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 458 Speciale was a bit of a surprise when the details began leaking out in 2013, and we were in for an even bigger treat when it debuted during the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show with its 596 horsepower — 34 more horses than the base 458 — 398 pound-feet of torque, 200 pounds of weight loss, and three-second 0-to-60 mph time. Now on June 24th, 2014, rumors surfaced claiming that Ferrari is planning on removing the top from the 458 Speciale, creating a new, road- and track-ready Spider.

The news was broken by 4wheelsnews.com via "inside sources" within Ferrari, but the details behind the model remain a relative mystery for now. What we know for sure is that this model will weigh significantly less than the current 458 Italia Spider , carry the same engine as the Speciale Coupe and clip 60 mph in around three ticks of the second hand.

Updated 09/17/2014: Ferrari will unveil the new 458 Speciale Spider at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October 2014.

Click past the jump for the whole story and to see what I think of this move.

Source: 4wheelsnews

It’s fairly obvious that if you want to appreciate a supercar like the Aventador , you’re going to have to take it out of the city and drive it where there aren’t that many cars. A racetrack is an ideal place for it, but if that’s not available, the deserted stretches of road in the American Midwest is a pretty good alternative.

That’s exactly where a group of supercar enthusiasts went to back in July 2014. The entire ride was organized by Rob Ferretti of SuperSpeeders and a group from DrivingForceClub joined in on the fun with the mighty Aventador Roadster.

A host of its supercar brethren joined the Aventador, including a fellow Lambo in the form of the Gallardo Balboni Edition driven by Valentino Balboni himself (you can see him at the 1:57 mark of the video). An Audi R8 was also present, as well as a mid-2000s Honda NSX and a Subaru BRZ .

It’s an admittedly eclectic bunch, but you still can’t help but feel a little jealous about not being a part of it. Maybe next time Ferretti organizes a road trip like this, I can join in and bring my Honda Civic .

Then again, maybe I’ll just sit on the sidelines and cheer them on.

It took BMW about a year to release the 2 Series Convertible to sit alongside the Coupe version , but now that the drop-top is here on official terms, Munich is rolling out all the goodies that come with each new model. This time around, the Germans started with the M Sport Package, a bundle that adds a touch of aggressiveness to the stylish cabriolet. It’s for those looking to get more than just a plain 2 Series Convertible in terms of looks, but can do just fine without the brawnier engines of the M235i or the M2 .

As you might have already guessed, the M Sport Package leaves the drop-top’s powertrain unaltered. The proven 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit gets to keep its 240 ponies and 255 pound-feet of torque, which do an excellent job at pushing the 2 Series Convertible from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds with rear-wheel drive or 5.6 seconds with the available xDrive system.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Convertible with the M Sport Package.

You may have missed out on the worldwide debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 back on September 3rd, but to be honest, you didn’t miss out on anything substantial. Sure, the car was paraded in front of a crowd and through live streaming, but other than being treated to an endless loop of 80’s hits, the reveal was nothing short of confusing.

So I’m guessing that Mazda’s making some type amends with the release of this video, which is an extended recap of what happened during the unveiling of the car.

You’re going to see a lot of Mazda design director Derek Jenkins talking about the MX-5 Miata. There are even some camera angles that weren’t available during the live reveal, showcasing the MX-5 in a variety of angles that we didn’t get to see before.

If you labored through the MX-5’s launch, this video gives you a fresh take that you can appreciate. But if you missed the debut, it’s even more important to watch this video and see for yourself the day when the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata was revealed to the world.

I’m still a little peeved about the lack of details from the launch, but I do appreciate Mazda trying to make up for it.

We’re all familiar with today’s Caterham Seven or the Lotus -badged, simpler sports car that preceded it. It’s a pure driver’s car suitable for both public roads and tracks, although it’s not exactly the vehicle you’d want to drive to work on a daily basis. However, if you need a no-nonsense sports car in your life, you can’t go wrong with the Seven.

You can have anything from a Suzuki -sourced, 660cc to a 2.0-liter Duratec engine under the hood. That gives it an output range from 80 ponies for street cruising to as much as 311 horsepower for quick laps around the track. Sure, 311 horses is quite a lot for a vehicle that weighs only 1,147 pounds, but the power-to-weight ratio can get even more ridiculous than that. All you have to do is head to Donkervoort, the Dutch shop that has been manufacturing its Seven-based sports cars since 1978.

Its latest creation, the D8 GTO, is unlike anything Donkervoort ever built. Sure, it resembles its predecessors, but things are completely different when it comes to the GTO’s shell and powerplant. Unlike other D8s, which came with either Ford or Audi four-bangers, the GTO comes with Ingolstadt’s famed 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. Output ranges between 340 and 380 horsepower, more than anything Caterham has delivered so far. As if that wasn’t enough, the D8 GTO received a full carbon-fiber body that results in an insane 1,543-pound curb weight. This end is a power-to-weight ratio that rivals the initial Bugatti Veyron’s ratio. I’m talking about a supercar motivated by 987 ponies; is this amazing or what?

So how does a D8 GTO look, sound and run? You can find out in XCAR’s comprehensive review in the above video . Make sure you don’t miss it, you won’t be seeing one of these monsters on U.S. streets anytime soon.

My recent drive around the Monticello Motor Club in the 2015 Lexus RC still has me pondering all the possibilities Lexus could throw at its new two-door coupe. TopSpeed has already reported Lexus’ hints at a four-door version of the car, but then the idea struck about a drop-top version. It makes perfect sense, so just follow along.

See, the RC’s chassis is a mishmash of sorts. It’s front clip, engine cradle, and suspension supports are borrowed from the GS sedan . The rear section is from the new IS sedan. But the middle section is pulled off the aging IS C, Lexus’ 2+2 hardtop convertible. Now with that stiff center section acting as the RC’s foundation, plus the serious bracing Lexus put in the chassis’ middle section, it seems completely possible for the RC to get a convertible version.

The idea becomes even more plausible when considering Lexus could replace the old IS C convertible with the RC Convertible. Development and engineering costs would be minimal as the majority of the work should already be done. Lexus’ customer base then gets a new hardtop convertible that could come available with the F Sport and track-ready F packages. That puts Lexus in line to compete with the BMW M4 Convertible and Audi RS 5 Cabriolet.

The RC Convertible would span all trim and powertrain levels, so expect the base RC 350 to get the topless treatment too — just as our rendering shows. Expect the RC Convertible to debut for the 2016 model year if the project gets the go-ahead.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Lexus RC.

The world debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata back on September 3rd wasn’t as much a debut as much as it was a “Hey, what’s up, world! This is what I look like” event. It didn’t give us anything more than a look at the MX-5’s new body. That would have been fine for any other car, but this is the Miata we’re talking about here. The full details of the sports roadster are expected to be announced at the Paris Motor Show, but that didn’t stop the folks over at Motoring Australia from digging deeper and finding out a few things about the fourth-gen MX-5.

A source close to the Australian auto site revealed that the Miata will weigh only 1,020 kg (2,248 pounds), close to 100 kg (220 pounds) less than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the engineering team failed to meet its goal of making the new Miata weight less than 1,000 kg.

Additionally, the third-generation Miata reportedly has more safety and convenience features, including the company’s new MXD Connect infotainment technology . A seven-inch color touchscreen will also be a welcome addition, as will the Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation, head restraint-mounted speakers, and LED lighting.

Here’s where things get interesting. According to Motoring, the entry-level model of the fourth-gen Miata will feature a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, Skyactiv engine that produces 128 horsepower. Torque figures are still being kept under wraps, but if that number is accurate, that’s marginally better than the third-generation model and its entry-level output of 125 ponies. A separate report also indicated that the U.S.-spec Miata will receive a 2.0-liter engine that produces a little over 145 horsepower. Both models will come with a six-speed transmission with the latter available for an upgrade to a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.

Ultimately, we won’t know if these numbers are accurate until the Paris Motor Show in October 2014, but these reports get us even more excited for the roadster’s full debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda MX-5.

Source: Motoring

We already know everything there is to know about the Porsche 918 Spyder and we all agree its Stuttgart’s finest piece of engineering yet. That’s why we can’t get enough of this V-8-powered hybrid and drool over any 918 Spyder-related footage we lay our eyes upon. This time around, there’s no test drive or quarter-mile race, but a 0-to-207 mph run that puts the German supercar within four mph of its claimed top speed. What’s really impressive is that the 918 Spyder takes only 29 seconds to charge to 207 mph from a standing start, yet another benchmark added to its staggering performance credentials, which include a 0-to-60-mph time of only 2.8 seconds.

As a brief reminder, Porsche’s latest supercar is powered by a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine connected to two electric motors. The combo cranks out 887 horsepower and an amazing 940 pound-feet of torque. This drivertrain may generate less horsepower than those fitted in the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1 , but make no mistakes, the 918 Spyder is just as fast.

If you need further proof, Sport Auto’s video above is enough to showcase the 918’s capabilities when the hammer falls on the gas pedal.

Hit the play button to enjoy the speed and the roar of that incredible V-8 engine!

If there was ever any doubt why James Bond loves Aston Martins so much, these Vanquish Carbon Edition models will quell all of those misgivings. The British automaker finally pulled the covers off of its latest special edition creation only days after it dropped a teaser promoting its arrival. While I do think that Aston Martin needs to time its teasers better, I’m not complaining about what came out of it.

The Vanquish Carbon Edition is a thing of beauty and if you want to be really technical about it, there are actually two versions of this bad-boy. There’s a coupe and a convertible version, each of which can be dressed in either black or white. Pulling off a black or white car isn’t easy, but the Vanquish has all the sexiness it needs to wear these colors and look good doing so.

I’m not saying that I’m going to buy one as soon as it’s available, but there’s nothing wrong with staring at them with longing eyes, right?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Carbon Edition.

Source: Aston Martin

BMW announced its new 2 Series convertible, including the M235i and this 228i, in September 2014. While the M235i will be the choice of most enthusiasts and weekend track rats, the standard 228i and the 228i xDrive will be the ones found at Whole Foods and Macy’s, and will constitute the bulk of 2 Series sales. That’s not a bad thing, however, as the BMW’s latest drop top checks all the right boxes for topless automotive fun.

A high-strung, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes boosted by a twin-scroll turbocharger and is backed by an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual. The quick-shifting flappy paddle helps the 228i hit 60 mph in a surprising 5.7 seconds. What’s more, the 228i’s chassis share many of its designs and parts with the 228i coupe, giving it some street cred right out of the box.

The 228i xDrive brings an extra level of usability to the 2 Series Convertible’s lineup. With a normal torque split favoring the rear axle, the xDrive 2 has plenty of sport still in its chassis. However, when the weather turns rough, all four wheels grip the road. The xDrive system even makes itself useful in the dry, helping the 228i xDrive knock a tenth of a second off the 228i’s 0 to 60 mph time.

While the now-dead 1 Series may have been the first drop-top contender in the premium sub-compact segment, the new 228i and 228i xDrive take the legacy into the future. If 1 Series 130,000 units sold worldwide is any indication of the 2 Series Convertible’s potential success, BMW’s latest convertible will have no trouble finding homes.

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


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