Mercedes has not mentioned it through any official channels yet, but its C-Class may be getting something of a makeover in the future. Engineers in Stuttgart – where the German car maker has its headquarters – have been found testing a number prototype bodies for the car. Although disguised and camouflaged, the test cars have been spotted by German press photographers and definitely appear to be two-door versions of the C-Class but sporting a convertible roof.
If the rumours of a soft top C-Class turn out to be a reality, then it will be the first time since the CLK was discontinued that this class of car will be offered as a convertible. Ever popular, the C-Class offered at UK dealers like L&L Automotive already comes in a choice of sedans, estates and coupes. Each has a construction from high-quality materials, as you might expect from Mercedes, but also fine trim elements which is a big plus point for many buyers. However, the addition of a cabriolet version – or versions – to the range would mean the model becomes one that appeals to an even wider cross section of the British car buying public.
It seems that Mercedes’ designers had been experimenting with a metal folding roof for the C-Class. In all likelihood, this would have been so that a soft top version of the C-Class cut a distinctive look compared to their other convertible model, in the E-Class range. Considerably less expensive than the E-Class, many insiders think that this design would have provided the C-Class with a certain amount of visual difference as well as driver experience from the top-end model. And that is not to mention a distinguishing market position that would have marked it out from similarly sized models made by its primary rivals, BMW and Audi.
Nonetheless, the latest rumours are that any future convertible C-Class will sport a more traditional fabric roof. It is expected that this will also allow the car to be marketed at a price point well below the E-Class convertible. Although the two cars will be of a similar size and possess the same four-seat configuration, it is probable that the soft top C-Class will be the cheapest convertible in the entire Mercedes range, giving it all of the distinction it needs to stand out on any dealership’s forecourt.
Little else is currently known about the planned convertible’s design, but it is thought that the engine options offered will be much the same as standard model currently on sale. Nevertheless, the speed test prototypes appear to have some other distinctive features which may make it through to a full production version. If the car does go on sale in 2015, as many expect, then it will probably sport a two bar grille and newly designed mirrors that will be mounted onto the doors. Of course, the model is likely to have a redesigned rear end as well – to accommodate the soft top roof when it is down.