Geneva: New Mercedes C-Class Convertible
Mercedes has just revealed the fourth and final instalment to the C-Class collection, consisting of the sedan, estate and the coupe. Meet the new Mercedes C-Class Convertible. First impressions of the soft-top C-Class are quite impressive considering that the previous C-Class never had a drop-top derivative, resulting in Mercedes offering one of the most diverse ranges in a single category of executive vehicles.
Identical to the dimensions of the C-Class Coupe, the convertible also shares many characteristics with the graceful S-Class Coupe. The same grille, LED headlights, high shoulder line, curved boot and tail-lamp design are present on the convertible with the most obvious variation being the fabric roof with glass rear screen.
In typical Mercedes style, one is faced with many decisions in order to establish individuality. One example is the roof options available on the C-Class Convertible. There’s a basic soft-top that comes standard, and a more premium soundproofed soft-top that’s available in brown, blue, red or black. The roof disappears in under 20 seconds, at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
There’s also some clever new tech across the C-Class Convertible range. Mercedes’ ‘Airscarf’ system assists in keeping the drivers neck warm with the roof down, while a deflector at the top of the windscreen known as ‘Aircap’ reduces turbulence. Also standard is heat-reflecting leather upholstery and individual rear seats that split 50:50 for increased boot space.
The Mercedes C-Class convertible sits 15mm lower than the saloon, and an adaptive damping system is standard – with an optional sports suspension pack an optional extra. Mercedes’ air-suspension is also available as an option, which continuously measures and adjusts the damping to improve comfort on the road.
The model range is made up of six petrol variants and two diesel variants each connected to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, with Mercedes’ 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system being available on selected models.
The entry-level Mercedes C180 packs a 114kW 1.6-litre engine capable of running 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds, while claiming to do 16,7km/l. The 2.0-litre petrol range features the 135kW C200 and the 155kW C250, which run from 0-100km/h in 8.2 seconds and 6.9 seconds respectively. The C200 achieves very similar economy figures to the C180, while the C250 claims 16,1km/l and 140g/km emissions. The third 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is found in the 180kW C300. Pushing a top speed of 250km/h and a 0-100km/h sprint of 6.4 seconds, the C300 is a reasonable option, considering that it has an economy figure of 14,9km/l.
The diesel variants come in the form of the Mercedes C220d and C250d. Both are powered by similar four-cylinder 2.1-litre units, producing 125kW and 150kW respectively. The C220d is the most economical model in the range, achieving emissions of 116g/km as well as 22,2km/l. The C250d isn’t too far behind either, achieving figures of 121g/km and 21,7km/l. Performance wise, the C220d will manage an 8.3 second 0-100km/h sprint, with the C250d sprinting a tad-bit faster at 7.2 seconds.
Higher up the range we find the 3.0-litre V6 powered C400, which comes standard with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Creating 244kW and 480Nm of torque, 0-100km/h takes just 5.2 seconds, but you’ll be pleased to find out that it’s not the fastest horse in the stable. Enter the Mercedes-AMG C43 which will be powered by a tweaked version of the C400’s V6, making 270kW to launch the C43 from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds. Performance brakes, a more aggressive exterior look, 18-inch alloy wheels, and AMG sports seats are all standard issue on the Mercedes-AMG C43. Top speeds for both V6 models are limited to 250km/h.
According to Mercedes, the C43 Coupe and Convertible “offer younger buyers the chance to buy into the AMG brand”. This makes sense, considering that both models will now fall just below the bigger V8-powered cars in the Mercedes-AMG range.
The Mercedes C-Class Convertible is expected to be available by August 2016, and will come with a price tag just north of R750 000.