Convertibles, droptops, and roadsters, oh my! (pictures)
When the summer's at its hottest, cool down with the wind in your hair while we round up our favorite convertibles and roadsters.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
It's capable of hitting speeds up to 202 mph, but the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible usually can't be bothered with such undignified pursuits. Instead, it prefers to cruise effortlessly at speeds where its curves can be best appreciated by all around.
The performance was good; the aesthetics were stylish; but my favorite part of the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible was casually cruising the countryside with the Fender audio system faithfully reproducing my favorite jams.
I'll bet you didn't see this one coming. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 is available with a variety of roof options, including hard and soft variants that peel back easily to reveal the sky above. Maybe it's a stretch to consider this mountain goat a convertible, but I love it, so I'm counting it.
When I think "roadster," I usually have something simple in mind. When Mercedes-Benz thinks "SL550 Roadster," the automaker thinks about cramming all of the cabin tech at its disposal into an attractive drop-top chassis.
Porsche's entry-level Boxster gets a 2013 model year refresh with more-muscular looks, a much more luxurious interior, and handling that rivals (but doesn't quite upstage) its stablemate: the Porsche 911.
The simple Mazda Roadster is one of my favorite cars of all time. It's light, nimble, and pure in its purpose as a true driver's car. The PRHT Special Edition adds a healthy smattering of go-faster bits, creature comforts, and a power retractable hard top that raises and lowers at the touch of a button.
We've tested a number of category-bending cars, but the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is one of the weirdest vehicles to pass though the Car Tech garage. Taking a largish SUV and chopping the top seems like a fool's errand, but at least one reader loved it enough to give the CrossCab a 5-star rating.
It's the fastest car to pass through the Car Tech garage and, at a lofty $2.25M, it's also the most expensive. On the other hand, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse isn't very good at being a convertible, requiring two people and a bit of forethought and planning to go from hardtop to open sky.