Here comes the summer – and with it, cabriolet time! By day, the sun burns down from the sky, the evenings are long and mild: The ideal weather for anyone who loves a cabriolet. Here’s a selection of the season’s most attractive drop-top cars.
In its report on innovations for 2021, ADAC lists over 100 new cabriolet versions, in various price categories and with a range of engine types. Here is a selection of the most attractive newcomers from IAA exhibitors, for this summer's top-down driving.
If you fancy driving the Audi A5 Cabriolet, you are spoiled for choice. The Audi website offers 127 options for various engine types and trims. Whatever your choice, it's almost certainly the right one, because the A5 has consistently ranked in the Top Ten cabriolets for years. An attractive feature on all of them is the wide air intakes and the chrome detailing on the front, and the sporty side sills that emphasize the center, along with the wide rear with its crosspiece and trapezoidal tailpipe trims. It's a sporty-chic cruiser for every day.
The Smart fortwo EQ cabrio perhaps isn't the car for the great outdoors, ranging for hours along tree-lined roads and over streets between picturesque villages. For a road trip with no particular destination, where driving - not arriving - is the real pleasure. But for a cabriolet ride through town, the small, all-electric car with the USP that you can be sure of finding a parking space is perfect. The "bumper car feel" that you also get in the enclosed version is so much stronger when driving with the top down: Not just thanks to the full torque from the moment you press on the play pedal, but also because the two-seater has this wonderfully tight turning circle that guarantees you can turn in one go, even in narrow city streets. Just like a bumper car. And that's even more fun if the top is open. And another plus is that, in the ADAC Ecotest, the Smart models fortwo, fortwo Cabrio and forfour were given five stars – for their low consumption including the emissions generated by the power plant.
Lightness and elegance, power and inspiration are the BMW promise for the 2 Series cabriolet. And that's no empty promise from the premium car manufacturer. Anyone who regularly drives with the top down knows that sometimes it can get fairly chilly in the evenings. That's when you appreciate BMW's Open Air Package, which does more than simply boosting your enjoyment of your music as you cruise across country, as it subtly renders the high tones and balances them with the full volume on the deep notes of the BMW 2 Series Cabrio: The wind deflector which comes as part of the package and can be fitted behind the seats keeps the wind out, and not just for listening to music. The steering wheel heating, too, is another pleasant touch – after all, you don't want to close the top just because the sun is going down.
The drop-top version of the legendary muscle car is not just great for the summer, but is fine for all year round and for everyday driving. The facelift has brought a number of innovations: LED lights as standard, a somewhat gentler curve to the engine hood, and a front section featuring sporty air intakes. That said, the Mustang is and remains a legend – and one with a wonderful retro feeling.
If you love sporty cars, you'll be passionate about roadsters. The Mercedes AMG GT is one of them. And one with classic sports car proportions: an engine hood extending long to the front, a short rear and, despite that, harmonious lines similar to a coupé. New features are the rear diffuser, chromed dual-trapezoidal tailpipe trims and centrally-positioned LED fog and reversing lights – just like on motor sports vehicles.
The fabric top now comes in beige or red, as well as in black. So hop in!
Put Brexit to one side - we still love lots of things that come out of the UK, or at least come with a very British feel: The Beatles. Queen. John le Carré's Spy Who Came In From the Cold. James Bond. And the Mini. And all Mini cabriolet versions. With the top down, it feels as if we are karting, thanks to the direct steering. But in fact, there's nothing frantic about it. Because, like the British, we always keep calm. One more thing - the LED rear lights are in a Union Jack design. Did we expect anything else? Very British.
The icon. The original. The car's silhouette is practically unchanged since 1963. Engineers at Porsche developed the Targa bar as early as 1965, its name recalling the legendary Targa-Florio race. And Targa is a Porsche-registered brand. The new models feature an aluminum bar and side intakes – and, of course, the original Targa lettering. The roof is a black fabric covering, and the laminated safety glass rear window remains raised at all times, as is usual with a Targa. But we also love all the other Porsche cabriolets: The 718 Boxster, or the 718 Spyder. And of course, we'd love to own all three.
The T-Roc Cabrio is currently Volkswagen's only cabriolet. That said, it is the first compact class crossover cabriolet: A raised seat position, as found in an SUV, but the sense of freedom of a cabriolet with the top down, the wind brushing your face. An automatically-extending rollover system provides additional protection to passengers in this four-seater. The T-Roc sits well within the Volkswagen tradition: Like the Beetle and the Golf, it has a fabric roof. Totally classic. It can be opened and closed while driving at speeds up to 30 km/h – absolutely right for relaxed weekend outings and trips where the journey is the destination. So get in and head off on your holidays!
Recently unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show 2021: The fully-electric SAIC-GM-Wuling Mini EV Cabrio, a product of the joint venture between the IAA exhibitor SAIC Motors, General Motors and Liuzhou Wuling Motors, which manufactures utility vehicles, cars and mini-vans. The car is set to be built in China from 2022. It will be coming to Europe as the FreZe Froggy. The name is in tribute to a converted Beetle cabriolet by the Latvian entrepreneur Leonard F. Yankelovich. Yankelovich went on to found the FreZe brand, to market e-cars. On the outside, the SAIC-GM-Wuling Mini EV Cabrio, alias Froggy, is two-tone: An Island Blue body, with a roof in Sunset Red. On the inside, a 13.8 kWh battery using LFP cells. We can't wait!
(Stage photo: © BMW)
IAA MOBILITY is transforming itself from a pure car show to an international mobility platform with four pillars: The Summit, the Conference, the “Blue Lane” and the downtown Munich Open Space. Under the slogan of “What will move us next”, it stands for the digital and climate-neutral mobility of the future. From 7 to 12 September 2021, the car, bike and tech industries comes together at IAA MOBILITY in Munich.
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