By on July 18, 2008

Awwww. ( to fierce competition, new technology and good old-fashioned hubris, luxury brands are continuing their relentless pursuit of lower-priced brand extensions (a.k.a. "affordable luxury"). It's a tricky transition that can degrade brand values and lead to some mutant machines [see: MB and their (un)Smart move.] Incrementalism seems to be the way Fordward. Mercedes' A and B Class, for example are [almost] accepted as genuine Stuttgart pure breed. In their latest attempt to conquer the world, the German engineers (and designers) are now set to expand the MB compact-class line-up. Among the new omers expect an entry-level convertible to go head-to-head with Audi's A3. The next CLK gets the folding hard-top, so this… thing is keeps the lid simple (i.e. inexpensive). Needless to say, the German effort to make a cheap cabriolet will no doubt face a Korean effort to make a luxury convertible. Strange times.

[For more of AA's photochopistry, click on

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