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.

If you’ve been drooling at the sight of the Maserati Alfieri since its introduction at the Geneva Motor Show in March, then the latest news coming from Italy should make you very happy: both the Coupe and the Cabrio versions will make it into production.

The good news arrives via Fiat ’s five-year masterplan for all of its brands, with Maserati set to launch five all-new vehicles by 2018. The Alfieri Coupe will hit the market two years from now - sooner than initially anticipated - with the roadster to follow in 2017.

The Italians have also released an "engine grid" for their current and upcoming models and, surprisingly enough, the Alfieri won’t get the proven 4.7-liter V-8 under hood. Both the Coupe and Cabrio will be powered by V-6 engines offered with different outputs.

The rear-wheel drive versions will benefit from 410 horsepower, while the all-while drive models will have 450 horsepower and 520 horsepower at their disposal. There’s no word whether the Alfieri will borrow the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo unit from the Ghibli , but it appears the range-topping sedan will have the same output as the base AWD Alfieri.

Additional details are still under wraps, but expect for the Coupe model to be unveiled in production guise sometime next year.

Click past the jump to read more about Maserati Alfieri.

Source: WCF

Rumored since 2012 and officially confirmed last year, the convertible version of the brand-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has finally come out to play on public roads in the form of camouflaged prototype.

Although there are no actual details for us to ogle at, the vehicle hidden under wraps is far from being a mystery. Styling-wise, the S-Class Convertible will be identical to the Coupe version we’ve seen in detail earlier this year, save for the retractable roof that will make sunny days more pleasant behind the steering wheel.

These spy shots suggests that the Germans are trying really hard to create the impression that the two-door will feature a hard-top, but we do know that Mercedes-Benz will go for a soft-top just like it did with the E-Class . Using a fabric top makes a lot of sense considering that a hard-top would eat up too much trunk space, a feature the S-Class can proudly brag about.

Engine-wise, the Convertible will also borrow all of its V-8 and V-12 mills from the Coupe model. Thus, the range will begin with the S500 and go all the way up to S65 AMG into 600-horsepower territory.

There’s no information as to when the S-Class Convertible will be unveiled, but expect for this stylish drop-top to lose its covers at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show . Until then, make sure you stay tuned to TopSpeed for new details and spy shots that will most certainly occur soon enough.

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

Factory Five Racing has been a front-runner in custom kit cars and hot rods for quite some time, building replicas of cars long since out of production. The California-based company also designed and built its own complete car called the 818 using drivetrain components from a Subaru WRX. However, for the particular car pictured above, the drivetrain takes a completely new spin on performance.

Missing is the usual Subaru Boxer engine, replaced by a AC35x2 motor fed by a 16-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery constructed of two 8-kWh sub-packs. The motor and battery unit is still connected to a WRX five-speed manual transmission that allows for reduced energy consumption and management of the motor’s output.

Speaking of output, the motor zaps out 165 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. It might not seem like much, but the entire car will weigh just under 2,000 pounds – even with its body panels attached. Its claimed top speed is 150 mph, and though its still untested, the goal is likely obtainable.

Putting this electrified beast together are two other California companies that know a thing or two about building cars and electricity. EV West is undertaking installing and calibrating the air-cooled, Hi Performance Electric Vehicle Systems-sourced electric motor while the guys at 33 Machine work to incorporate all the components within the modified Factory Five Racing tube chassis.

In a video past the jump, the naked car squirrels around a test track with all the sidewise shenanigans of a V-8-powered muscle car, but of course is completely silent while smoking its rubber.

Click past the jump to read more about 33 Machine’s 818 EV

Toyota has been over the fence and back regarding its plans to build turbocharged, sedan and convertible versions of the GT 86 . Last we heard, poor sales of the sports car scuttled those plans, but now it looks like they’re back on the table.

Motoring Australia is reporting that Toyota is once again hot on the idea of expanding its GT 86 lineup. While no specific plans for the car have been disclosed, there seems to be a growing sentiment within the company that poor sales notwithstanding, Toyota is finally ready to push all of its GT 86 chips in the middle of the table.

It’s a smart move to offer some diversity to the GT 86, which hasn’t earned the same level of sales respect and admiration as its twins, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S. A convertible version of the GT 86 was even previewed last year with the Open Top Concept so at the very least, we should now what to expect with a future top-down sports coupe.

As for the sedan version, Toyota has big plans for the four-door GT 86, including giving it a duo of engine options. The bid news is that there will be a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which will likely be the Subaru’s 2.5-liter Direct Injection Turbo engine that’s good for more than 295 horsepower. The other engine for the sedan will likely be a hybrid Suby engine, but not the 160-horsepower one found in the XV Crosstrek — you may exhale now... Sources inside Subaru claim that the company is working on a hybrid unit that works with its direct-injected boxer engine.

Another objective for the GT 86 sedan is to have enough room to differentiate it from the coupe. Talks are already in place to make the GT 86 sedan 510 mm (20 inches) longer and 100 mm (3.9 inches) taller than the coupe model. Those are both pretty drastic expansions, so it’ll be interesting to see how the extra size affects the styling.

What’s more, the bad-add 2.5-liter DIT engine that the sedan will receive will also trickle down to the coupe model, according to the report.

The soft-top convertible GT 86, which will retain the current drivetrain, is set to arrive earlier than the sedan, possibly as soon as October 2014. The turbocharged sedan and coupe versions could arrive as early as 2016, and the hybrid model is rumored to arrive a few months later.

Click past the jump to read more about the GT 86.

We actually don’t know who made out better between Mark Webber and Maria Sharapova. On one hand, the tennis star had an opportunity to ride shotgun in a Porsche 918 Spyder with one of the best race car drivers in the world behind the wheel. On the other hand, Mark Webber got to drive with Maria Sharapova. See where the struggle comes in?

That being said, it was pretty neat to see two star athletes from different sports share in the experience of enjoying one of the most exotic cars in the world today. The promotional drive happened during the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, and by the looks of things, both Webber and Sharapova seemed to enjoy the experience of being inside the 2014 918 Spyde r and all the things that’s made it into a modern-day icon in its own right.

Maybe her experience in the 918 Spyder motivated Sharapova to beat Ana Ivanovic to win the tournament for the third consecutive year. She also received a Porsche 911 Targa for her victory, although after watching this video, she probably would have no problem trading the 911 up for a 918 Spyder.

A quick reminder that the 918 Spider is the newest hybrid supercar from Porsche that cranks out an amazing 887 horsepower and 940 pound-feet of torque. This allows it to hit a top speed of 211 mph (93 mph in full-EV mode) and 62 mph in just 2.8 seconds.

Few companies cater to the petrol-head quite like Porsche . Sure Ferrari provides excitement, and Lamborghini is the maestro of theater, but Porsche has cornered the market on feel and precision.

Beyond that, Porsche also seems to demonstrate a peculiar, un-German ability to create cars that are very pretty. Not the sensual beauty the Italians have mastered, but still pretty.

Late last year the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh decided that Porsche had done so much in the field of design, that it deserved to be recognized. They then began the laborious task of collecting an eclectic assortment of metal from the brand’s storied history; from the Type 64 of 1938 up to the 911 GTS R Hybrid race car .

As a man with a slight fetish for German autos, the exhibit intrigued me. The NCMA is only a six-hour drive from my house, through some of the most beautiful roads and scenery in the U.S., and I had just been granted the keys to a 2014 Porsche Cayman S .

It was a recipe that sounded like a Porsche enthusiast’s perfect weekend.

Read on to find out more about my journey, the Cayman S and the NCMA exhibit.

Although Mercedes-Benz has yet to confirm whether or not the upcoming AMG GT sports car will get a roadster version, it would be plain silly for the Germans to skip on a drop-top. I mean, why take the Porsche 911 Turbo by the horns and completely ignore the Turbo Convertible? It would be right given the competitiveness of today’s sports car market.

That said, an AMG GT Roadster launch is likely to occur sometime next year, a few months after the Coupe version goes on sale. Testing will probably commence later this year, but not before the Stuttgart crew rounds off the hard-top version, which was already spotted on both public roads and at the Nurburgring track on several occasions .

Since the coupe and roadster will share the same underpinnings, development of the latter will have a more smoother path, with engineers needing only to take care of additional structural reinforcing - a standard procedure for just about any convertible.

No changes will occur under the hood, where the same turbocharged, 4.0-liter, V-8 engine will gurgle with at least 500 horsepower at its disposal while sending it to the wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. A minor decrease in top speed is likely though, with a few mph chopped off the coupe’s estimated 190 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes AMG GT Roadster.

The 2014 Morgan Plus 4 prides itself on its old school looks that frankly hasn’t changed all that much from the models in the 60’s. It’s quite charming, really, that Morgan continues to roll out a car that looks like this.

There are some redeeming qualities about Morgan and the Plus 4 . A lot, actually. One thing we’ve come to appreciate about the company is its dedication to its classic sports car roots. Whereas other brands may have caved in to produce cars with designs that are up to the times, Morgan is sticking to its guns, determined to cater to that specific market that still appreciates an retro-looking burner when they see one.

And in a lot of ways, the Plus 4’s design actually makes it stand out these days. Thankfully, Morgan understands that just because the car looks like a `40’s hot rod, it doesn’t mean it should carry an engine from those times. It has 154 horsepower under that elongated bonnet, more than enough to enjoy the thrill of riding in style with the Plus 4.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Morgan Plus 4.

If you found the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible Atlantic Concept showcased at the 2013 SEMA Show to be an attractive drop-top , then you might as well start saving some money because Chevy has just announced that the vehicle will be put into production.

Specifically, due to strong success the concept car has enjoyed during SEMA, the automaker decided to create an Atlantic Design Package that turns a regular Corvette Stingray Convertible into a special edition sports car with unique exterior and interior features.

Available on Z51-equipped models selected in 2LT and 3LT trims, the package is inspired, according to Chevy, "by the luxury and performance of private jets seen at European vacation destination." However, the cabin only benefits from Stingray floor mats, so don’t expect for additional premium appointments aside from what you get with the Corvette Z51 and a set of custom luggage.

Exterior changes, on the other hand, are more noticeable, with several bespoke parts and graphics added to the body. Powertrain remains unaltered, which means customers will get the 6.2-liter V-8 engine and the 460 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque that come with the performance exhaust.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Atlantic Design Package.

The unveiling of the Mercedes SL-Class two years ago also gave way to the arrival of the model’s two performance-oriented models: the SL63 AMG and the SL65 AMG . The SL63 AMG model is regarded as an incredible machine, but it probably won’t hurt if you give it the 2Look Edition upgrade that a lot of other Mercedes models have received, including the SL-Class .

The dynamic characteristic of the SL63 AMG 2Look Edition is clearly evident in the way the new components all come together to create a far more aggressive look for the SL63 AMG. Be it the new exterior digs, or the interior refinements, the SL63 AMG 2Look Edition comes with a comprehensive list that will turn an already powerful sports car into the envy of everybody. It is called "2Look" for a reason, right?

The 2Look package for the SL63 AMG will set you back €9,401 — about $13,000 based on current exchange rates. Add that to the €134.950 ($186,703) price for SL63 AMG and you’re looking at a total price of €144,351 ($199,709). This package is also available on the SL65 AMG model for €5,355 — about $7,400. Unfortunately, the 2Look Edition is currently only available in Mercedes’ home country of Germany.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG 2Look Edition.


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