2014 Convertible Preview
Yet, convertibles have always been in the automotive world since the beginning. The first automobiles were open top models since having a roof was considered very luxurious for the time. Today, we see convertibles as pleasure cars reserved for sunny days and warmer air.
There are two kinds of convertibles out on the marketplace. The two-seater kind is normally called roadsters, taking on the spirit of their predecessors from Europe after the end of World War II. If you see another row of seats in an open top car, that is what a convertible has truly become. “Soft” tops are the norm, but we have seen a growth in the “coupe-convertible,” where you get a folding metal roof instead of a canvas one. These vehicles are often challenged with finding ways to stabilize the body without a roof. Some have achieved this – even with the “soft” top as the only closed covering above.
Convertibles and roadsters are meant to be fun. Whether it is winding down a canyon road, rolling along the coastline or out on the countryside, open top motoring has an attraction that is undeniable. That is why we love them so much.
What is out there these days to fulfill your want of open top pleasure?
ASTON MARTIN: The word Volante is synonymous with Aston. Volante means one thing to Aston aficionados – open sky. The Vantage sports car is available in the regular V8 and V8 S, offering smooth power with a soundtrack that is unforgettable. The new DB9 also comes with a Volante model with flawless V12 power on tap. Then, there is the Vanquish with its monstrous 565 horsepower V12.
AUDI: The R8 and TT provide two different roadster experiences. The mid-engine R8 Spyder can be had with the V10 engine for the ultimate in top-down driving, while the TT Roadster is a fashion tool with plenty of moves to keep it lively. For more serious fun, the TTS adds more power to the wheels. The A5 has two rows of run with a soft top to fold down. If you need more performance, you could opt for the S5 or RS5 versions of the same four-seat cabriolet.
BENTLEY: If you have never driven a Continental GTC, you may be missing out on one of the world’s truly finest driving experiences. Choose between the V8 and the W12 Speed. Either one will take you to another level completely.
BMW: The Z4 remains the brand’s remaining roadster. There are two seats and everything you need for a true BMW experience. However, the Munich brand does a better job at making four seat convertibles. The 6-Series and the new 4-Series cabriolets offer two rows of joy with infinite sky available.
CHEVROLET: General Motors only makes two convertibles – the Camaro and the Corvette Stingray. You can select any Camaro with a soft top – including the ZL1. No matter the model, you will find this Camaro even more spacious than the coupe – with the top down. Then, there is the Corvette Stingray. If you think that the coupe is the best sports car around, the convertible will not disappoint.
CHRYSLER: The 200 Convertible is a rare treat to be had in wither a soft top or a folding hardtop. Why rare? This may be going away sometime after the introduction of the 2015 sedan. Get one while you can.
FERRARI: The 458 Spider has 562 horsepower on tap from its midship V8 to send hearts a flutter. However, the Prancing Horse has a different kind of top down experience – the California T. This is unlike any Ferrari of its kind – a front-mounted turbocharged V8, a folding metal roof and a grand touring interior. While the 458 is pure track-bred joy, the California T is the Ferrari you could relax with the roof down.
FIAT: Fold down the roof of the Cinquecento and you have a uniquely European experience. The 500C is available in the Lounge and the Abarth. Choose the turbocharged Abarth and you are in for the ride of your life.
FORD: While the 2014 Mustang makes way for the 2015, there is a still a convertible version to be had. There is a lot of promise ahead with the new 2015 convertible, including a range of engines from a 2.3liter turbocharged EcoBoost four to the Coyote 5.0liter V8. Stay tuned…
INFINITI: The Q60 convertible has four seats of top down fun. Powered by the Z’s VQ37 V6, you can lower the metal folding roof for maximum affect.
JAGUAR: If one product can bring everyone back to this brand, it is the F-Type. The buzz has been high on this one, as it reminded everyone of the old E-Type with better road manners and performance. The XK convertible is also available, with
JEEP: Yes, the Wrangler is a SUV. However, it remains one of the most unique convertible experiences on the road. While other convertibles stay on the tarmac, the Wrangler lets you get away from it.
LEXUS: The old IS C offers folding metal roof fun in both the 250 and 350 models. It offers one of the finer experiences in its class – a nice cruiser that is makes both top up and top down driving a pleasure.
MASERATI: There is nothing more bespoke than the Granturismo convertible. You get the Gran Turismo’s styling without the roof and one of the most sumptuous interiors around. And, before you ask, yes you can get one in the super quick MC model – 454 horsepower of V8 performance with a top speed of 180MPH.
MAZDA: As the current MX-5 Miata wraps up its current run, you can still enjoy one of the purest roadster experiences around. If you remember the MGs, Triumphs and Alfa Romeo Spiders of the past, then the Miata remains your ticket to those glorious days of the inexpensive roadster.
MERCEDES-BENZ: The three-pointed star offers a quartet of drop top experiences. The classic SL roadster remains one of the greatest of its kind. The smaller SLK provides a similar kind of experience at a fraction of its size. Both can be had with AMG versions for more performance to go along with these classics. For four-seat pleasure, the E-Class Cabriolet provides an experience that dates back to the early days of Daimler and Benz. It remains a classic car for the right moment. At the top of the universe is the SLS AMG roadster. Without gullwing doors, the SLS still provides the ultimate in AMG/Mercedes-Benz top down driving.
NISSAN: The 370Z offers a roadster that is fast and rewarding. With a 332 horsepower VQ37 3.7liter V6 on tap, you could only dream of taking it on a track day. For something completely different, the Murano CrossCabriolet marries a crossover with something harkening back to our automotive history. With all-wheel drive, you and three of your friends would arrive unlike any other person with the top down. This will be the final model year for the CrossCabriolet
PORSCHE: There is a choice of convertibles from Zuffenhausen. The Boxster roadster has been praised by bringing back the true essence of the brand. However, Porsche is all about the 911 and the Cabriolet is offered in many different models within the line – all the way up to the Turbo S.
ROLLS-ROYCE: For a unique experience amongst convertibles, the Phantom Drophead Coupe is a rarified treat. It is the only convertible that feels as you are being driven.
VOLKSWAGEN: The look may be more “masculine,” but the Beetle Convertible still offers the same open-air fun as it always had. There are engine options, including a TDI diesel and a TSI turbocharged four-cylinder. However, the four-seat Eos is going away soon. Its folding metal roof created an experience that is apart from the crowd.