Nothing quite communicates sophistication and appeal like a convertible; though the topless vehicle isn’t for everyone, no one can mistake the eye stealing power of a magnificently designed drop-top cruising the esplanade or leaving you in the dust, tearing down the highway. I have spent some time trawling the net, looking for the latest releases and wishing I had enough coin to spend on a thick shake, let alone a 2014 Chevrlet Corvette Stingray Convertible – even the name has an inescapable seductive symmetry. If you’re a masochist like me, run your eyes over my list of 2014’s top five, just in time for summer (or winter, not to leave our northern hemisphere readers behind).
The First Runner Up: 2013 Mercedes Benz SL65
I know, I did say 2014, but the SL65 is one of my favourites in the 2013 line-up. This GT Roadster is a combination of functionality, performance and eye-popping aesthetics; sporting BMW’s sleek lines and a light-weight body, clocking in at an impressive 170kg, the twin turbo V-12 engine packs more punch than Muhammad Ali. If you’re an extras connoisseur and determined to separate yourself from the Merc fanatic pack, the SL65 might leave you hanging, as the showroom model drives away with most opulent features already installed. Sweet Features: Magic Sky Touch, heated massage seating, hardtop time 16 seconds.
Third Place: 2014 Jaguar F-Type
The F-Type is building momentum as one to watch, as Jaguar launch their campaign to gain standing in the sports car community, re-focusing their production efforts after previous entries have failed to wow audiences or thrill collectors. The F-Type has seemingly invigorated Jaguar, shelving comfort and driver kindness for a rugged ride, swift gear changes and dynamic cornering, muscling in on similar cars in the price range, including the reliable Porsche releases. And the Jaguar convertible roof choice is just one of the sweet features along with the active sport exhaust that will make you feel you’ve spent millions, instead of thousands.
Second Place: 2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet
Audi may seem like an unlikely entry to some, but the smooth performance of the RS5 Cabriolet can only be described as a blessing. It has attitude, from the tapered LED’s, to the bird-catcher grill staring down oncoming traffic, Audi have created a beast of a car, packing 450 horsepower under the hood. Though soft top releases can’t claim the same level of cornering control or vehicle balance, Audi has offset this anatomical limitation by adding a very heavy, present structure to assist traction and minimise issues. Sweet Features: Optional carbon ceramic brakes are available to lend the weighty body stopping power.
First Place: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible
Now, I love muscle cars. There’s something about them that melts my resistance and funnels pre-existing savings into a new account, casually entitled I Need It. The Ford Shelby has always been my ride of choice and the 2013 GT500 Convertible would certainly be welcome in my driveway. But I digress. Ford have engineered a cost effective release (around $59,995), without adding much poundage to the body, offering stick lovers a six speed manual transmission and a challenging clutch. Completed by a white que ball shifter, the Shelby is a vehicle for real car lovers. Sweet Features: The out and proud 5.8L V8 engine. Go on, take a look under the hood. If your favourite missing from my list? Have you had the chance to test drive any of these? Let me know in the comments below.