The first time that the writer of these lines sat in a convertible of the S-Class, was almost half a century ago. At that time he climbed into the car of Papas boss as Dreikäsehoch: brand new, light blue and chrome glittering, as in the sixties of the last century at Mercedes was just in vogue. Today, the open 250 S from that time is a coveted classic car and as expensive as its direct successor, the S500 convertible of today.
So although the Stuttgarters have a big tradition in building open cars, it actually took 2016 to add a big open sedan to their portfolio. Big is the S-Convertible actually. It measures five meters and 3 centimeters, making it a hand's breadth shorter than the saloon. You can tell that in the back seats, where adults can only be adequately accommodated for short distances, when among the four occupants there are those who delicately exceed the norm in size and mass. The trunk volume of a maximum of 350 liters speaks against a trip for four.
But you don't buy a convertible in this class for family vacations with children or parents, but for traveling in pairs. The back seats are more used to take friends to the restaurant from time to time. In the front it lives at S-class level and even a little better. The cockpit, which is slightly modified compared to the sedan, conveys a yacht atmosphere, at least when the roof is open and for this operating state, at least you invest at least 139.051 euros - without extras.
Mercedes has put a lot of brain fat in the roof construction. Result: In city traffic, the soft top opens and closes within seconds to Tempo 50. Another result: you can also use small rain breaks for summer cruising.
So that the hairstyle of the spouses is not completely ruined on the highway, also pushes a wind deflector behind the rear seats at the push of a button. Together with a tiny spoiler on the frame of the windshield so the outside roaring storm discreetly dismissed. And so thoroughly that even with speeds of 150 km / h with an open roof by means of a hands-free system can make calls so that the other party understands something.
Of course, the S500 can be faster. Much faster even. Finally, the eight-cylinder twin turbo 335 kW / 455 PS. This will bring the two-ton convertible in 4,6 seconds on highway speed and the usual 250 km / h are also reached in no time. But this is unseemly hurry, which one does not need in the large convertible. Cruising is the thing to do, enjoy, smell the scenery, listen to music, take a car ride on the highest level, and you'll only be able to experience the right luxury in the Rolls Royces and Bentleys. By the way, the big Benz gets pretty close to the standard consumption of 8,5 liters. In everyday life, with fast Autobahnetappen and all sorts of short distances, it was actually 11,2 liter super, which hissed through the injection system. But that plays a very subordinate role in the travel and price category.
For the tight 140.000 Euro Mercedes delivers a car that lacks nothing. From electric leather seats to the large navigation system everything is on board. Actually. Because, Mercedes would not be Mercedes, if there were not a variety of little things that made car life even at this level even more beautiful. We're not talking about the neck dryer, which is actually as comfortable as the weather is when it's cool, like a heated, or better still, air-conditioned seat. No, it's rather the obvious attributes like a leather-wood steering wheel or the bright extra soft leather edition, which would convince us to spend even more money. Of course, the complete package of electronic assistants is a must, even if we never use them in everyday life.
But we would do without the Swarovski crystals on the headlights. This bling-bling does not need a S500 convertible. It radiates so much nobility and is thus a worthy successor to his 50-year-old ancestor. (Günter Weigel / SP-X)