From its unveiling in 1972, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been the company’s flagship model for more than 40 years and it stepped into the 21st century as one of the world’s best-selling luxury models. The sedan’s success prompted the Mercedes-Benz product planners to create numerous body types over the years, including two-door models. But, while the coupe was offered on many occasions, the full-size convertible needed more than four decades to be in showrooms.
Designed to rival the Aston Martin Vanquish and Bentley Continental GT, this Mercedes drop-top S560 has some aces up its sleeve. To start, the exterior design. This cabriolet retains the gorgeous proportions of its metal-roof sibling with almost every design feature borrowed from its four-door sibling. It comes with the same aggressive yet still elegant front fascia, sleek rear end with slender taillights, muscular engine hood, and strong character lines between the front and rear wheel arches.
On the exterior, the most interesting feature here is the OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology added to the taillights. These are now made of 66 ultra-flat OLEDs that act like floating elements and emit a highly homogenous light pattern in all directions. Besides providing better lighting day and night, they also emit a cool animated, dynamic light sequence when the car is locked, unlocking, and when the turn signals are used.
Just like its siblings, this cabriolet features the same single-unit dashboard wrapped in high quality animal skin or leather as you would call it and highlighted by 4 retro-styled air-conditioning vents. The drop-top configuration added extra standard equipment, including the Air-Scarf neck heater, draft-reducing wind deflectors, and Thermotronic climate control system.
Setting it apart from the coupe is the retractable roof, which uses a three-layer, acoustically optimized design with an outer fabric cover that incorporates a butyl layer that prevents water from entering the cabin. The roof can be dropped or raised in under 20 seconds and at speeds of up to 55km/h…….yes you can work the roof while you are driving in traffic. Just make sure you don’t get the top edge tangled with a low riding car-park roof when in motion. When the soft-top is opened, it folds away into the boot neatly, where it is separated from the remaining luggage compartment space.
Mercedes designers are now moving quickly into full smartphone like instrument displays and you see it in full effect behind the steering wheel. The all-digital instrument screen offers three visually different styles in a tablet like screen offering a ‘Classic’, ‘Sporty’ or ‘Progressive’ view for the driver. Pick your fancy and change it to suit your passengrs mood when in heavy traffic. Also, you can enjoy an almost ‘home Hi-Fi’ musical experience with the available Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system.
So, How Does It Drive?
Under the long sleek hood of this S560 is a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo engine that delivers 469 horsepower and an impressive 700Nm of torque. This is a 14bhp increase over the previous 4.7-liter V-8 and yet it consumes 8% less fuel which should not matter for a buyer paying RM1.3M for this cabriolet.
The 0-100km/h acceleration takes just 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h is easily reached…..top up or down. This S-Class Cabriolet is fitted as standard with the full-support AIRMATIC air suspension featuring infinitely variable damping control for that magical ride quality that we need to counter our badly maintained roads.
You easily get comfortable behind the wheel and once the engine has started you will find the smooth ride from the latest generation Mercedes V8 twin turbocharged engine entertaining when called on and it will easily have you enjoying your daily commute in this stylish luxury business machine.
The steering is light with enough road feel to give the driver some hint of feedback. The Airmatic set-up on this Mercedes tourer is pretty much spot on; its relatively firm through corners, providing good levels of body control and limited roll. Ride quality is also good, smoothing bumps with authority. As for handling and road manners, there are no issues with this luxury grand tourer. The large and wide tires on the new stylish 20-inch wheels grip eagerly on wet or dry surfaces and this tourer offers first-rate front-end grip with predictable understeer during really hard cornering.
Generally, it absorbs the bumps and potholes pretty well, although undulating and uneven road surfaces, driven over at high speed, will get the tourer responding back with some stiffness due more to its country of origin where such roads are almost never a question. The 9-speed G-Tronic automatic gearbox is a dream to use and there is hardly a hint of shift and kick down effect even when confronting a quick immediate pickup or emergency slowdown. Use the ‘Sport’ mode and the throttle is more sensitive providing a little more immediate reaction to your requests.
This is also a ‘superbly’ comfortable business vehicle for the wealthy that want to arrive in style and only a rival like the Continental GT can sway your purchase decision with its British heritage or the Vantage with image of being driven daily with a tuxedo.
Mercedes S560 Cabriolet Specifications
Engine: V8-cylinder TwinTurbo
Transmission: 9-Speed G-Tronic
Max power: 469bhp @ 5250-5500rpm
Max torque: 700Nm @ 2000-4000rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h