The prototype, which, as with earlier test cars, was spotted testing on public roads in Germany, remains heavily disguised by camouflage material and plastic cladding, though gives us our clearest look yet at the car’s headlights, door panels and rear bumper shape.
The cabriolet – set to be revealed next year ahead of it anticipated Australian release in 2016 – will become the fourth body style in the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class family, joining the sedan, wagon and forthcoming coupe variant on which the drop-top will be based.
The two-door twins will go head-to-head with fellow premium mid-sizers from Germany: the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series. In overseas markets, the C-Class Cabriolet is expected to become the cheapest open-air model in the brand’s line-up, undercutting the SLK and E-Class Cabriolet, though Australian specification may see it slot between the two. The cheapest A5 Cabriolet costs $79,790 and the 4 Series Convertible line-up starts at $89,300, while the entry-level SLK200 costs $86,450.
Though the spied test car appears to wear a hard roof, the production version of the C-Class Cabriolet will feature a folding soft-top similar to that of the larger E-Class Cabriolet and rival A5, with Mercedes aiming to save weight and space and reduce cost and complexity compared with the hard-top roof style offered on the 4 Series.
The four-seater is set to benefit from Mercedes’ AirCap air-deflection and AirScarf heating systems seen on existing drop-top models, as well as a range of driver assist, safety, infotainment and connectivity systems offered in throughout the C-Class range.
Turbocharged four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines familiar from the fixed-roof C-Class models will be offered in the cabriolet line-up, while reports suggest a high-performance C63 AMG variant powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 will headline the range to take on the Audi RS5 Cabriolet and BMW M4 Convertible.
Mercedes-Benz Australia will announce pricing and specifications of the all-new C-Class sedan and wagon later today. Stay tuned for full details in the coming hours.
Click the Photos tab for more images of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet.