Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabrio – Click above for high-res image gallery

A little over a week ago, our esteemed colleagues over at Inside Line reported that Mercedes was to proceed with plans to build a two-door version of the C-Class sedan. Now that the notion of a C-Class coupe is out in the open, IL is opening it up further with another report that a C-Class cabriolet is set to follow.

Until recently that territory was the exclusive realm of the CLK, but with that model retired in favor of the slightly higher-market E-Class cabrio, there's room in the Benz line-up for a smaller convertible as well. With an eye on both the BMW 1 Series and 3 Series convertibles, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class cabriolet could be here as early as next year.

Power is tipped to come courtesy of a range of naturally-aspirated and turbocharged V6 engines. An AMG version is possible, with the new 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 pulling duty. While IL says the coupe version could yield a hybrid, they figure the convertible won't. For our part, we ask why not? There are plenty of hybrid sedans and sport-utes on the market, and a hybrid convertible – especially one with a three-pointed star on the nose – could do very well in certain markets. (California, we're looking at you.)

Related Gallery2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

[Source: Inside Line]