THE Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible will land here in 2016 for a fresh assault on its rivals, the BMW 4 Series Convertible and Audi A5 Cabrio.
These spy images show a prototype of the new generation C-Class drop-top, which will make a comeback after the previous CLK version was pensioned off in 2010.
The new C-Class Convertible will benefit from the full gamut of tech from the impressive new C-Class sedan.
Unlike the previous CLK convertible, and the current E-Class (A207) that is an amalgam of previous-gen C- and E-Class underpinnings, the new folding-roof pillarless C-Class will use the rear-wheel-drive MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform for a less compromised result.
This will arm it with an 80mm-longer wheelbase (now 2840mm), reduced overhang at both the front and rear ends, and more aluminium and high-strength steel to reduce weight by up to 40kg.
The more exotic materials will also make this the stiffest C-Class Convertible to date, helping reduce scuttle shake.
It will continue with a fabric folding roof, like the Audi A5 Cabriolet, and not a full metal version as used on the BMW 4 Series Convertible.
In addition to engineering advances such as clever consolidation of suspension components into fewer, lighter and easier to manufacture parts, the C-Class will have the brilliantly executed interior seen in the sedan, where the entry-level C200 comes with gloss-black facia and Artico artificial leather.
The 7.0-inch centre display will show the standard sat-nav (operated via the superb Comand controller) and an optional head-up display will be available.
Safety equipment includes radar cruise control, blind-spot indicators, Active Parking Assist, a plethora of airbags and ‘agility control’ that offers five settings that control the suspension, steering, throttle and transmission.
Engines should mirror the sedans, including the base 2.0-litre petrol producing 135kW/300Nm, mated to a seven-speed automatic, a 155kW version used in the C250 and a 2.1-litre diesel delivering 150kW/500Nm.
The platform also provides capability for hybrid and all-wheel drive, as well as the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 set for the C63 sedan and wagon that arrive next year.
The new Mercedes C-Class Convertible is due in Australia in 2016, with prices expected to be in line with the BMW 4-Series Convertible, which starts at $88,800.