The next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class will include a convertible variant in a range that is being expanded in response to the demise of Daimler’s ultra-luxury Maybach brand.
Mercedes insiders have revealed exclusively to CarAdvice that the S-Class convertible will be based on the company’s Ocean Drive concept (pictured) shown at the 2007 Detroit motor show.
While the ill-fated Maybach brand launched a Laundalet model that featured a vast slideable roof top, the S-Class – like the Ocean Drive concept – will be a more traditional convertible with a folding fabric roof.
The Mercedes Ocean Drive concept was notable for featuring four doors, though while our sources say some within the car maker wanted to retain them for production the new S-Class convertible will have two doors only.
That will make it identical to the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe in design philosophy – including a four-seat layout – though in terms of price tags the S-Class convertible will be significantly more affordable – in relative terms, of course – than the circa-$1.35 million British model.
The new-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class goes on sale in 2013, though the convertible will follow further down the pipeline.
The S-Class convertible, however, will share the new S-Class’s new suite of technological innovations, such as Magic Body Control that is designed to create a magic carpet-like ride by using cameras to scan the road ahead and enabling electronically controlled dampers to adjust pre-emptively to smooth out any surface bumps.
As a Mercedes-Benz that permits open-air motoring, expect the new S-Class convertible to feature the company’s Airscarf neck-warming technology.
Airscarf debuted in the 2004 (second-generation) Mercedes SLK two-seater roadster, though the system, which pumps warm air through vents incorporated into the seats, will also feature in the S-Class convertibles rear two seats.
As a niche model in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class line-up, the convertible is unlikely to be offered with the same number of engines as the sedan.
Expect a torquey diesel to be among the drivetrains offered, as well as a powerful V12 like the one beneath the bonnet of the Mercedes Ocean Drive concept.