Inside information from Mercedes-Benz points that the Stuttgart manufacturer is preparing a convertible version of their sports flagship, the CL-Class. It seems that Mercedes has already registered the “CLC-Class” as a trademark. The new car is expected for 2010.
It was previously known that the CL-Class was design with a reinforced chassis that would allow the production of a convertible on the same platform with only minor adjustments. It is believed that such a model was not previously released due to the fact that up until recently the demand for a large size cabriolet was lacking. However the Ocean Drive convertible concept was a huge success, and therefore Mercedes decided that it will be the time to enter this segment.
The competition is very select, only a few such cars being available, like the Bentley Continental GTC or the new Rolls Royce convertible. It is probable that Mercedes will use the same roof solution as the competition does, with a canvas top. Due to the length of the car and that of the top, the usage of a hard roof is very difficult. A hint to that is offered again by the Ocean Drive concept that uses a large soft-top.
The technical components are expected to be very similar with those used on the CL. Several V8 and V12 petrol engines will be available and also a completely new diesel. The top of the range will be as for the rest of the Mercedes vehicles, the AMG prepped versions. Rumors point that available will also be the 4Matic all wheel drive system.
The pictures we present you are artist impressions, based on the available information and on the intuition of our artist. They depict the CLC featuring design elements from the CL (due to the common components) and a large size soft-top.
Mercedes introduced high performance variable-valve-timing quad-cam 4-valve V8 in the 1990 SL500 and continued through 1998. Chrysler era cost reductions replaced these engines with lower performance 3-valve V8s in the 1999 - 2006 SL500s, including the V8 offerings in every other 2006 model.
The 3-valve engines offer the same EPA fuel economy with less power and less torque compared to the 1990 - 1998 4-valve engines. Of course marketers promoted this downgrade as some sort of benefit. Even the six-cylinder models stepped back to simpler technology and lower performance.
The 2007 S600 is powered by a 5.5 L twin-turbocharged 36-valve V12 engine with an output of 510 hp at 5,000 rpm and a peak torque of 612 lbs-ft at 1,800 - 3,500 rpm. The engine is mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Mercedes unveiled the Ocean Drive Concept at the North American Auto Show Detroit, a design study based on the twelve-cylinder Mercedes-Benz S 600. It is a study which revives the tradition of large luxury convertibles. Not having to work to a design brief or production specifications left the designers free to get on with the job of developing the world’s most comfortable and elegant convertible.
As a four-door convertible, it belongs in a luxury genre that has almost disappeared from our roads. Like the luxury convertibles of years gone by, this showpiece from Stuttgart features the maximum in elegance, lifestyle sophistication and exclusiveness. To put it another way, it represents automobile culture at its most attractive and desirable.
The one-off special has an all-new body with an almost classic flavour and with clearly defined lines and vibrant two-tone paintwork which are exceptionally charismatic. Although on one level the Concept Ocean Drive displays the restraint of an elite and aristocratic automobile, it is also an open invitation to go on a "top-less" cruise along the world’s finest ocean promenades. Luxurious, exotic materials have been crafted with consummate skill to create a showpiece of unparalleled perfection.
The Continental GTC is an open-top 2+2 in true Bentley tradition. Its convertible nature means that every sensation of driving is transmitted to the driver and passengers yet the Continental GTC succeeds in offering something more for the senses, as Bentley Motors’ Design Director Dirk van Braeckel reveals:
With a top speed of 195mph, a sophisticated all-wheel drive system, state-of-the-art 12-cylinder engine, advanced air suspension and ultra-stiff body structure, the Continental GTC displays all the poise, exhilarating performance and dynamic handling of the Continental GT.
The Continental GTC is powered by 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine with an output of 552 hp at 6100 rpm and a peak torque of 479 lbs-ft at 1600 rpm. This power plant hooks to a ZF six-speed automatic with both a "Sport" mode and full manual shifting via steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
As on the entire Continental range, the GTC’s design has also been influenced by the need to ensure perfect aerodynamic balance at speeds close to 200mph (320km/h). The convertible spent many hours in the wind tunnel to ensure a low drag coefficient and like the coupé and four-door versions it utilises an underbody diffuser and specially sculpted rear bumper and bootlid edge to provide downforce and stability at high speed.
The DB9 Volante was alongside the DB9 Coupe, which was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2003. Both models are hand-built at Aston Martin Gaydon with the Coupe being delivered to customers in Spring 2004 and the Volante in Autumn 2004.
The DB9 Volante has a boot capacity of 197-litres (170-litres in the DB7) and has two rear seats.
Like the DB9 Coupe, power for the Volante is supplied by Aston Martin’s low emissions, all-alloy, 48-valve, 6.0-litre, V12 engine. No performance figures have yet been issued by Aston Martin but the Volante will be able to achieve a 0-62mph (100kph) time of under 5 seconds and a top speed of more than 186 mph. Like the DB9 Coupe it will be offered with a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.