Hardtop convertible cars became increasingly popular as motor manufacturers strived to make their vehicles more appealing. The market has now matured and designs have improved. Watching what was apparently a fixed roof fold away out of sight is certainly a crowd pleaser and the conventional security of a solid roof has many advantages.
The earliest production car with a folding hard roof dates all the way back to the 1935 Peugot 402 Eclipse Decapotable. Since this time many manufacturers have made attempts to make their own designs a commercial success. The first really popular modern convertible car to feature a retractable folding roof and start the current trend was the 1996 Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster. The Mercedes SLK sold well and encouraged a whole new set of customers to consider driving a convertible.
The benefits of a folding hardtop convertible roof are both perceived and actual improvements in safety and security as well as improved sound and weather proofing. On the down-side the roof usually adds weight, needs extra storage space and when folded can considerably reduce the luggage compartment. Despite assumptions that a hard roof should be more weather-proof, the seals on these cars appear to be equally as prone to water leaks as those of fabric roofs. That said, a well maintained modern roof of either type shouldn t cause any problems.
Several major manufacturers (such as Audi and Porsche) have yet to venture into retractable hardtop convertibles and instead focus on making their best drop-tops with high quality fabric soft-top roofs while enjoying the benefit of their light weight and easy stowing. On the other hand, brands such as Mazda, Mercedes and even Ferrari and McLaren have managed to prove that the benefits of hardtop convertible cars can be successfully combined with great style and high performance. The number of hardtop convertible cars is currently in decline particularly at the lower end of the market.
Select from these hardtop convertibles for more information:
- Aixam Scouty (2000-2013)
- BMW 3-Series Convertible E90 (2007-2013)
- BMW M3 Convertible (2008-2013)
- Brabus SV12 S Biturbo Roadster (2006-2010)
- Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport (2009-2015)
- Cadillac XLR Convertible (2006-2009)
- Chrysler 200 Convertible (2011-2014)
- Ferrari 575M Superamerica (2005-2006)
- Ferrari California (2010-2014)
- Ford Focus CC (2006-2010)
- Ford GT X1 (2005-2008)
- Infiniti G37 Convertible (2010-2013)
- Lexus IS Convertible (2010-2013)
- Lexus SC430 Convertible (2005-2010)
- Maserati MC12 (2005)
- Mazda MX5 Miata Roadster Coupé (2009-2015)
- McLaren MP4 12C Spider (2012-2014)
- Mercedes SL 63 AMG (2002-2012)
- Mercedes SL 65 AMG (2002-2010)
- Mercedes SLK 55 AMG (2004-2011)
- Mercedes-Benz SL (2002-2012)
- Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004-2011)
- Mitsubishi Colt CZC (2006-2009)
- Nissan Micra C+C (2005-2009)
- Pagani Zonda Roadster (2006-2011)
- Peugeot 206 CC (2001-2007)
- Peugeot 207 CC (2007-2014)
- Peugeot 307 CC (2003-2008)
- Peugeot 308 CC (2009-2014)
- Pontiac G6 Convertible (2006-2009)
- Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet (2010-2016)
- Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet (2003-2009)
- Renault Wind (2010-2013)
- Vauxhall/Opel Astra Twintop (2006-2010)
- Vauxhall/Opel Tigra Twintop (2004-2009)
- Volkswagen Eos (2006-2015)
- Volvo C70 Convertible (2006-2014)
News About Hardtop Convertibles
Lexus LF-C2 Concept Revealed
Lexus are keen to get the public s attention for their Lexus LF-C2 four-seat convertible car concept with a teaser campaign and now a Los Angeles Auto Show debut. This premium sports convertible looks perfect for the West Coast market.
Youabian Puma shocks at Pebble Beach
The wealthy motoring connoisseurs are left speechless when the huge Youabian Puma convertible parks up alongside their priceless classic cars. Those wanting something unique to stand out from the crowd may look no further.
BMW M4 Convertible Revealed
The latest high performance 4 seat convertible from BMW will be called the BMW M4 Convertible but don’t worry, it couldn’t be more M3 if it tried. The 4-Series is still based on the platform of the 3-Series car but the name is used tho separate the more sporting coupe and convertible models.
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Convertible Car Buyer’s Guide
Our Buying Guide gives you a breakdown of all the best convertible cars for sale around the world.