SANTA MONICA, CA - Partially replacing the discontinued but very popular CLK cabriolet, which was part C-Class (chassis) and part E-Class (price), this C-Class convertible will be sold alongside Mercedes' new E-Class convertible. We're told it will be a 2011 model, according to Inside Line.

Like the E-Class Cabriolet, the C-Class drop top will get a cloth folding top instead of the heavier and more complicated retractable hardtop used on the BMW 3 Series convertible and the Infiniti G37 convertible. The cloth top will also help keep the price down, which is vital if the C-Class is also going to steal buyers from the BMW 1 Series convertible.

Like the C-Class Coupe, the C-Class Convertible will be powered by a new family of direct-injected DOHC V6s, including a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated version and a smaller unit with twin turbochargers designed to take on the turbocharged BMW 135i and 335i. Expect the turbo engine to produce just north of 300 horsepower. We also keep hearing about a hybrid version of the C-Class coupe, which would use a smaller naturally aspirated version of the V-6, but a hybrid version of the convertible is unlikely.