Mini has dropped the third-generation of its Convertible, offering a folding fabric roof, four seats, and the same engine lineup as the popular Hardtops.
With the debut of the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, the Italian company's US lineup has officially doubled. It brings roofless joy to the already-beautiful 4C Coupe, as well as a soft-cloth top, an available carbon fiber roll-hoop "halo," four new wheel designs, an Alpine sound system and an optional Akrapovic center-mounted exhaust.
Few things match the joy of open-roofed motoring. The wind runs through your hair, the sun beats down and the trees flash overhead, and it's then that you realize that this elemental experience is just better than being permanently ensconced in stylized cage of steel and glass. Unfortunately for a lot of convertible manufacturers, consumers are unaware of this truth.
The affordable four-seat convertible has become a largely forgotten genre in the States, especially with the death of the Chrysler 200 Convertible. Of course, there are still premium options from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – not to mention more overtly performance-oriented droptop pony cars from Chevrolet and Ford – but if you want an affordable cruiser, you're kind of out of luck. That may be about to change, however, with renewed rumors of the Opel Cascada (pictured above) making
A new study from Experian Automotive seeks to quantify the traits that identify the convertible-loving droptop driver. Of course, after reading through the findings, this just kind of confirms a lot of things that have been kind of obvious about convertible owners for kind of a long time.
The Porsche 928 was perhaps the consummate European GT of its day. With a powerful front-mounted V8 engine that grew in displacement as the model years went on, it was capable of eating up the miles at triple-digit speeds in great comfort for occupants. It was also an unusual beauty, with its sharp front and curved rear featuring innovative integrated bumpers.
The folks Newport Convertible Engineering have made a specialty out of taking coupes and sedans and converting them into convertibles. Sometimes this results in absolutely weird creations like a Range Rover droptop, but its latest project is significantly greener. The company has developed hard and soft top conversions for the Tesla Model S, and they are already quite popular too. An investor in China has ordered 100 of them.
Newport Convertible Engineering, the Southern California company that can't keep its top on, has revealed on its website that it is now producing three different droptop versions of the Nissan GT-R Convertible. It's just another page in its work with high-end offerings like the new Range Rover and the Jaguar XJ. NCE owner Al Zadeh tells Autoblog that the superfast speedster came about during a trip to Abu Dhabi, when clients of his that collectively owned ten GT-Rs said they wanted him to engine
A limited-edition Rolls-Royce Phantom is something of an oxymoron. The company only sold 3,630 cars last year, and even fewer of those were its flagship Phantom. However, that isn't keeping the company from regularly revealing even more limited editions of its already hyper-exclusive cars. This is precisely the case with the new Phantom Drophead Coupé Bespoke Waterspeed Collection, a forthcoming model limited to 35 examples.
What we do know is that the ATS will wear at least one more bodystyle. That comes from Cadillac head Bob Ferguson, who answered "Absolutely" when Automotive News asked him about the possibility of another variant. What we don't know is what that bodystyle or styles will be.
Whether fitted with soft or hard folding lids, today's droptops are better than ever for year-round motoring. Advancements in power top mechanisms, sealing, aerodynamics, structural rigidity, rollover safety and creature comforts like heated and cooled seats mean that modern convertibles are more versatile and better to drive than ever before. Yet the segment's sales took a dive during the recession and haven't come back, Automotive News reports.
The dates are lining up, now we wait to see how the badges align. Just before the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ line-up was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, there was a report that Subaru was considering a convertible while Toyota wouldn't even comment on it. That got swapped around when earlier this year the chief engineer on Toyota's side said a convertible was coming, and then a Scion FR-S droptop was confirmed for early 2014.