SRT president, Ralph Gilles, knows all too well that when they introduced the SRT Viper as a coupe model instead of a convertible, they bucked a tradition that started since the Viper itself was born.
But even if the fixed-top coupe came out first this time around, it doesn’t mean that they’re asleep at the wheel in building the convertible version. They’re just not in under any pressure to release it yet, despite Chevy’s recent proclamation that the convertible version of the Viper’s nemesis, the Corvette Stingray, will find its way into dealerships later this year.
Talking to Wards Auto, Gilles admitted that, at its core, the Viper is still designed to be a convertible. "Under the skin is a convertible chassis. It’s already there – the stiffness is there. It’s extremely easy should that come, but we’re not in any rush.”
Without giving any definite timetable, Gilles did say that his hopes are for the Viper Roadster to be released "within a few years".
Talk about a vague answer.
As far as any customer clamoring for the Viper Roadster’s release, Giles downplayed the pressure of succumbing to these requests, saying that enthusiasts of the model have no preference regarding the launch sequence between the coupe and convertible models. “I get a lot of comments from them, and a lot of them love the car either way,” Gilles remarked, before adding that customers usually buy both when each comes out.
The Jaguar XKR-S Convertible is one of the coolest Jaguar models unveiled in the past few years by the British manufacturer and, if you ask us, it is perfect from factory. Apparently not all the tuner share our thoughts on it, as the German tuner Arden has announced an aerodynamic kit for the sports convertible.
The kit includes a series of aerodynamic parts made in carbon fiber: new front spoiler, side skirts and side vents. Arden is also offering a hand-crafted, highly polished stainless-steel mesh that helps optimize the engine and brake cooling. For the rear, the tuner installed sport silencers made entirely out of stainless steel that offer the engine a more powerful sound.
The last piece of the package includes the addition of a set of light alloy wheels, sized 21 inches and offered in multi-piece design. These new wheels are wrapped in high-performance rubber and guarantee optimum driving characteristics and a smooth ride.
As you probably know by now, starting with the next generation 1-Series, the Bavarian automaker will further separate their models, as hatchback models will continue to be offered under the 1-Series nomenclature, amd coupe and convertible will be offered under the 2-Series name. However, when it comes to the models included in the 2-Series lineup all we had until now where rumors.
Today, a VIN search unveiled pretty much all the models to be included in the next 2-Series. The problem is that the U.S. market will only get two versions: 228i xDrive auto and M235i xDrive auto, while the European list is considerably longer. It will include the following models; 220i manual, 225i manual, 225i auto, M235i manual and auto, M235i xDrive auto, 218d manual, 220d auto, and the 225d manual and auto.
U.S. market will also get an M235i Valencia Orange that will be powered by a 3.0-liter engine with an output of 315 horsepower (same power as current M135i hatchback) and will be painted in Valencia Orange Metallic.
Each model can be further customized with a pretty long list of options, including an M Aerodynamic package, 18-inch wheels in double-spoke design, an adaptive M suspension, a multi-function steering wheel and much more.
The upcoming BMW 2-Series Convertible made its first appearance on the roads at the end of 2012, and now our spy photographers have caught it again. This time around, the drop-top 2-Series has been taken out for some cold-weather testing in Sweden.
The new BMW 2-Series will be built on the same platform as the 1-Series hatchback, but unlike the 1-Series it will be a little bit sportier.
Under the next 2-Series Convertible’s hood will be a series of four-cylinder engines in both petrol and diesel formats. The petrol engines’ output will range from 150 to 218 horsepower, while the diesel engine will be a 214-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. All of the engines will mate to either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. As an option, customers can also order BMW’s now xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Expect the new 2-Series Convertible to be unveiled in late 2013, likely around the same time as the 2-Series Coupe.
The 2013 Geneva Motor Show is the next show of the year, and each day we get more details on the models to be displayed at the show. For example, German tuner, TechArt, announced a pretty cool upgrade kit for the new-generation Porsche Carrera 4S.
Although the tuner only announced upgrades for the exterior and the interior, all of these additions transform it into an even cooler sports car.
Upgrades for the exterior include the addition of a new nose-lift system that adds 60 mm (2.36 inches) more ground clearance. This system can be activated when stationary or while driving, and at speeds above 37 mph, the vehicle lowers automatically. The tuner adds a new front spoiler that adds 11 pounds of downforce to the front axle at speeds of 86 mph, a rear spoiler and a new diffuser adds another 36 pounds of downforce to the vehicle’s rear axle. The kit also includes two aero wings and new side skirts. The car sits on a set of alloy wheels sized 20 or 21 inches and are offered in a five-spoke design.
TechArt also offers a new racing exhaust system with valve control and double center tailpipes that offer a more aggressive exhaust sound.
For the interior, the tuner is offering black leather sport seats plus numerous elements in black leather and green decorative stitching. There is also a three-spoke sport steering wheel wrapped in black leather and Alcantara with green stitching, paddle shifters in black matte finish with green symbols, and green TechArt Dials.
Prices for the new kit will be announced during its official debut in Geneva.
Shortly after hearing of the upcoming BMW 4-Series sedan scheduled to appear in 2013, we are now hearing of a convertible version set to launch that same year. German magazine, Auto Motor Und Sport, is reporting that the 4-Series Convertible will be placed between the 3-Series and 5-Series models, and will take on models from Audi and Mercedes.
The future 4-Series Convertible will be a cheaper alternative to the high-end 6-Series Convertible and the company hopes it will appeal to the younger crowd. The model will take design elements from the 5- and 6-Series, but with more squared-off headlights and larger eyebrows. The wide kidney grille will have a 3D look to match that of the latest BMW models.
Rumors say that the 4-Series will be offered with the latest four- and six-cylinder engines found in the BMW lineup, including the new 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine.
Expect the new 4-Series to be revealed sometime in mid-2013, with sales starting in late-2013.
Update 02/11/2013: The folks over at 4-SeriesForums.com have uncovered an official production document for the 4-Series that includes the convertible variant. The F33 – the internal code for the 4-Series convertible – is set to enter production in November 2013 and run through June 2014. This means that we should start seeing the 4-series in dealerships in late 2013. The available models will be a 428i, which will likely come with a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter, and a 435i, which should come with a 306-horsepower, 3.0-liter.
The Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster is one of the few supercars that can stand alone sans any aesthetic or aerodynamic modifications.
But if you told us that Mercedes tuner extraordinaire, MEC Design, was preparing said program, we wouldn’t have any problems with it.
Comprising of an aero package that includes a bevy of new aftermarket components, MEC Design’s new program for the SLS AMG Roadster is a certified barnburner. The replacement front bumper can be had with either a one or two-piece spoiler. More aggressive side skirts are also part of the package as well as a new trunk-lid spoiler, an optional set of LED daytime running lights, a new rear bumper that can be customized to fit either an Extreme, Formula, or GT3 diffuser section, and a set of 20-inch and 21-inch mecextreme3 alloy wheels that have been fitted and wrapped in 275/30ZR20 and 295/25ZR21.
Oh, and speaking of the spoilers and the diffuser, you can tell MEC Design to use clear-coated carbon fiber to further shoot up the exclusivity and look of the sexy SLS AMG Roadster.
Inside, the modifications are right in line with what you’ve come to expect from MEC Design. The usual digs of leather, Alcantara, and carbon fiber dominate the interior remodeling, particularly on the steering wheel, the console, sill plates and the seats.
Volkswagen is already offering a Convertible and a GTI Convertible for their Golf line, so it would be ridiculous not to apply the same treatment to the most powerful model in the Golf line-up: the R version. The model is expected to make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, but Volkswagen already offered the first details on the model.
The new Golf R Convertible has been described as "the first-ever open-top R model and the fastest-ever production open-top Golf," and it pretty much offers the same features as the hatchback version. The difference will be of course its fully electric insulated hood that can be lowered in 9.5 seconds and raised in 11 seconds at speed up to 18 mph.
Updated 02/07/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen Golf R Convertible. Full story
We know that Aston Martin is going to add a Vanquish Volante model to its lineup ever since the coupe version was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. However, up to this point the car has never been caught testing. Well, that is until today, as our spy photographers caught it playing on snow and ice in Northern Sweden.
As everyone is expects, both the coupe and convertible versions will be almost identical, so is no wonder why this prototype is almost camouflage-free, hiding just the shape of the rear spoiler with some plastic.
The main different between the two models will, of course, be the fabric roof offered in the Volante version. Under the hood, the car will keep the same 6.0-liter V-12 that delivers an impressive 656 horsepower. Power will be delivered to the rear wheels via a six-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission.
Expect the new Aston Martin Vanquish Volante to be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
The Volkswagen Beetle GSR will undoubtedly garner most of the attention at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, but nobody should sleep on another Chicago-bound Beetle.
This is the Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible R-Line, the latest member of Volkswagen’s R-Line family.
Just like its brethren, the Beetle Convertible Turbo R-Line comes packed with so many exterior and interior upgrades that spruces up the already fresh-looking Beetle. The exterior offers new bi-xenon headlights matched with LEDs to go with an R-Line badge on the front grille that makes sure everyone knows that this Beetle comes loaded with the program. Aluminum-alloy wheels measuring 19-inches and a new sport-tuned suspension was fitted into the car to further improve its driving characteristics.
As for the interior, Volkswagen went to lengths to give the Beetle a sportier look, highlighted by a "metallic-finish" dash and door trim, a flat-bottom R-Line multi-function leather steering wheel, stainless-steel R-Line scuff plates, aluminum sport pedals, and plenty of leather on the seats. Volkswagen also added a number of tech features, including an RNS 315 navigation system, keyless access with push-button start, and the totally awesome and ear-soothing Fender Premium Audio System.
At the end of the day, the R-Line upgrades are enough to spice up the Beetle Convertible Turbo. Some people might think that there’s not enough to warrant the badge, but for us, these add-ons are well worth your time.
Press Release after the jump