2010 Detroit: Mercedes Says E-Class Cabrio is a "Brand Shaper"

With soul singer Janelle Monáe belting a rendition of the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun,” Mercedes-Benz introduced the fourth and final variant of the E-class -- the convertible -- at the Detroit auto show. Mercedes is pushing the 2011 E-class Cabriolet as a convertible for four passengers and four seasons. A thin bar on the top of the windshield can be raised when the top is down to calm air flow for rear-seat passengers while the Airscarf blows warm air on front-seat passengers’ necks.

Joachim Schmidt, head of sales and marketing for Mercedes cars, called the Cabrio “a brand shaper, like the SLS AMG.”

“In a nutshell, our new E-class convertible offers comfortable and safe driving enjoyment for four passengers year round,” Schmidt said.

The power soft-top roof of the E-class can be opened or closed in 20 seconds at speeds up to 25 mph. To insulate from both weather and sound, the roof is 0.9 inches thick.

Following Mercedes-Benz’s recent scheme of simplifying names, the E-class Cabriolet is the replacement for the CLK. The convertible will be available in E350 and E550 forms, with a 268-hp 3.5-liter V-6 or a 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8, respectively. Look for both models to arrive at dealers stateside in the spring of 2011.

Reflecting on the company’s recent success with the S-class sedan and the launch of two hybrids, chairman Dieter Zetsche ended the Mercedes press conference saying his company was like comic-book character the Hulk. “We are strong, we are green, and we are ready to roll,” Zetsche said.

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