The first ever Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet will launch this summer and has been revealed at the Geneva motor show. It's based on the C-Class Coupé, and will take on the likes of the Audi A3 Cabriolet and BMW 4 Series Convertible.
The new four-seat soft-top keeps the same basic dimensions as the coupé, but is marginally taller. Its fabric roof can be opened or closed in 20 seconds at up to 31mph. When closed, the roof is stored in the boot.
Unsurprisingly, the interior of the C-Class Cabriolet is almost identical to that of the coupé, but includes heat-reflecting leather and a switch on the centre console to open and close the roof. The sports seats also include Mercedes’ Airscarf heating system, while the Aircap system stops draughts inside the cabin.
From launch, the C-Class Cabriolet will be offered with a choice of two diesel engines, and six petrols. The C220 d and C250 d diesels offer 168bhp and 201bhp respectively, while the C220 d returns up to 62.7mpg and emits 116g/km. It’s capable of reaching 62mph in 8.3sec, and has a top speed of 144mph. The C250 d, meanwhile, manages the same 0-62mph sprint in 7.2sec, and returns an average of 61.4mpg.
The entry-level C180 petrol produces 154bhp, with the C200, C250, C300 and C400 gaining in power up to 328bhp. The quickest option here, the C400, can reach 62mph in 8.0sec, and emits 181g/km of CO2.
The C220 d, C200 and C400 can also be fitted with Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel-drive system.
All engines can be specified with Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can also specify Dynamic Select, which allows owners to choose from five transmission modes.
For the moment, the range is topped by the Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic Cabriolet, which is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol with 362bhp. It can reach 62mph in 4.8sec, and has a limited top speed of 155mph. This version also gets an AMG bodykit and a bespoke steering wheel.
Similarly, AMG Line models receive larger alloy wheels and a bodykit with a special grille treatment. An Edition 1 model will also be available for a short time when the C-Class Cabriolet goes on sale.
A high-performance C63 Cabriolet, which will use the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine as the saloon, is expected to appear before the end of 2016.Mechanical upgrades include suspension that has been lowered by 15mm compared with the coupé’s. Sports suspension with firmer springs and dampers is optional, as is Mercedes’ Airmatic suspension.
Boot space is down on that of the C-Class Coupé, at 360 litres, but well up on the BMW 4 Series Cabriolet’s.
The C-Class Cabriolet’s safety package includes a driver-monitoring system, collision warning and autonomous emergency braking. Optional extras include active lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control with motorway-steering assistance, a 360-degree camera, parking assistance and pedestrian detection.
Mercedes-Benz’s R&D boss, Dr Thomas Weber, said: “Our new C-Class Cabriolet is the entry into the world of premium cabriolets from Mercedes-Benz. Sporty and youthful in character and styling, it offers unadulterated open-air driving pleasure all year round.”
The cabriolet will join saloon, estate and coupé versions of the C-Class when it goes on sale this summer. There’s no word on pricing currently, but expect the C-Class Cabriolet to command a premium over the coupé on which it is based. That car currently starts from £30,995.