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Mercedes-Benz to reinstate S-Class convertible

Stylish premium open-air car returns to lineup after 44 years

Published: August 26, 2015, 12:40 PM
Updated: August 27, 2015, 4:46 PM

New Mercedes S-Class convertible (front) to be introduced at IAA.

The S-Class convertible was one of those dream cars associated with celebrity status – large, luxurious and able to draw attention to the driver privileged to own one – and Mercedes-Benz is hoping to recapture that desirability when it reintroduces the bodystyle at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The last S-Class Cabriolet was produced for the 1971 model year, off the Fintail model series that was introduced in 1959 and in particular the W111 and W112 chasses on which the large cars were built between 1961 and 1971.

“After 44 years we can again offer friends of our company an open variant of the S‑Class. 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.

The 1961-71 Cabs are widely regarded as some of the most stylish and timeless designs in automotive history, but convertibles fell out of favour and the flagship drop-top in the Mercedes house eventually became the SL two-seater. The four-seat convertible returned in the early to mid-’90s for the mid-sized E-Class, but it never recaptured the prestige of the S-Class Cabriolet.

But the large Mercedes-Benz convertible has been available practically since the birth of the company 100-plus years ago, and the company hopes to reinstate itself as standard for spacious and comfortable open-air motoring. Convertibles have come a long way in the past decade when it comes to offering open-air comfort, and Mercedes has been at the forefront with features such as windblockers, a deployable spoiler above the windshield to deflect air up and away from the rear seat, heated seats and armrests, multi-zone climate control, and even the AIRSCARF that blows warm air around occupants’ necks when the top is dropped.

Not much is known about the new S-Class Cabriolet at this time, outside of the luxuriously modern interior shown in a teaser photo that showcases the last generation of the model. And although it’s far too early to speculate on introduction dates, engine variants, prices or even if it’s going to be offered in Canada, we would expect it to come in around $160,000 to $165,000 if it does make it to Canadian soil. By comparison, show-condition 1969-1971 models are valued today (by classic-car insurance specialist Hagerty) at between $75,000 and $290,000 US, depending on year of manufacture and engine.