With summer quickly approaching, we're eagerly awaiting some seat time in our favorite droptop models, cars that allow us to take in the sunshine and the warm air afforded by the summer months – especially for those of us who reside in states with bitterly cold winters. And while many Autoblog team members are already happy convertible owners (fun fact: three of us own Mazda Miatas, and there's even a Saab 9-3 Viggen droptop looming in the AB personal fleet), new sales data shows that the
Automakers just reported their most recent sales numbers, with things looking up virtually across the board. Despite that, and despite the fact that it's summer, sales of that quintessential warm-weather car, the convertible, are down. Droptops normally account for two percent of the overall car market, but that tumbled to just above one percent in 2011. What happened to bring down the car that was once a symbol of hedonistic driving freedom out on the open road?
According to a recent report, Porsche will produce a Panamera Convertible. Now, it's not the hoped for four-door convertible. Rather, in the interest of keeping some semblance of chassis rigidity, Porsche is going with a two-door, four-seat convertible. Two doors will also help to keep the weight (ha ha) down. Besides the fact that lots of folks like convertibles, why is Porsche building this car? "We have a broad range of 14 derivatives of the 911 that are very successful," development chief Wo
It's amazing how something you can't see, such as the air around you, can have so much of an effect on what goes on while you're driving. Consider the impact of that invisible air when it wraps itself around the windshield when you're driving top-down in a convertible (honestly, is there any other way?).
The reports are true: a 3.0-liter diesel Jaguar XK is on the way. The new XK, long due for a serious refresh, will show up in 2009 with the minor addition of the JaguarDrive selector a la XF and the major addition of a diesel engine to boost fuel economy and sales, along with two new V8s.
The next CLK Cabriolet -- or E-Class Coupe Cabriolet depending on Mercedes' choice of nomenclature -- is out and about, wearing lots of camouflage. While this rendering looks like it could still be pretty accurate, the front fog lights have given way to LED's, which are lit in this latest round of images. The extended trunk deck lid we've seen before, but now we get a close-up and the strong crease line that bisects the rear of the car. It also looks to get a bit fussy back there because the tru
Summer is just around the corner, and this driver's fancy turns to convertibles. If you've never driven a convertible, do yourself a favor and rent one for the weekend as soon as the weather turns nice. You'll discover what millions of convertible owners have known for years -- nothing beats an open air experience.Before we leap into the driver's seat, let's define what we mean by convertible. To
The next gen BMW Z4 has been caught wearing black and white paisley instead of body armor, and much of the current car's drama definitely looks to have been toned down. The car hasn't been stripped of visual interest, but the angles-meeting-angles has been nixed for what looks like more gentle curves, swells, and strakes. The top is down in all of the shots, so we can't say anything more about the potential hardtop option, because it looks like the current car's cloth roof tucked in back. If not
Try as we might, we could not find the punchline to this bit of news, so we're going to run with it. Nissan is creating a Murano convertible, supposedly for empty nesters who want a side dish of top down to go with space for the kids and grandkids. Should such a thing occur, it will be searing your retinas as of 2010.
While Cadillac busies itself with a 2-door version of the new CTS sedan, the folks over at Coach Builders, Ltd have been busy taking their tops off. The boulevardier CTS gets an insulated, hydraulically-powered roof fitted with a heated glass rear window and cloth headliner. The top also comes in several colors. Judging by this pic, it also looks like a fair bit of work has gone into making the car look good with the top down. No word on what happens to trunk space, however.
The 2009 BMW Z4 has been caught out testing again, and by the look of it, the cloth roof is going to go away. The last batch of shots left people wondering what kind of roof the little coupe would wear, with many predicting a continuation of the cloth hood. These shots, however, give a pretty good indication of a retractable hardtop. Instead of the 3-Series' three-piece folding top, the Z4 will merely fold in two. If the shots don't lie, then the SLK won't be able to lord it's folding metal over
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just wrapped up its own version of a clinical demolition derby on some of the newest drop tops around, and when the airbag dust settled, the Saab 9-3 and the Volvo C70 earned the Institute's Top Safety Pick award. Both vehicles scored "good" in front, side and rear crashes, while others, like the Pontiac G6, didn't fare quite as well.