It’s a rare day when an automaker brings out a convertible version of a car before the coupe. Mercedes-Benz already unveiled the compact C-Class Coupe last year, so it stood to reason that the convertible was soon to follow. Now, at the Geneva Motor Show, we’ve finally come full circle.
In fact, the coupe and convertible variants of C-Class are awfully similar — nearly every basic dimension is the same, save for a 0.2-inch taller roof on the top-drop. Otherwise, the cars are nearly the same, and that goes for its design, as well, which mimics the larger S-Class Coupe and convertible, just shrunken down a bit.
The only roof option is a fabric soft top, which comes standard in black but can be ordered in dark brown, dark blue or dark red. The top takes about 20 seconds to close electronically at speeds up to 31 mph. To keep its occupants warm when the top is dropped on chilly days, all C-Class Cabriolet trim levels come standard with Airscarf, which uses HVAC vents in the headrests to create, well, a scarf of warm air.
Thus far, two convertible trim levels have been designated for the US — the C300 Cabriolet and the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet. The C300 is powered by a 241-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, mated to either rear-wheel or all-wheel drivetrains. The C43 packs a 362-horsepower, six-cylinder engine, with standard AWD. Both cars receive a nine-speed automatic transmission.
There are more differences between C43 and C300 than can be found under the hood. The C43 features aggressive styling characteristics, a standard sport suspension, larger brakes, special wheels and a whole bunch of AMG-specific interior bits. The C300 features a cushy, optional air suspension setup.
As with both the sedan and coupe, C-Class Cabriolet buyers will have plenty of tech from which to choose. The infotainment system can be upgraded to an 8.4-inch non-touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Fans of limited hands-off driving can opt for Mercedes’ wonderful Distronic suite of active safety equipment, including full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking.
Pricing has not yet been announced, but the C300 goes on sale in the US in late summer, with the C43 hot on its tail in the fall.