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.

Although it has been missing from top-level motorsport for more than two decades now, Jaguar remains one of the world’s most successful race car manufacturers. Between the early 1950s and the early 1990s, the Brits brought home no less than seven 24 Hours of Le Mans trophies, just enough to place them right below Ferrari and above makers such as Bentley , Alfa Romeo , and Ford . Jaguar’s Le Mans success returned under the spotlight with the F-Type Project 7 , a limited-edition sports car built to commemorate the company’s success in France.

And the folks over at XCAR thought it would be a great idea to look back on the F-Type’s spiritual predecessor, the E-Type , and the other two spectacular racers that preceded it, the C-Type and D-Type . Not only that, but the Brits also managed to round up all three vehicles on the same track for a 19-minute history lesson that covers nearly 24 years of good old Jaguar days.

It all begins with the C-Type, a track-exclusive car built to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It did so by dominating the 1953 race against heavy competition from Cunningham and Ferrari . XCAR also has a thorough look at the D-Type, yet another Jag confined to the race course. Built between 1954 and 1957, the D-Type was even more successful than the C-Type. It won the famed Le Mans event three times in a row between 1955 and 1957 and among its victims were various Ferraris, Aston Martins , and Porsches .

Finally, the video focuses on the E-Type, know as one of the most beautiful sports cars of the 20th century. When it debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961, the E-Type had a 3.8-liter engine that delivered 265 horsepower and staggering performance for the era — naught to 62 mph in six seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. By 1970 displacement had increased to 4.2 liters, but the six-banger was dropped in 1971, when Jaguar offered a 5.3-liter, V-12 mill rated at up to 295 ponies and 300 pound-feet of torque.

Of course, there’s more to the E-Type than raw power and torque, but we’ll let you discover more by watching XCAR’s video. Hit the play button above for the greatest Jaguar trio to ever hit the street and track.

During my more than 2,000-mile excursion with the 2014 Mazda Miata , I learned a lot of things. I learned why Mazda gave me a hat and sunscreen when they dropped off the car, I learned that I actually love convertibles , and I learned that 25 years of changes have yet to alter the true feel and purpose of the tiny roadster .

More than this, I learned that the Miata is a very special car, and that you need to be a very special person to buy one. More than any other car I have ever encountered, the Mazda Miata attracts a very specific buyer that no other car seems to. Unlike models from brands like BMW , or Toyota who attract a large collection of buyers in different age groups and interests, the only people who ever seem to own a Miata are the people who love cars and driving more than anything else.

But why is that?

Read on to find out what makes Miata owners special

Jay is riding low in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage . Our legendary petrol-head host meets up with three low rider aficionados who take Jay through the ins and outs of low rider tech and history. The two beautiful low rider examples are a black, 1966 Chevrolet Impala and a pinstriped 1963 Chevy Impala Convertible. Both are completely customized with unique parts and outstanding chrome work.

Jay starts off talking with the editor of Lowrider Magazine, Joe Ray, about how the low-rider culture got its start back in the 1960s and how it’s spreading all over the world today.

After that, Jay talks with Chris Najera, the owner of the black 1966 Impala about why he kept a solid paint color and how he modernized a few key bits of the interior. Under the hood lies an absolutely beautiful V-8 drenched in chrome and brimming with power.

Brandon Brusca then shows Jay nearly every inch of his candy-colored orange 1963 Impala Convertible. Every single inch of the car is completely customized. The pinstriped paint job runs the entire length of the car and exemplified automotive artistic craftsmanship. A 409-cubic-inch V-8 burbles between pinstriped inner fender wells and is covered in chrome.

Jay continues to take a look at the ’63 Impala, but from the underside, where the craftsmanship and attention to detail matches that of the top side. There are even engravings on the chrome-plated link bars for the rear suspension. Every nut, every bolt, and every connector is shined to meticulous perfection.

The kicker to it all is the ’63 Impala’s air-suspension system. It utilizes air compressors originally built in the 1960s for U.S. fighter planes. The video might be long, but it’s worth your time, even if you’re not into the low-rider scene.

Afzal Kahn and Ant Anstead are joining forces but they’re not building custom vehicles. What they are building is an actual car, or to be more specific, a new two-seat, open top roadster called the Evanta Barchetta.

The retro-inspired Evanta Barchetta has the looks that can warp you back into the 1950s. The sweeping curves and the swept back headlights definitely hark to the motorsports of that era, something Ant-Kahn tried to convey in the design of the roadster. The hand-crafted, coachbuilt model also makes use of lightweight materials like a composite Kevlar body in order to keep its overall weight down.

The Evanta Barchetta isn’t all about its looks either. It also has the engine to be considered as a true sports car . Pop open the hood and you’ll see a Chevrolet -sourced, 6.2-liter, LS3 engine that produces 450 horsepower.

From there, it’s all about the math. Here you have a lightweight vehicle that produces that much engine output. You don’t need to be a genius to conclude that the Evanta Barchetta is going to be one fast sports car that should pay proper homage to its racing roots.

Ant-Kahn is set to debut the Evanta Barchetta at the Goodwood Revival Motor Show on September 12th, 2014. Only 20 models are going to be built per year and the waiting list is apparently filing up fast. If you’re interested, now is the time to let Ant-Kahn know about it.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more information on this upcoming sports car.

Updated 07/23/2014: Afzal Kahn tweeted a series of new images for the future Ant-Kahn Evanta Barchetta. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Ant-KahnEvanta Barchetta..

ATS first burst onto the scene in 2012 when it introduced the Sport 1000. The company then followed that up in early 2014 with a revised and renamed model called the ATS Sport . Now, ATS has a new model and, mercifully, it has a legitimate-sounding name. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the ATS Leggera.

The Leggera is another one of those retro-inspired sports roadsters that seem to be gaining even more popularity these days. But unlike the other retros, the Leggera doesn’t really offer a lot for the amount of money you’ll have to spend to buy one.

It looks completely mundane and the interior, while dressed in fancy Italian leather, really does bring you back to the days of bore..err, I mean yore.

The likely saving grace of the Leggera is its handling, something ATS consciously worked on to ensure that customers get a good ride, which leads me to believe that maybe a "good ride" is all this sports car really offers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 ATS Leggera.

The list of things that bring me joy in this world is a long one. I enjoy tire smoke , nice scotch, sunny days, road trips and so much more. Way up near the top of this list is fresh cherry pie. It just so happens that the woman I married is one of the greatest pie chefs the world has ever seen. The big issue is the best place to get fresh cherries is in Door County, Wisconsin; about 1,000 miles from home. As fate would have it, Mazda gave me a buzz to ask if I would be interested in taking a road trip in a 2014 Miata .

I couldn’t think of anything else that sounded better than 1,000 miles of topless fun on the way to a fresh and tasty pie.

The trip wouldn’t be all fun and games. Thanks to conflicting work schedules I only had a four-day window to make the trip happen, and most of the trip to Wisconsin would be in an overnight blast. It was late Wednesday evening as I packed the trunk full of clothing, camera equipment and an empty cooler for my cherries. The wife slid into the passenger seat, I lowered the top, and we set off into the night. 1,000 miles is a long distance, but the Miata is a willing dance partner and my desire for pie gives me strength.

Hit the jump to read about my epic search for pie with a Japanese roadster

The Porsche 918 Spyder is an incredibly powerful yet extremely expensive hybrid supercar. Most of us won’t be able to buy one, let alone come within arm’s reach of it. But for those who have a 918 Spyder to call their own, Porsche has a new 918 Spyder luggage set to complement its hybrid supercar .

The specially designed 918 Spyder luggage set is the work of Porsche Design Studio. Naturally, the whole set was built to specifically to fit the 918 Spyder.

Take for example the trolley, which was designed to accommodate 30 liters (1.1 cubic feet) of goods and fit into the 918 Spyder’s luggage compartment. There’s also a carbon case that can be installed into the center console of the supercar. That’s another four liters (0.14 cubic feet) of added space that can be opened on the passenger’s side of the vehicle. A small storage box and two garment covers are also included in the whole set. The box can be fitted into the glove box, while the garment covers hang from a specially designed hanging system that attaches to the 918’s carbon-fiber monocoque just behind the seats.

The luggage set carries the same colors of the 918 Spyder, which include Garnet Red-Silver, Onyx Black-Acid Green, Onyx Black-Silver, Mocca Brown-Silver and Mocca Brown-Orange.

Remember, you can’t buy the luggage set if you don’t have a 918 Spyder. That rules out pretty much all of us.

But anybody who has a 918 Spyder are free to get this set as a nice add-on option. That is if you feel the need to show off your prized ride even more.

According to Porsche’s website, pricing for these piece are "available upon request," which translates to "too expensive to ask."

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 918 Spyder.

The Infiniti Q60 actually began its life as the G37 . But the company decided to adopt a new naming strategy in 2012, dropping its old nomenclature in favor of a new ’Q ’ prefix for its coupes, sedans, and convertibles. That’s how the Q60 came to have its new name. The model is actually offered in both coupe and convertible configurations, offering customers a choice of enjoying the model with the top closed or tucked comfortably near the trunk.

Naturally, new strategies also comes with new expectations. That’s what Infiniti had to overcome with the launch of the 2014 Q60 Convertible. For the most part, Infiniti has a model that can really make a name for itself in an extremely competitive market segment.

The Q60 Convertible still has some work to do if it wants to catch some mainstream love, but the good news is that Infiniti gave it a nice head start.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Infiniti Q60 Convertible.

The BMW -Toyota partnership is beginning to take shape with more news about what’s in store from this marriage. Rumors have circulated since the two automakers announced the partnership back in January 2013, a lot of which have centered on the revival of the Toyota Supra and the development of the next-generation BMW Z4. But Automobile is reporting that the next BMW Z4 won’t be the fruit of the Bavarian automaker’s collaboration with its Japanese counterpart. Instead, it will be a Z4 replacement that will be called the Z5.

The Z5 will first arrive in concept form next year, around the same time Toyota introduces its own concept sports car. Unlike the Toyota concept, which is rumored to come as a hardtop coupe, the Z5 will begin its life as a roadster, albeit one that uses a classic soft top instead of a retractable hard top. It does seem that BMW is developing the Z5 as more of a replacement model to the Z4 instead of billing it as a successor.

As such, the Z5 is expected to come with its own identity independent of the Z4, including a new sports car architecture similar to what Toyota will use on the revived Supra sports coupe. BMW is even targeting the Z5 to weigh around 3,300 pounds, right around the same weight as the Z4.

Note: BMW Zagato Roadster pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 BMW Z5.

Grab a bag of popcorn boys and girls, MotorTrend’s latest episode of "Head 2 Head" is live on YouTube! Pitted against one another this time is the Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG and the Jaguar F-Type V-6 S. Both are convertibles , and both come with plenty of drop-top attitude.

Up first is the 2014 Mercedes SLK55 AMG, which is powered by a 5.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 making 415 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The AMG mill is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear tires. The combination is good for a 0-to-60-mph run of just 4.2 seconds on its way to a 12.6-second quarter mile run at 113.3 mph. Around the skid pad, the Merc holds a 0.93 G of lateral acceleration.

The Jaguar F-Type V-6 S is similarly matched with the Mercedes, though its power comes from a V-6. The Jag’s supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 kicks out 375 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting, while the rear tires lay power to the ground. The Jag has a respectable 0-to-60-mph run of 4.4 seconds and does the quarter mile in 13 seconds flat at 108.7 mph. The F-Type matches the SLK in road holding, laying down 0.93 G.

MotorTrend host Jonny Lieberman takes the two contenders to two of their natural habitats: the beach and the back roads. Both cars excel in both areas, though the SLK got negative remarks about its high doors, slow transmission, and lackluster interior. The Jaguar , on the other hand, got almost nothing but praise for its ridiculous exhaust, ZF-sourced eight-speed tranny, solid brakes, and smooth steering.

For more, just watch the video. Leave a comment below with your thoughts.


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