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Geneva show: Benz teases C-Class drop-top

Sketchy details: All that is currently known about the upcoming Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet comes from a few spy shots, this sketch and its close mechanical relationship with the C-Class Coupe.

First C-Class Cabrio paves way for most affordable open-topped Mercedes-Benz yet

15 Feb 2016

MERCEDES-BENZ issued a teaser sketch of the upcoming C-Class Cabriolet on its social media pages over the weekend, building anticipation ahead of the four-seat drop-top’s public unveiling at the Geneva motor show next month.

Although it is confirmed for Australian launch just in time for next summer, technical details of the first Mercedes convertible to wear C-Class badges remain scarce other than spy shots that have revealed the new Benz will have a fabric roof, unlike its tin-topped BMW 4 Series rival.

The C-Class has the potential to become the most affordable Mercedes-Benz four-seat convertible to date given its direct rivals, the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series, respectively drop their tops from $81,200 and $88,400 (both prices before on-road costs).

It could even undercut the SLK roadster, which starts from $87,200 and will be replaced by the SLC in June this year.

The teaser sketch shows the C-Class variant will inherit many styling cues from its significantly larger and more expensive S-Class Cabriolet sibling, much like the C-Class Coupe it is based on, which bears a strong resemblance to the S-Class Coupe.

For example, the shape of the tail-lights and the interplay between the boot-lid panel and the open rear deck are pure S-Class Cabriolet, as is the drooping swage line. Even the wheel design in the sketch echoes the alloys chosen for the first press shots of the drophead S-Class.

Key differences are the smoother rear bumper and subtler side-skirts of the C-Class, along with the lack of power bulges on its bonnet.

The C-Class Coupe was revealed at the Frankfurt show in August 2015 and is scheduled to launch in Australia this winter.

Whether the C-Class Cabriolet will serve alongside a new convertible E-Class remains to be seen. The outgoing E-Class Cabriolet was based on a C-Class platform and before that was a CLK coupe and convertible range, also based on the C-Class platform but with E-Class styling.

Mercedes revealed its all-new E-Class sedan at the Detroit motor show last month and is yet to uncover further body variants.

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