The End Of Convertible Hair: Mercedes Unveils Perpetual Doldrums Rag Top

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

It’s good to see an occasional glimpse of the good old Mercedes, solving the great unsolved automotive engineering challenges through sheer triumph of the will. Yes, today’s convertibles are already dramatically calmer than the ’65 Fury that tried to give me a head start on dread locks. But good enough is not good enough at Mercedes. For over a decade, their engineers have been toiling on the challenge of the truly turbulent-free convertible. Their efforts have paid off in the form of the new 2011 E-Class convertible, due this May in the US. All the (un) hair-raising details and more pics of Aircap in action follow:

The new Mercedes E-Class cabriolet features an innovative retractable wind deflector that sits at the top of the windshield. Called Aircap, the driver-operated system raises a wind deflector on the tip of the windshield to direct wind 8 inches (20cm) higher, over the top of the passenger compartment. It works in tandem with the rear deflector to eliminate buffeting and reduce noise with the roof down. And Aircap is the perfect accessory to Airscarf, MB’s heat-blowing head rests. What’s next: Air Shirt? Topless motoring in the chill of a crisp German spring day is only another Mercedes invention away.

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

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  • JohnSmithFL JohnSmithFL on Apr 01, 2017

    The AirCap is quite efficient in warding off wind turbulence and noise in Merc roadsters, which is a must-have in modest not-so-premium Verts. But ordinary convertibles still have the option of good wind deflectors like the Windblox wind restrictor and so on to rein in these bogeys.

    • AndyWill76 AndyWill76 on May 07, 2017

      Yeah, Windblox windblocker is a good wind deflector. I too have mounted it on my ride. Now my hairdo is in form and I don’t have that beat-up feeling after a long top down drive.

  • JaneWill JaneWill on Jul 17, 2017

    The wind deflectors take open top motoring to the next level by providing noise- and turbulence-free ride even at motorway speeds. Thanks to the Backblade windblocker now my hairdo stays in form and I need not yell for conversing with my co-passenger.

  • SCE to AUX This is the right direction for EVs, but I can't warm up to Kia's latest styling.This is bad news for Rivian, whose similarly-specced R3 isn't due until 2027 or something.Perhaps a low-spec version will start at $30k (maybe), but the 300-mile version with trimmings will certainly run closer to $50k. Then everyone will say Kia lied.
  • Buickman foolishness has no bounds, or borders.
  • JMII Wonder what the Hyundai version will look like because I am NOT a fan of this styling.Also someone needs to explain to H/K/G that you want the dark colored interior parts were you touch/sit and the lighter color parts elsewhere. For example the door panels here are dark with light armrests - this is backwards. Genesis made the same mistake in the GV60's white/ash (grey) interior. While I greatly appreciate something other then the dreaded black cave interior did they not consider how impossible this will be to keep clean in the real world?
  • JMII I see lots of ads for their CUVs but given the competition in this segment why would I buy an Outlander over a similar product from Toyota, Honda or Hyundai? Mitsubishi needs to offer something compelling, some hook or defining difference. I don't think I've encountered a single person who says "wow have you seen the new [blank] from Mitsubishi? I need to get me one of those".I owned a Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T back in '96 and it was fun car. Mitsubishi once made interesting choices with a rally heritage - those cars were fast and pretty high tech at the time. Like Nissan they kind of fell into the we will finance anyone pool so other then an Evo as a track toy anyone I knew steered clear of them.
  • ToolGuy It will be interesting to see how this does.