Spring 2007 marks the introduction of BMW’s new 3 Series Convertible. Available initially in 325i and 335i guises, but followed closely by smaller engined variants and diesel-powered models, BMW’s new open-top will deliver the ultimate in performance and refinement thanks to a number of innovations. Featuring the first electronically operated folding hard-top roof offered by BMW, the world’s first car to be offered with SunReflective seat cooling leather and a brace of all-new powerplants, the 3 Series Convertible is set to remain the segment leader.
The 325i Convertible with its all-new 218hp six-cylinder engine develops 270Nm of torque. The open-topped 325i covers the 62mph sprint in 7.6 seconds and can attain a top speed of 152mph. However, it is still capable of a combined consumption figure of 35.8mpg.
Representing the flagship of the range is the 335i Convertible with its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre engine. Using an aluminium cylinder block rather than the magnesium alloy unit from the 325i Convertible, but with the added benefit of lag-free forced induction, the 335i posts a zero to 62mph time of 5.8 seconds. The 306hp engine, higher than the output of the E36 BMW M3, has been restricted to a 155mph top speed. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 28.5mpg. Peak torque of 400Nm from just 1,300rpm through to 5,000rpm gives the driver a real surge of effortless power, acceleration and flexibility.
The second generation C70 Convertible was launched in 2005 at Frankfurt motor show. The aim was to create two cars in one - without compromising on either. A three-piece retractable hardtop transforms the Volvo C70 from coupe to convertible at the touch of a button. The C70 was developed in close cooperation with Pininfarina of Italy.
The engines in the all new Volvo C70 are five-cylinder, transversely installed in-line units. A five-cylinder engine gives low vibration and smooth operation. Together with large displacement, the five-cylinder configuration provides high torque across a broad rev band, and thus also swift acceleration and excellent driveability within a wide speed range.
The Volvo C70 T5 is the top model and it features a turbocharged engine mated to either a five-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox. The T5 models of the Volvo S40, V50, C30 and C70 are now available with improved power output. The increase in power, from 220 to 230 bhp, is the combined result of a number of minor changes.
The retractable hardtop is raised and lowered in about thirty seconds with the help of an electric motor and hydraulics. When lowered, it is fully concealed in the luggage compartment. Thanks to a special load assistance function, the remaining space can nonetheless be utilised very effectively for luggage.