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4-door convertible, anyone?

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News

Cadillac attracted a lot of attention with its Ciel concept, a stunning four-door convertible that was unveiled in August at the Concours d'Elegance classic car show in Pebble Beach, Calif.

But Cadillac isn't the only auto brand eyeing a four-door ragtop.

In case you missed it, a nugget of ragtop news was mentioned in an Automotive News future product story about Mercedes-Benz. My colleague Diana T. Kurylko reported in the Oct. 10 issue that Mercedes may produce a four-door convertible based on the redesigned S class. The next-generation S class sedan arrives in 2013.

This isn't the first time Mercedes has looked at a four-door convertible. The beautiful Ocean Drive Concept that debuted in 2007 received positive press globally. That concept had been penciled in as a production model before the global economy tanked.

But the economy, at least from Mercedes' standpoint, is doing extremely well.

Globally, through September, Mercedes-Benz Cars, which includes Smart, has delivered a record number of vehicles, 996,855, a 7 percent increase over the first nine months of 2010, the automaker says.

And with such momentum, no wonder Mercedes is eyeing a big attention-getter -- namely, a four-door convertible.

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