Spy photos show a prototype of the 2018 Mercedes E Class Cabriolet testing on damp roads.

You probably have seen your fair share of Mercedes-Benz spy photos in recent weeks as the company with the three-pointed star logo is preparing a multitude of new models. One car on the agenda is the brand new E Class Cabriolet which will likely be out in the second half of next year as a 2018MY. It’s going to be launched after the E Class Estate due in the following months and also after the E Class Coupe probably set for an early 2017 launch.

As you would imagine, the open-top E Class will be based on the coupe and as the attached spy images show it will continue to have a fabric roof. The decision to stick with a soft top doesn’t come as a surprise taking into a hard top is substantially heavier and it also takes up more space when folded. With the C Class and S Class cabriolets both featuring fabric roofs, it wouldn’t have made sense for the 2018 E Class Cabriolet to use something else.

Although the prototype is dressed in a significant amount of camouflage to hide the design, the new midsize cabriolet from Mercedes is going to look pretty much like an upsized C Class Cabriolet. Just look at how similar the C and E sedans are, and most likely that will be the same case with the estates, coupes, and cabriolets.

Riding on the MRA platform, the 2018 E Class Cabriolet will be a tad bigger than its predecessor, but at the same time it will lose a few thanks to the architecture which uses more lightweight materials. The engine lineup will be carried over from the other body styles, all the way up to the biturbo 3.0-liter V6 in the “E43” and the biturbo 4.0-liter V8 in the flagship “E63.”

Gallery: 2018 Mercedes E Class Cabriolet spy photo