We compare our top seven drop-tops
It’s that optimistic time of year, when we feel like we’ve just about shrugged off the winter, and spring and summer are on their way, even if they’re not here just yet. Which leads the British, perennial optimists that they are, to start thinking about roof-down motoring. Which leads us to suggest seven cars that will bring a summery smile to your face.
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster
This is the fastest road car without a roof that the company has ever made. You’ll like the absence of roof when you listen to the 565bhp churned out by the effortless V12. This is a heck of a performer, loud and proud, with the bodywork slashed by big vents to accentuate the performance. If you’re going to do it, do it hard.
Jaguar F-Type Convertible
This is not a sports car like the Mazda MX-5 of this parish. This is a full-on sports car with firm suspension and a range of angry engines. Whether the V6 or the supercharged V8, you’ll be propelled very rapidly to drop-top heaven.
Porsche 718 Boxster
Every year for the past 20 years Porsche seems to have made the Boxster better than ever. The chassis just seems to become sharper and sharper with every incarnation, until you know you’re driving one of the best sports cars on the road, even bumpy old UK roads. Granted, the flat-six has been replaced with the flat-four, but now there’s even more power, all 345bhp of it in 2.5 S form.
McLaren 675LT Spider
The Long Tail version of this McLaren works wonderfully well with or without a roof. This more track-focused version is an absolute joy right on the ragged edge – an edge which takes some time to find – but as befits a convertible, it can also be a thoroughly enjoyable vehicle well away from that edge. A car for all seasons.
Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet
The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in this C63 S makes 503bhp. And, through its sports exhaust, it also makes the most glorious sound known to mankind. Have the roof down, waft along then prod it into anger and you’ll be one happy person from the ears down. Handling, performance, pedigree – it’s got the lot.
Bentley Continental GTC
Few people can make leather and wood appear as luxurious and timeless as Bentley, and in the Continental GTC you’re surrounded by the best. It’s a large, heavy car yet it can still whoosh to 62mph in just 4.5 seconds, thanks to the 500bhp kicked out by the potent V8. Trees and cows have never moved so fast, or with such style.
While some of the cars here demonstrate how exciting a ton of budget and horsepower can be, the little Mazda shows how much fun you can have with considerably less. It’s beautifully balanced and allows you to find the edge in a sensible vicinity near you, not out in the stratosphere. It’s light, rear-wheel driven and has a nicely sorted cabin. With either 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre engine, you’re going to just enjoy yourself.