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Convertibles

Brief History Of Convertibles: Then And Now

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2016 Porsche 911 convertible

Do you know what an open car and hardtop in one is? A convertible, which is sometimes referred to as a “cabriolet”!

It’s so great to be able to put the top down on a car on a summer day and feel the breeze rushing past you as you drive. What about the sense of freedom such cars provide?

Want to learn more about convertibles? Read on if that’s the case!

Ford Quadricycle

The Convertible’s Early Days

1896: All cars were convertibles

The first manufactured cars did not have side glass, windshields, doors or even roofs. They were based on the carriage designs of the day and tons of them had buggy-like designs.

1905: Hardtops Make Their Way In
Henry Leland introduced the first totally enclosed vehicle with the 1905 Osceola Couple Concept. With drivers now spending more time on the roads than in previous years and requiring protection from the weather, his invention came at a great time.

1908: Phaetons
Convertibles evolved even more from what was commonly known as “phaeton,” an open vehicle lacking glass side windows. These phaetons were basically open, lightweight carriages or automobiles that traveled fast on the road. Many car buyers bought their Ford Model T as phaetons because they were cheaper than the enclosed versions.

1939: The Power-Operated Convertible
When Plymouth introduced a power-operated convertible, instead of having to manually raise and lower the top, such as was mandatory on early convertible cars, it made the process automatic! The 1939 Plymouth convertible only needed the driver to press a switch. The vehicle was also quite affordable; many people on budgets had no issue with its cost.

bmw-i8-spyder-concept-convertible

Present Day Convertibles

It’s took over one hundred years for convertibles to get to where they are at today. Even though the segment is only a fraction of the broader car market, there’s no doubt that convertibles will continue to be around for decades more to come because of the distinct airy driving experience they provide. There might even be some new innovations.

According to , one thing that has recently occurred is the invention of large sliding-glass-panel roofs that run from the rear of the windshield’s header to the backlight’s top and from side rail to side rail. We suspect that retractable hardtops will become popular soon enough!

Convertibles , anytime soon.

Convertible Advantages

Convertibles are so wonderful because, in addition to providing an airy ride, they provide more outward visibility than their hardtop counterparts. With convertibles, you will not have to worry about air ventilation being an issue. Depending where you are, you could be getting fresh air in the cabin at all time.

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Chevrolet

New Corvette ZR1 Convertible Drops 755 Horses Like A Beast

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New Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible

The C7 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 has received a convertible version, and it’s just as bonkers as the coupe.

Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Corvette ZR1 Convertible is the first drop-top ZR1 since the ZR1 first launched in 1969.

It has the same mechanical bits as the ZR1 coupe, meaning power is provided by an LT5 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, delivered to the rear wheels via a choice of either a seven-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Of course, the addition of a retractable top results in a weight penalty (60 pounds, to be exact) that should impede overall performance a tad bit. Zero-to-60 mph (96 km/h) is expected to come in at less than three seconds, and the quarter mile in the high 10-second range. Top speed is approximately 212 mph (132 km/h).

Like the coupe, the Corvette ZR1 Convertible is available with the $2,995 ZTK Performance Package, which adds a large rear wing, front splitter, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and Magnetic Ride control suspension. It can produces up to 950 lbs of downforce.

The new, 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible starts at $123,995 in the United States, representing a $4,000 premium over the coupe.

New Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible, orange

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Convertibles

If You Want New Honda S2000, Sign This Petition

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Red Honda S2000 Sports Car

Not long after Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said Honda may build a successor to the S2000 if enough people want it, someone has launched a petition on Change.org to have the discontinued roadster return.

Judging by his name, HondaPro Jason is clearly very passionate about Hondas, aptly titling his petition “Hey Honda Bring The S2000 Back.”

Honda’s CEO appeared open to the idea of a new S2000 in an interview with , specifically stating:

“I’ve already heard many voices expressing they’d like a next-generation S2000. Honda development engineers are quick to develop sporty cars if the requests are there.”

The original S2000 roadster was produced from 1999 until 2009. While there is no guarantee that the petition will result in anything, the Japanese automaker seems to have a finger close to the go-ahead trigger should there be a large enough demand for a new model.

Sign the if you want the Honda S2000 to make a return.

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Convertibles

Porsche 718 Cayman, Boxster Get GTS Treatment, More Power

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Porsche 718 Boxster GTS Cayman GTS

The Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman have received the GTS treatment, gaining a boost in power, a few styling modifications and upgraded interiors.

Porsche’s engineers retuned the 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engine to output 365 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, some15 more horsepower than 718 S editions of the two models and 35 horses more than the naturally-aspirated engine of the previous GTS models.

Peak torque is available across a wider band from 1,900 – 5,500 rpm with the manual transmission or up to 5,000 rpm with the PDK automatic. Both GTS models can launch from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

Visually, the 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS receive several aesthetic tweaks that include a Sport Design front fascia, tinted headlights and taillights, black accents, black 20-inch wheels, and an upgraded exhaust system.

Lovers of Alcantara will appreciate the touches made to the interior, which has Alcantara-covered sport seats, steering wheel, center console and armrests. It also benefits from the Sport Chrono Package.

Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical rear differential lock and the Porsche Active Suspension Management, which lowers the body by ten millimeters, come standard.

The 2018 Porsche Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS go on sale in Spring 2018 with a starting price of $79,800 and $81,900, respectively, in the United States.

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