Convertible reviews

view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
2020 Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

2020 Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

Niche Dutch automaker is looking to make a statement with a dandy special edition sports car

Lightweight sports car manufacturer Donkervoort is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founder, Joop Donkervoot, by releasing the D8 GTO-JD70, a limited edition version of the D8 GTO that the automaker says is capable of pulling “more than 2G of lateral acceleration in corners, even in its standard trim and on its standard tires.” As exciting as that sounds, not everyone will get the chance to own the D8 GTO-JD70. Production is limited to just 70 units with each model priced at €163,636 before taxes. That converts to around $182,000 based on current exchange rates. Those lucky enough to score one of the 70 available units will get their hands on their limited edition rides beginning in the spring of 2020.

Read more
2019 Toyota e-Racer Concept

2019 Toyota e-Racer Concept

This sports car from the future comes with augmented reality and a unique cockpit

The 2019 Toyota e-Racer is a futuristic, open-cockpit sports car concept inspired by the world of racing. Unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the 2019 e-Racer stands out through three features. It has a sleek and aerodynamic design, the passenger seat is placed behind the driver’s, and it features augmented reality and a special pair of digital glasses. It was developed in cooperation with Gazoo Racing and it’s not scheduled to go into production.

Read more
2020 Mitsubishi Mi-Tech Concept

2020 Mitsubishi Mi-Tech Concept

A competitor to Volkswagen’s new ID Buggy?

One could argue that Mitsubishi is King of ridiculous concepts with at least one showing up to every auto show, and the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show is no different as Mitsubishi has introduced the Mi-Tech Concept. This concept is a futuristic take on the Dune Buggy (will we even have these in the future?) with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that’s paired with, I kid you not, a gas turbine engine. Now we know what those weird fans that we saw in the teasers are for. It also represents a new take on Mitsubishi’s grille design and, while it does look ridiculous in some respects, it’s not all fantasy and dreams. Here’s what you need to know about the Mitsubishi Mi-Tech Concept.

Read more
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Volante

The new Vantage will lose its top in 2020

The Aston Martin Vantage just moved in its second generation for the 2018 model year and there are solid signs that the new coupe is a big hit with sports car enthusiasts. Following rave reviews about its looks and performance, customers rushed into dealerships and purchased the entire production run for 2018 in just a few days. The Vantage hasn’t been this popular since it was first introduced in 2005! With both the road-going coupe and the race-spec GTE model out in the open, it’s time to look at another version that Aston Martin may launch soon. The Volante is at the top of our list, with an introduction likely to take place in late 2018 or early 2019.

The convertible model has been part of the Vantage heritage since 2006. It was actually launched as the Roadster, but the Volante name (Aston Martin talk for cabriolet) could be used on the new model. Just like its predecessor, the new convertible will have the same features inside, out, and under the hood, but will provide customers with infinite headroom for those hot summer days. The Volante will enable the Vantage to better compete in its niche, offering a proposition to the highly popular Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and the gorgeous looking Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster.

Updated 10/23/2019: After Aston Martin released the first official "spy shots" of the Vantage Volante, the sports car was also spotted testing around the Nürburgring.

Read more
2020 Porsche 911 Targa

2020 Porsche 911 Targa

The same familiar formula is still relevant

If you like the Targa top in your Corvette, you must know that Porsche did it first, in 1967. Now, the 992-generation of the ageless Porsche 911 continues the tradition and the latest Porsche 911 Targa will be introduced as a 2020 model year car and will feature the 444 horsepower 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged flat-six seen on both the Carrera S and the Carrera 4S. Expect it to cost at least $135,000, some $22,000 more expensive than a Carrera S. Blame it on that roll hoop that’s drenched in history.

Once upon a time, there was a road race through Sicily’s narrow, winding roads that awarded those that proved to be unphased by angry locals, that sometimes drew guns on the competitors, and the perilous condition of the tarmac in many areas of the Circuito delle Madonie. That race was the Targa Florio, launched in 1907 by rich entrepreneur Vincenzo Florio, that became a sort of a favorite for Porsche and its drivers, the brand from Stuttgart winning the race 11 times in less than two decades. How is this relevant to a 2020 Porsche? Read on to find out.

Updated 10/22/2019: The upcoming 911 Targa (992) has been spied once again making its rounds on public roads.

Read more
1965 Shelby 427 Cobra

1965 Shelby 427 Cobra

The Cobra that everyone knows and wants

In 1965, Ford won the World Manufacturer’s Title in the GT ranks with the Cobra Daytona Coupe. But you wouldn’t have found the aerodynamic Kamm-tailed endurance racer on almost any bedroom wall around that time. Instead, everyone was hooked on Shelby’s new roadster - the Cobra 427. Sporting the ’side-oiler’ big block 7.0-liter V-8 good for at least 500 ponies, the revised Cobra was five inches wider than the AC Ace-based examples before it, handled slightly better due to an all-new chassis with independent suspension, and was one of the fastest cars you could register in 1965. With a 0-60 mph time of four seconds flat and tires that would go alight at the lightest depressing of the gas pedal, the 427 was unruly but that’s what made it a legend.

Think about what American cars you have loved throughout your life. It’s almost certain that the Cobra 427 was (or still is) in amongst your favorites. With rounded, flared arches, a gaping mouth and a scoop on the hood, and a pair of racing stripes traversing the (usually) blue paintwork, the baddest Cobra found its place in the history books from the moment it entered production. It was as loud as a pack of lions - if lions were ever to attack in packs - and more unruly than a teenager who’s going through a phase that’s "totally not a phase". The first 50 cars made were Competition or Semi/Competition-spec while the other 260 copies built until late ’67 were tuned to be more street-oriented, although even this can be considered a stretch. That’s why probably no other car can boast with such a wide variety of replicas quite like the Cobra and, naturally, most try to copy the look of the Cobra 427.

Read more
2020 Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible

Going topless in Stuttgart’s performance star

Porsche is currently gearing up for the release of the next generation 992-era 911, offered as a follow-up to the current 991-era 911. Per usual, Porsche will offer a variety of body styles and equipment levels, including high-end speed and unlimited headroom with the up-and-coming 911 Turbo Convertible.

Updated 10/21/2019: The 992-gen Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible was caught testing on public roads again and, while it doesn’t sport that cool red top we saw last time, there are some small changes that tell us this baby is ready to debut. Check out the new pictures and the details in our Spy Shots section below!

Read more
1962 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider by Scaglietti

1962 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider by Scaglietti

Maybe the most beautiful open-top car that money can buy

The entire Ferrari 250 line seems to have secured its place in the palace of automotive royalties for generations to come. With unmistakable lines, a variety of powerful but also reliable Colombo V-12s, and limited-run production, almost all of the late-50s to early-60s Ferrari 250 models command astronomical values at auction nowadays.

There are, of course, some stars that shine brighter than others, such as the 250 GTO, the 250 GT SWB, and, lastly, the 250 California SWB Spider built between 1960 and 1962. This is one of those short-wheelbase California Spiders but, despite its originality, it lacks the aura of the ex-Alain Delon ’barn find’ that sold for $18.5 million four years ago.

Besides the fact that Alain Delon once owned and thrashed that particular 250 California SWB Spider, what made it even more desirable were its covered headlights. Amazingly, the more sought after variant is, actually, the one Ferrari made more of: a total of 37,250 California SWB Spiders left the factory with covered headlights and just 19 were optioned without the glass over the twin circular headlamps. Read on to learn more about the strange case of a buyer-induced trend that goes against the otherwise untouchable principle of rarity.

Read more
1960 Porsche 718 RS 60 Werks

1960 Porsche 718 RS 60 Werks

What you get if you work hard at improving the 550 Spyder

How often do you see an ex-works Porsche race car hit the auction block? It rarely happens and this is one of the few that were sold publicly in recent history. This is a 1960 Porsche 718 RS 60, member of the 718 RS family of open-top sports cars built and raced by Zuffenhausen for half a decade beginning with the RSK in 1957. The RS 60 appeared at a time when sports car manufacturers started realizing that mounting the engine behind the cockpit might be beneficial to the performance of the car after witnessing Jack Brabham muscling his way to the title in F1 in 1959. Porsche was already doing it and had been doing it for years, beginning with the 550 Spyder, a car infamous for having an important part to play in actor James Dean’s death but one that was, more importantly, a successful car in road racing.

The RS 60 Spyder raced everywhere around the world, following the trek of the World Endurance Championship and, along the way, ticking starts at Le Mans, the Nurburgring, and Targa Florio. Only 18 were built in period and the factory kept for its own use a mere four examples and this, according to RM Sotheby’s, was "the only to likely become available". Powered by a four-cam engine - first a 1.6-liter mill and, in 1961, a 2.0-liter one - the car you see in the pictures, chassis #044, doesn’t boast with the most enviable of racing records having retired out of both the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans race and all of the three major races it contested in 1961: the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 1,000-kilometer race at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife and the Targa Florio in Sicily. Having said that, it must be said that the car was fast, taking pole position outright in the Italian road race before being raced extensively by Bob Holbert, father of Porsche legend Al Holbert, an amazing driver in his own right - both behind the wheel of Porsches and, later, Cobras. It is, then, no wonder that chassis #044 sold for over $5.0 million back in mid-August during the Monterey sale. That’s one expensive aluminum Spyder!

Read more
2019 Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex Concept

2019 Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex Concept

Mercedes’ first modern car returns as a sleek concept after 118 years

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex is a concept car that the German company introduced at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The show car pays homage to the iconic Mercedes 35 HP race car from 1901, an automobile that previewed the Mercedes Simplex, a production road car the German firm built from 1902 to 1909. A retro-inspired two-seater, the Vision Simplex brings the 35 HP into the future through a sleeker look, modern technology, and state-of-the-art craftsmanship.

The Vision Simplex joins a long list of Vision-branded concept cars that started with the Vision SLA in 2000 and includes the AMG Vision Gran Turismo coined in 2013. The Vision Simplex follows the Vision Van of 2016 and the Vision EQS of 2019, the latter being a preview of an all-electric S-Class sedan. Will the Vision Simplex spawn a production model? Definitely not, but it’s one of the coolest concepts around. Let’s have a closer look.

Read more
2019 Ford Mustang GT

2019 Ford Mustang GT

A few reasons why you still need a V8.

The Ford Mustang has a rich history that dates all the way back to the 1962 Ford Mustang I two-seater concept. It wasn’t until mid-1964 that it was introduced in production form (just two weeks after Plymouth introduced the first Barracuda) and has been in production ever since, with the sixth-generation model, the model you see here, being introduced in 2015. For one reason or another, we haven’t had a chance to get our hands on a sixth-gen model, but all that has changed now, and we happened to be graced with the 2019 Ford Mustang GT Convertible. With the bright green pony car sitting in our parking lot, we couldn’t wait to drive it. And, despite the fact that we had a whole week to get acquainted, we got right to putting the GT Convertible, and its 5.0-liter V-8 to the test.

Does it compete well with the Chevy Camaro Convertible? What about, on the other end of the spectrum, the BMW 4 Series Cabriolet? Well, this is our experience and what we thought about it. Strap in folks, this is going to be one long ride.

Read more
2020 Ferrari F8 Spider

2020 Ferrari F8 Spider

Ferrari’s replacement for the 488 Spider is just as powerful as the track-ready 488 Pista

The Ferrari F8 Spider is the convertible version of the F8 Tributo. It replaces the outgoing Ferrari 488 Spider in the lineup and just like its coupe counterpart, it features technology and underpinnings from the track-bred 488 Pista. While not as dynamic as the 488 Pista Spider, it’s a solid improvement over the 488 Spider. The F8 Spider joins a prestigious bloodline of drop-top V-8 sports cars that begun with the iconic 308 GTS back in 1977.

Ferrari’s most powerful V-8 convertible alongside the 488 Pista Spider, the F8 Spider arrives just in time to compete with the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder. It also goes against the McLaren 720S Spider, yet another fine example of the high-performance sports car market. Find out what sets apart the F8 Spider from its predecessors and how it compares with its rivals in the detailed review below.

Read more
2020 Ferrari 812 GTS

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS

The front-engined, V-12 convertible GT returns after 50 years

The Ferrari 812 GTS is the convertible version of the 812 Superfast, the grand tourer that replaced the F12berlinetta in 2017. Ferrari’s range-topping drop-top as of 2019, the 812 GTS is also the company’s first production, front-engined, V-12 convertible since 1969. After 20 years of limited edition grand tourers with infinite headroom, Ferrari finally caved in a build a production-ready, drop-top grand tourer.

Besides the "GTS" badge and the minor changes above the waistline, this drop-top is pretty much identical to the 812 Superfast. It has the same 6.5-liter V-12 engine under the hood and comes with almost 800 horsepower on tap. It needs less than three seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start and tops out at more than 200 mph. All told, it’s one of the most potent grand tourers on the market and a turning point for Ferrari, which just released its first full-production convertible GT in 50 years. Find out more about that in the review below.

Read more
2020 Smart EQ Fortwo Ultimate E Cabrio by Brabus

2020 Smart EQ Fortwo Ultimate E Cabrio by Brabus

A peppy Smart that’s friendly to the environment might not be such an outlandish proposition after all

Brabus, the famed German tuner that’s made a name for itself by extracting ludicrous amounts of power out of some already very potent V-8s and V-12s that were at the heart of Mercedes-Benz’s lineup of sedans and sports cars, brought to the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2019 a serving of re-heated stew. This is, by all intents and purposes, the Smart EQ Fortwo Ultimate E Shadow Edition Cabrio we’ve seen already earlier this year at Geneva, minus the Gunmetal Grey paint. It’s got just as much power, the same oversized rims, the same hunched widebody, and the same tacky details like the illuminated door sills. You may never see one with your own two eyes since Brabus only plans to sell 28 (fewer than the amount of Ferrari 250 GTOs in the world) but you can’t blame Brabus for only making a couple of dozen of these since it has already oversaturated the market with the 28 units of the Shadow Edition. Granted, this one is cheaper by a few grand although at €59,000 in Europe it’s not cheap in the grand scheme of things.

So, let’s say you’re in the market for an ultra-small city car that’s also 100% electric and features a folding roof. What does that say about you? Well, on paper, you’re a person who could do without the worries related with having to find a parking spot in the bustling downtown area of the city while also trying to do his or her part in reducing pollution - all with a dribble of fun added to the experience by the open-air feel of a cabriolet. What all this means is that the person that would be in the market for a Smart EQ Fortwo Cabriolet isn’t looking for what the Brabus Ultimate E is offering, i.e. big wheels, more power, and less practicality because of the lowered ride height and the fact that it doesn’t come with a bigger battery. In spite of all that, it exists and it’s not even the only Brabus-tuned Smart Fortwo on the European market, there tamer options in the German company’s portfolio if the widebody doesn’t necessarily float your boat.

Read more
2019 McLaren 720S Spider by Novitec

2019 McLaren 720S Spider by Novitec

A fitting aftermarket upgrade for a British supercar from an Italian tuner

The McLaren 720S Spider is a certified supercar. It has the design proportions of a McLaren and it features a potent V-8 engine that can lay the smackdown on any car that gets in its way. It’s hard to imagine a car that already has 710 horsepower on tap to gain more power to smoke them fools, but that’s why the aftermarket world exists in the first place. It’s a place where a tuner like Novitec can take a McLaren 720 S and tinker with it to the extent that it now comes with enough power to put most of its rivals in their proper places. This is the world of automotive tuning inhabited by Novitec. Just when you thought that it can’t get any better for your McLaren 720S, the German tuner finds a way to make it happen.

Read more
2019 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster - Driven

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster - Driven

An iron fist in a velvet glove

When you see one on the street, you can’t stop staring. The long hood, the aggressive nose with the classic-looking grille, the big wheels hiding sizeable brakes and the short tail. It’s got all the ingredients of a Gran Turismo built by the book and, in Roadster trim, it offers limitless headroom for those endless summer days.

The AMG GT is everything the SLS was plus some more and the AMG GT C Roadster is the most powerful and fastest AMG GT with a drop-top that you can get Stateside for now, as no GT S Roadster is offered for the 2019 model year. Still, with 550 horsepower and a top speed that comes perilously close to 200 mph, it’s hard to see why you’d want more. The good news is that, in spite of all of the muscle, the AMG GT C Roadster still offers all the refinement you’d expect coming from a product of the Mercedes house.

If you want to enjoy the best that Affalterbach’s got to offer, you can’t go wrong with the Mercedes-AMG GT, the two-door sports car from the brand with the three-pointed star that’s ready to take on all of the GTs on the market, including the 911, the Corvette, and the Audi R8 - and do it with an added dose of style. Yes, the gullwing doors that made the SLS feel extra special are no more but let’s not forget Lamborghini isn’t offering scissor doors on all its models either - and you can hardly complain when behind the wheel of one. The chassis is on point, as is the paddle-controlled automatic transmission that helps you get from naught to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. We tested one to see if the $34,150 price gap between the standard AMG GT Roadster and the C version is worth it. Read on to find out.

Read more
1962 Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

1962 Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

The shark-nosed sports prototype from Maranello

The Drake, a man who honed his craft as the team boss of Alfa Corse in the ’30s, carried some of the old adages over when he started his own automotive company. It’s no wonder, then, that he was reluctant to jump on the rear-mid engine train when it boomed two decades after the last pre-war Grand Prix but when his Prancing Horses finally rolled out with the engine aft of the driver they proved overwhelmingly good: in F1, the 156 steamrolled its way to both the Constructor’s and the Driver’s F1 title in 1961 and, in long-distance racing, the 196 SP, as a direct descendant of the 246 SP, foresaw what was to come in sports car racing.

The 196 SP is an incredibly rare and incredibly gorgeous beast. With a low-slung body and a nose very similar to that of the 156 F1 car, it carried what was good about the 246 SP, the first Ferrari mid-engined sports car that was unveiled in 1961, and improved on the formula. Under the rear deck, there was, effectively, half of a Colombo V-12, and not the Dino V-6 although the 196 SP has been referred to as the Dino 196 SP in some circles. Five were built for 1962 and this one, chassis #0806 is the only that has survived. RM/Sotheby’s tried selling it during the Monterey Car Week but failed. Still, the car is valued at anywhere between $8 million and $10 million. Keep reading to find out why this V-6-engined Ferrari is worth more than twice the price of a LaFerrari, Maranello’s V-12 hybrid wonder.

Read more
2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster

2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster

This is how you turn an exclusive supercar into an even more exclusive supercar

When you tout a car as “the most extreme” of something, there usually aren’t many ways to make improvements on such a model. But Lamborghini is Lamborghini for a reason. The Italian automaker, with the help of its Centro Stile design division and Ad Personam customization division, managed to turn a model that’s already exclusive to 63 units into something more exclusive. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster, and it is a showstopper. To be clear, the Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster isn’t a special edition within a special edition. It’s a visual interpretation of what any of the 63 Aventador SVJ Roadster models could look like with the proper exclusive touches from Centro Stile and Ad Personam. Since all 63 units of the Aventador SVJ Roadster are already accounted for, the showcase model that Lamborghini unveiled at Pebble Beach is nothing more than a 759-horsepower press release on four wheels. Still, it’s hard to take your eyes away from the Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster. At the very least, it makes you wonder what other personalized options are out there for this exclusive piece of hardware.

Read more
2020 BMW M850i Convertible - Driven

2020 BMW M850i Convertible - Driven

Fighting the competition in an all-new niche we didn’t know existed

The year was 2018, and it was time for BMW to have a Halo car outside of the aging i8, but BMW didn’t go for another EV or a high-powered supercar. Instead, after a 20-year hiatus, BMW decided that it was time to revive the 8 Series name, and that’s exactly what happened on June 15, 2018. The modern, sporty 2019 BMW 8 Series shot like an arrow straight to the heart of purists as BMW let out the roaring promise of crippling power in a sexy coupe silhouette – 523 horsepower in M850i form, to be specific. Since the return of the new 8 Series that hot day in the middle of June, the 8 Series lineup has expanded to include the 840i, M850i, M8, and the soon-to-launch Gran Coupe that should be offered in both M850i and M8 form.

Like most BMW fanboys, we started picking apart the new BMW 8 Series. We wondered: Is it worthy of the 8 Series name? Will it be worth the near-six-figure price? Can this large of a car really offer up the performance, handling, and luxury that not only have we come to expect from BMW but from something that wears the crown of a halo car? We’ve set out to find the truth on a number of occasions, and have even compared it on paper to the 6 Series, the Aston Martin DB11, and the Mercedes S-Class. It wasn’t until Summer of 2019 that we actually got to sit behind the wheel of the new 8 Series, though. But, when we did, we were graced with the honor of driving the M850i Convertible – a model that is said to blend 523 horsepower, world-class driving dynamics, and the best open-air feeling on the market.

The question now is, however, does the all-new 8 Series actually live up to the bold claims made by BMW? Well, we spent a whole week with the M850i Convertible, and this is our story. You might want to buckle up because things get interesting!!

Read more
2019 Fiat 124 Abarth and 500 Abarth

2019 Fiat 124 Abarth and 500 Abarth

Two value-oriented track-ready propositions

2019 marks Abarth’s 70th anniversary but also and Fiat’s 120th anniversary, so the company brought out some of their latest products to the world-famous Laguna Seca Raceway during the Monterey Car Week for some spirited driving and we were not disappointed.

Read more