Preview: 2009 Mercedes Benz CL-Convertible
When developing the new CL coupe, engineers designed the car’s structure so that a convertible version could be built with very minor modifications. Until recently, demand for a cabrio of this size was lacking in the market place, which is the main reason there hasn’t been a drop-top version of the CL as yet. However, considering the high levels of excitement the four-door Mercedes Ocean Drive concept received at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, it’s obvious there is a lot of public interest in mega-sized convertibles.
In May last year it was revealed that DaimlerChrysler had registered the name "CLC-Class" as a trademark under the title of "automobiles and their structural parts," and this could be a possible name for the new car but it's more likely to just be called the CL Convertible. Though it seems logical for Mercedes to build the drop-top CL with a folding hard-top, the luxury carmaker may eschew this route and go with a conventional canvas roof. Creating a complex folding hard-top for the CL would be difficult given the size and weight of the potential design. Once again, the Ocean Drive may hint at the new car’s styling, itself featuring a large soft-top.
The convertible will most likely carry over the same engine range as its coupe sibling. This means you’re likely to find several V8 and V12 powerplants under the hood, as well as a few high-output AMG prepped versions and the aforementioned diesel mill. There’s also word that Mercedes might offer 4Matic AWD as an option, but we’ll have to wait until the car's release late next year to find out.