4 of the summers new soft-tops
PUBLISHED: 14:04 03 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:06 03 May 2016
Sun, sea and soft-tops – a new crop of convertibles for summer is a great way to enjoy Norfolk’s wide and hopefully sunny, skies, says motoring editor Andy Russell
Fiat 124 Spider
The Fiat 124 Spider, being launched late summer 50 years after the original version was unveiled, brings classic Italian styling and an authentic roadster driving experience to a new generation of enthusiasts. Capturing the essence of its classic predecessor in a modern and bold package - broad and muscular but not too aggressive – it is powered by a proven 140hp 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and capable of 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and 134mph. The profile view is pure classic roadster too, with a long wheelbase, a cockpit hunkered low near the driven rear axle and a long bonnet.The multi-layer manual hood can be operated in seconds without the driver having to leave their seat, encouraging spur-of-the-moment open-air driving.An Anniversary Edition, limited to just 124 for the UK, is priced £23,295 on the road with the range expected to start below £20,000.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz launches it first C-Class Cabriolet this summer with a classic fabric soft top.Combining modern luxury with a youthful touch, it’s both pretty and practical. With a capacity of 360 litres (285 litres with the roof open) and 50/50 split-fold rear seat backs, the boot is capable of holding an exceptional amount of luggage for a cabriolet. The fully automatic soft-top can be opened and closed in less than 20 seconds at up to 30mph, while optional Airscarf neck-level heating and Aircap automatic draught stop system will help take any chill out of open-air motoring.The suspension, 15mm lower than the saloon, comes as standard with steel springs and selective damping. Firmer sports suspension, with speed-sensitive steering, and air suspension are both optional to take handling and comfort to even higher levels. Four, six and eight-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel engines range from 156hp to 510hp.
We love MINI Convertibles – the best-selling convertible in the UK, which is its largest market worldwide – and the all-new model makes open-topped MINI motoring even more dynamic, stylish and practical.The fully electric roof is quieter and smoother than the previous model and the new model is longer and wider for better comfort and freedom of movement in all four seats. Smart design and interior packaging means luggage volume has expanded by around 25pc to 215 litres with the roof closed and 160 litres with it folded down. Under the bonnet are 136hp 1.5-litre and 192 and 231hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 116hp 1.5-litre turbo diesel engines. Prices start at £19,745, rising to £28,205.
Ranger Rover Evoque Convertible
The world’s first luxury compact sport utility convertible is an all-season soft-top. The fifth member of the Range Rover family – and the first convertible – the sophisticated fabric roof’s Z-fold mechanism lays flush with the rear bodywork for a sleek, uncluttered appearance when lowered. The fully-automated fabric roof stows in 18 seconds, and can be raised in 21 seconds, at up to 30mph. When closed it provides high standards of refinement with a layer of acoustic insulation ensuring interior comfort, while lowering it doesn’t eat into the 251-litre boot. Lighweight, all-aluminium 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel engines and four-wheel drive maintain Land Rover’s world-class all-terrain capability. Prices start from £47,500 on the road.