Maserati’s US car sales have dramatically recovered in 2010 due to the new convertible model the GranCabrio (known in the US as GranTurismo Convertible.) So popular has the new car been that all the imported cars have sold out and there is now a waiting list.
Sales of the exotic Italian brand plummeted by 49% in 2009 but thanks in most part to the new four seater convertible the figures have improved back close to the 2008 figures. A total of 1,717 vehicles were sold in the US, including 558 of the Maserati Grancabrio.
Making its debut at the 80th International Geneva Motorshow, the 2011 model year Lotus Elise introduces a number of changes and improvements to keep the revolutionary small sports car moving forward until it is replaced by an all new model due in 2015.
Improvements to the whole of the 2011 model year Elise range include an evolution of the body design incorporating new front clamshell, rear bumper and engine cover resulting in a 4% drop in aerodynamic drag. There are also new all in one integrated headlights including LED day light running lights and LED direction indicators.
The entry level Lotus Elise Roadster gets the new 1ZR-FAE 1.6 litre engine with Valvematic and Dual VVT-I technology to optimise the performance and efficiency. There are small improvements in economy and efficiency along with a 6 speed close ratio gearbox and the option of cruise control available as part of the Touring pack.
Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg takes the next version of the popular Mercedes Benz SLK Roadster for a drive giving us the first official glimpses of the car.
>Worthy of note is the innovative electronically adjustable tinted glass roof as well as the SLS inspired styling. The previous design SLK was based on the Mercedes Benz McLaren SLR Supercar but since this car came to the end of its production run the roadster has a new role-model. A convertible version of the SLS AMG Supercar is under development for a launch date perhaps as soon as Spring 2011.
A year ago General Motors gave a preview of the Camaro Convertible to a few select enthusiasts and amongst their feedback was a dislike of the old-fashion whip antenna on its rear. They sent their boffins to work and are proudly showing off the now invisible AM/FM antenna stashed away in the rear spoiler.
The coupe normally has the antenna hidden in the rear window glass and the thought of a traditional whip antenna was obviously a retro step too far for the Camaro fans.
Well done GM, all you have left to hide away now is the sharks-fin satellite radio antenna and the centre break light…
Fill it up, pay, get on your way. It probably won’t be that easy with electric cars, since charging takes longer than filling up with gasoline or diesel. At the Design Miami show, Audi took a playful look at this aspect: What can drivers do in the meantime? What amenities will charging stations of the future have to offer?
Wood furniture and plants, organic food, magazines and books – this futuristic service station is a wellness oasis featuring fair-trade products and sustainable materials. A real paradise, hence the title of the installation: “e-den.” The “e” stands for electromobility. Munich-based graphic design studio Mirko Borsche created the vision, which is dominated by reflective glass that mirrors the resplendent Audi e-tron Spyder, a study in electric vehicle design. The architecture is also reminiscent of a 1950s American gas station, with an old gasoline pump encased in glass like a museum piece.
Audi has presented four electric vehicle concepts with its e-tron family within just one year – and the small-series, 100% electric Audi R8 e-tron supercar will be on the market in 2012.
The BMW 1 Series Convertible may only be a few months old but it is already time for an update. The car labelled ‘the 2012 BMW 1 Series Convertible’ will confusingly be released in the Spring of 2011 and feature several welcome improvements over the previous model. Visually the car seems unchanged, at least at first but there is a new front bumper on ES, SE and Sport models with an ‘Aero Curtain’ reducing turbulence around the front of the car. As a result, CO2 emissions have been lowered throughout the range, with the 118d now rated at only 118g/km, while all 2.0-litre petrol versions have CO2 emissions of 155g/km or below.
The 135i will now be powered by BMW’s N55 3.0-liter inline-six which uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger. 135i M Sport versions also add twin black-chrome exhaust tailpipes, a unique M aerodynamic package, M Sport suspension with 135i-specific calibration, hydraulic power-assisted steering, rear spoiler and up-rated high-performance braking system.
To finish it off this new drop-top BMW will have new tail light clusters and an updated interior with new switches and controls that have a more refined look and feel.
Convertible Car Magazine is an international source of information on the best convertibles, roadsters and cabriolet cars. The site is dedicated to cabriolets and has all the top convertable cars including soft-top fabric and hardtop convertibles. Our buying guide offers a brief view of each individual new convertible for sale along with the car\'s full specs.