2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet Spy Shots

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These are the latest spy shots of a prototype for the convertible version of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which we're expecting to be revealed later this year or early next. The car will be called a "C-Class Cabriolet", and will be joined in showrooms by another generation of the C-Class Coupe.

These two-door C-Class variants will be sportier than the sedan on which they’re based. We can already see that the track of this prototype is wider than that of the sedan, and the car looks to be sitting lower. The side mirrors are also mounted to the doors, whereas on the sedan these are mounted at the base of the A-pillar.

As for the roof of the C-Class Cabrio, Mercedes is likely to forgo a retractable hard-top in favor of a lighter and less expensive soft-top, just as it has with the E-Class Cabrio and upcoming S-Class Cabrio. The SLK, which is soon to be renamed an "SLC", will be sticking with the hard-top option for the time being.

Engine offerings should match those of the C-Class sedan, meaning C300 and C400 models at launch. In the C-Class sedan, the C300 is powered by a 235-horsepower, 273-pound-foot 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder while the C400 gets a 329-horsepower, 354-pound-foot 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6. A seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive should be standard.

Other members of the new C-Class family include the aforementioned sedan and coupe, a plug-in hybrid model, a long-wheelbase model, a wagon, a sporty C450 AMG Sport, and high-performance Mercedes-AMG C63. While we're not expecting a dedicated Mercedes-AMG version of the C-Class Cabrio, we may still see an AMG Sport version.

The C-Class Cabrio should be on sale early next year, as a 2016 model. Key rivals will be the Audi A5 Cabrio, BMW 4-Series Convertible, Infiniti Q60 Convertible, and an expected drop-top Cadillac ATS.

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