Mercedes-Benz is extending the choice in its C-Class range with the first-ever Cabriolet, unveiled at the Geneva show.

The C-Class drop-top will go on sale in the summer, and is based on the Coupe variant of the BMW 3 Series rival. It virtually matches the Coupe for dimensions, only adding 4mm to the car’s height which in turn increases rear-seat headroom by 12mm, though front-seat occupants lose 4mm.

The soft-top is fabric and fully automated, opening and closing in less than 20 seconds at speeds up to 31mph. When folded down it sits in its own compartment in the boot, in the process reducing boot capacity from 360 to 280 litres.

On entry-level models the roof fabric is black, while it is also available as an acoustic soft-top, with better sound insulation, in dark brown, dark blue, dark red or black.

Inside the car replicates the Coupe on which it is based, though occupants gain the Airscarf head-rest mounted heating system typical of Mercedes open-topped models.

Eight different engines will be offered with the cabriolet. The two diesels are both four-cylinder models, the 167 C220d, also available in 4Matic all-wheel-drive form, and the 201bhp C 250 d.

All bar two of the six petrol engines are four-cylinder units, starting with the 154bhp C 180 and the 181bhp C 200, the latter also offered with 4Matic. The C 250 offers 208bhp, the C 300 241bhp, while the range is completed by two V6 models, both 4Matic equipped as standard. The C 400 has 328bhp on tap, while the top-line AMG C 43 variant offers 361bhp.

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