Mercedes’ first four-seat open-top car based on the company's flagship saloon since the early 1970s, the 2016 S-Class Cabriolet is essentially the same as the Coupé, but with a folding fabric top in place of the metal roof. That makes the convertible S-Class anything between £7,325 and £12,070 costlier than its equivalent hard-topped model, but for sheer posing power like this you have to pay such hefty premiums.
The same three engines as found in the S Class coupe
are offered in the Cabriolet line-up, which means the starting point is the S500 AMG Line Cabriolet at £110,120, with two full-on Mercedes-AMG models above that: the 5.5-litre V8 S63 (£135,675) and the 6.0-litre V12 S65 (£192,805). As with the SL range, the likely best-seller in the UK will be the one that costs the least amount of money, so for our first drive, we’ve chosen to test the S500 variant.
This comes with a 4.7-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that's enough for 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds, with economy rated at 32.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 204g/km. All S-Class Cabriolets have a three-layer soft-top, rather than the folding metal contrivances of the SLC and SL, as this better mimics the roofline of the Coupé, takes up less space in the boot when stowed, and is less complex and expensive to build. Four colours are offered for the fabric roof: dark red, blue, black and beige.
Equipment levels are suitably generous, given the starting prices, so this S500 comes with heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, full leather upholstery, 'intelligent' climate control, 19-inch alloys, LED lights front and rear (the former turning with the steering and adopting automatic main beam matrix functionality), AMG body styling and satellite-navigation.