Mercedes-Benz has yet to offer a cabriolet version of the C-Class until now, leaving only BMW and Audi to fight it out on the German front, But that’s about to change next year, when the very first iteration of the C-Class Convertible will arrive in showrooms.
Developed independently from the coupe, the drop-top will also borrow most of its styling cues from the 2015 C-Class Sedan , and will come with a retractable soft-top and probably with the cool AirCap anti-draft system found in the E-Class Cabrio .
Details are scarce at the time of this writing, but we have a batch of spy shots suggesting the vehicle is nearing its final development phase, with an official launch to occur in the first half of 2015.
The U.S.-spec convertible is likely to cross the Pond the North America with 2.0-liter, four-cylinder and 3.0-liter, V-6 engines under the hood, but a C63 AMG version is also expected to go on sale with a more powerful 4.0-liter, turbo, V-8 mill motivating the wheels.
Updated 05/16/2014: We have created a rendering for the upcoming C-Class Convertible. Check it out after the jump.
Built around the 2015 C-Class, the convertible in our rendering shares its front fascia with the sleek sedan. The chopped off roof has been replaced with a soft-top, but we decided to go for an open version of the car in order to fully appreciate its overall stance. However, the body elements that hide the top, as well as the wind deflector mounted behind the rear seats, are noticeable in our depiction.
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The current 4 Series Convertible is a brand-new car that arrives after BMW has decided to move all two-door versions of the 3 Series under a new moniker. Built to appeal an younger crowd, the Convertible takes its design cues from the 4 Series Coupe and, unlike the C-Class, it features a three-piece retractable hard-top. The roof can be operated at speeds of up to 11 mph and needs only 20 seconds to fold or unfold.
Two versions of the 4 Series Convertible are sold in the United States - the base 428i and more powerful 435i. The former is motivated by the familiar 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, while the latter gets it juice from a larger, 3.0-liter inline-six that churns 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. While the 428i needs about 6.2 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph, the 435i is a lot quicker at 5.5 seconds.
Both versions are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Auto Start Stop. while the company’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system can be found on the options list. Pricing for the 4 Series Convertible begins from $49,675.
Those looking for more horsepower can have a look at the M4 Convertible , which sports a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six engine that cranks out 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.
The other German convertible the C-Class will go against is the A5. The current model was introduced in 2009 and received an important visual update in 2011. Unlike the 4 Series and the upcoming C-Class, the A5 Convertible is available with only one engine in the United States.
We-re talking about a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TFSI unit that delivers 220 horsepower at 4,300 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive are standard, while the eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox can be had as an extra option. The vehicle needs 6.2 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph before reach a top speed of 130 mph.
If the A5 is not fast enough for you, Audi is also selling convertible versions of the brawnier S5 and RS5 models. The former benefits from 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque coming from a 3.0-liter inline-six, while the latter is pushed by a 4.2-liter V-8 engine with 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet on tap.
The A5 Cabriolet is priced from $44,500, the S5 fetches at least $60,400, while the RS5 wears a sticker of $77,900.