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.

Mercedes’ AMG division has been a good source of performance variants for a lot of the company’s models. But recent moves by Audi and BMW into the niche between their base models and performance variants has Mercedes thinking of expanding AMG’s role within the company. Autocar is reporting that the German automaker wants to build a range of AMG Sport vehicles, to complement the C450 AMG Sport that we caught testing earlier in 2014.

In line with what we assume we’ll see from the C450 AMG Sport, expect this new line of AMG Sport models to features steady doses of exterior and interior upgrades to go with improved performance numbers. The company has made no bones about its desire to keep pace with both Audi and BMW and this is one avenue that Mercedes is keen on exploring.

This extended AMG range will feature models based on the Mercedes A-Class , C-Class , E-Class , and S-Class models, on top of sprouting new variants from the Mercedes SUVs like the GL-Class, M-Class , GLK-Class , and GLA Class . At least that’s the plan. Execution will likely be a bit trickier.

One of Mercedes’ most important objectives with this expansion is to create models that are unique from their standard variations, but do not encroach on their respective AMG models. This translates to modified chassis, new electronics, light engine tuning and AMG-inspired body kits on AMG Sport models. Additionally, these AMG Sport models may be available in gasoline or diesel versions, similar to the approach Audi and BMW have used in expanding their S and M Performance lineups, respectively.

The first two offerings from this new range appear to be the Mercedes C450 AMG Sport and M-Class AMG Sport Coupe. The latter is under development, although a launch isn’t expected until next year.

Click past the jump to read more about 2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport.

Source: AutoCar

What happens when Flyin’ Miata gets a hold of an old Mazda press loaner and the supercharger kit that was designed for the Super20 concept? It creates an all-out targa rally car , of course. Meet "Nancy," the supercharged and rally-prepped 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 .

Nancy started life as a test bed for NC-generation parts, but after the application of the supercharger kit and a full suspension upgrade, she got wrapped in a racing livery vinyl and Flyin’ Miata took her racing across Canada in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

I got to spend several days, a few hundred miles and some track time with this incredible machine. Did Flyin’ Miata ruin the balance and fun of the Miata with all of its racing upgrades, or is Nancy merely a better version of an already great car? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to find out what I thought about Flyin’ Miata’s Nancy.

With the McLaren 650S MSO having already been showcased at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed , it was only a matter of time before McLaren Special Operations rolled out a bespoke program for 650S Spider . The recipe is pretty much the same: unique but subtle styling upgrades, special paints designed by MSO, brand-new wheels, and a custom interior. If you thought the 650S was an exclusive machine, McLaren Special Operations is here to prove you were wrong.

Just like the P1 , the 650S can be tailored to meet different tastes and showcase the uniqueness many McLaren customers enjoy. The 650S Spider joins these exclusive MSO ranks in a limited edition release of just 50 examples. Make no mistake though, what you see here is only one of the 50 vehicles set to reach their future owners. Each of them will be unique in their own right. It’s a privilege reserved only to MSO-crafted McLarens, and the 650S Spider fully deserves such treatment.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren 650S Spider By MSO.

Pikes Peak is one of the oldest and most historic races in North America. When I landed in Denver, Colorado for the Flyin’ Miata Summer Camp event, I decided that I couldn’t be this close to the mighty mountain without seeing its summit.

So there I stood, holding the keys to a supercharged Miata , and I was only an hour away from one of the highest roads in the United States. I pointed the nose of the racing-liveried NC south, and started my mountaineering adventure.

Thanks to a series of storms that were dumping record levels of wet stuff in the area, I figured the mountain was going to be treacherous, but I also assumed it was going to be mostly empty. Upon arriving at the toll gate to the twisty piece of pavement I found that my predictions were mostly correct.

What followed was 19-miles of automotive nirvana and incredible scenery.

Continue reading to hear about my incredible journey to the top of Pikes Peak.

I had once the privilege of driving a buddy’s Audi S3 . It was a few years ago and while my memory’s admittedly hazy of the circumstances behind it, I do remember feeling a little woozy after that encounter. The S3’s a powerful little sucker that much I can tell you. I can only imagine how the S3 would feel like with this aftermarket program from MTM on the table.

The German tuner has a history of bringing out the best in Audis . Whether its the A1 or the R8 , there’s probably an MTM program for it. This time, though, it’s the S3 that takes the spotlight, thanks to a measured tuning upgrade that doesn’t pull any punches.

Don’t expect any aesthetic improvements here. MTM built the program with power and efficiency in mind so it’s all meat, bones, and all that dirty stuff under the hood. The good news is that the tuner’s kit will be available across all variants of the S3. Whether it’s the saloon, cabriolet, sportback, there’s enough MTM love to go around.

All together, an MTM-tuned Audi S3 will cost €62,000, which is about $83,000 based on the exchange rates on 8/4/2014. The kit itself retails for €13,000 ($17,400) so you can have the choice of paying just for that, or for the entire thing, S3 included.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro By MTM.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The current BMW 6 Series is a hot commodity. With three different models — the two-door coupe, GranCoupe with four doors, and convertible version — BMW offers plenty of choices for consumers looking to drop some considerable change for this sporty, luxurious car. Engine offerings start with a 3.0-liter, 315-horsepower, twin-scroll turbocharged inline-six, dubbed the 640i. Next up is the 650i, with a 4.4-liter V-8, also featuring a twin-scroll turbo design, which is good for 445 horsepower. The mighty M6 Convertible comes with a more powerful version of the 650i’s V-8, producing an almost-crazy 560 horsepower. Performance is blistering, regardless of engine choice, and typical BMW luxury and top-notch fit and finish adorn the interior.

While the current 6 Series Convertible is certainly fresh, this isn’t stopping BMW from updating the lineup for the 2016 model year, and our spy photographers caught this facelifted model out testing.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW 6 Series Convertible.

The industry is full of so many aftermarket companies that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I admittedly don’t know all of them, including, at least up to this point, German tuning company K.MAN. The company used to call itself Chiptrick, which is actually a more memorable name than K.MAN, but that’s besides the point. What’s important is that K.MAN has developed a three-stage program for the Audi R8 V-8 that affords customers the opportunity to enjoy the speed and power of the R8 V-8’s big brother — the R8 V-10 — without having to actually bump up to the V-10-powered supercar .

K.Man’s three-stage program offers incredible increases in power that transforms the R8 V-8 into a fire-breathing monster that can go toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful exotics on the market. That’s an impressive achievement for an aftermarket company that doesn’t carry a household name.

Apart from the obvious performance upgrades, K.MAN’s program for the R8 also comes with some carbon-fiber bodywork and an exclusive set of wheels. These modifications will only be offered at the request of buyers and are still subject to availability.

That’s not an issue for me, especially when there’s a chance to score any one of these engine upgrades that can improve the R8 V-8’s output to as much as 750 horsepower.

Welcome to my life, K.MAN. Hell of a way to introduce yourself.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 By K.MAN.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

Lexus’ IS line is very popular and a hot seller. The recently redesigned sedan combines futuristic, swoopy looks with typical Lexus luxury and build quality. It also has proven to be a legitimate sports sedan, besting both a BMW 335i and Cadillac ATS in independent testing. We recently reported on a possible coupe variant , and now we have a rendering of the IS C convertible update. The current IS C, while competent and classy, is a bit long in the tooth. It has been around since 2009 and, as of July 2014, hasn’t enjoyed the redesign the rest of the IS line received.

Our own Mark McNabb tested a 2014 IS 350 C F-Sport , and came away impressed with the drivetrain, luxurious interior, and power-folding hardtop. However, there is no denying the car’s age. Five years is an eternity in the automotive world, so Lexus needs to up its game and redesign

Click past the jump to see more about our rendering of the IS C and see what we expect it to bring to the table.

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.


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