One of the primary faults associated with soft-top convertibles is the noise level with the top up. This is especially despicable when driving on concrete highways. The noise is enough to drive you mad! The designers at Mercedes-Benz must have listened to a few convertible owners because they have come up with a soft-top convertible with the sound dampening abilities of a hard-top. Is it possible? Allow me to introduce the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet.
The secret to the E-Class Cabriolet’s success is the thickness of its soft top. With a thick layer of insulation, the Mercedes-Benz soft-top ends up being almost an inch thick. The benefits are easy to see … and to hear. Take the convertible on the highway and attempt a phone call via the hands-free interface. You will be pleasantly surprised.
“On the road, the difference is audible from speeds of just 50 mph, for example when driving through a tunnel or overtaking a convoy of trucks. At higher speeds, the benefits of the acoustic soft top are even more tangible. For instance, it is possible to have a perfectly normal phone conversation in hands-free mode even when travelling at a speed more than 125 mph.”1
After test driving a number of noisy soft-top convertibles, you will have to admit that this is an amazing accomplishment for Mercedes-Benz. But what happens when you want to make a phone call … with the top down? In prior years, manually operated air deflectors could be added to diminish the turbulence in the passenger compartment. But now, after four years of research and 20 patents2, the designers have come through again with an innovation called the AIRCAP® system which would allow you to make a phone call with no problems at 75 mph! All it requires is the press of a button and “an aluminum, mesh and plastic air diverter blade rises from the top of the windshield frame.”2 With the windows rolled up and the top folded down, the deflector causes the air to follow the same path it would have with the top up. This keeps normal air turbulence from affecting passengers in the front and rear seats. Imagine that! Even the people in the back seat can enjoy the ride!
Nicely done, Mercedes-Benz.