The forthcoming Grand Daddy of German soft-tops, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class convertible, has been snapped undergoing testing ahead of its expected world premiere next year.
We have known for some time that Benz is planning an S-Class convertible — see our exclusive report from back in 2012 — but these images from our snappers in Europe give us the best look yet.
The spiritual successor of the W112 SE and W113 SL ragtops of the 1960s and 1970s will be aimed squarely at Bentley’s open-aired Continental and the BMW 6 Series convertible, and is a fair chance at being the most opulent boulevard cruiser this side of a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead.
There is also likely to be some inspiration taken from the Ocean Drive concept displayed at the 2007 Detroit motor show, albeit without the slabbier sides and the radical four-door layout.
It will join the growing S-Class family alongside the sedan and the Coupe. Mercedes-Benz is expanding its top-end range under a unified S-Class badge — meaning no more CL-Class — to include this soft-top, as well as an ultra-high end replacement for the Maybach.
Stylistically, the S-Class convertible will take on the complex surfacing of the hardtop. Interestingly, it will continue the wider market’s gradual move away from folding hard-tops by instead coming with a soft material roof.