect the E's impressive aerodynamics: without the deflector raised, the cabrio boasts a drag coefficient of 0.28, making it the slipperiest convertible in its class.
The E-Class cabrio replaces the CLK cabriolet - indirectly, at least - in Merc's line-up, though should weigh in slightly cheaper, hopefully. Like the CLK, it sticks with a fabric roof instead of a folding hard-top and, model-for-model, is around 30kg lighter than its predecessor.
The E-Cabrio will launch with the choice of three diesel and four petrol engines, ranging from the 125kW E220 CDI at the bottom end to the 286kW E500 at the top. No word on an AMG version yet, however.
For a big luxo-convertible, it should be reasonably green: all the engines bar the 500 get Merc's BlueEfficiency tech and low rolling resistance tyres, as well as a more economical alternator control system.
All very nice, but the big question - and here we'll hand over to you, you eagle-eyed, quick-fingered style gurus - remains: what do you think of the looks?