2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet & Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet First Look in Geneva

Mercedes-Benz's most important car line just swelled with two new models tonight, with the reveal of the 2017 C-Class Cabriolet, and Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet here ahead of the first day of the Geneva International Motor Show. We were early fans of the class-leading interior of the new C300, and now the bread and butter line is adding topless and performance models that will arrive in the U.S. later this year.

While Ola Källenius, Benz's head of sales and marketing, said this is the year of the dream cars, the C-Class Cabriolet will easily be the most accessibly-priced dream (convertible) bearing a Benz badge. The topless version shares the same mechanical underpinnings as the hard-topped C-Class, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine—good for 241 hp and 273 lb.-ft.—mated to the new 9G-Tronic automatic transmission.

Mercedes-AMG head Tobias Moers introduced the new cars, after a spirited performance from Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson. While the C-Class Cabriolet that rolled out on stage was the 220D diesel-powered model, aesthetically it's identical to the gasoline powered car we'll see in the U.S.

The C-Cabrio cars share the Sensual Purity design language, which design chief Gorden Wagener says can be distilled down to "alluring cars that are sexy, but that also surprise people when they see them." Sensual Purity combines "hot" and "cold" elements that contrast sculpted design and sleek technology.

Both will arrive in both rear-wheel or 4Matic all-wheel drive versions, and regardless of which Mercedes convertible you find yourself in, the top will retract in a mere 20 seconds. Unique features such as the Mercedes Airscarf wrap your neck in a cocoon of warm air, while the optional Aircap system minimizes draft in the cabin.

The two-door C-Class Cabriolet will share the same dimensions as the coupe, with a negligible gain of 0.2-inches in height. And while the C-Class Cabriolet is pretty, the C43 AMG version dials up allure that much more.

Motivated by a 362 hp, 384 lb.-ft biturbo 3.0-liter V6, the 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds C43 Cabriolet gets some special attention. Unique 18-inch AMG wheels, standard 4Matic all-wheel drive with a 31-69 front-rear bias, a flat-bottom wheel with red contrast stitching, the new diamond radiator grille with chrome pins and louvers.

The C43 Cabriolet also counts on a stiffer sports suspension, five AMG Dynamic Select driving modes, and speed-sensitive sport steering. A 7.0-inch tablet-style mounted screen is standard, with the 8.4-inch screen as an option.

In person, the rear-three-quarter angle looks especially attractive on both cars, with the top down. Mercedes hasn't released official pricing yet, look for that to come closer to the cabrio's official arrival date.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet Gallery

Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet Gallery