» Buyers Guide » Four-Wheel-Drive Convertibles
The number of four wheel drive convertibles available is quite surprising. The breakdown is mostly related to Volkswagen Group’s commitment to the technology with its use in their Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini cars. The number of convertible cars that are true off-roaders is considerably smaller. While Jeep vehicles traditionally had minimal bodywork and no roof their current line of SUVs are more civilised and only the Wrangler 4×4 has a convertible top.
The first four-wheel-drive system was patented by English engineer Bramah Diplock in 1893 for use on traction engines and the technology was developed for a convertible car in 1900 by Lohner-Porsche. This was also the world’s first hybrid powered car. The first four-wheel-drive car with an internal combustion engine (again a convertible) was the Spyker 60HP was unveiled in 1903.
In the 1980s the AMC Eagle range included the first convertible car to the FF (Formula Ferguson) system of full-time all-wheel-drive (Jensen did not build a convertible version of their Interceptor FF). Although a clever design the AMC Eagle Convertible had a limited market and only lasted two years production.
Select from these four-wheel-drive convertibles for more information:
- Audi A3 Cabriolet
- Audi R8 Spyder
- Audi S3 Cabriolet
- Audi TT Roadster
- Audi TT RS Roadster
- Audi TTS Roadster
- Bentley Continental GTC V8
- Bentley Continental GTC W12
- Bentley Supersports Convertible
- BMW 4-Series Convertible
- Jeep Wrangler
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
- Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
- Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG Cabriolet
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
- Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
- Porsche 911 Targa
- Porsche 918 Spyder
- Audi A4 Cabriolet (2001-2009)
- Audi A5 Cabriolet B8 (2009-2017)
- Audi R8 Spyder V10 (2009-2014)
- Audi R8 Spyder V8 (2010-2014)
- Audi RS4 Cabriolet (2006-2009)
- Audi RS5 Cabriolet (2012-2015)
- Audi S4 Cabriolet (2004-2009)
- Audi S5 Cabriolet B8 (2009-2017)
- Audi TT Roadster 8J (2007-2015)
- Audi TT RS Roadster (2009-2015)
- Bentley Continental GTC (2006-2010)
- Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport (2009-2015)
- Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder (2006-2014)
- Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster (2009-2010)
- Lamborghini Reventón Roadster (2010)
- Land Rover Defender SVX (2009)
- Mercedes G-Class Cabriolet (1979-2013)
- Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet (2011-2017)
A completely new design for the Jeep Wrangler has been launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Wrangler is the only full-size four-door convertible car currently in production.
Not completely unexpected but a very pleasant surprise is the new BMW i8 Roadster. The futuristic hybrid i8 Roadster comes alongside a facelifted version of the coupe.
When the original Range Rover Evoque Convertible concept car showed up it certainly raised some eyebrows. Imagine the new drop-top Evoque cruising down a Californian coastal road and it suddenly starts to make more sense.