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Redesigned Mercedes E-class cabriolet spied in crimson

Thu, 22 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0800

Our fascination with the future Mercedes-Benz E-class continues.

Last week, we got a glimpse of the E-class coupe during testing, and now spy shooters have nabbed an even choicer game: the cabriolet.

It's a double dip. We have shots of the standard-issue gray prototypes, but we've also managed to catch a red-colored car running around. That has to mean this ragtop is well on its way to reaching the market.

The E-class coupe is the successor to the CLK. We already know that the new E-class is getting a more dramatic look, based on the Fascination concept revealed at the Paris motor show last fall and the production E-class sedan previewed in Detroit.

Like the sedan and the coupe, the cabriolet will get remade, rectangular headlights. These are partially visible through the camouflage and stand in contrast to the oval units on the current cars.

Note also that the panels and lines on the side are more concave, and the arches in the back are reminiscent of the iconic "Ponton Mercedes" from 1953.

The cabriolet will likely follow the new E-class sedan in getting a number of technical features from the S-class and the CL-class, including blind-spot assist and a night-vision feature. The sedan is also getting a drowsy-driver alert system.

The E-class sedan will go on sale this summer with a 382-hp V8 and a 268-hp V6. Stay tuned for more details on the two-door versions.

By Greg Migliore