Thursday, April 1, 2010

MERCEDES E-CLASS COUPE CABRIOLET ; new Mercedes convertible


FIRSTDRIVE MERCEDES E-CLASS COUPE CABRIOLET: FOR ALL the modern gadgets and gizmos on offer these days, it was the sight of a simple folding cloth roof that brought a smile to our face at the Mercedes launch, writes MICHAEL MCALEER Motoring Editor

Such a basic bit of technology from a company whose lineage can be traced to the founding father of the modern automobile, might suggest Mercedes is not moving with the times.

Complete tosh: given its chequered history in the last decade of applying some new gizmos that caused more trouble than they were worth, it’s nice to see the three-pointed star is now more selective about which new trends to follow and which to ignore.

After several years of supposed engineering innovation and improvement we can officially confirm folding metal roofs are a flop. The engineering brains behind the auto origami deserve credit. But the price paid in terms of storing that folded mass in an extended rump, along with the extra weight from motors to perform the magic, turns even the sportiest convertible into a metal sloth.

So hats off to Mercedes for ignoring the peer pressure and sticking to the winning formula of folded cloth for its new E-Class coupe cabrio. With the roof up, there’s little difference inside the cabin as the lining is more padded than a luxury mattress. Push the button and 20 seconds later it’s retracted and stowed away in the boot, leaving nothing but clean metal. The great news is it has no impact on the smart lines of the E-Class coupe, except for a missing roof.

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