Apart from a carbon-tubbed McLaren, you’re always going to lose something in performance terms by going topless.
Yet, how a car makes you feel can often be more important than if it vehemently clips apexes or if it wags its tail. Hence, the E400 Cabriolet scores well as an experience, but it’s no dux of the performance-car class. Mechanically it’s the same story as the E400 Coupe.
Apart from gaining 90kg thanks to the extra structural rigidity (given it’s now sans roof), the twin-turbo V6 still sends power to all paws via a nine-speed auto. While the 245kW/480Nm counts remain, the 0-100km/h blast increases to 5.5sec.
The multi-chamber air suspension is mostly supple and the chassis is largely scuttle-shake free with rigidity kept in check despite the monocoque’s missing link. Comfort mode ushers in the traditional MB waft and while Sport+ tightens the vertical and lateral movements, it makes everything a bit too aggressive for a loping GT Cabriolet.
Interior wise, under the fabric roof which stows or erects in 20 seconds, it remains utterly gorgeous. The rear seats can genuinely fit adults with, ahem, endless headroom roof down; roof up it could use more sound deadening.
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If you don’t need the extra space or elegance the E400 affords, the cheaper and more powerful C43 Cab will satiate your appetite for acoustic delights. However, the fastest E-Class Cab looks and feels all of its $157,500 sticker price.
Despite lacking aural theatre, there are few options more comfortable, stylish or luxurious for open-air, balmy-night motoring. In such an environment, topless works fine.
2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet Specs:
Engine: 3.0-litre v6 twin-turbo