A convertible John Edwards can love

Dan Neil reviews the new 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet with its standard-equipment “Aircap” wind-deflector system. It sounds like Mercedes has achieved a breakthrough in automotive technology for convertibles; Neil assures readers that the Aircap protects the hair of passengers both front and back.
I can’t quite visualize it, but the Aircap sounds good: “Comprising a deployable spoiler-like device that levitates out of the windshield header and a motorized mesh air dam with headrest extensions that rise behind the rear seats, the Aircap system deflects the wind stream over the cabin at speed, creating a remarkably stable pocket of climate-controlled air behind the windshield.” And that’s not all:

Our test car was also fitted with Mercedes’ optional “Airscarf” system that blows warm air from an aperture below the front seat headrests onto and around the driver/passenger’s neck, somewhere between a warm trade wind and a boa constrictor. When you put it all together–Aircap, Airscarf, seat heaters and the four windows up–you could drive this car, top down, from Syracuse to Saginaw in a snowstorm. For what conceivable purpose, I cannot say.

In traditional car review style, Neil concludes with a consideration of the car’s bang for the back. He declares it a good value: “Buy with confidence, and don’t worry about the price ($64,800 to start, high $80s with everything). You’ll make that up in hair product.”


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