There are few people in this world for whom we hold more contempt than European bureaucrats. They're the pencil-pushers that, if they had their way, would put an end to some of our favorite exotic sportscars and have us all driving Smart ForTwos. But every gray cloud has its silver lining, and in the case of Belgium's bureaucracy, is the sneak peak we get from time to time when a carmaker files its designs to register them as trademarks.
What we're looking at this time is the upcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class cabrio. Although there were rumors that the model could be delayed, by and large we knew this was coming, and have even seen plenty spy shots of test mules preparing for their market launch.
Replacing the outgoing CLK convertible, this new model is based on the slick new E-Class coupe but, you know...with a convertible roof. It's a fabric job, unlike its rivals from BMW, Lexus, Infiniti and Volvo, which have all gone with folding hard-tops by now. The mechanicals are otherwise expected to carry over from its fixed-roof counterpart, although the jury's still out on whether an AMG version will be on offer as well. For now, we'll just have to peruse these grainy black-and-white images until the new drop-top Benz drops in the first half of next year.