Four-door cabrio hints at new four-door Merc open-top, possibly badged a Maybach
20 December 2006

Mercedes-Benz has decided not to wait until the Detroit motor show opens to reveal its latest concept car. These teaser photographs show the Ocean Drive concept - a big four-door convertible – more than two week’s ahead of its planned public debut.

The Ocean Drive is described as a one-off design study aimed at reviving the tradition of large luxury convertibles. However, sources close to Mercedes-Benz contend it is seriously considering adding a new high-end four-seat open top to its line-up, most likely under the Maybach name.

“The fact that Rolls-Royce is also planning to reveal a convertible in Detroit is no coincidence,” a Stuttgart insider told us, “but there’s real intent behind the Ocean Drive.”

Although it shares its appearance with Merc's luxury flagship, the Ocean Drive is not simply a chopped-top S-class. Every body panel has been altered in the transformation to a convertible, with noticably tauter surfacing and heavily reinterpreted details providing the concept car with fresh visual appeal.

The new look is rumoured to preface that of a secret Maybach model presently under development at Mercedes-Benz. To be positioned beneath the existing 57 and 62, it is planned as a rival to the upcoming Rolls-Royce Phantom convertible and the 2007 Bentley Azure.

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The Ocean Drive shares its mechanical package with the Mercedes-Benz S600, including its 517bhp twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V12 engine.

Greg Kable

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