When it comes to driving, there’s a fairly short list of experiences that bring us true joy behind the wheel. Somewhere on that list, and quite high up I would imagine, would be getting behind the wheel of an awesome sports car or uber-luxurious ride on a beautiful, calm, sunny day and cruising through the mountainside on a seemingly endless stretch of road, unabated by traffic jams, pedestrians, or the mundane aspects of everyday life. The only thing that could make that experience any better? Turn that car into a convertible!
There are few better driving experiences to be had than driving a convertible on a nice day. When that convertible happens to be one of the awesome machines on our list of 16 Cool Convertibles, then that experience can be downright euphoric. Once upon a time, it used to be that buying a convertible meant that you had to compromise on certain aspects of comfort or performance. Convertible roofs were often flimsy and difficult to remove and to put back on, however that’s no longer the case. Technology has advanced to the point where convertible tops can be removed in as little as 10 seconds with just the simple push of a button. No worries about getting caught in the rain.
Convertibles have always been notoriously heavy when compared with their coupe counterparts. This is due, in part, to the extra rigidity that must be built into a vehicle’s framework in order to compensate for top-down capabilities. In addition to that, heavier mechanized parts that are responsible for lowering and for raising the roof can add extra pounds while cutting into the car’s precious cargo capacity. For these reasons it’s often been held that a true enthusiast will favor the lighter, more rigid coupe version of a vehicle, if they value ultimate performance potential with minimal compromise.
That being said, there are a great number of cars these days where the topless itirants can provide even greater thrills than their hardtop versions. While hardtops might still rule when it comes to absolute performance, some convertibles out there do a better job of addressing the intangible aspects of high performance fun. Here we take a look at 15 cool convertibles guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
When you’re talking about Aston Martin, you’re talking about automotive art. Couple it’s good looks with it’s 6.0 Liter v12 housing 565 stampeding horses and you have a recipe for excitement. There are other more powerful cars, but nothing gets you from A to B while looking as good as the Aston. Just make sure you have an extra $300k burning a whole in your wallet.
Audi R8 GT Spyder
Starting at $210,000, the R8 GT Spyder is the most expensive road car that Audi has ever made. The spyder only has about 30hp more than the standard v10 R8, but it’s the 85kg of weight that Audi has taken out by utilizing carbon fiber materials that makes a difference in how this one drives. For those who enjoy the wind in their hair, but won’t settle for anything less than the top of the line, the 560hp v10 R8 GT is your car.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
Bentley’s GT Speed is a beauty on wheels. With it’s W12 Twin Turbo 6 Liter engine and 616hp, this is one of the fastest Bentleys on the road. You can go 198mph with the top down. The devil is in the details though, and it takes 14hrs to hand-stitch a single steering wheel. The car combines stunning looks, performance and engineering capabilities with the customization available to give it your personal touch. Truly one of a kind.
Bmw z4 Roadster
The Z4 comes with a highly durable, folding hard-top, which gives it the dual personalities of both coupe and roadster. It also has 6-cylinders, comes with a standard 6-speed gearbox, and sounds great with a foot full of revs. This isn’t the most practical convertible, with room for only a few small bags and nothing else. Not that you’ll care much as your blasting through bends and heading into the sunset.
Ferrari 458 Italia Spider
To many a Ferrari is a dream, but true dream come true, is a Ferrari with no roof. The 458 will take you to almost 200mph with the air swirling around your head. The retractable roof takes just 14 seconds to tuck itself neatly away. Then you get to experience the pleasure of a 562hp V8 soundtrack beating at your eardrums making the 458 all the more exciting to drive. The Ferrari 458 is the consumate sports car, but the spider improves on perfection.
Jaguar F-Type Roadster
The F-type is without a doubt, one of the best looking cars on the market. For around $100k, you get a 495hp, 4 second 0-60mph, 186mph top speed, 3700lb hellion. The numbers only tell part of the story however, because the sounds it makes are incredible! It’s like King Kong gargling chainsaws at a Motorhead concert! And that still doesn’t fully describe the insanity of it. No matter where you drive the F-Type Roadster, you’ll always feel like you’re on your way to the party of a lifetime.
Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster
Yeah, there’s the Aventador roadster, but the Murcielago is one of the originals. This Lambo is one of the most outrageaous cars ever created. There’s nothing else that you could drive on this list that would create a bigger impact than this nearly 600hp monster, both in terms of the amount of stares you’d get pulling up to an intersection and the devastation to your pocketbook to the tune of $255k. Driving it is addictive and withdrawal is painful.
Maserati Granturismo Convertible
The Maserati convertible comes with 454hp and 384lb-ft of torque, topping out at 171mph. Another good-looking car with a totally visceral experience. It oozes style and passion with it’s delicious burbly exhaust note and point and shoot temperament. The Granturismo was made for taking its top down.
At first glance, the Mazda MX-5 Miata would appear to be out of it’s element on a list featuring a Lambo and a Ferrari, but the MX-5 is truly a driver’s delight. After a 25-year production run, this rear-wheel-drive roadster with its naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine is now in a class of it’s own. And it’s priced at just a hair above $24k, which means that the MX-5 is within reach for even the tightest of budgets. No wonder it’s the Guiness Record holder as the best-selling two-seat roadster on the planet.
The Mercedes-Benz SL550 has been in production in one form or another since the 1950’s, so it’s quite clear to see why this car has reached iconic status. The retractable hard-top quickly and silently tucks away into the trunk like sheet-metal origami. All the better for you to get a good look at it’s gorgeous interior and listen to it’s 429hp V8 heartbeat. The SL is true automotive mastery, albeit, with a $120k price tag.
Nissan 370z Roadster
The 370z is not exactly your top-shelf, high-end, look-at-me roadster, but it’s still bad to the bone and a hoot to drive. It has a fantastic 330hp, 3.7 liter V6 with a blast to play with, rev-matching system that keeps you in the sweet spot of the power curve. A 6-speed manual and 19 inch alloy wheels complete the package.
Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet
If you’re looking for a fun drive, the Porsche Carrera cabriolet should be at the top of your list. From the timeless design to the distinctive sound of its 400hp flat-6 engine, the 911 looks and drives like no other sports car. With its longer wheel-base, wider front track, new rear-axle, dynamic chassis control, and torque vectoring, this car stays glued to the road. Basically, this is the top-down version of the original, completely unflappable sports car.
Porsche Boxster Convertible
The Porsche Boxster convertible, is more a car that you wear rather than something that you drive. Everything about it is driver-centric and catered to performance. The 315hp V6 gives you straight-line satisfaction, but that still pales in comparison to the excitement you feel in the curves. Especially with the top down. With options, you can pick one up for under $60k. So you get 9/10s the performance of a 911 at a fraction of the price. Sounds like a good deal to us.
Rolls Royce Convertible
Plenty of cars on this list produce big performance numbers. The Rolls Royce convertible is notable for big numbers as well, but one in particular…it’s price tag. We’re talking about $517k of car here. However, you definitely get alot of car for your money, considering that it weighs over 5700lbs! Even with the top down, you won’t feel a wiggle or a bump anywhere on the road. It’s like driving a train. A 6.75 Liter, 453hp monster of a motor provides plenty of motivation for this beast. But, because of it’s size, the effect is more calming than thrilling. All the better for you to contemplate your success and unfathomable riches.
SLS AMG GT Roadster
The SLS was the first car that was engineered wholely by AMG. You get a super powerful 583hp engine, quick-shifting 7-speed transmission, and a more responsive suspension. The roadster is the perfect Grand Tourer – it’s a sports car in a much larger, longer, more luxurious body. The convertible top is very solid, so there are no issues with wind or road noise when it’s up, but top-down cruising is where it’s at in the SLS GT roadster. Feel the sun on your head, the wind in your hair, and listen to the glorious sound of that V8. Life is good.
Z06 Corvette Convertible
The fastest Corvette convertible…ever! It’s actually stiffer as a convertible than the previous generation z06 coupe. You can raise and lower the top up to 30mph, then hit 60mph in just 3 seconds, while experiencing the same monstrous 6.2 liter, 650hp/650lb-ft V8 engine as the hardtop. The z07 package takes things to another level, and the convertible only weighs an extra 60lbs more than the coupe. Add to that a base price of less than $80k and you get a serious performance convertible at a seriously low, deal-of-the-decade price.