What Is It?
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is just one of many exciting new rides at Benz’s New York Auto Show stand. The company’s high-performance AMG division arrives in strength with the GLC63 compact crossover in both regular and “coupe” form, the super-cool E63 S wagon and — making its North American debut — the AMG GT Concept.
The E-Class Cabriolet is a 4-seater convertible with a fabric roof, and it’s the latest variant derived from the new and tech-rich generation of the E-Class sedan that debuted for the 2017 model year. For the first time, all-wheel drive is an option for an open-top E-Class. It debuts with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, offers special features like a warm-air neck heating system, and the company claims its rear passenger space is “generous.” Mercedes-Benz has yet to quote any power numbers, but the current E400 Cabriolet also has a twin-turbo 3.0-liter, and it makes 329 horsepower.
Making its world debut is the GLC63, which takes the GLC (based on the C-Class) and applies AMG expertise. So that’s a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine making 469 hp — or 503 hp in the GLC63 S Coupe — plus a sportier adaptive air suspension, bigger brakes, all-wheel drive and plenty of cosmetic enhancements. Standstill to 60 mph whips by in a mere 3.9 seconds (3.7 with the S).
Cargo capacity in the non-“coupe” version (Mercedes-Benz calls this the GLC63 SUV) is 56.5 cu ft., if anyone cares. Another noteworthy aspect is that these crossovers receive a grille along the same lines as the AMG GT sports car.
If there’s one wagon that might shift the opinions of American drivers and their traditional avoidance of tailgates on cars, it’s this 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S. Just like its sedan counterpart, it enjoys a considerable 603 hp and 628 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 going to all four wheels. It will rush from standstill to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 180 mph, yet it has a cargo capacity of 35 cu ft. with the rear seats in place. That’s an awesome combination of talents.
The AMG GT Concept now comes to a North American car show, having debuted at Geneva earlier this year. It’s yet another so-called “4-door coupe” and has a hybrid drivetrain. But it’s worth some attention because of AMG’s history. Before being part of Mercedes-Benz, AMG was an independent tuner company. Even when it came under the corporate wing, the main thrust was to take regular cars and juice them up. But then came the limited-edition SLS, designed and built exclusively as an AMG model, followed by the current AMG GT sports machine that’s a rival to cars like the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. This concept shows how AMG is thinking beyond its traditional role.
Prices for everything (except the concept, obviously) will be announced nearer to their respective sale dates. The current (2017) E-Class Cabriolet range starts at around $63,500. The previous (2016) E63 S Wagon started at $105,225.
When Can You Get It?
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet goes on sale at the end of 2017. The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is due fall 2017. And the GLC63 models arrive early in 2018.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
Regarding the E-Class Cabriolet, there have been several gorgeous versions over the years, and they often become collector’s cars. For those who love open-top driving but still want appreciable space and technology, this should be ideal. Most convertible rivals are smaller (like the Audi A5) or bigger (like the BMW 6 Series).
The AMG GLC versions offer speed and style, along with the much-desired elevated driving position.
The E63 S wagon is going to be a rare sight, which makes it even cooler. Like the E-Class Cabriolet, there really aren’t any direct rivals.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Porsche Macan — The driver’s choice among elite compact crossovers. Check out the Turbo with the Performance package for 440 hp.
2017 Audi SQ5 — Related to the Porsche Macan. Comes with 354 hp. More of a rival for the less extreme GLC43 variant.
Used BMW X5 M — A high-powered (567-hp) crossover with plenty of space. So it could be an alternative to the GLC63 SUV or the E63 S wagon.