Posts Tagged ‘convertible’

2018 NAIAS: 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

January 15th, 2018 No comments


As a last hurrah before the open-secret mid-engine C8 Corvette debuts, Chevy is treating enthusiasts of its two-seat sports car to its 755 horsepower ZR1. This 6.2L LT5 small block V8 is supercharged and churns out 716 lb.-ft. of torque. With a claimed top speed of 212 mph, this is the fastest production Corvette in history. Stopping power is provided by Brembo carbon ceramic brakes. An outrageous-looking wing is available with the ZTK Performance Package that is intended to provide down-force for optimal track times. Also part of the ZTK package are carbon fiber end caps on the front splitter, Michelin Sport Cup 2 summer tires and Magnetic Ride Control. Notably, this is the first time the ZR1 is available in a convertible bodystyle. Purists can rejoice that a 7-speed manual transmission is available alongside the eight-speed automatic. A Sebring Orange Design package includes orange brake calipers, rocker and splitter accent stripes, seat belts, interior stitching and bronze aluminum interior trim. Chevy announced a starting price of $119,995 so it looks like the ZR1 will continue the Corvette tradition of being a relative performance bargain.

2017 NAIAS: 2018 Audi A5/S5 Coupe and Sportback

January 10th, 2017 No comments

In recent years automakers have expanded the use of the term coupe to include sedans and crossovers with cut-down rooflines. As the number of offerings in those niche markets expands it is refreshing to see Audi remain faithful to the classic two door coupe and convertible market with the A5 and S5. While Audi took the wraps off the coupes several months ago, their convertible (cabriolet in Audi-speak) companions were unveiled at NAIAS. These coupes and convertibles have always been a favorite of enthusiasts and the updated cars follow so close to the formula of the original that it has us asking “what’s new?” The four cylinder in the A5 provides a respectable 252 horsepower while the V6 in the S5 adds a significant 102 horsepower to that figure. The A5 briskly hits 60 mph in 6.0 seconds while the S5 achieves that same speed in a blink-and-you’ll-it 4.8 seconds. Alas, no manual transmission is available. A 7-speed auto is offered with the A5 while the S5 features an extra gear. Audi’s signature Quattro all-wheel drive is standard on all variants and handling has been improved with both a wider track and wheelbase. In case the classic coupe formula limits your lifestyle too much, the A5 and S5 are also offered in 5-door coupe format, which in Audi terminology is designated “Sportback.” This essentially means that you get an extra set of doors and useful hatch to access the expandable cargo hold. Whether you like the flair and independence of the two door or the versatility of the 5-door, the A5 and S5 offers performance to match the good looks.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

January 17th, 2015 No comments

Mazda didn’t debut anything at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, but that doesn’t mean there was nothing to see at the Mazda stand. We couldn’t wait to spend some time snooping around the upcoming 2016 MX-5 Miata. It’s dimensions feel like they are tidier than ever with a truly small scale making it feel almost comical when standing next to it. But sink into that simply bolstered seat, tile the wheel into adjustment and you can imagine the backroads unwinding in front of the impossibly low hood on a beautiful summer morning. It’s 2.0-liter four cylinder still doesn’t have final power figures but it’ll be enough to push this lightweight package around with haste. Just how lightweight is something else we don’t yet know. Keep checking Automotive Trends for our full review as soon as we can get our hands on one later this summer.

2015 NAIAS: 2015 Chevolet Corvette Z06 Convertible

January 16th, 2015 No comments

Corvette enthusiasts who want the ultimate in performance can now choose to drop the top on their Z06 and the best news is they don’t have to sacrifice any of the hardcore extras available on the new Z06. If you want the Z07 package or the 7-speed manual or the giant Carbon Ceramic brakes go right ahead and check the appropriate boxes. You’re still treated to the same 650-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and you’re even more likely to enjoy the ferocious exhaust yowl in the Convertible. Just do enthusiasts everywhere a favor and pass on the available 8-speed automatic, which seems to us like the fastest way to ruin a great car.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Buick Cascada

January 15th, 2015 No comments


Were you disappointed upon hearing the news that Chrysler has axed the 200 convertible? Did you grieve over the G6 retractable hard top when GM pulled Pontiac off of life support? Do you spend nights pondering what drove Toyota to wipe the Solara from their product plans? Well, then we have great news for you. Buick is filling the void in the front wheel drive four seat convertible market by shipping an Opel ever so slightly modified for the US market. Buick is calling this car Cascada, which apparently is Spanish for “waterfall.” It doesn’t take a sharp eye to see that Buick’s Cascada doesn’t even feature the traditional Buick waterfall grille or signature ventiports. The 2016 Cascada uses a cloth top rather than a bulky retractable hard top.  The narrow rear seat necessitated by the folding top means this Buick features 2+2 seating. If you must know what powers this convertible, it probably means you should be looking at a Mustang or Camaro. For those who must know, Buick only reveals that the Cascada is propelled by a 1.6-liter 200 horsepower turbocharged engine, which one would assume is a four cylinder. No word on acceleration, but apparently the Cascada can shield its occupants from the weather in 17 seconds flat with an electro-hydraulic power roof. Pricing hasn’t yet been disclosed, but we can expect Cascadas to begin flowing into Buick dealers this spring.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

January 12th, 2015 No comments

It was a little surreal to be watching a full blown Alfa Romeo press conference at the North American International Auto Show, but there we were bearing witness to the storied manufacturer’s American return. And amid all the history and beautiful old race cars was the realization that the brand is starting off with a bang thanks to the stunning 4C coupe and now Spider. The Spider shares the same 1.75-liter turbo four with 237 hp sent through a 6-speed dual clutch paddle shifted transmission to the rear wheels. Alfa was proud to announce that the curb weight remains about 2,500 pounds providing a significant savings compared to rivals from Audi, Porsche and BMW. As for pricing, we’d expect a starting point in the mid-$60k range.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

September 27th, 2011 No comments

Not Your Typical Drop-Top Rental Car

     A trip to Key West, Florida will confirm it. There is a market out there for flashy convertibles with high style and little need for performance. The number of rental-grade pony car convertibles in the southernmost point of Florida is nearly enough to make one decide to rent a white Camry sedan just to be different. Certainly Ford and Chevy don’t expect normal customers to buy a base convertible. Or do they? Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , ,

NAIAS 2011: 2012 BMW 6-Series Convertible

January 10th, 2011 No comments

     Late in the summer of 2010 BMW teased the automotive world with photos of their 6 Series Coupe Concept. Today, BMW made the unusual move of introducing the production 6 Series convertible without having officially shown us the production coupe first. Regardless of the semantics, BMW was willing to divulge just a few of the juicy details on their newest model. Read more…

Categories: Auto Shows Tags: , , , ,

2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

December 11th, 2010 1 comment

Chevrolet Packages Unbridled Spirit in a Corvette for the Country Club Crowd

      Appropriately built in Kentucky, a state whose license plates declare its ‘unbridled spirit’, the legacy of the Corvette is long, rich and detailed. A late addition to the 6th generation (C6) Corvette, the Grand Sport model finally allows the Corvette buyer to upgrade to the suspension and brakes available on the Z06 model without being limited to a manual transmission and fixed roof combination. The first question many ask is why bother offering a Corvette with an automatic? The reality is that many Corvette buyers are retired gentlemen who have waited much of their long lives to buy a Corvette. To them it is an image car that lets them relive their childhood dreams. Many of these customers have spent most of their driving years piloting the family car with an automatic and have no desire to relearn how to shift for themselves. They simply want something fast and fun combined with the appeal of the Corvette name. If it weren’t for these buyers, GM likely wouldn’t be able to draw enough volume to offer a Corvette at all, much less one with a genuine manual transmission. Read more…

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25th, 2010 No comments

      Happy Thanksgiving from the Editors of Automotive Trends!