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.

Hey everyone. I hope you guys are having a happy hump day, but I wanted to remind you that tomorrow is Thursday. That means the TopSpeed Podcast is coming at you live again.

We Have Mark back with us for this episode, and we have a ton of cool news to cover. For Weekly Wheels, we have the 500c Abarth , diesel-powered Dodge Ram 1500 , and the Toyota RAV4 . So two pieces of awesome with a side of normal to keep things down to earth.

For news, we have a bunch of cool stories we plan on covering including the new Renovo supercar , the bulletproof X5 and some news regarding the Corvette . We also expect to talk about the potential Lexus RX competitor from Hyundai , the freshly teased Infiniti and the redo of Jag’s infotainment system.

Of course we have a pile of viewer questions to go over, and we have the fan favorite Own, Drive, Burn.

The show should be a good one, and it’s our 25th one, so that merits some sort of celebration. Who knows what we might come up with.

The show starts around noon Thursday. See you guys then.

Things aren’t looking so good for Aston Martin’s future if the automaker fails to get an exemption from the U.S. government’s crash test standards regarding its DB9 and Vantage models. More specifically, both models fail to comply with the new side-impact crash standards coming into effect next month and therefore would not qualify for sale within the U.S. Bloomberg reports Aston Martin filed for an exemption for the two cars last year, but the word is still out on whether the automaker will be able to continue selling the two models without making significant structural changes to meet the higher standards.

The exemptions would allow the DB9 to be sold through August 2016 and the Vantage through August 2017. Without such leeway, the automaker could suffer tremendous financial losses to its dealer network, resulting in many lost jobs and closed franchises.

With the independently owned Aston Martin already in a tight financial bind, the automaker likely cannot afford to significantly alter the DB9 and Vantage to comply with the new legislation. Since Aston Martin isn’t a part of a larger organization of automakers, it cannot simply borrow technology or shift funds to fix the problem.

The new side-impact crash standards taking effect next month are designed to heighten a vehicle’s ability to protect occupants against impacts with solid objects such as utility poles and trees.

Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin Vantage and DB9

Source: Bloomberg

We’ve known about the 458 Speciale Spider — or whatever it name ends up being — since June 2014, and we all know that it’ll essentially be mechanically identical to its coupe sibling. This means that it’ll carry a 4.5-liter, V-8 engine with 605 cv (596 ponies) and 398 pound-feet of torque. This should translate to a 0-to-60-mph time in the low-three-second range. What we didn’t know, until today, is just how limited it will be.

According to 4WheelsNews, the 458 Special Spider will be limited to exactly 458 units. The website does not list a source, other than the typical "insider," so a grain of salt may be in order.

Other details that 4WheelsNews learned while talking to a "friend" who attended a special unveiling of the Spider include some styling variations between this and the coupe model. The main variances of note are the different stripes that come on the Spider model and two new wheel options. Like the report of the number of units, the source is an unnamed "friend," so this could end up not being the case.

We should learn all the juicy details soon, as we expect to see the 458 Speciale Spider in the flesh at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari 458 Speciale

Source: 4WheelsNews

It really was just a matter of time before the BMW 4 Series Convertible received the same BMW M Performance parts as its coupe brother. It surprisingly took more than a year for that to happen — the 4 Series Coupe received its goodies in July 2013 — but better late than never, right?

The modifications bear a lot of similarities to the M Performance parts on the 4 Series Coupe and while that shouldn’t come as a surprise, BMW could have used a little more spice in decking out the convertible version with new goodies from its own M division. At least that’s my take on it.

For what it is worth, the 4 Series Convertible does come away with a handful of M Performance upgrades. They’re mostly of the aesthetic variety on the exterior and interior, but there are also subtle performance modifications in the pipeline, including a new sports muffler and engine upgrades.

My guess is that these M Performance parts are just the start of more in-house upgrades on the 4 Series Convertible. The model’s popularity among buyers will likely sway BMW into expanding its offerings for all variants of the 4 Series.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 4 Series Convertible With M Performance Parts.

Source: Carscoops

When it comes to track-day toys, there is no shortage of companies vying for your money. Lots of companies like Caterham make Lotus Seven clones, the Ariel Atom provides good looks and brutal performance and the KTM X-Bow puts motorcycle acceleration into a four-wheel package. But what if instead of making an all-new car and then fitting it with a hodge podge collection of parts, you took a car that was already great and just gave it an ultra-light track-toy body?This is the Exocet from Exomotive.

For all intents and purposes it is merely a Mazda Miata that has gone on a 1,000-pound diet. It has the same wheelbase, weight balance and seating position as the world’s favorite roadster, but thanks to a tube frame chassis it weighs less than a pair of large motorcycles. You still keep that same Miata handling and reliability, you just get a lot more speed and grip.

To put it another way, it’s F@#%&*@ epic.

Read on to find out more about the Exomotive Exocet built by Flyin’ Miata

The Jaguar F-Type was launched for the 2013 model as a spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type . Bolted onto a shortened XK platform, the F-Type was initially introduced as a soft-top convertible . The Coupe version arrived a year later and went on sale for the 2014 model year. Both versions are powered by supercharged V-6 and V-8 engines with outputs ranging from 335 horsepower to 542 ponies. As we approach the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed, we’ve learned that Jaguar will actually produce the F-Type Project 7 that it rolled out as a concept in 2013.

Shortly after releasing the F-Type Roadster, Jaguar created the Project 7 design study. The concept car paid tribute to Ecurie Ecosse racing team that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race twice with the Jaguar D-Type in the 1950s. The concept featured a D-Type -style rollover hoop behind the driver’s seat, as well as the race car’s white-striped livery. It showcased its astonishing looks at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed before going into history as one of the sexiest concept cars of the 21st century.

Coming into 2014, Jaguar commissioned its Special Vehicle Operations division to transform the concept car into a production vehicle. Thus the F-Type Project 7 ditches its auto show queen status and goes to wander the streets and tracks in all of its Le Mans-inspired glory.

Updated 08/15/2014: Jaguar has officially revealed the pricing details for the F-Type Project 7. Each of the 250 models will base at $165,925 including the $925 destination charge.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Project 7.

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.


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