In Canada, the purchase of a convertible would normally be considered an indulgence, what with its short warm season and inconsistent sunshine. Here in Mallorca, situated in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain, a proper droptop is almost a Godgiven right, considering the 300 annual days of dazzling sun in which to develop a tan that would rival George Hamilton's. (Public service message alert: Always wear sunscreen!)
Into this milieu Mercedes-Benz drops its new E-Class Cabriolet. With the motto "Four seasons, four people," the company cites the 2011 model's innovative features that prolong top-down driving pleasure when weather and/or driving situations are less than ideal, plus the enhanced safety features and driving dynamics that could only come from a company whose products must contend with 200-kilo-metres-an-hour-plus autobahn speeds. And, yes, Mercedes does sweat those details -- the automaker has said that, thanks to the superior sound-deadening materials in its soft top and the amount of insulation packed into the car, it is possible to have a perfectly normal phone conversation (in hands-free mode, naturally) when travelling at more than 200 km/h.