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.

The brand-new BMW 2 Series Convertible has been roaming the streets almost undisguised for nearly a month now, but we have yet to see it with its soft-top folded behind the seats. Well, that ends today thanks to a new batch of spy shots we just received from our trustworthy paparazzi.

Unlike the previous test vehicle , which was painted in a rather dull shade of light grey, the 2 Series depicted in our new photos wears a more attractive shade of white and sports a number of different features. For instance, the bumper has a more aggressive design, while the wheels carry fancier, twin five-spoke styling.

Around back, the diffuser-like piece mounted beneath the bumper is painted black and incorporates single exhaust pipes on each side. The previous 2 Series had the regular twin exhaust configuration on the left side of the apron. In fact, all these modifications are similar to the ones seen on the M135i , meaning there’s a big chance this test car is actually the M235i Convertible that will sit between the regular model and the brawnier M2 .

Either way, both the 2 Series Convertible and this slightly meaner version share the same camouflage pattern, with sticky stripes covering the upper part of the front bumper and the edges around the headlamps and the taillights. For some unknown reason, the BMW badge placed above the kidney grille is also tucked away.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible.

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a rare supercar that can speak a number of languages very few of its contemporaries can even comprehend let alone understand. It’s a daunting task just trying to decipher the car’s fullest capabilities, but for what Porsche managed to build, it also turned out to be a watershed moment for the future of the industry.

Recently, the Drive channel was able to get its hands on the Porsche hybrid hypercar, and like everybody who has felt its pulsating power, Drive’s Mike Spinelli was taken for a thrill ride for the ages.

Everything that makes the 918 Spyder so unique is displayed front and center, unleashing one wave after another of breathtaking displays of power and speed wrapped in a cocoon of the finest technology known in the industry today.

It’s hard to throw so many superlatives at just one car because there is usually disappointment along the way, however the 918 Spyder bucks that way of thinking for all the reasons that put the 918 into its current slot-on-top to begin with.

It really is the supercar of the future, in more ways than one.

While there’s nothing wrong with the Italian police having a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Huracan sports car at its disposal to apprehend those lightning-fast crooks, a British constabulary’s choice for a patrol vehicle might raise a few eyebrows. No, we’re not talking about a McLaren P1 , although that would be awkward considering the supercar ’s limited availability and purpose, but the Ariel Atom , a vehicle that’s light enough to sprint from 0 to 60 mph quicker than any hypercar.

Unveiled less than a month ago, the ultra-quick Atom 3.5R will serve as a police vehicle following an agreement between the British manufacturer and the local Constabulary of Avon and Somerset. Now don’t go thinking the local police force responsible for protecting the county of Somerset is about to embark on a series of high-speed pursuits, because this specific Atom has a different purpose. According to Auto Express, the featherweight vehicle will help local police raise awareness among motorcycle riders about road safety through the Safer Rider campaign.

There’s no explanation as to why the Somerset Constabulary picked an Ariel Atom for the campaign, but we’re guessing it’s because the vehicle lacks a proper shell, bearing a closer resemblance to motorbikes. It might also have something to do with the fact that Ariel will launch a motorcycle later this year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ariel Atom Police Car.

Source: AutoExpress

***We will start this party at approximately 0945 US EASTERN TIME***

Ladies and Gentleman, you are invited to join us for a special early-week TopSpeed Podcast . The best part? It is totally live. Feel free to click the play button on the YouTube video to hang out with us; you can even chat and comment live to give us feedback and ask us questions.

I know the show is a few days early, but I have a special announcement to make. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it involves lots of horsepower and an epic road trip. You have to watch to see what the announcement is.

Beyond the special announcement, we are going to talk about Justin’s drive of the new 4-Series , the new McLaren P13 GT and the future of solar powered roads .

Mark is also going to regale us with tales of his time with the Chrysler Town & Country , and then we plan on discussing the changed coming to the 2015 Nissan Frontier and then we plan on covering the crazy Hyundai Veloster Midship Concept .

We may have another piece of news or two, and of course we will have viewer questions, and a round of Own, Drive, Burn.

Click that play button and hang out!

Mini has never built anything aside from countless iterations of the Cooper , but that could change over the next couple of years if the BMW board approves production of the Superleggera Vision Concept .

Showcased with great success at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este , the lightweight roadster was created in cooperation with Italian design house Touring Superleggera and a production version may arrive just in time to drag Mini out of its decade-long design hole.

Of course, the study borrows a few cues from the 2014 Cooper design language, but the overall approach is entirely different, with a new feel attached to it. It’s no longer feeding on the classic Mini , but relying on the same British heritage that spawned sports cars such as the Jaguar F-Type . The rear body fin, the low-cut windshield are there to tell us about a classic, sporty Mini that never existed.

Will these cool features make production? Probably not. But this concept car has huge potential and Mini has all the necessary instruments to take on a brand-new market. Because of its coolness and the possibility of production, we created a rendering of what we think this car may look like if it hits dealerships (above).

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mini Superleggera.

*Note: Above image is a TopSpeed rendering, not the actual Mini Superleggera.

Karmann has built more than three million vehicle for various automakers in its century-long history, but the Germans are mostly known for their cooperation with Volkswagen , for whom they assembled more than one million units of Beetle , Golf , Scirocco and Ghia models.

Although the partnership came to an end in the early 1990s and Karmann went bankrupt in 2009, Volkswagen is still paying tribute to its life-long partner by releasing limited-edition models of their compact vehicles. Last year, for instance, the Germans placed a Karmann badge and a few unique amenities on the Golf Cabriolet . In a similar fashion, they are now rolling out the Beetle Cabriolet Karmann, a special edition bug that celebrates the classic vehicles built by the Osnabruck company between 1949 and 1980.

Highlighted by a number of unique exterior features and near-luxury interior attributes, the Beetle Cabriolet Karmann is based on the "Design" equipment line, which includes a wind deflector and the Park Pilot parking distance monitor and can be ordered in any engine and transmission configurations. Engine options thus include anything from the 2.5-liter to the turbo 2.0-liter units, as well as the more frugal TDI Clean Diesel oil burner, while transmission offerings consists of a six-speed manual and a six-speed dual-clutch.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet Karmann Special Edition.

Being a car photographer can be one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs on the planet. Delicacy is important with this job, especially when you’re dealing with a supercar as exclusive and as expensive as the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Rembrandt Bugatti .

Car photographer Pepper Yandell recently had the privilege of shooting the exclusive Veyron and as the video shows, you really need to know what you’re doing to capture all the good angles of this supercar.

But Yandell clearly knows what he’s doing, pulling out all the photography tricks in his bag to showcase the Veyron in various angles. The play in lighting in these photos are pretty incredible, too. Yandell captures them beautifully, casting different shadows and highlighting different parts of the Veyron.

This video is a nice lesson on how to be a good car photographer. You can’t just rely on the car itself to create the photos, even if said car is one of the most unique supercars in the world. You need to be creative and find ways to emphasize all the positive qualities of the subject.

It’s easier said than done, but if you know what you’re doing, you can create photographic masterpieces the same way Pepper Yandell does on a consistent basis.

Audi is adding to the number of A3 models that are available with the very efficient 1.4-liter, I-4, TFSI engine currently sipping gasoline in Europe. The impressive powertrain is now available in the four-door sedan, three-door hatch, five-door Sportback, and of course, the Cabriolet pictured above.

Audi is offering the engine with a choice of transmissions: standard six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch. The highly engineered mechanics inside the engine allow for outstanding fuel efficiency to the tune of nearly 50 mpg on the European combined cycle. The engine’s carbon footprint is equally impressive, emitting only 175.4 grams of C02 per mile.

Though the engine does well at sipping fuel, it lacks somewhat on power. Its horsepower rating is listed at 150 and it propels the car to 62 mph in an underwhelming 8.1 seconds. Then again, 50 mpg is a pretty solid trade off for losing nearly every light-to-light drag race.

If torque is what’s needed, Audi also offers the 1.6-liter, TDI engine in the A3 Ultra. Making 110 horsepower, the turbo diesel consumes fuel at the sparse rate of 71.3 mpg. Its clean-diesel technology also keeps it from cutting holes in the atmosphere, emitting only 141.6 grams per mile. The TDI is available in both the four-door sedan and three-door hatchback versions.

Sadly, it seems Audi will be keeping these fuel-efficient models away from these United States, likely due to regulations and red tape.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra.

The early 1970s was a grand time for American muscle cars with plenty of iconic iron rolling off the Big Three’s assembly lines. But few cars have reached the level of rarity as the Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda. Production numbers of these legendary street machines were rather low compared to other muscle cars of the era. In the case of this particular ‘Cuda and its combination of options, the number is one.

Yes, out of the total 16,159 Barracudas sold in 1971, only 11 were fitted with the sportiest ‘Cuda option powered by the 426 Hemi and ordered as convertibles. Of those 11 cars, only three came with the four-speed manual transmission. Over 40 years later, one — yes o-n-e — B5-coded “Bright Blue” ‘Cuda is the only numbers-matching, 426 Hemi-powered, four-speed, convertible in existence. Talk about rare.

Updated 06/16/2014: This very cool Hemi Cuda Convertible was auctioned during this week-end’s auctions at Mecum for the amazing amount of $3,500,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1971 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda Convertible.

Source: Mecum

Although enthusiasts regard the E-Type as the most iconic and beautiful Jaguars ever built, I think there’s at least one other Jag that can match its distinction. I’m talking about the XKSS, a limited-edition, two-seat roadster based on the D-Type race car.

My reasoning is pretty much simple here. The XKSS has the gorgeous looks of the 1950s Jaguars, the racing heritage of the Le Mans-winning D-Type , and a track-prepped structure coming straight from the company’s motorsport division. Add the fact that Jag built only 16 of these sports cars , and you’ll understand why the XKSS is a coveted and expensive collectible.

The XKSS also benefits from an association with famed American actor Steve McQueen , who owned a British Racing Green-pained example and drove it around Los Angeles for years. Now resting its wheels in the Peterson Automotive Museum, McQueen’s Jag just took a trip to Jay Leno’s garage , the place where the world’s greatest vehicles are taken to be reviewed and showcased.

But unlike other cars that have passed through his garage, the XKSS seems to have mesmerized Leno, as the TV host can’t stop praising the roadster enough throughout the 20-minute episode. Just hit the play button and you’ll find out what we mean.


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