For 2011, Mercedes has retooled their E-Class to increase acceleration, steering dynamics, and comfortability in order to give their stellar convertible a more fun, playful feel than its predecessors. Roadfly TV and host Jessi Lang recently spent some time with the E550 trim, having a blast with its super-quick V8 engine and its gorgeous droptop stylings.
The E550’s engine packs a punch (and a beautiful engine roar)–a 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8 with 391 pound-feet of torque, nearly 120 horses more than its less expensive trim, the E350. 0-60 times were clocking at around 4.6 seconds, and a top speed restricted to 130 mph. Coupled with a 7-speed “Touchshift” automatic transmission, the E550 gives the driver enthusiast something to really sink their teeth into.
The cabriolet’s soft-top lowers or raises in about 20 seconds, giving you the open air excitement that complements the E550’s quickness. With the soft-top up, cabin noise is much quieter than you would expect, much thanks to the many layers of fabric found woven into the top. With the soft-top down, Mercedes’ new creation, the AirCap–an automatic wind deflector–you’ll hardly get any wind in your face. And Thankfully, trunk-space isn’t hindered like you would expect in a convertible–you’ll be getting just as much room as you would find in any other standard E-Class vehicle.
The interior of the E550 features two highly adjustable driver and passenger seats with lumbar support. This center stack design is identical to those found in the rest of the E-Class lineup; a thunderous Harman-Kardon audio system, a highly responsive and adaptive climate control system, and atypical navigation/infotainment screens. Aside from the comfortable and driver-oriented seats, the thumping audio system and awesome climate control, really the only gripe here is that the rest of the interior amenities are on the plain side.
Altogether, Mercedes might just have what they were hoping for when they designed this for 2011–a new classic. The E550 Cabriolet is fast, luxurious, and a hell of a lot of fun to drive, with or without the top down.
DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
7-speed automatic with manumatic shifting
Wheelbase: 106.9 in Length: 185.0 in
Width: 70.3 in Height: 55.2 in
Curb weight: 3900–4100 lb
Peak Power: 382 hp @ 6000 rpm
Peak Torque: 391 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm
0-60 mph: 5.1 sec.
Top Speed: 130 mph (limited)