Why don't they make four-door convertibles anymore? Because the roof mechanism would just be too darn big, that's why. But there's at least one company out to change that. And, of course, they're Dutch.
Autoblog reader Sei tipped us off to an article over at the GT Channel that purports to have the inside scoop on the development of a prototype retractable hardtop that can be fitted to the 350Z. Autech, an arm of Nissan whose focus is on specialty vehicle conversions, has developed a system that is likely to be equipped on the next Z car – if it's deemed cost effective and can fit within the Z's pricing structure.
Winding Road's adding credence to the belief that the new M3 convertible coming from BMW will be a ragtop. As in cloth instead of a retractable hardtop, which seems to be de rigueur these days. Even though the 330i and 335i E92 platform mates have a retractable hardtop, the extra weight is considered anathema to the M Group philosophy. The extra 440 pounds of that folding top is a big sacrifice for the noise and safety benefits. So a soft top seems to be plausible. If a soft top is used, however
The Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe is the latest in a wave of retractable hardtop roadsters entering the market. We've seen static shots of the new MX-5's hardtop both up and down, but until have not taken in the retractable roof in action. Autoblog reader Jerry Standefer pointed us to this Mazda UK promotional video that not only shows the hardtop going up and down, but also shows how the hard top stows away without consuming any trunk space.
It's not surprising that the extremely popular Pontiac Solstice roadster is sold out for 2006. But the G6 convertible, which went on sale in April, is also gone for the rest of the (model) year. The convertible completes the G6 lineup that includes the sedan and the coupe and is one of the least expensive hardtops in the market at less than $30,000.