Rag top days: Best convertibles for 2021
As spring weather arrives around the country — and available daylight increases as summer approaches — thoughts shift to outdoor activities, and for many automotive-oriented sun seekers this means open-top motoring.
Whether you have aspirations about top-down driving or already own a convertible, there's no better time to take a look at what's new in the segment. A wide variety of drop-tops are available, and with nearly 40 models on the market and prices starting around $25,000 there's likely a drop-top available that fits the bill. Take a quick look at this convertible shopping guide for 2021 and get ready to soak up the sun.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations
Base MSRP: $26,830
Although the MX-5 is a thoroughly modern two-seat roadster, it summons a time when sports cars were more about being light and nimble rather than having voluminous power. Since its launch in 1989, more than 1 million MX-5s have been sold worldwide, making it the most successful two-seater of all time according to Guinness World Records.
The latest-generation Mazda MX-5 went on sale in summer 2015, and for 2019 received a revised SKYACTIV- G 2.0-liter engine producing 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque — an increase of 26 horsepower.
In addition to the manual soft-top MX-5, Mazda sells the MX-5 RF (retractable fastback) which has a power-folding hardtop that can open or close in 13 seconds.
Last year the MX-5 added available Polymetal Gray paint, Red Nappa leather and a Gray cloth soft-top. For 2021 MX-5 Miata is offered in three trim levels: Sport, Club and Grand Touring. MX-5 Miata Club includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Smart City Brake Support and LED headlights and taillights. MX-5 Miata Club adds a Bose nine-speaker audio system, 17-inch alloy wheels and black front air dam and rear lip spoiler. The top-level Grand Touring features heated leather-trimmed seats, adaptive front lighting system and wireless Apple CarPlay.
A convertible that remains loyal to its origins, the MX-5 Miata continues to be impressively lightweight, nimble and fun to drive.
MINI Cooper Convertible
Photo courtesy of MINI
Base MSRP: $27,400
The smallest 4-seat convertible on the market, the aptly-named MINI received a refresh for the 2018 model year, including a new logo, rear LED lights, new alloy wheels and additional interior features such as wireless phone charging. While the styling has been updated, there's no mistaking the classic MINI "bulldog" look that exemplifies the diminutive car's fun-to-drive characteristics.
The MINI Cooper Convertible is available in three configurations: Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works, ranging from the base level with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine to the sporty John Cooper Works edition, drawing 228 horsepower from its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. The soft-top is power operated and functional at speeds up to 18 mph.
For 2021 the MINI Sidewalk Edition returns, paying homage to a previous special edition that launched in 2007. Based on the MINI Cooper S Convertible, the Sidewalk Edition is available in either Deep Laguna Metallic or MINI Yours Enigmatic Black Metallic with an Anthracite Sidewalk soft-top roof and Sidewalk badges in contrasting colors.
Inside, the Sidewalk Edition features MINI Yours Leather Lounge Sidewalk Anthracite with a Sidewalk Sport Leather Steering Wheel, Sidewalk Edition floormats and interior surfaces with special Sidewalk illumination.
Jeep WranglerPhoto courtesy of Stellantis
Base MSRP: $32,075
Jeep completely redesigned the iconic Wrangler for the 2018 model year — the off-roader's first complete makeover in 10 years. While staying true to Wrangler's legendary capabilities, the new model received the latest fuel-efficient powertrains, improved on-road dynamics as well as advanced safety and technology.
For 2020 Jeep added the new top-of-the-line Wrangler High Altitude with luxury materials, premium content and technology. High Altitude features quilted Nappa leather seats; a leather-trimmed dashboard, center console and door panels; an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Alpine premium audio; and 20-inch painted gloss black aluminum wheels.
Best of all, the Jeep Wrangler has multiple open-top options that are much easier to use than the previous generation. The Sunrider folding soft-top is standard equipment. The Freedom Top 3-piece removable hardtop is optional for all trim levels, as is the optional Sky One-Touch Power Top — a power-retractable full-length canvas top with removable rear quarter windows.
For 2021, Wrangler adds two new variations at opposite ends of the spectrum: Wrangler Rubicon 392 and Wrangler 4xe. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 is powered by a 470-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine, and the Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid rated at 49 MPGe with an all-electric range of 21 miles.
Ford Mustang Convertible
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Base MSRP: $32,655
The legendary Mustang received a refresh for 2018 sporting a new, sleeker design as well as additional technology and features. The pony car has a restyled grille and hood with new vents designed to give it a more aggressive look. All Mustangs now feature LED headlights and taillights as well as a new bumper and fascia.
The 2021 Mustang Convertible is available with two standard engine choices: a 2.3-liter 310-horsepower EcoBoost or a 5.0-liter V8 that generates an impressive 460 horsepower. In addition, the new EcoBoost High Performance Package adds a 2.3-liter EcoBoost derived from the Focus RS that produces 330 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.
The EcoBoost High Performance Package gives Mustang a performance-oriented look with a large black front splitter, black belly pan, brake cooling ducts from the Mustang GT, a black grille with an offset tri-bar Mustang emblem, 2.3L High Performance Package fender badges, magnetic gray mirrors, a raised blade rear spoiler and metallic gray hood stripes. Mustang also is available with the latest safety technology, including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, distance alert, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
Four new Mustang colors are offered for 2021:Antimatter Blue Metallic, Carbonized Gray Metallic, Fighter Jet Gray and Grabber Yellow.
Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Photo courtesy of Chevrolet
Base MSRP: $32,695
As it has been for decades, the Ford Mustang Convertible's chief rival is the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible. Still carrying elements reminiscent of the original 1967 design, Camaro received a revised design for 2019 including a new grille, hood, dual-element headlights, LED signature lights, front fascia, LED taillights and rear fascia.
The Camaro convertible features a multi-layer soft-top that mimics the shape of the coupe, with a hard tonneau that covers the roof when stowed. The fully automatic electro-hydraulic power roof system can be opened or closed at speeds up to 30 mph.
Now with a front-end look based on the design of the Camaro Shock show car, the 2021 Camaro convertible is available in a LT, LT1, SS and ZL1 trim levels. The LT is powered by either a turbocharged 275-horsepower 2.0-liter engine or a 335-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and the new LT1 combines the style and features of the LT with the V8 engine from the SS. The Camaro SS features a 455-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and the extreme ZL1 boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 generating 650 horsepower. A 1LE performance package is offered with either the 2.0-liter engine or the 3.6 V6, and the ZL1 1LE has an available 10-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep GladiatorPhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC
Base MSRP: $33,715
Following closely on the heels of the redesigned Jeep Wrangler, Jeep introduced the Jeep Gladiator last year — an all-new midsize truck based on a combination of Jeep's iconic off-roader and the Ram 1500. And like the Wrangler, Gladiator is an open-top vehicle including the base-level Gladiator Sport, which comes with a Sunrider folding soft-top as standard equipment.
The Sunrider soft-top easily folds back; or customers can opt for the Freedom hardtop with three removable panels. For the ultimate outdoor experience, the Jeep Gladiator's doors can be removed and the windshield folded down onto the hood (Gladiator has a handy box for storing hardware of the removed items).
Later in 2020 Jeep added the new top-of-the-line Gladiator High Altitude with luxury materials, premium content and technology. High Altitude features quilted Nappa leather seats; leather-trimmed dashboard, center console and door panels; an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Alpine premium audio; a body-color hardtop, mirrors, bumpers and door handles; and 20-inch painted gloss black aluminum wheels.
Jeep also added the Gladiator Mojave, designed and equipped for high-speed, off-road capability and performance in tough desert conditions. The Mojave design achieves higher speeds while in low range to keep momentum while attacking sand dunes and other desert challenges.
BMW 2 Series Convertible
Photo courtesy of BMW
Base MSRP: $41,850
Available as either the 230i or the more powerful M240i, the 2 Series convertible features a power-operated soft-top that provides coupelike quietness when in place and is completely hidden beneath the rear deck when open. The roof can be opened at speeds up to 30 mph.
BMW's entry-level 2 Series convertible received a refresh for the 2018 model year that included updated front-end styling with LED headlights, new interior materials and new double-spoke bi-color wheels.
Additional updates for 2020 included darker taillights; a high-gloss-black kidney frame for the 230i; Cerium Gray kidney frame, badges and front/side air inserts for M240i; and high-gloss black mirror caps on M240i.
The 230i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 248 horsepower, while the sportier M240i gets an M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine that produces 335 horsepower. Both the 230i and M240i are available with a standard eight-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission, available xDrive all-wheel drive and an available six-speed manual with rear-wheel drive.
Photo courtesy of BMW
Base MSRP: $49,700
The German automaker's newest two-seat soft-top roadster, the all-new Z4 went on sale as a 2019 model. Easily recognizable as a BMW — from the signature kidney grille to the long clamshell hood stretched over bold wheel arches and the short trunk lid — this new Z4 has all the lines of a classic BMW roadster.
The production Z4 debuted in August 2018 at Pebble Beach when BMW unveiled the Z4 M40i First Edition, finished in Frozen Orange Metallic with an anthracite textile soft-top. The 2019 Z4 sDrive30i Roadster went on sale in spring 2019 and the Z4 M40i Roadster joined later in the year as a 2020 model.
The sculpted hood, air vents behind the front wheels and dual exhaust add to the BMW Z4's sporting look. The Z4 sDrive30i gets motivation from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TwinPower Turbocharged engine producing 255 horsepower and peak torque of 295 pound-feet at 1550 to 4400 rpm, while the Z4 M40i features a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder TwinPower Turbocharged engine producing 382 horsepower and peak torque of 369 pound-feet from 1600 to 4500 rpm. Both engines are mated with an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with paddle shifting.
Audi A5 Cabriolet
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Base MSRP: $50,400
Audi's four-seat convertible, the A5, was updated for 2020 with a wider, flatter Singleframe grille; ventilation slots above the grille similar to the classic Audi Sport quattro from 1984; a blade across the lower front facia with larger air inlets; and standard LED headlight and taillights; and trapezoidal exhaust outlets. The A5 Cabriolet features an acoustic cloth soft-top can be lowered in 15 seconds at speed up to 31 mph with a new one-touch opening function. When opened, the top folds into three layers and stows beneath the trunk space with little effect on cargo capacity.
Inside, the A5 Cabriolet offers the same advanced infotainment systems introduced in the coupe and sportback, including a 10.1-inch touchscreen and Audi's new MIB 3 infotainment system and available second-generation Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display and three display modes: Classic, Sport and Dynamic. Known officially as the A5 Cabriolet 45 TFSI quattro, the A5 Cabriolet is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, teamed with a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.
BMW 4 Series ConvertiblePhoto courtesy of BMW
Base MSRP: $53,100
BMW introduced the 4 Series four-seat convertible in 2014, replacing the 3 Series Convertible ,and the all-new second-generation 4 Series debuts as a 2021 model. The new 4 Series features a soft-top design replacing the retractable hardtop of the previous generation. Like the 4 Series Coupe that debuted first, the new 4 Series Convertible design gets dominated by a large, vertical dual-kidney grille first seen on the Concept 4 at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The 4 Series Convertible is offered in four trim levels: 430i and M440i, with xDrive all-wheel-drive versions of each.
The 430i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from 1500 to 4400 rpm. The M440i receives a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder producing 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque from 1800 to 5000 rpm. Both engines get mated to 8-speed sport automatic transmissions delivering power to the rear wheels.
The available xDrive all-wheel-drive system uses an electronically controlled multiplate clutch in the transfer case to distribute torque between the front and rear wheels, with all power delivered to the rear wheels when all-wheel drive is not needed.
Audi TT Roadster
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Base MSRP: $53,900
The sporty Audi TT Roadster received fresh new styling a few years ago, including a new fascia with a broader, flatter Singleframe grille and standard LED headlights that tie it closer to its larger sibling, the R8. The TT uses an acoustic soft-top that retracts at the touch of a button. The roof can be raised or lowered in a mere 10 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph.
Powering the TT Roadster is a turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI 4-cylinder engine that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission is standard, as is Audi's legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Base MSRP: $54,700
The C-Class Cabriolet joined the Mercedes-Benz lineup as a 2017 model — the first time an open-top C-Class had ever been offered — and was updated for the 2019 model year. The revised 2020 C-Class Cabriolet features new front-end treatment (grille, bumper, LED lights). Inside, C-Class Cabriolet receives a larger standard 10.25-inch multimedia display and available fully-digital instrument cluster.
The C-Class Cabriolet design follows that of the Coupe, and the power acoustic cloth soft-top can be lowered in 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. The tightly-stretched soft-top includes a glass rear window and stows in the trunk with an integrated cover for a clean finish when lowered.
The 2021 C-Class Cabriolet is offered in five versions: C 300, C 300 4MATIC, AMG C 43 4MATIC, AMG C 63 and AMG C 63 S. The C 300 is powered by a 2.0-liter four cylinder producing 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, and the AMG C 43 derives power from an AMG 3.0-liter V6 generating 385 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. The AMG C 63 receives an AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo creating 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, with power bumped up to 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque for the C 63 S.
Standard equipment includes a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and AIRCAP to reduce air turbulence when the top is down.
Audi S5 Cabriolet
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Base MSRP: $60,600
The high-performance version of Audi's A5 Cabriolet, the S5 Cabriolet received the same updates as the A5 for 2020, including a wider, flatter Singleframe grille; ventilation slots above the grille similar to the classic Audi Sport quattro from 1984; a blade across the lower front facia with larger air inlets; and standard LED headlight and taillights. New side sills are added, and at the rear is a new diffuser insert and trapezoidal exhaust outlets.
Inside the S5 features a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Audi's new MIB 3 infotainment system and second-generation Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display.
The 2021 Audi S5 Cabriolet is powered by a 3.0-liter TFSI twin-scroll turbocharged V6 that produces 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Teamed with an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, the S5 jumps to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The standard Audi quattro all-wheel-drive system includes a self-locking center differential, basic 40:60 front/rear torque split and wheel-selective torque control. Optional dynamic steering adjusts the variable steering ratio based on vehicle speed and the Audi drive select setting.
Porsche 718 BoxsterPhoto courtesy of Porsche AG
Base MSRP: $62,600
German automaker Porsche has a rich history in sports car racing — in 1950s and '60s the company campaigned the legendary 718 lightweight mid-engine sports car. In the spirit of that original, Porsche introduced the 718 Boxster name when the mid-engine, two-seat roadster was redesigned for the 2017 model year.
This updated roadster was initially offered as the 718 Boxster or 718 Boxster S; in 2019 the 718 Boxster GTS joined the lineup and last year Porsche added the 718 Boxster T and the 718 Boxster GTS 4.0.
A newly developed 2.0-liter turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine produces 300 horsepower in the 718 Boxster, and the S upgrades to a 2.5-liter turbo producing 350 horsepower. The 718 Boxster GTS is also powered by a 2.5-liter turbo producing 365 horsepower. All three version are available with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission.
The 718 Boxster T is powered by the standard Boxster engine and adds PASM Sport Suspension, shorter springs, retuned adaptive dampers, lower ride height, mechanical limited-slip differential and 20-inch 911 Carrera S wheels painted in a special Titanium Grey finish. The 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter six-cylinder boxer engine producing 394 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque, with a six-speed manual transmission and sport exhaust.
Jaguar F-Type Convertible
Photo courtesy of Jaguar
Base MSRP: $64,700
The 2021 Jaguar F-Type receives new styling with a more sculpted shape, a slightly larger grille, a new hood, a new front bumper design and slim LED headlights with signature J daytime running lights. At the rear, slender LED taillights receive the "Chicane" signature that debuted on the Jaguar I-Pace. The 2021 F-Type is offered in four versions: P300, First Edition P300, R-Dynamic P380 and F-Type R.
The 2021 Jaguar F-Type P300 and First Edition P300 are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque delivered to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The R-Dynamic P380 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 producing 380 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, and the F-Type R receives a more powerful supercharged 5.0-liter V8 producing 575 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both the R-Dynamic P380 and the F-Type R combine an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with all-wheel drive.
Chevrolet Corvette ConvertiblePhoto courtesy of Chevrolet
Base MSRP: $68,495
The all-new, eighth generation Corvette debuted in 2019 — the first ever mid-engine Corvette, followed by the new Corvette Convertible — the first Corvette to feature a retractable hardtop. While other powertrain options are expected, the new Corvette is currently offered with a new LT2 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. No manual transmission is available— instead, the engine gets teamed with a quick-shifting dual-clutch eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The 6.2-liter V8 engine and eight-speed gearbox combination in the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette allows the Stingray to jump to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds — the fastest time ever for an entry-level Corvette. With a strong, stiff yet lightweight structure, the new mid-engine design offers ride and handling upgrades. The new convertible design was engineered to store the hardtop within the body and retain the same storage capacity as the Corvette Coupe.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Base MSRP: $71,950
New for the 2018 model year and updated for 2021, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet has a refreshed exterior design, electrified engine, next-generation driver-assistance systems and MBUX infotainment system with Voice Control.
The 2021 E-Class Cabriolet is offered in three versions: E 450, E 450 4Matic and AMG E 53. Utilizing a classic soft-top, the E-Class Cabriolet's multilayered, insulated top keeps the interior quiet even at high speeds. The top can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph, and with the top raised the cabriolet has a similar silhouette to the E-Class Coupe. The E-Class Cabriolet features the Aircap electric wind-deflector and Airscarf neck-level heating system for top-down driving comfort.
Motivation for E 450 versions comes from a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with EQ Boost and 48-volt technology that produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, combined with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Integrated Starter Generator can add up to 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque for short periods of time. A 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine powers the Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet, along with EQ Boost and an electric auxiliary compressor to produce 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, combined with an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive.
BMW M4 Convertible
Photo courtesy of BMW
Base MSRP: $77,650
The high-performance version of the 4 Series, the M4 Convertible joined BMW's U.S. lineup in 2015. Although the new 4 Series and M4 Competition Coupes have debuted, the M4 Convertible is still offered based on the previous generation. The M4 Convertible is powered by a BMW M TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces a plentiful 425 horsepower with 406 pound-feet of torque from 1850–5500 rpm. Power gets sent to the rear wheels via a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed M Double Clutch gearbox.
The aggressive design features aluminum front fenders and hood for weight savings.
The BMW M4 Convertible shares the folding hardtop of the previous-gen 4 Series Convertible. The M4 features Adaptive M Suspension, and the Active M Differential uses data from the stability control, pedal position, wheel rotation, and yaw rate to vary the power distribution between wheels for improved agility and control.
The M4 Competition Package increases power to 444 horses and adds the Active M Differential and Star-Spoke forged wheels.
Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Base MSRP: $91,000
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz SL is offered in two trim levels: SL 450 and SL 550. The SL450 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 biturbo that produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, while the SL 550 receives a 4.7-liter V8 Biturbo with 449 horsepower and 526 pound-feet of torque. The SL features a power hardtop that can operate at speeds up to 25 mph. Unique to the SL is a panoramic glass top that can be electronically lightened or darkened with the touch of a button.
One of the most iconic convertibles of all time, the Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster has a rich history dating back to the 300 SL of the 1950s. Mercedes-Benz updated the SL for 2017 with a revised front end, more powerful engines, a new nine-speed automatic transmission and available Active Body Control with curve tilting function. The new design features a unique diamond grille that extends downward, large lower air inlets and standard LED headlights.
2021 Lexus LC 500 ConvertiblePhoto courtesy of Lexus
Base MSRP: $93,050
For 2021 Lexus adds the LC 500 Convertible alongside the flagship LC 500 Coupe. From the front, the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible looks identical to the coupe, but the roofline and rear decklid design are unique to the open-top version. The 4-layer soft-top has been designed so the supporting frame is not visible through the fabric material.
Although the LC 500 Convertible retains the look of a coupe with the top up, the roofline is not as fast as the coupe, and the rear deck profile is taller and longer. Also, the center brake light migrates to the trunk lid. The roof can be opened in 15 second (or closed in 16 seconds) at speeds up to 31 mph.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is powered by the same 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine as the coupe, producing 471 horsepower at 7100 rpm and 398 pound-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. To ensure LC 500 Convertible occupants remain comfortable — whatever the weather conditions — Lexus adds neck heaters and a new feature dubbed Lexus Climate Concierge with Upper Body Heating, which automatically manages the occupant experience during open-top driving. The cabin designed reduces wind noise with a polycarbonate wind deflector behind the rear seats, as well as an available windscreen to reduce wind buffeting at higher speeds.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is scheduled to go on sale this summer.
BMW 8 Series Convertible
Photo courtesy of BMW
Base MSRP: $94,400
After an absence of more than 20 years, the BMW 8 Series returned to the lineup in 2019, including for the first time an 8 Series Convertible alongside the coupe. The 8 Series Convertible first arrived as the M850i xDrive Convertible, followed by the 840i and 840i xDrive.
The M850i xDrive is powered by the latest version of the BMW 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 engine producing 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, with power sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission.
For 2020 BMW added the 840i and 840i xDrive Convertibles, both powered by a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine producing 335 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque.
With seating for four, the 8 Series Convertible features a fully-electric soft-top that can open or close in 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The top is fully insulated with multiple fabric layers designed to keep the cabin quiet; the top's light weight also lowers the center of gravity, thus improving ride and handling. A standard wind deflector keeps breezes down in the front seat, and optional neck warmers are welcome on a cold day.
Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Photo courtesy of Porsche AG
Base MSRP: $114,000
One of the most iconic automotive silhouettes of all time, the Porsche 911 debuted in 1963 and continues today as a benchmark among sports cars. The 911 Cabriolet has been offered every year since 1983, and the current-generation Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet and Carrera 4S Cabriolet arrived at U.S. dealers in late summer 2019 as 2020 models, followed by the Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera 4 Cabriolet in early 2020. The new Carrera features design cues such as defined wheel arches, a recess in the front luggage compartment lid similar to classic 911 models, and a full-width LED light strip across the rear.
The Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera 4 Cabriolet are powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six engine producing 379 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, combined with an eight-speed PDK transmission. The Carrera S and 4S Cabriolet are powered by a twin-turbo flat six producing 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. The 911 Turbo S Cabriolet is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat six producing 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, combined with an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. The 911 Turbo Cabriolet is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat six producing 572 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque that also gets combined with an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission.
Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Base MSRP: $127,900
The AMG GT is the flagship sports car of the Mercedes-AMG lineup, and the brand added a roadster to the mix alongside the coupe. For 2019 the AMG GT received styling updates to tie it closer to the new AMG GT 4-door.
Three variants are offered — the AMG GT Roadster gets a 4.0- liter biturbo V8 engine that produces 469 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, while the more potent AMG GT C Roadster receives a new version of the 4.0-liter liter biturbo V8 that generates 550 horsepower. For 2020 the AMG GT R Roadster was added and only 750 units will be built, powered by a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 producing 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
All AMG GT Roadsters utilize the AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to optimize performance. The AMG GT Roadster accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, while the AMG GT C Roadster makes the trip in 3.7 seconds. AMG Sport Suspension is standard, and the AMG GT C includes AMG Ride Control Sport Suspension with adaptive, adjustable damping.
The fabric soft-top can be opened or closed automatically in around 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
The AMG GT R Roadster adds adjustable coil-over suspension with active rear axle steering, active aerodynamics and wider rear fenders.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Base MSRP: $140,000
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet arrived in the U.S. as a 2017 with all the technology of other S-Class models, as well as a complete system for top-down warmth and wind control. The S-Class Sedan is new for 2021 and the new S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet are expected to follow.
The sleek, elegant design has a coupe-like profile with the soft-top closed. The three-layer acoustic fabric soft-top is available in four colors and has a high-quality lining in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber. Inside the new S-Class Cab, technological creature comforts include an enhanced automatic wind protection system called Aircap, the Airscarf neck-level heating system, heated armrests and heated front and rear seats.
For 2021 the S Class Cabriolet is offered in S 560 and S 63 versions, and the Premium Package is now standard including Active Multicontour front seats with massage, front variable heated seats Plus and a Surround View system.
The S560 is powered by a Biturbo 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, combined with a 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. The S 63 draws power from a handcrafted AMG Biturbo 4.0-liter V8 producing 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, combined with an AMG Speedshift MCT nine-speed transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ permanent all-wheel drive with fully variable torque split.
BMW M8 Convertible
Photo courtesy of BMW
Base MSRP: $142,500
Following the debut of the first-ever 8-Series Convertible in 2019, BMW adds even more performance with the addition of the new BMW M flagship, the M8. Offered in Couope and Convertible versions, the M8 is powered by a 4.4-liter S63 M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine making 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The twin turbochargers are positioned within the V of the engine to improve thermal efficiency and responsiveness.
The M8 Convertible's powertrain consists of the TwinPower Turbo V8 engine combined with an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission and M xDrive all-wheel drive. The rear biased all-wheel drive uses an electronically controlled multiplate clutch to distribute power between the front and rear axles. and the Active M differential splits the power between the rear wheels.
The M8 Competition adds 17 additional horsepower, Full Merino Leather / Alcantara seats, door panel stitching, an M Sport exhaust, 20-inch forged M Star bi-color wheels and M safety belts.
Audi R8 V10 Spyder
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Base MSRP: $182,100
Audi updated the R8 for 2020 as the next generation of the automaker's 2-seat mid-engine performance car with revised exterior styling and more powerful engines.
The new Audi R8 Spyder features an updated front bumper, new honeycomb grille with R8 badge, darkened headlights, new front spoiler lip and lateral air intakes. At the rear, the updated R8 Spyder receives a new bumper with honeycomb air outlets, oval exhaust outlets and new rear diffuser.
Forged 19-inch 5-double-spoke wheels with an Anthracite bi-color finish are standard with 20-inch 10-spoke Y-design forged wheels in high-gloss Anthracite optional.
The R8 V10 Spyder features a cloth top that can be opened in 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. This sleek machine is powered by a normally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine that produces 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque — an increase of 30 horsepower from the previous model. The R8 V10 performance Spyder is also powered by a 5.2-liter V10 producing a prodigious 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and have Audi's race-proven quattro all-wheel drive.
Ferrari PortofinoPhoto courtesy of Ferrari
Base MSRP: $214,533
The all-new Portofino replaced the aging California T, slotting in as the entry-level model in the Ferrari lineup. The Portofino sports the same turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 engine as the California T; however, the engine has been updated to produce close to 600 horsepower — an increase of almost 50 ponies.
The Portofino's performance is at a level appropriate for a Ferrari — a sprint to 60 mph takes less than 3.5 seconds, while top speed is documented as approaching 200 mph. The Portofino employs a retractable hardtop that not only adds stiffness and security, when closed it creates a sleek fastback style. Ferrari's new Portofino convertible seats four; however, rear-seat use should probably be limited to short trips.
Aston Martin DB11 Volante
Photo courtesy of Aston Martin
Base MSRP: $216,495
The DB11 Volante was all new for the 2018 model year — the latest in a long line of convertible GT sports cars from the British marque. Powering the DB11 Volante is an AMG-built 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 503 horsepower and 513 lb-ft of torque at a low 2000 rpm. The intake, exhaust and ECU are all built by Aston Martin, which changes the dynamics as well as the sound from a comparable Mercedes-AMG model.
The DB11 comes with an impressive array of standard equipment. Some features that can be found on every DB11 Volante include full leather trim, an Alcantara headliner, heated power front seats, a 360-degree surround-view camera, dual-zone climate control and 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels. Also standard is an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth audio streaming, a navigation system and iPhone integration.
Bentley Continental GT ConvertiblePhoto courtesy of Bentley Motors
Base MSRP: $236,100
Following the debut of the Continental GT Coupe, Bentley added the Continental GT Convertible in 2019 with elegant, flowing exterior styling and a beautiful profile with the top up or down. The new Continental GT Convertible's larger grille is flanked by larger LED Matrix headlights that seem to flow into lines in the hood and fenders.
Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept inspired many design cues on this new drop-top including the elliptically shaped taillights. The convertible's fabric top can be raised or lowered in 19 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. Seven top colors are available, including a tweed look. The top provides enough sound deadening that the new convertible is as quiet inside as the previous-generation coupe.
The new Continental GT Convertible is powered by Bentley's 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine producing 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The Continental GT V8 Convertible draws power from a twin-turbocharged V8 producing 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque.
Bentley Continental GT Mulliner offers owners even more possibilities to customize Continental GT to personal specifications. Continental GT Mulliner introduces a new Double Diamond grille and Mulliner branded side vents that share a silver-on-black diamond pattern. New 22-inch 10-spoke painted and polished wheels have floating center badges that remain upright when the wheel is turning. The interior offers eight custom three-color combinations with a unique Mulliner color split.
Ferrari F8 Spider
Photo courtesy of Ferrari
Base MSRP: $274,280
The Ferrari F8 Spider is the open-top version of the F8 Tributo, the latest iteration of Ferrari's V8-powered mid-engine 2-seat sports car that replaced the 488 GTB in the Ferrari lineup. Since the debut of the 308 GTB in the 1970s, Ferrari has offered a mid-engine V8 sports car and an open-top version since the targa-top 308 GTS. The F8 Spider continues that tradition, powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 engine that produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, teamed with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
The Spider's power-retractable hardtop operates in 14 seconds, two panels of which stow behind the seats. The electric glass rear window can be placed in three positions with the top up or down. The F8 Spider accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and reaches 124 mph in 8.2 seconds, with a top speed of more than 200 mph. Driving dynamics get enhanced by F1-Trac traction control, an E-Diff 3 electronic differential, SSC2 side-slip angle control and Magnetorheological suspension control.
Lamborghini Huracan EVO SpyderPhoto courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini
Base MSRP: $287,400
Lamborghini introduced the Huracan EVO Spyder at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, following the coupe that was introduced earlier that year. The Spyder carries over the advanced aerodynamics and next-generation vehicle dynamics control that were introduced on the hardtop. The Spyder also features an electrohydraulic, lightweight soft-top that opens with the push of a button and fully retracts in 17 seconds. As the top lowers, two fins deploy behind the seats to enhance the overall look and help reduce turbulence during high-speed open-air motoring.
Power for the Huracan EVO Spyder comes from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine based on the powerplant found in the high-performance Huracan Performante, producing 640 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This results in thrilling speed specs: 62 mph comes up in 3.1 seconds, 124 mph in 9.3 seconds and top speed is rated at a bit over 200 mph.
Huracan EVO features the latest version of Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata to control and enhance the overall driving dynamics. The LDVI can affect the rear-wheel steering, four-wheel torque-vectoring system and enhanced all-wheel-drive system to predict the best driving setup for the current situation.
McLaren 720S Spider
Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive
Base MSRP: $315,000
Four years ago McLaren introduced the all-new 720S, followed two years later by the open-top 720S Spider joined the lineup. The retractable carbon fiber roof raises or lowers in 11 seconds. The entire top mechanism only adds 108 pounds, conforming to McLaren's dedication to lightweight performance vehicles. With the same handling and performance as the coupe, the 720S Spider offers both open-top motoring as well as the all-weather durability with the retractable hardtop.
The 720S Spider's 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Performance figures are on a par with the coupe — the sprint to 60 mph takes 2.8 seconds and 124 mph comes up in a hair under 8 seconds. Top speed is 212 mph; however, with the top open the driver would have to settle for a mere 202 mph.
Rolls-Royce DawnPhoto courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Base MSRP: $346,300
Dawn is a super-luxury four-seat convertible that joined the Rolls-Royce lineup as the seventh-generation Phantom was phased out. Dawn is offered as a single model without set trim levels, since nearly every car gets built to individual customer specifications that include tens of thousands of dollars in options.
For 2020, Rolls-Royce added the Dawn, Silver Bullet Collection, said to be inspired by the glamorous roadsters of the 1920s.
Limited to just 50 cars worldwide, the Silver Bullet Collection features dark exterior details, dark headlight, partially polished wheels and an Aero Cowling with silver in the center which brings the exterior color into the interior.
The Dawn shares mechanical underpinnings with the Wraith Coupe but is more than simply a convertible Wraith; 80 percent of the body panels are unique.
Inside, the lowered soft-top gets stowed beneath a wooden deck that flows down between the rear seats and throughout the cabin. Dawn is powered by Rolls-Royce's twin-turbo 6.6-liter V12 engine producing 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque at 1500 rpm—already Rolls-Royce's most powerful full four-seat drophead offered to date.
The Dawn Black Badge takes luxury a step further with its Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament trimmed in high-gloss black chrome — the same treatment given to other chrome surfaces around the grille, exhaust pipes, boot lid finisher and the Double R badge.
Ferrari 488 Pista Spider
Photo courtesy of Ferrari
Base MSRP: $350,000
Ferrari debuted the new 488 Pista Spider during Monterey Car Week in August 2018 — a new Special Series model that sets a new benchmark for Ferrari spider performance with a powerful twin-turbo V8 engine and emphasis on weight reduction. Derived from the 488 Pista Coupe, both models draw from the racing experience of the Ferrari 488 Challenge and 488 GTE race cars.
The 488 Pista Spider's racing-derived aerodynamic and performance advantages include an S-Duct at the front, new diffusers and a new rear spoiler, resulting in a 25 percent increase in downforce compared to the standard 488 Spider. The 488 Pista Spider is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 engine producing 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, delivered to the rear wheels through a seven-speed F1 gearbox.
Ferrari 812 GTS
Photo courtesy of Ferrari
Base MSRP: $350,000 (est.)
Ferrari debuted the 812 GTS in September 2019 — 50 years after the debut of the 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS/4, known as the Daytona Spider, and the last series production Ferrari spider with a front-mounted V12 engine. The 812 GTS is the spider version of the 812 Superfast, with a power-retractable hardtop that opens in 14 seconds. The electric rear window can be raised to block the wind when the top is down, but can also be lowered when the top is up.
The 812 GTS is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 engine producing 789 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque with a rev limit of 8,900 rpm. Power is delivered through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Ferrari has not announced on sale date or pricing, but the 812 Superfast coupe starts at $335,000 so expect it to start beyond $350,000.
Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster
Photo courtesy of Lamborghini
Base MSRP: $460,247
Lamborghini debuted its latest extreme open-top car — the Aventador S Roadster — at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and added the Aventador SVJ Roadster in 2019, pushing the performance envelope even further. A futuristic design that has creases and angles in myriad directions, the S Roadster clearly makes a bold statement.
Residing behind the passenger compartment is a 6.5-liter V12 engine producing 740 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque. Power gets delivered to all four wheels via a "robotized" seven-speed gearbox that performs gear changes as quickly as 50 milliseconds. With the quick transmission and powerful engine, the Aventador S will achieve 100 km/h (62 mph) in a mere three seconds. In six more seconds 124 mph will flash by. With the driver's right foot planted on the floor, this Aventador will eventually reach 217 mph.
Ferrari SF90 SpiderPhoto courtesy of Ferrari
Base MSRP: $550,000 (est.)
One of the newest sports cars from Maranello has an impressive claim to fame — the most powerful production Ferrari ever. For some added excitement, late last year the SF90 Spider joined the family, featuring a retractable hardtop. The SF90 uses the company's first plug-in hybrid system that combines a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine with three electric motors — two on the front axle and one located between the engine and gearbox. Total output is 986 horsepower with 664 pound-feet of torque. The new Spider has an eight-speed Formula One-style dual-clutch gearbox, and the car sprints to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, reaches 124 mph in seven seconds, and eventually attains a claimed top speed of 211 mph.
The SF90 Spider's lap time around Ferrari's famous Fiorano racetrack is 79 seconds — about the same as the LaFerrari — the Italian marque's first foray into hybrid powertrains for production road cars.
Conversely, it is possible to drive the SF90 on electric power alone for up to 15 miles. Not only do the electric motors provide more power and efficiency, the two units up front improve the SF90's overall driving dynamics. The RAC-e motors can operate individually, creating a torque-vectoring system that will vary the speed and power between the inside and outside wheels during cornering for better performance and easier handling.
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster
Photo courtesy of Lamborghini
Base MSRP: $573,966
In 2018 the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ coupe completed a lap of Germany's famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife racetrack in 6:44.97 minutes, setting the record for a street-legal production car. Now it's possible to have that same level of performance in an open-top car with the Aventador SVJ Roadster. Top speed exceeds 217 mph — an unforgettable experience with the top down.
The roof is composed of carbon fiber and can be removed via quick-release levers for stowage under the hood.
Like the coupe, the SVJ Roadster is powered by a normally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine that produces 770 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. With power delivered to all four wheels via a 7-speed automatic gearbox, the SVJ Roadster can reach 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and 124 mph in 8.8 seconds.
Only 800 Aventador SVJ Roadsters will be produced.
Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive
Base MSRP: $1,690,000
Named for and inspired by the McLaren Elva M1A race car designed by Bruce McLaren, the modern-day Elva is the lightest road car McLaren Automotive has ever produced. The open-cockpit two-seater features a bespoke carbon fiber chassis, body and seats. The Elva has no roof, windshield or side windows to provide a "true connection to the elements." But it is possible to drive the Elva without helmet or goggles; McLaren has created an Active Air Management System that channels air through the nose of the Elva and directs it at high speed in front of and over the occupants, creating what McLaren calls "a relative bubble of calm."
While the cabin may be a bubble of calm, there's nothing calm emerging from the Elva's engine bay. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 powerplant delivers 804 horsepower, which can move this open-top sports car to 62 mph in less than 3 seconds and to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds — even quicker than the mighty Senna.
Production of the Elva will be limited to 249 copies.
Ferrari Icona Series — Monza SP1 / SP2Photo courtesy of Ferrari
Base MSRP: $1,700,000
Unlike previous special editions from the iconic Italian automaker, the Icona series will feature models inspired by the most exciting Ferraris of the 1950s, but they will be decked out with the most advanced sports car technology — a fitting blend of old and new.
The first models in this new Icona series will be the Monza SP1 and Monza SP2 — both of which were unveiled in Paris a few years ago. The Monza SP1 and SP2 are intended to honor Ferrari racing barchettas such as the 1948 166 MM, which originally inspired the name barchetta —meaning "little boat" in Italian — as well as the 750 Monza and 860 Monza.
Designed as a single-seat road car, the Monza SP1 offers a totally unique Ferrari experience for the street. The tonneau cover over the passenger area is reminiscent of similarly equipped Ferrari race cars from the 1950s, which used the cover to improve aerodynamics when the passenger seat was unoccupied.
The Monza SP2 has the same basic styling as the SP1. However, thanks to the elimination of the tonneau cover and the addition of a second protective screen, this car is a two-seater.
Both are motivated by the most powerful V12 engine ever from Ferrari: a 6.5-liter V12 monster that produces almost 800 horsepower.
Bentley Mulliner BacalarPhoto courtesy of Bentley Motors
Base MSRP: $2,000,000
Bentley and exclusivity go hand in hand, but the legendary British marque takes things to new heights with the Mulliner Bacalar. The oldest coachbuilding company in the world, Mulliner has been creating bespoke versions of Bentleys for decades.
Named for a beautiful lake on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the Bacalar is a 2-seat open-air luxury grand tourer featuring styling cues from the EXP 100GT concept car. Bacalar is designed with extensive use of sustainable materials; the paint contains ash from rice husks for a metallic finish, interior materials include natural British wool, and the wraparound dashboard is cut from Riverwood — fallen trees preserved 5,000 years in peat bogs, lakes and rivers.
This elegant GT offers plenty of performance, thanks to its enhanced version of Bentley's 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine producing 650 horsepower and 667 lb-ft of torque. Handling gets enhanced by the advanced Active All-Wheel Drive System that emphasizes torque to the rear wheels for an optimal driving experience.
Bentley plans to build 12 Bacalars, and each will be designed, engineered and handcrafted to the buyer's wishes.
Lamborghini Sian RoadsterPhoto courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini
Base MSRP: $3,297,632
At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Lamborghini debuted the very sexy Sian limited-edition exotic sports car. Now a lucky few will have the opportunity to enjoy this extreme high-performance machine with the wind in their hair — as the Lamborghini Sian Roadster. The Sian coupe and roadster represent Lamborghini's first foray into electrification, so the car is aptly named — Sian means flash or lightning in Bolognese dialect.
This open-top exotic sits low with an integrated carbon fiber splitter as well as familiar Y-shaped headlights. While it matches the futuristic look of the coupe, the Sian roadster's roofless design provides those lucky enough to drive it with an unfettered connection to the roar of its V12 engine.
The Sian Roadster derives power from a 6.5-liter V12 engine, upgraded with titanium intake valves, that produces 785 horses — the most power ever derived from a Lamborghini engine. The V12 gets supplemental grunt from a 48-volt electric motor delivering 34 horsepower for a total output of 819 horses.
Engineers integrated the electric motor within the gearbox for instant response; the motor is also used for low-speed operation when backing or parking. The roadster uses a supercapacitor to store energy, rather than more common lithium-ion batteries.
The Sian Roadster will rocket to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than 2.9 seconds, making it the quickest open-top Lambo ever. The Italian automaker says top speed is in excess of 217 mph — likely a life-changing experience with no roof overhead.
Pagani Huayra Roadster BC
Photo courtesy of Pagani
Base MSRP: $3,500,000
The Pagani Huayra is one of the most extreme, exclusive vehicles on the road, and the Roadster BC promises another level of performance. Named to honor Pagani's first customer, Benny Caiola, the Huayra Roadster BC is built using new composite technologies based on carbon fiber and carbon titanium, which increase torsional rigidity by 12 percent over the standard roadster while keeping the weight around 2,750 pounds. With this stiff, lightweight design combined with the bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, the Huayra Roadster BC can achieve up to almost two Gs in lateral acceleration.
Lighter and stiffer than the coupe, the Huayra Roadster BC exhibits the same incredible performance thanks to its new Mercedes-AMG V12 engine tuned to produce 800 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque at a low 2000 rpm — considerable thrust for a vehicle that weighs less than 3,000 pounds. Special Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes provide the necessary stopping power with 6-piston calipers at the front, 4-piston at the rear. The 6-outlet titanium exhaust system ensures that anyone within earshot will know something special is coming.