convertible

convertible

  A convertible is a car body style with a folding or retracting roof. The collapsible roof section is typically made from flexible canvas or vinyl, although plastic, aluminium and steel have occasionally been used in elaborate folding designs.

It is no secret that we all love Miatas here at TopSpeed.com. The tiny roadster is built for nothing but pure driving pleasure, and it delivers in spades. There are a few though that feel the Miata’s small, four-cylinder engine is just not powerful enough to really exploit the incredible chassis. Flyin’ Miata falls into that group, and it has earned a reputation for making some of the best modifications that include chassis bracing, turbo kits, supercharger kits, suspension and brake upgrades, and V-8 conversions.

If you want your Miata to go faster, handle better and stop quicker, there isn’t a finer team I know of than the crew at FM.

As you read this, I am on my way to their headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado to see the operation, look at what new goodies they have coming, and of course, I am going to drive a whole pile of modified Miatas.

I will be covering a lot of what I see and learn on the site in the next week or two, but if you want to follow along live, you can check out the social media links posted after the break. Also after the break is a quick look at some of what I will be driving and doing this week.

If there is a special modification or car that you want to know about, drop it in the comments. I will do whatever I can to get your questions answered. For now, just hit that jump to get a sneak preview of the mess I’m getting into over the next few days.

Click past the jump to read more

The Q by Aston Martin program has been around for only two years, but most of its creations are definitely bound to become valuable classics. The latest vehicle coming from the company’s personalization arm is no exception and, unlike other bespoke Aston Martins, is crossing "the Pond" to be auctioned for charity in Los Gatos, California. The sports car in question is an equestrian-themed DB9 Volante.

Just like the unique 2014 Ferrari FF Dressage Edition the Italians launched in China earlier in 2014, the DB9 Volante by Q pays tribute to the equestrian lifestyle. Not at all surprising considering its British roots and the fact that it will cross the block during the Menlo Charity Horse Show, one of the finest equestrian events in the United States.

Equipped with a unique interior that boasts more luxury than any other production DB9, this equestrian-inspired convertible will generate a $10,000 donation to benefit the Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. The sports car will be auctioned off by Los Gatos Aston Martin between August 5th and 10th, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB9 By Q By Aston Martin.

While owning a wild and exciting rear-wheel-drive sports coupe like the new Jaguar F-Type sounds like an absolute blast, there is a large part of the population that likes their sports cars with a little less drift and a lot more traction. Just look to the sales of the Audi R8 , Audi TT , and the Porsche Carrera 4 for evidence of that. Jaguar is well aware of the customers it may be losing in the colder regions of the world by only offering a RWD coupe, so it’s working a new AWD version of the sporty two-door.

We have heard rumors about this before, but thanks to some new spy shots seen on Carmagazine.co.uk, we have some more definitive proof. In these shots you can see that the hood line is visibly higher, a concession needed to make room for the extra front differential hiding under the engine.

The car will likely be revealed later this year at one of the U.S. auto shows — likely LA or Detroit. The car should hit dealerships in the summer or fall of 2015, just in time for winter hoonage.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar F-Type AWD.

Source: CAR

The line between cars and motorcycles is getting thinner every day. Morgan’s Three Wheeler is open topped and uses the majority of bike’s powertrain for proulsion. Track day toys like the Ariel Atom promise the same type of acceleration as superbikes, and KTM , a motorcycle company, even builds a competitor to the Atom called the X-Bow . On the motorcycle side Can-Am has the Spyder , which is essentially a reversed trike. For 2015 we can add one more name to the list of motorcycle-car `tweeners: the Polaris Slingshot . The Slingshot features a design similar to the X-Bow, complete with a side-by-side seating arrangement, but it brings in the three-wheel layout of the Can-Am and Morgan.

Propulsion comes from a 2.4-liter, Ecotec four-cylinder sourced from General Motors that sends 173 ponies to the pavement. Yes, it’s time to yell "at least!" The Morgan 3-Wheeler is finally getting a competitor that can be acquired on U.S. soil without having to worry about import taxes and other headache-inducing duties.

Update 7/28/2014: Polaris has officially unveiled the long-awaited Slingshot. Read more after the jump

Click past the jump to read a little more on the Polaris Slingshot.

Source: Polaris

The Lexus IS series has been around since 2000 as was Lexus’ attempt at making a proper sports sedan. The Japanese automaker did a respectable job with the IS, as it produced 217 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque form its 3.0-liter V-6. A five-speed automatic sent that power rearward. The IS’ design was a striking one, even propelling the aftermarket and a few other automakers into the whole clear-lens taillight fad. Things changed in 2006, as the IS lineup received an updated look and a slew of V-style engines. Lexus offered two levels of power in the IS 250 and IS 350 versions. Then in 2007, Lexus gave us the IS F ; the 5.0-liter, V-8-powered BMW M3 rival. Though the IS lineup has moved to a new design theme for 2015, the IS C — Lexus’ hardtop convertible — remains looking as it did for 2013.

A redesigned ‘organ-type’ accelerator pedal, the addition of Slacker Radio to the Lexus Enform system, and updates to iHeartRadio 4.0 are all that’s new with the IS C for 2015. While it is disappointing Lexus hasn’t updated the car’s internal and external appearance, it’s also disappointing that the powertrain remains unchanged as well.

However, if a luxury hardtop convertible is on your wish list, the IS C still offers plenty to love, including a 20-second fold time for the top operation and plenty of power for motivation down the road.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus IS C.

The Volkswagen Eos is nearing the end of its road, with 2015 marking its final year in production. To commemorate its passing, Volkswagen is introducing a ‘Final Edition’ Eos. The new trim level replaces the drop-top’s Sport trim level and the entire Eos lineup gets some new exterior colors and interior accoutrements.

New for 2015 are ‘Flash Red’ and ‘Pure White’ exterior paint colors. Flash Red comes available only on the Komfort and Executive trims, while Pure White is available across the board.

The Final Edition trim gets all the niceties from the Sport trim it replaces. Vicenza wheels sized at 18 inches, bespoke Cornsilk Beige and black two-tone Vienna leather with contrast stitching in the cabin, along with silver net interior trim. The Final Edition also gets a rearview camera and rain-sensing windshield wipers for added safety.

The Eos has been a slow seller for Volkswagen since its introduction in 2006. The hardtop convertible only moved 4,178 units in 2013 for all of America. Even in its best year, 2008, the Eos only found homes in 12,837 driveways across the U.S.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Eos Final Edition.

Some folks really like art. Others, including us, really like cars. Well, the two worlds can sometimes come together with dramatic results. Take for example the Lamborghini dealership in Miami, Florida and their collaboration with the world-renowned artist Duaiv. Together, the two have fashioned this, the Aventador Roadster known as “Project Duaiv.”

The $400,000 Italian supercar is wrapped in the same swirly colors and patterns as the original painting, seen perched atop an easel beside the roadster. Apparently, Duaiv has a thing for fast cars as he reportedly showed up to Lamborghini Miami in a similarly wrapped Ferrari . The report from the DuPont Registry says Duaiv has always wanted an Aventador, and now, has finally gotten his dream car wrapped in his own self-titled artwork.

With purple hair, a flowery shirt, skinny jeans, and purple combat boots, Duaiv strikes a pose next to his new ride. But things haven’t always been so flashy for the Frenchman. Born in 1952, he traveled the world in past days as a classical musician. His painting side also grew during that time. He’s known for using unique techniques to paint his masterpieces.

Besides the bespoke wrap, the Duaiv’s 2015 Aventador also sports a Novitec rear spoiler. The spoiler’s thin supports sort of mirror the thin black lines in the wrapped bodywork and almost continue the look past the sloping rear deck of the Lambo. Everything else remains stock, including the 6.5-liter V-12 making a respectable 690 horsepower and 507 pound-feet of torque.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster.

Although it has been missing from top-level motorsport for more than two decades now, Jaguar remains one of the world’s most successful race car manufacturers. Between the early 1950s and the early 1990s, the Brits brought home no less than seven 24 Hours of Le Mans trophies, just enough to place them right below Ferrari and above makers such as Bentley , Alfa Romeo , and Ford . Jaguar’s Le Mans success returned under the spotlight with the F-Type Project 7 , a limited-edition sports car built to commemorate the company’s success in France.

And the folks over at XCAR thought it would be a great idea to look back on the F-Type’s spiritual predecessor, the E-Type , and the other two spectacular racers that preceded it, the C-Type and D-Type . Not only that, but the Brits also managed to round up all three vehicles on the same track for a 19-minute history lesson that covers nearly 24 years of good old Jaguar days.

It all begins with the C-Type, a track-exclusive car built to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It did so by dominating the 1953 race against heavy competition from Cunningham and Ferrari . XCAR also has a thorough look at the D-Type, yet another Jag confined to the race course. Built between 1954 and 1957, the D-Type was even more successful than the C-Type. It won the famed Le Mans event three times in a row between 1955 and 1957 and among its victims were various Ferraris, Aston Martins , and Porsches .

Finally, the video focuses on the E-Type, know as one of the most beautiful sports cars of the 20th century. When it debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961, the E-Type had a 3.8-liter engine that delivered 265 horsepower and staggering performance for the era — naught to 62 mph in six seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. By 1970 displacement had increased to 4.2 liters, but the six-banger was dropped in 1971, when Jaguar offered a 5.3-liter, V-12 mill rated at up to 295 ponies and 300 pound-feet of torque.

Of course, there’s more to the E-Type than raw power and torque, but we’ll let you discover more by watching XCAR’s video. Hit the play button above for the greatest Jaguar trio to ever hit the street and track.

During my more than 2,000-mile excursion with the 2014 Mazda Miata , I learned a lot of things. I learned why Mazda gave me a hat and sunscreen when they dropped off the car, I learned that I actually love convertibles , and I learned that 25 years of changes have yet to alter the true feel and purpose of the tiny roadster .

More than this, I learned that the Miata is a very special car, and that you need to be a very special person to buy one. More than any other car I have ever encountered, the Mazda Miata attracts a very specific buyer that no other car seems to. Unlike models from brands like BMW , or Toyota who attract a large collection of buyers in different age groups and interests, the only people who ever seem to own a Miata are the people who love cars and driving more than anything else.

But why is that?

Read on to find out what makes Miata owners special

Jay is riding low in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage . Our legendary petrol-head host meets up with three low rider aficionados who take Jay through the ins and outs of low rider tech and history. The two beautiful low rider examples are a black, 1966 Chevrolet Impala and a pinstriped 1963 Chevy Impala Convertible. Both are completely customized with unique parts and outstanding chrome work.

Jay starts off talking with the editor of Lowrider Magazine, Joe Ray, about how the low-rider culture got its start back in the 1960s and how it’s spreading all over the world today.

After that, Jay talks with Chris Najera, the owner of the black 1966 Impala about why he kept a solid paint color and how he modernized a few key bits of the interior. Under the hood lies an absolutely beautiful V-8 drenched in chrome and brimming with power.

Brandon Brusca then shows Jay nearly every inch of his candy-colored orange 1963 Impala Convertible. Every single inch of the car is completely customized. The pinstriped paint job runs the entire length of the car and exemplified automotive artistic craftsmanship. A 409-cubic-inch V-8 burbles between pinstriped inner fender wells and is covered in chrome.

Jay continues to take a look at the ’63 Impala, but from the underside, where the craftsmanship and attention to detail matches that of the top side. There are even engravings on the chrome-plated link bars for the rear suspension. Every nut, every bolt, and every connector is shined to meticulous perfection.

The kicker to it all is the ’63 Impala’s air-suspension system. It utilizes air compressors originally built in the 1960s for U.S. fighter planes. The video might be long, but it’s worth your time, even if you’re not into the low-rider scene.


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