Continuing the onslaught of new car launches in 2015, Mercedes has introduced the new CLS250 CDI and E400 Cabriolet in the country. The CLS250 CDI is a four-door stylish coupe whereas the E400 Cabriolet is a sporty, convertible derivative of the E-Class sedan. Mercedes has put an ex-showroom (Delhi) price-tag of Rs 76.50 lakh and Rs 78.50 lakh on the new CLS250 CDI and E400 Cabriolet, respectively. Both the cars will be sold as completely built-up (CBU) units in the country.
Launched only with a petrol engine in E400 guise, the new E-Class Cabriolet is a 2-door 4-seater that is aimed at customers looking for a relaxed, comfortable and stylish soft-top convertible. On the outside, the E400 Cabriolet borrows styling cues from the current-gen E-Class. It sports a similar fascia that features LED headlamps (optional) along with daytime running lamps; an upright radiator grille with three-pointed star logo and a restyled and sportier V-shaped bumper in comparison to the E-Class sedan.
Viewing the cabriolet from the side makes it clearly distinguishable from the regular E-Class sedan. The long bonnet, elongated side window design, frameless doors with missing B-Pillars, flat roof-line with a soft-top roof, 17-inch alloy wheels and muscular tail-end are some of the design alteration that will help onlookers differentiate this convertible from its sedan counterpart. Also, the elongated beltline gives the cabriolet a suave look, especially while driving with the roof-down. The rear-end design is identical to the E-Class sedan as it has similar LED tail-lamps. The bumper however is redesigned whereas a chrome strip now runs over the number plate area.
The E400 Cabriolet’s main attraction is undoubtedly its ‘acoustic’ soft-top that offers lowest noise levels and high-grade insulation. The roof can be opened or retracted electronically in just 20 seconds. Mercedes also adds the soft-top roof is suitable for automatic car washes. The soft-top roof can also be operated while on the move as it can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 40 km/h. Despite a foldable roof, the E400 Cabriolet has a generous boot space of 300 litres.
Powering the E400 Cabriolet is a 2,996cc V6 petrol unit that produces a maximum power output of 333PS @ 5,250 – 6,000 rpm and a peak-torque of 480Nm between 1,600 – 4,000 rpm. The engine is paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission, which sends drive to rear wheels.
Tipping the scale at 2,315 kg the E400 Cabriolet will hit 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds, and continuing on to its electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. The E400 Cabriolet comes fitted with paddle-shifters as standard. In case you want to drive sedately, there’s a selectable ECO Start/Stop mode as well.
Features on the E400 Cabriolet include Mercedes’ COMAND online system supporting a hard-drive based navigation system, a 360 degree surround sound with a Logic 7 technology based Harmon Kardon 5.1 audio system, etc. At the event, Mercedes has also announced that it will start offering cloud-based Mercedes-Benz Apps on selected models in India.
Sharing stage with the E400 Cabriolet at the launch event was the new CLS250 CDI. While on the outside the new CLS250 CDI has a similar profile as of the outgoing car, Mercedes has enhanced the looks of the 4-door coupe by incorporating some new-age tech and contemporary styling tweaks. The new CLS-Class coupe gets aesthetic updates in shape of optional Multibeam LED headlights (regular LED lights will be standard), a new diamond-grille and a sporty front bumper. At the side and back, changes are minimal, except for a new set of alloy wheels and differently profiled tail-lamp cluster.
The CLS250 CDI features a twin-turbo in-line 4-cylinder 2.1-litre diesel motor developing 204PS @ 4,200 rpm and 500 Nm @ 1,600-1,800 rpm. The engine is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission and the new CLS coupe is rear-wheel driven. Mercedes claims the CLS 250 CDI will do a 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds, which is mighty impressive given the car’s 2.2-tonne of bulk.
Equipment wise, new CLS-Class gets an 8-inch infotainment screen with a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system, satellite navigation and Internet connectivity among others. Like the E400 Cabriolet, it also comes equipped with a parking package that features a 360 degree camera view and active parking assistance.
Safety net on both the cars includes 9 airbags (E400)/8 airbags (CLS250 CDI), ABS with EBD, ESP, a 360 camera, tyre pressure monitoring system, adaptive high beam assist, Active Parking Assist, etc. The E400 comes with additional ‘Roll-over protection’ as the upper windscreen frame and the A-pillars on the car have been reinforced with tubing, offering effective occupant protection together with roll-over bars.
While the new CLS-Class will competed with the likes of the Audi A7 and BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe in India, the E-Class does not have any direct rival as such in the Indian market.
The launch of the new CLS250 CDI and E400 Cabriolet is the second launch event by the manufacturer in March 2015. Going further Mercedes will launch 9 more models in 2015!
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