This is the new Mercedes E-class cabriolet, which has been revealed courtesy of a leak at the European trademark office.
Thinly disguised models have been spied testing at the ‘Ring and on public roads, including in the UK, several times and the pictures give away little new about the car’s styling.
The front end is identical to the coupe model, but the addition of the fabric roof means it loses the thin C-pillars seen on the coupe. The pictures also show aerial shots of the CLK-replacement’s interior, which shows a near-identical four-seat layout to that seen in the coupe.
Space hasn’t been drastically compromised because the car gets a fabric roof instead of a retractable hard-top, while the rear wings and bootlid are also unique to the drop-top.
One trick Mercedes hopes will create a new benchmark in drop-top refinement is a retractable wind deflector atop the E-class’s windscreen.
The small spoiler on the top of the windscreen is designed to direct wind over the top of the passenger compartment, eliminating buffeting and reducing noise with the roof down.
Another application could be to improve aerodynamics by keeping the air flowing over the car. Convertibles are often less aerodynamic than their hard-top cousins and Mercedes’ new innovation may help.
The coupe version of the new E-class is the world’s most aerodynamic production car with a Cd of 0.24, and Mercedes is keen to use slippery shapes to improve efficiency.
It is likely the deflector can be raised or lowered to give a more traditional wind-in-the-hair experience.
Mercedes is also rumoured to be working on a warm air 'scarf' system for both the front and rear passengers.
When the E-class cabrio arrives next year it will have the same range of four, six and eight-cylinder engines as the latest E-class saloon and coupe, including the twin-turbo four-cylinder E250 CDI. Most models are expected to get the seven-speed automatic transmission.