Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The hottest convertibles of the year

The Porsche Boxster is S an entry-level Coupe for middle-aged accountants and dentists, right? Not exactly.

Think more in terms of James Dean.

"It's a sexy car for him," Porsche spokesman Dave Engelman says. The $64.100 is meant to evoke the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder driven by the "rebel without A cause" Star Coupe. "they have been designed as a total sports car without compromise."

In fact. Of course not, that Joe which accountants could not go, but the Boxster offers so much more than that. Three hundred are 15 HP and a 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds nothing to laugh at. Not to mention a top speed of nearly 175 miles per hour.

And if you a professional questions he will tell you that for most civilians, the mid-engine Boxster much more fun on the track to drive than its 911 sibling.

"The Boxster is a great car - it is far more than the 911 manageable" said Patrick long to me once at a party in New York. Would he know - long drives the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR flying lizard Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series.

All this to say that the Boxster S hot perfectly matched to our list of 10 convertibles on the market this summer.

Cars of the likely suspect belong to the this year's group (think, Aston Martin, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz) along with a few surprises. Some are impractical, but very attractive. Others look more brittle and will work for a weekend outing with friends. But they are all relatively expensive - Ford Shelby GT is the cheapest of the $60,000, what on the list - and muscle-car buffs and exotics lovers alike will agree, all rides they are hot. (We chose the winners on this list by model year 2012 or newer cars).

Delete or not?
Convertibles have been for more than a century (they were the original horseless carriages, after all - only questions, Gottlieb Daimler) but even conventional vehicles over their popularity was taken off. Sales nationwide sunroofs and Targa can be actually even more, thanks to the growing popularity of panorama tops slides.

According to the market research firm RL Polk convertible sales usually accounts for just under 2 percent of the car market but ran closer to 1.2 per cent in the past year. The Chevrolet Camaro was the best-selling convertible in the past year accounting 7,530 vehicle approvals. The Ford Mustang was second, with a convertible sales from 6.645.

On the side of luxury, the best-selling convertible sold the Mercedes-Benz E-class, only of 3,446 units in the past year; The BMW 328 convertible sold only 2.867 units. But convertibles are still an important part of every brand, says Lonnie Miller, analyst for Polk, because they act as a "Halo" vehicles - they gain attention and excitement. Even if someone actually the Roadster, which she buys a showroom enter of drool, at least it has them in the showroom.

"It is a good mood car," says Miller.

Hard or soft?
If you opt to drop-top, the biggest question often comes to form: what is better, a top or a hardtop? Change from a fabric cover for hardtop in each convertible given and it will affect all - performance, strength and (most importantly for many consumers) aesthetics - due to the differences in weight and structure. Each style has its advantages - it depends on just what you want.

Hard tips like the one in the $105.500 Mercedes-Benz SL550 are quieter and longer-lasting, especially for drivers in cold climates live available. They are accepted in General as a better-looking, when top is raised. But they are also heavy, which means that the hardtop Coupe cars are slower and less fuel-efficient, as if they were tops with cloth.

A fabric hood on something like Ford Shelby Mustang means more space in the trunk and a lighter (very efficient) vehicle. It is well suited for drivers that is likely to put the roof very often not required. But they see often dirty and cheap, if they are used, and they are usually more complicated than the push button to engage hard top. They tend also to something louder than something hard, despite the huge profits in recent years the seals are soundproof more.

One of the best in the field of advertising is bow Bentley Continental GTC. It has over 500 HP, with a top speed of 195 miles per hour and a 0-60 Sprint time of 4.5 seconds. Inside, there are unique eyes ventilation slots and wood-framed organ controls to stop Mulliner diamond quilted leather seats and a three spoke leather steering wheel with aluminium inlays. Price: just under $200,000, for the basic version.

It is a good looking car, to be sure. There is only a catch, and there goes everything on this list: the continental goes faster with the roof up.

© 2012 Forbes.com

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