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Getting ready for summer 2016 with a new convertible

By raccars Published

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It may not feel summery yet, but the siren call of convertible motoring will soon be upon us!

Warm spring breezes inevitably conjure up glamorous images of wind in the hair drop-top motoring. Sales of convertible cars rise every year, without fail, in tandem with the mercury - and prices follow suit. It's wise to get your convertible early in the season, before the market responds to demand with higher prices.

Fiat 500C

If the Fiat 500 is the epitome of funky Italian style, the 500C convertible version has bells on top. It comes with a powered dual layer fabric roof in a choice of three colours, and three trim levels, all of which feature an impressive array of modern technology. There's also a hot Abarth version with 160bhp, so something for anyone who's looking for a smart, modern convertible city car.

Mazda MX-5

The world's favourite convertible, this entertaining little two seater has sold almost a million units since its release in 1989. The latest version retains the characteristics that made the original such a hit; it's lightweight, affordable and handles like a dream. The MX-5 won't win any speed races but is supremely agile and pleasurable to zip around British A roads on a summer's day and is sufficiently well built to remain comfortable as a daily driver all through the year.

Ford Mustang

The spiritual opposite of the MX-5, the latest Ford Mustang is the first to be available in right hand drive format and designed with European driving sensibilities in mind. That's not to say, however, that it has lost its essential American muscle car character. Although cleaner and greener than previous generations, the new Mustang still has plenty of horsepower and muscular looks. The convertible version features an insulated multi-layered roof which operates swiftly and neatly.

Porsche Boxster

There's nothing semi-skimmed about Porsche's entry level two seater sports car. The junior model to the 911 is still a rapid drive with very smart looks. Designed from the ground up as a convertible, the current version receives an update this year which includes the suffix 718 in homage to the classic Porsche sports car of the Fifties and Sixties.

Other changes include the introduction of 2.0 and 2.5 litre single turbocharged four cylinder engines to replace the previous naturally aspirated six cylinder units, with more power and lower fuel consumption. The 718 Boxster is available to order now with the first customer deliveries planned for June.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

After a number of years of lacklustre output, the 4C marked a very welcome return to form from the Italian manufacturer. The convertible Spider version remains strong but lightweight through its carbon fibre and aluminium chassis and SMC (sheet moulded compound) bodywork. In traditional roadster style, the 4C Spider is most at home along a Mediterranean Riviera style road rather than a racetrack and is a supremely engaging drive. It's small but agile, with performance statistics including 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds and a 160mph top speed.

BMW M4 Convertible

The convertible version of the athletic M4 coupe is slightly heavier but still remarkably rapid. BMW's characteristic premium quality interior is present and correct and the retractable hard top - which completes operation in only 20 seconds - makes it super refined and practical for year-round use. Power comes from a twin turbo 3.0 litre engine and there's plenty of M division branding on display.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Range Rover appears to have created a brand new market segment with its convertible SUV, which is based upon the Evoque Coupe. It's a comfortable four seater and comes with a powered soft top and 21 inch wheels. According to Land Rover, the Evoque Convertible can also handle a bit of off road rough stuff, although it's hard to imagine from its sleek looking exterior.

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