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.

Posted on by Collin Woodard  

By most accounts, the A5 Volkswagen Beetle is a very good car. It retains the iconic Beetle look of previous generations, but visually, it’s been updated, tweaked, nipped, and tucked to give it a more modern, even somewhat masculine, appearance. Under the skin, it’s built on a very capable platform that’s shared with the Jetta and the Golf . It might not be your cup of tea, and especially in its convertible form, it may be hard to get past the cultural stigma that the Beetle is a car for teenage girls, but if anyone can break the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet of its feminine image, it’s ABT.

ABT Sportsline , the mostly-Audi and Volkswagen tuner out of Germany, now offers its complete package for the Beetle Cabriolet. If you want a more aggressive look, the company can give you that. If you want an upgraded suspension, it can give you that. Best of all though, if you want more power from they engine, the tuner can give you that too. Put it all together, and you might even have a drop-top GTI -killer.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet by ABT Sportsline.

Stuff’s about to get real — in a digital sort of way — in the world of VW concept cars . At the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed that is set to run June 26th through 29th, Volkswagen will display the bad-ass GTI Roadster Concept for the first time on UK soil, but that is small potatoes to the next statement. At the 2014 Goodwood festivities, fans can also drive this phenomenal concept up the famous hillclimb course. Of course, this is all in the digital world of Gran Turismo 6 on a recreation of the Goodwood Hilclimb.

It would be so much cooler had Volkswagen actually offered the chance to drive the real car up the Goodwood hill, but I understand the reasoning behind keeping it all digital. Regardless, it will be a fun time, thanks to 503 PS (496 horsepower) and 560 Nm (413 pound-feet) of twist traveling from its biturbo, 3.0-liter, V-6 engine through a DSG transmission and out to all four wheels. Digital or reality, this topless VW is sure to be a hoot to take up the hill. I only wish I was in the UK to "drive" it.

Click past the jump to read more about this opportunity and the GTI Roadster Concept.

Posted on by Collin Woodard  

If you haven’t heard of Ermini , you aren’t alone. After all, it isn’t like people casually mention it in the same breath as Ferrari or Lamborghini when they talk about Italian supercars around the office water cooler. You might be surprised to learn, however, that they aren’t just a startup looking to make some pipe-dream millionaire’s toy. Ermini may not have been active for the last 50 years, but before it closed its doors in the early 1960s, it had quite a history of racing success.

Now, in 2014, they’re back with the Seiottosei, a two-seat roadster that weighs in at only 686 kg (1,512 pounds). Ermini claims that the Seiottosei’s inspiration comes from the Barchetta roadsters that were popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Instead of going for big engines and lots of power, it keeps the focus on low weight, small engines, and driving dynamics. Thanks to this approach, Ermini claims that the Seiottosei’s fuel economy will be more in line with a family sedan’s than a typical sports car’s.

Anyone who’s interested in buying one needs to hurry up though, as only 46 examples will be produced.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ermini Seiottosei.

It’s like every petrol head’s dream come true. The call came through and all I heard were the words “Lamborghini ” and “drive.” My mouth gushed forward a "yes" before my brain could even process what was happening. I was going to be handed the keys to a Lamborghini Gallardo , the best-selling and most popular car in the brands 50+ year history. The exact model in question was an LP560-4 Spyder. With a 5.2-liter V-10 engine making more than 550 horsepower, and a curb weight almost 500 pounds less than a Nissan GT-R , it should be exciting.

Of course, there is always a pang of fear when it comes to situations like this. Lots of cars have massive followings and are supposed to be exquisite to drive, but I have found on more than one occasion that sometimes it is best to never meet your heroes.

As the entry for AnastasiaDate into the 2014 Gumball 3000 Rally, I wasn’t promised a lot of time with the car, but it was enough for me to make a decision about the car.

Was this a mistake, or did this tiny supercar drive its way into my heart?

Read on to find out what I think of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder

Although production of the 2015 Ford Mustang is not scheduled to begin for another two months, the brand-new pony is on sale and already enjoying great success, especially in Europe . With hundreds of examples already booked via preliminary reservations, Ford has just fired up the online configurator so we can all have a little fun going through the car’s options and features.

The configurator allows users to pick from five different fastback versions. The base V-6 sits alone at the bottom of the range, while both the EcoBoost and the V-8-powered GT are available in standard and Premium guises. Moving over to the Convertible ’Stang, the EcoBoost and the GT are only available in their Premium trims.

Once you select a transmission — either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic — the Mustang is ready to receive one of the many available exterior colors. A range of packages, options and up to six distinct wheels designs round out the vehicle’s exterior customization potential. The next step takes us into the cabin where possibilities are reduced to just a few options and upgrades.

Things should get far more interesting in the Accessories section, but that part of the configurator is not available as of 06/13/2014. Nonetheless, there’s plenty of fun to be had loading the 2015 Mustang with all sorts of features inside and out. Before any extras are added, the brand-new pony starts from $23,600 with a Fastback body and from $29,100 with a soft-top.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang configurator.

The third day of the rally was going to be the worst. We had nearly 900 miles to travel, and our slow-moving follow car meant that most of the other cars would leave us lagging hours behind, limiting the exciting supercar scenery we would see. What actually happened though was that this final day became my favorite.

By the time the day was over I had new sunglasses, saw a Ferrari get crunched by a van , got stuck in an elevator, met some awesome famous people, met awesome people who weren’t so famous, and made some great new friends. I also spent some more time in the Lamborghini Gallardo and learned to play a Russian card game.

The day I was dreading the most turned out to be one of the most exciting. It just goes to show that anything is possible, especially when you are dealing with the insanity and excess that is the Gumball 3000 .

The Bugatti Veyron , the world’s fastest production car in its Super Sport guise, is nearly ten years old. Although in today’s automotive industry ten years on the market make a car obsolete, the Veyron is here to stay until the manufacturer sells its remaining stock. About a year ago, Bugatti’s stock included 50 units of the Grand Sport Vitesse roadster.

I have to be honest with you guys, I’ve never been a fan of the Veyron. Mainly because it was developed as a speed record car. It’s the result of Bugatti’s obsession with the McLaren F1 , the production supercar that held the world record from 1993 until 2005. Unlike the Veyron, which can reach an intoxicating 267.85 mph on an oval track, the F1 was also a successful race car , proving itself at Le Mans.

Of course, with a luxurious interior and badge that speaks for itself, the Veyron is more than just a gas-guzzling, tire-wearing machine. Now that the supercar has reached its final months on the market, Bugatti has decided to sweeten up the deal with half a dozen of very exclusive models launched under the "Les Legendes de Bugatti " flag.

With the first four version already launched and sold out, the French automaker has just introduced the fifth special-edition model — the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Black Bess. Based on the record-setting roadster, the Black Bess pays tribute to a Type 18 model that was built in 1913 and delivered to aviation pioneer Roland Garros.

Named after an English race horse, the Type 18 Black Bess was built around one of the fastest pre-war Bugattis, a two-seater that was powered by more than 100 horsepower that propelled it to a top speed of 100 miles per hour. It doesn’t seem much nowadays, but it was lightning-fast in the 1910s.

Updated 06/12/2014: Bugatti unveiled a cool promo video for the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Black Bess. Check it out in the "Videos" tab. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Black Bess.

The Speedster name has a long and illustrious history in the pantheon of Porsche . Since the 356 of the 1960s, the Speedster badge signified a gloriously fast, top-down driving experience that can’t be matched. With owners like Steve McQueen , the name carried weight and panache, but there are preciously few Speedster models in existence, as there very few models were made in each generation of Porsche. The 964 Speedster was only created for two years, 1989 and 1994 and less than 2000 were created between those two production runs.

With that signature, flat-six engine flooding the open cabin with noise, the driving experience of one these cars must be magical. The car was based on the new 964 Carrera 2 platform and boasted excellent driving dynamics.

There were few options or creature comforts available on the 964 Speedster, it had three pedals, and the air-cooled, 3.6-liter engine is naturally aspirated and high-revving.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1994 Porsche 964 Speedster.

Source: eBay

It was only my second day of the Gumball 3000 festivities, but this was the first official day of the Rally. There is an entire collection of famous faces, blistering-fast cars and hundreds of miles for us to traverse.

As the morning started, we lined our car up on the starting grid with hundreds of other machines to get ready for the start of the Rally. Xzibit has been a large presence in the Gumball 3000 for many years now. He did not drivie in this year’s event, so he was asked to see every car off the line by waving the official Gumball flag to start the rally.

Other famous faces at the start line included Richard Rawlings from Gas Monkey Garage , and of course Deadmau5 is here in his “Purrari” 458 Spyder with Tori Belleci of the MythBusters as his co-driver.

When the Team AnastasiaDate Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder set off the line we all piled into our Mercedes Sprinter chase vehicle and our journey had begun. Time to head to Atlanta.

Read on to find out more about my second day on the Gumball 3000 Rally

The Ferrari California T solved a lot of "image issues" its predecessor, the California , had. The original California was wrongfully labelled as a "chick Ferrari ." But the California T doesn’t have any problems of that sort to deal with. In its own way, the new entry-level Ferrari has crafted an identity of its own, thanks in large part to becoming the first turbocharged Ferrari to hit the scene since the iconic Ferrari F40 .

A shift towards building more fuel-efficient cars led Ferrari to this turbocharged road. Not that any of us are complaining because the California T embodies everything a Ferrari should stand for.

It looks incredible. It’s got incredible power to the tune of 560 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque, to go with a 0-to-60-mph sprint time of just 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph. Those are true supercar figures right there.

But most of all, as Autocar’s Matt Prior tells us, it has the same fuel efficiency numbers as a Vauxhall Insignia VXR .

At any other time, comparing a Ferrari to a Vauxhall is tantamount to high treason. But that’s not the case when you’re talking about fuel efficiency because the higher fuel returns the California T is compared to, the more incredible it becomes.


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