A selection of open-topped sports cars for every occasion.
It is just about time to start enjoying some warm weather again and a convertible is just the thing to make the most of the sunshine. We have picked 11 of our favorite models on the market today, from affordable little roadsters to some of the fastest and most powerful convertibles on the planet. Some offer comfort and luxury for four while others are capable of blow-drying your hair at 200 mph. The choice is yours.
The Miata is a roadster that eschews any superfluous distractions that detracts from the joy of driving. Rear-wheel-drive, a revvy naturally aspirated engine and a featherweight body shell combine to make this $25,295 roadster the perfect weekend companion. You can also have an RF hardtop convertible for $31,910, but whichever you take please stick to the manual transmission versions.
The 124 Spider is heavily based on the Miata but it comes with its own 160-hp turbocharged motor and styling that emulates drop-top Fiats of the past. Prices are similar to the Miata too and if you are more into boulevard cruising than apex chasing then a well-equipped automatic 124 could be the ideal fit.
The Camaro is all about aggressive performance and big horsepower. You can scare yourself silly in the 650-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8 if you like but even the 335-hp 3.6-liter V6 is plenty of fun and you won’t want or need more performance on the streets. At $34,395 it is conspicuously good value and worth the extra $1,500 over the base 2.0-liter turbo engine.
The Mustang is about as American as motoring gets. In convertible form the experience is even more enjoyable and as with the Corvette, there is a lot of performance to be had for the money. The base 2.3-liter EcoBoost motor is not short on power although you will miss the V8 soundtrack with the top down and that is why the $44,690, 460-hp 5.0-liter Mustang GT Premium Convertible is our choice. Perfect for cruising the beaches and blasting up a mountain pass.
It may not be able to compete on pricing with the Camaro and Mustang but once you get behind the wheel and explore the luxurious interior you will see where the extra money has been spent. The 4-Series is also one of the few hardtop convertibles around and the rear seats are more useable than in the Mustang too. While the 320-hp 6-cylinder 440i is the pick of the bunch, even the base 248-hp 430i has plenty of power on offer if not much aural excitement to go with it. It is however a tad more affordable at $51,650 before options.
The recently released E-Class convertible is a beautiful grand tourer that sits in the middle of Mercedes’ convertible offerings in both price and performance. The E 400 comes with a twin-turbo 329-hp 3.0-liter V6 which is good for a 5.5 second 0-60 mph time. The pricing starts at $66,300 but that can easily rise if you add some desirable extras like adaptive air suspension and a Burmester audio system.
British sports cars have long been full of charm and character and with the F-Type they also deliver on the performance front. The 296-hp 2.0-liter turbo motor is strong, if not a tad characterless, but there are plenty more to choose from. For example, a V6 that delivers up to 400-hp depending on the trim and a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that makes 575-hp in the top SVR. $63,000 is your starting point for the four-potter but don’t expect much change back from $100,000 if you go for a V6 model with some nice extras.
The 911 range has been the benchmark sports car for decades, its combination of everyday usability and stonking performance has never been better in the latest iteration. Even the base Carrera Convertible is a formidable offering, in PDK trim it blasts to 60 mph in 4.2-seconds yet still returns an average 25 mpg. All this ability does come at a price though, $94,310 to be precise. Budget another £10,000 for some options as it gets pricey pretty quickly.
661-hp from a 3.9-liter V8 is impressive, so is a 210 mph+ top speed and let’s not forget a price-tag that starts at $255,000 before options. Yes, the Ferrari 488 Spider is all about big numbers but it is also docile enough to trundle around at more sedate speeds when called upon.
When it comes to the old bang-for-your-buck equation, the Corvette has the competition beat before even turning a wheel. The Z06 comes packed with a 650-hp supercharged V8 which launches it to 60 mph in under 3-seconds. All this for $85,585 in convertible form, it also comes packed with kit and sounds as ferocious as you would expect. Can it get any better? Why yes it can…
The ZR1 is what happens when you take a Z06 and feed it pure adrenaline. It pushes the power levels up to 755 hp and has numerous aero and chassis upgrades to help it stay stable at its 212 mph top speed. The price is a somewhat heftier $123,995 but still well below anything else that could potentially stick with it on the road or track.
Gone are the days when owning a convertible meant you had to accept a noisy and leaky cabin as part of the package. From the $25,000 Miata to the $250,000 488 Spider, the modern convertible is as practical as its hardtop counterpart (if it has one) and at the press of a button you get to enjoy open-topped motoring.