So, is this the new Mercedes-Benz CLK Cabriolet? Well, yes and no. Yes because it will replace the drop-top CLK in Merc's lineup and no because, like its recently revealed coupe sibling, it will get the E-Class designation. Scooped here with minimum camouflage, the all-new E-Class Convertible follows in the footsteps of the Audi A5 Cabriolet retaining its predecessor's conventional canvas rooftop.
While this solution may turn some buyers to retractable hardtop models like BMW's 3-Series Convertible, it does have its advantages in terms of weight and space savings.
Other than the removal of the top and the slightly modified rear-end design, the E-Class Convertible is identical to its coupe sibling. This means that it will be offered with the same engine lineup. Depending on the market, the range will include four gasoline engines: a 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with for the E250 CGi, a 3.5-liter V6 with 292HP for the E350 CGI, a 5.5-liter V8 with 388HP for the E500 and a 525HP 6.2-liter V8 for the top-of-the-line AMG version.
These units will be joined by two diesels, a 204HP 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the E250 CDi and a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 231-horsepower in the E350 CDi.
According to sources, the E-Class Convertible will break cover at the forthcoming Frankfurt Auto Show this September with sales following in mainland Europe towards the end of the year and other markets including the U.S., in early 2010.