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.

Even the wet forces of Mother Nature couldn’t keep the Mercedes S-Class Cabrio from doing a few test runs in Germany. That much appears to be the case with these fresh batch of photos our spy photographers sent to our inbox recently. As expected, the S-Class Cabrio remains hidden in a maze of camouflage, preventing us from getting a full peek at what the new top-end cabrio looks like. But neither rain nor camouflage can stop us from pulling out our magnifying glasses and do a little inspecting of our own.

It’s already been established that the S-Class Cabrio will feature a retractable soft top and a modified rear section, but these new photos also show what appears to be a different front grille from the new-generation design found on the coupe version. We don’t know if Mercedes will mimic the new design with the production version, but we’re confident that it will.

Speaking of that rear section, we’re a little curious about what those red markers to the inside of the taillights are all about. The coupe version doesn’t have that and we won’t be surprised if those are part of the convertible’s taillight configuration. Other than these little bits and those fancy set of wheels, the S-Class Cabrio is looking more and more like a close-to-identical version of its coupe counterpart.

Even the cabrio’s expected engine lineup will be the same as the coupe, including a 4.7-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that packs 450 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that produces 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, and a big-boy, 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V-12 that churns out 622 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes S-Class Convertible.

Designed by automotive genius Colin Chapman and launched in 1957 under the Lotus badge, the Seven has become one of the most iconic sports cars ever built. Sold as a Lotus until 1972 and as a Caterham since 1973, the tiny, no-nonsense Seven has been offered in many configurations. However, the little roadster has yet to lose its classic charm, despite being fitted with modern technology and increasingly powerful engines. Although the Seven lineup has included at least four to five models over the last decade, Caterham has yet to bring it to the United States on official terms. The drama ended in January 2014, when the Brits reached an agreement with Superformance, and the first U.S.-spec Sevens appeared on the company’s drawing board. In August 2014, Caterham finally announced that the Seven will hit U.S. shores in part-built form.

Two versions are now offered Stateside, being set apart by the number of horses hiding under the hood. The base model is the Seven 360, similar in specifications with the Roadsport 175 currently sold in the United Kingdom. Hopefully we’ll get to drive one and share our impressions soon enough. Meanwhile, make sure you check out the in-depth review below.

Click past the jump to read more about the Caterham Seven 360

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It’s been less than two months since Jaguar introduced the F-Type Project 7 , a 567-horsepower, limited-edition version of the sports car , and the British have resumed Nurburgring testing, hinting that more iterations of the F-Type are underway. Jaguar tested several F-Types on the "Green Hell" between July 22nd and 25th, according to TouriClips, with as many as four vehicles being hooned simultaneously.

While the Brits are still mum on details, something is obviously going on in Germany, with some of the F-Types seen on the iconic track wearing swirly camouflage on their front fascias and side skirts. There are numerous scenarios to consider. Most of them are based on past spy shots and rumors, which indicate that Jaguar is readying at least three new versions of the sports car.

Interestingly enough, all the F-Types seen on the ’Ring in late July 2014 are roadsters. What’s more, none of them carry significant aerodynamic upgrades, being fitted with regular front bumpers and rear spoilers. So what’s Jaguar up to with these apparently plain-looking F-Types? Read on to learn more.

Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar’s upcoming F-Type sports cars.

Two years after unveiling the E-Type — built between 1961 and 1975, and known as one of the most beautiful vehicles ever designed — the folks at Jaguar rolled out a lighter version of the model specifically developed for racing . Dubbed E-Type Lightweight, it featured an all-aluminum body and engine block, and had most of its interior trim removed, making it 250 pounds lighter than the standard E-Type. Only 12 units of this track-purpose vehicles were built, although Jaguar’s initial plan was to conceive 18 of them. Believe it or not, the Brits have just decided to make use of the remaining designated chassis numbers and construct six more Lightweight E-Types exactly 50 years after the final original example left the factory.

The mission of recreating these race cars to their original specifications based on already designated chassis numbers had fallen into the hands of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations , the same performance arm that developed the F-Type Project 7 and the Range Rover Sport SVR . An authentic blast from the past, the Lightweight E-Type comes with everything the classic racer had to offer, including an aluminum-block, straight-six engine and a stripped out interior. And if you think the "new" Lightweight E-Type is nothing more than a museum piece, you’d better think again. The sports cars have been built to FIA’s homologation requirements for historic racing, meaning we should be seeing them in action during events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed .

Update 8/12/2014: Just as suspected after Jaguar Land Rover revealed the Range Rover SVR ahead of its Pebble Beach debut, JLR has chosen to also reveal the much-anticipated "New" Lightweight E-Type prototype — dubbed "Car Zero" ahead of its Pebble Beach debut. Check out all of the details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jaguar Lightweight E-Type.

Aston Martin’s Q by Aston Martin division has created some pretty delicious personalized models since it was launched in 2012. In a lot of ways, it’s become one of the best things Aston Martin has done in recent years. So when Aston Martin announced that four unique Q by Aston Martin models will be displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance , the excitement behind it is completely legitimate. The Aston Martin DB9 Volante is one of the models that will be given the Q by Aston Martin treatment. I’ve looked at all four examples headed to Pebble Beach and there’s no question in my mind that the DB9 Volante is a stunner.

It’s just a beautiful, personalized Aston Martin that exudes all the best things the brand is known for. It’s also unique enough that you probably won’t see another Aston Martin dressed in the same colors anytime soon.

That’s the beauty of the Q by Aston Martin division. It creates examples that are so unique and personally detailed that you can’t help but wonder why Aston Martin doesn’t release more of these models to the public.

The Pebble Beach-bound Aston Martin DB9 Volante Q by Aston Martin is a perfect example of that.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Aston Martin DB9 Volante By Q.

Citroen’s collaboration with Benefit Cosmetics has produced some sweet DS 3 special edition models since the two companies decided to team up in December 2013. The one-off pink DS 3 was such a hit that it spawned an immediate successor in March 2014 inspired by Benefit’s "They’re Real!" mascara line. Then in July 2014, a third special edition DS 3, the DS 3 DSign Noire, was launched at the "Fast and Fabulous" race weekend at Silverstone. Now here we are, the fourth DS 3 collaboration between Citroen and Benefit Cosmetics has been unveiled. This time, the car is taking its design cues from yet another one of Benefit Cosmetic’s products: the ’Stay Flawless’ primer. I’m not sure exactly what a primer does, but I do know that the DS 3 DStyle by Benefit looks completely at home with its predecessors.

This particular DS 3 Cabrio comes with plenty of exterior and interior styling cues inspired by the San Francisco-based cosmetics company. I can best describe it as a stylish infusion of feminine pizazz and the Bay Area’s hipster vibe.

That’s a pretty slick combination if you ask me. Altogether, the DS 3 Cabrio DStyle by Benefit retails for £18,745, which is about $31,500 as of 8/5/2014.


Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Citroen DS 3 Cabrio DStyle by Benefit.

Posted on by Tushar  

It isn’t as hardcore as a Nissan GT-R , but it certainly is very sporty. The Nissan Z-cars have been around for a long time and the 2014 370Z is the latest iteration of a long line of Z-cars that have come and gone.

Last year, Nissan updated the 370Z Roadster with new features like daytime running lights, an updated front fascia without compromising on the looks. The coupe has nice high shoulder and confident looks. Chopping off the roof hasn’t ruined the handsome exterior of the 370Z either.

For 2014, the Nissan 370Z Roadster employs a 3.7-liter V-6 naturally aspirated engine with 332 horsepower on tap. The engine is capable of churning out 270 pound-feet of torque @ 5200 rpm. For driving enthusiasts, Nissan offers a 6-speed manual gearbox which comes with Nissan’s SynchroRev Match system, while a 7-speed automatic with paddle-shift is also on the list.

The 2014 370Z is capable of delivering similar performance as the 2013 model. Combined fuel economy figures released by Nissan confirm that the 2014 model is rated at 20 mpg and 21 mpg for manual and automatic version respectively.

Updated 08/08/2014: Nissan announced a series of updates and prices for the 2015 370Z Roadster. For 2015 the lineup received a new 370Z Touring Sport Roadster trim level, plus revised steering feel and suspension tuning on all models. Prices will range from $41,820 for the base model and will go up to $49,400 for the new 370Z Roadster Touring Sport 7AT version.

Click past the jump to read in detail about the2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster

The Q by Aston Martin program really is something else, isn’t it? The personalization program has the ability to turn any Aston Martin into a real work of art. We’ve seen it happen time and time again since the program was launched in 2012. But we’ve never seen it to the extent of what Aston Martin is bringing to the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance . Four Aston Martin models, all dressed up by Q by Aston Martin. One of these models is the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante , a supercar that holds a special place in my heart because it’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a supercar . Fast, powerful, luxurious, and gorgeous, all at the same time. That’s how I’d describe the Vanquish Volante in so many words.

The Vanquish Volante Q by Aston Martin is an especially attractive iteration of the Aston’s most powerful convertible supercar. It’s dressed to the nines the way a well-kept and tidy exotic should be. The silver and tan treatment on the body and cabin blends perfectly in a way that fits the aura of the Vanquish Volante.

Classy on the outside, aggressive on the inside. Just the way Aston Martin intended the Vanquish Volante to be.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante by Q.

What happens when you take the stiffest and most refined Miata ever built, and then have Flyin’ Miata cram a fire-breathing small block V-8 under the hood? You get one of the best cars I have ever driven. Period.

This is Atomic Betty and she has stolen my heart.

With more than 400 horsepower and an equal measure of torque, Atomic Betty takes the power and thrust of a Corvette , and cuts a few hundred pounds. The results are staggering to say the least. Despite the insertion of the large engine, very little of Betty has been altered, and from the exterior she looks like a stock NC Miata to 99-percent of onlookers. If you prefer the idea of a “sleeper,” Betty is about the best you can get.

Best of all, the weight balance has barely been changed and overall weight gain from the new engine is less than putting a full-size male in the passenger seat. That means that same handling and crispness of the Miata remains, there just happens to be almost three-times as much power at the call of your right foot.

Hell. Yes.

Continue to read more about Flyin’ Miata’s V-8 powered NC Miata Atomic Betty.

When I was a child, my only real experience with the idea of summer camp was watching Salute Your Shorts on Nickelodeon. I was always active and outside, I just never went to an actual camp. Now that I am an adult who is staring at 30, the idea of going to summer camp sounds even more laughable. At least, it did until I got a quick message from Flyin’ Miata asking me if I wanted to come out for its annual Summer Camp.

This isn’t a s’mores, campfires and Kumbaya style of summer camp. Rather, it would be a several days of epic drives, track time, food and friends, all wrapped up with the lovely veneer of driving in a roadster.

Within hours of the invitation I was trying to arrange flights.

Upon my arrival in the great state of Colorado my time as a FM Summer Camp attendee began. From my blast up Pikes Peaks in the supercharged NC, Nancy, to a welcoming party, two full track days, several information seminars and the awards dinner, the next few days were packed with fun, friendship and long-lasting memories. The heat was a bit intense though, and as you can see by the photo, it made me do some really weird things.

Special thanks to Travis Ingram Photography for the photo.

Read more about the Flyin’ Miata Summer Camp Festivities after the break.


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