The S-­Class convertible is back! For the first time since 1971 Mercedes­-Benz sells a luxury four-seater convertible again and we are very excited about it. To see if it lives up to our high expectations we reviewed it in what you could call one of its natural habitats: the French Côte d’Azur.

The 2017 Mercedes­-Benz S­-Class Convertible sports a lot of similarities with the S­-Class Coupe that we reviewed two years ago. With the new convertible the S­-Class range now consists of six different models including the Maybach and Pullman versions.

Available in three different versions you can order the 2017 Mercedes­-Benz S Cabriolet with a V8 or V12 engine. In the S500 Cabriolet you will find a 4.7 liter biturbo V8 rear­-wheel drive with an output of 455 hp and 700 Nm of torque. The S63 AMG Cabriolet is available exclusively as a 4matic variant for now and comes with a 5.5 liter AMG V8 good for 585 hp and an incredible 900 Nm of torque. Certainly the most prestigious of the three is the rear­-wheel drive Mercedes­-AMG S65 Convertible with a 6.0 liter AMG V12 producing 630 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque!

All three have a limited top speed of 250 km/h. 0­-100km/h is done in 4.6 seconds for the S500, 3.9 seconds for the S63 AMG and 4.1 seconds for the S65 AMG. Yes, you read that correctly the all-wheel drive S63 AMG is 0.2 seconds faster from zero to 100 km/h than the S65 AMG. It also has a sportier sound and a different torque curve which make it the more dynamic car to drive. But as I mentioned before – if it is prestige you are after nothing beats the S65 AMG with its V12 engine and corresponding price tag.

Since we have already done an in­depth review of the S-­Class Coupe and the convertible has many similarities with its fixed roof brother, I will focus on the things that make the convertible different.

Obviously the most significant difference is the foldable soft top that can be opened and closed up to 50 km/h in about 20 seconds. Turning a coupe in a convertible takes a bit more work than simply cutting the roof off and in fact only 60 percent of the Coupé’s bodyshell components have been retained. Mercedes­-Benz engineers pulled of an incredible feat here: they managed to maintain torsional stiffness on par with the coupé and even retained the same body weight.

Inside the S­-Class convertible comes with a few options to make open­-top driving as comfortable as possible. The optional Aircap system raises a wind deflector above the windshield and behind the rear seats reducing turbulence in the cabin to a minimum. The AirScarf, another optional extra, blows warm air into your neck in combination with heated seats allowing you to drive with top down even on cold summer nights or off­season.

The S­-Class Coupe took pride in being the quietest production car in the world and also the S-Class convertible also sports several noise reduction measures. The soft top roof has three layers to keep out as much wind noise as possible and thanks to the Aircap system even with the roof down it is fairly quiet in the cabin – even on the highway.

As I approached the first bends on a narrow French road with our S63 AMG Convertible test car i realized how big the S-­Class convertible is. Turning in you can feel the weight but the AMG engineers did a good job on the suspension, it is not as nimble as the C or E­-Class convertible by any means but it’s not shy of corners either.

The S­-Class Cabriolet can be specced with a plethora of options. Some of the options we particularly liked are the massage seats, seat cooling, adaptive cruise control and the Comand Online infotainment system. If you need any help picking the right options feel free to contact us. One of the few downsides of the S­-Class limousine is also present in the cabriolet and that is the limited luggage space. In the cabriolet it is even more limited due to the space saving for the roof.

Also the leg space in the rear seats is quite limited – the large massage seats in the front certainly don’t help here. But assuming you use the S63 AMG Cabriolet mostly with two people this is hardly an issue.

The Mercedes­-Benz S­-Class Cabriolet operates in a segment with very few competitors. The BMW 6­-Series is a bit smaller and less luxurious, the Bentley Continental GTC comes with a higher price point, yet can’t match the Mercedes­-AMG S63 Cabriolet in terms of driving dynamics and infotainment / assistance systems.

Overall the Mercedes-­Benz S500 Convertible and S63 AMG Convertible are excellent cars that fill the gap between a normal convertible and the ultra luxurious Rolls­-Royce Dawn. New innovations like the Aircap and the three layered roof with luxury amenities like seat massage and Burmester sound makes it a very desirable convertible.

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