Mercedes-Benz’s new entry level four-seater convertible, which sits below the E-Class cabriolet in the pantheon, retains the clean lines of the new C coupe — diamond grille, long bonnet, wide shoulders and high belt-line — especially with the fabric roof in place.
The fully automated roof can be had in various colours, being black, dark red and dark blue, and can be optioned with multi-layer acoustics. A similar design to that on the flagship S-Class cabriolet, it opens/closes in 20 seconds at up to 50km/h.
With four seats (and 12mm more rear headroom over the coupe with the roof in place) and luggage capacity of 360 litres (285L with the roof down), there’s still room for a few bags, making this at least a semi-practical sort of soft-top.
Naturally, you can option Mercedes’ AirScarf system that pumps warm air through the seat onto the back of your neck like an amorous lover.
Inside the cabin, you get the typical C-Class minimalist cabin layout and high-end switchgear. There’s “heat reflecting” leather seats in five available colours, muscular sports seats, electric seatbelt extenders and through-loading into the boot via the folding back (50:50) seats.
Befitting the model, you can option 13 upholstery variants, four soft-top colours, twelve paint finishes – including a matt finish — and all manner of cabin woods, aluminium bits and plastics. An AMG Line style package can also be had with a flat-bottom steering wheel and different 18-inch alloys.
The C-Class cabriolet is 15mm lower than the sedan, and gets standard steel spring or optional sports suspension or, another level higher, Airmatic air suspension with adjustability.
Europeans get eight engines, including a handful of different-tune 2.0-litre turbo-petrols (the 135kW/300Nm C200, 155kW/350Nm C250, 180kW/370Nm C300 ), and two 3.0-litre force-fed V6 units with 4Matic AWD (the 245kW/480Nm C400 and 270kW/520Nm Mercedes-AMG C43, the latter with a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.8 seconds).
There are also two 2.1-litre turbo-diesels, the 125kW/400Nm C220d and 150kW/500Nm C250d. All use a 9G nine-speed automatic transmission.
The car is stiffer at the front end and on the floor to boost rigidity in lieu of a fixed roof, while a high proportion of aluminium (on the wings, bonnet and bootlid) remains. Mercedes’ growing suite of active safety and autonomous driving tech feature, as do automatically-deploying rollover protection bars.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet is due to arrive in local dealerships before the end of 2016, at a similar time to the Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe.
We will know full local pricing and specs closer to the time. The range will line up against the BMW 4 Series convertible range, which is itself priced between $88,400 plus on-road costs and $128,000 (or $161,900 for the M4).
What do you think of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class cabriolet’s styling? Click the Photos tab above to see more press images.
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