With summer fast approaching, the convertibles, cabriolets, and roadsters are beginning to emerge from their long hibernation. As we eagerly await the return of blue skies and dry roads, we thought it would be a good idea to give a refresher of the best open-top cars on the market today in 2023.
Ferrari 296 GTS – The High-Tech One
From the Maranello factory comes the 296 GTS, the highly anticipated V6-Hybrid open-top Ferrari. Consistently reviewed as one of the most exciting new Ferrari’s in the line-up, the 296 GTS compromises nothing on the Berlinetta version, offering the same incredible package but with even more thrill and spectacle. Up to 50% stiffer than previous Ferrari spiders, with its roof retracting in just 14 seconds while driving up to 28mph, this is one of the best engineered convertibles on the market, with real thought and precision going into converting the GTB to the GTS variant, rather than just taking the top off the car and calling it a day.
Powered by the same 3.0L V6 hybrid engine as the GTB, you have access to 654bhp from the engine, with an extra 165bhp available from the electric motor, giving a combined mind-boggling output of 819bhp, taking the car from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds. Whilst this amount of power might sound frightening, the handling and high-tech driver aids make the car surprisingly easy to drive – without compromising on enjoyment or passion. The newly developed ABS Evo control helps provide additional confidence on the brakes, letting you stop harder and later in to a corner, giving you even more grip and letting you get on the power that much earlier for the optimum Sunday drive lap times through the countryside.
One of the best perks of driving a convertible supercar is the soundtrack – and the exhaust note of the 296 GTS certainly won’t disappoint. The lack of a barrier between the lucky occupants and the open air allows you to better appreciate the 8,500rpm red line, and despite only having a V6, the GTS delivers a rich and satisfying sound that will not disappoint.
The 296 GTS is a brilliantly executed piece of automotive engineering, managing to exceed the excitement of the already remarkable 296 GTB, and for that reason, we think it is one of the must-have convertibles to take your summer up a notch.
Huracan Evo Spyder – The Feisty One
Lamborghini takes the definition of a supercar – engineered insanity – and makes it a reality. The Huracan Evo Spyder is no exception. Pure V10 Lamborghini glory, ready to experience without the impediment of a roof to keep the noise out. Surely that is enough to convince you that this is a must-have for those summer drives?
Whilst this car isn’t all about the performance specs, it definitely does not lack speed. The 631bhp 5.2L V10 is capable of taking you from 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, up to speeds of over 200mph. This blistering speed is carefully managed by the Lamborghini Integrated Vehicle Dynamics (LDVI) system, letting you use that power without fear of turning into a lawnmower on the side of a country lane.
The Evo Spyder is the culmination of Huracan special editions, taking bits and pieces from the Performante and applying it into a more dynamic and refined package, allowing you to enjoy more of what the car has to offer. The iconic Performante scream is ever present in the Evo Spyder too, which makes the experience that much more exhilarating. Even at low speeds, you are treated to a thunderous exhaust note, and with the roof off, you can really feel every pop and bang that the Huracan has become known for.
The theatre of driving a Lamborghini is unrivalled, from the fighter-jet style cockpit and buttons, to the striking colors available from the manufacturer. The aggressive angles, ground-shaking engine, loud paints, and incredible speed make the Evo Spyder a real head turner and one of the most exciting Italian supercars on the market today. Ragging this machine through some beautiful roads with the sun shining right into the cabin is a feeling that was worth waiting all winter for.
911 (992) Turbo S Cabriolet – The All-Rounder One
If a screaming V10 or brash Ferrari isn’t quite your style, then the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet might be the perfect convertible for you. With the performance to match its Italian rivals, the Turbo S combines breakneck speed with a subtle and more practical package.
First and foremost, this is a supercar – don’t let the lack of fancy aerodynamics fool you. Reaching 62mph in an insane 2.8 seconds and pulling 205mph from its 3.8L Flat-Six Turbo engine, this car will leave even the most expensive supercars in the dust. The car is extremely capable and stable at these high speeds too, with a solid construction and carbon ceramic brakes giving you the confidence to lay down the immense power available to you at just the push of the throttle.
All this speed, and we haven’t even got to the best part yet. When the weather is right, and you are feeling the occasion, you can open the car up to the skies in just 12 seconds. With the roof off, you are treated to the glorious sounds of turbos whining and whirring, a symphony of mechanical bliss. Designed to be driven, the Turbo S has a rear wind-deflector to make driving at speed more comfortable for the passengers, reducing turbulent air in the cabin and allowing you to enjoy the experience without bother.
The 911 Turbo S Cabriolet is the culmination of speed, luxury, practicality, and all round quality. Yes, there are faster or more luxurious convertibles. But none of them come close to being such a consistent all-rounder than the Turbo S.
765LT Spider – The Track One
The McLaren 765LT Spider is a great example of a manufacturer going above and beyond with the convertible version of an already successful coupe. Greater than the sum of its parts, the 765LT Spider blends absolute track-focused performance with a great driver’s car that will keep you cruising for hours with the roof down.
If you are looking for excitement on the road, whilst still being able to tear up the track at a moment’s notice, this is the car for you. With a top speed of 205mph, and going from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds, the Spider takes the same extreme performance from the Coupe and dials the driving experience to 11. Now that there is nothing between you and the quad titanium exhaust, you are free to experience the glorious sound offered up by the 755bhp V8 powertrain. Speckled with pops and crackles, you will find yourself pushing more and more just so the noise never stops.
The roof mechanism is made of carbon fibre, meaning it weighs only 49kg and doesn’t affect the structural rigidity of the car. Going from closed to open in just 11 seconds, you can remain care-free even in the unpredictable British weather. A small rear window will allow you to continue to listen to the car’s growl when the roof is up.
The 765LT Spider serves you more than any of its competitors when it comes to outright performance, excitement, and driver focused handling. Even if you are not chasing lap times, McLaren uses its decades of racing experience to deliver a road package that will get you feeling like a Formula 1 driver.
Bentley Continental GTC – The Sophisticated One
The Bentley Continental GTC is a real two-faceted car. On the one hand, it is a luxurious GT providing a smooth luxurious ride and a lavish interior to keep you in ultimate comfort. On the other hand, the GTC is the fastest 4-seater convertible, capable of over 200mph when paired with the optional, but (in our opinion) necessary, 6.0L W12 engine. Whilst many of its competitors offer performance over comfort, the Bentley GTC stays true to its values, disguising its power in a beautifully sophisticated package.
Whilst the performance is mind-boggling, especially for a car this heavy, the true value of a Bentley lies in its quality and features to give you the ultimate driving experience. A blend of hand-stitched leather, polished wood, and other high-quality materials, sitting in a Bentley is an experience of its own. The digital dashboard is a refreshing modern addition, whilst still keeping the sleek design language of the classic Continental GT that we have all admired for many years.
Once you’ve finished admiring the interior and decide its time to set off, the car’s 4 driving modes are ready to let you enjoy the car however you wish. From comfort, all the way up to sports mode, the Bentley GTC offers versatility unlike any of its competitors. The active dampers ensure that the ride remains comfortable, even when pushing the 635bhp W12 engine to its limits.
The only way to enjoy a car like this even more is with the wind through your hair and the endless skies open above you. Giving all 4 passengers a ride to remember, the Continental GTC is the best way to transport your friends or family in both speed and style.
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante – The Brutal One
In the battle for the ultimate convertible, Aston Martin presents the DBS Superleggera Volante – a menacing V12 rear-wheel drive menace that reminds you why this is Bond’s brand of choice. One of the most savage cars on this list, all in a smart and polished package, the DBS is like the secret agent of the supercar world. Able to hold its own against both performance cars and GT cars, the DBS proves that practical doesn’t need to be boring or subtle.
Housing a brutal 715bhp 5.2L V12 up front, the DBS Volante is the fastest of our drop-top picks, getting to speeds of up to 211mph with the roof down, and 217mph if you don’t want to brave the breeze. Lowering the roof might be the preferable option, however, as you are going to want to hear the Aston’s V12 releasing its sweet melody behind you. Sounding like a mad dog even at idle, driving through a 20mph zone has never been so exciting.
Putting all its power to the rear wheels, the DBS will keep you teetering on the edge of traction with all that performance, but don’t fear – the car is more than capable. With the grippy Pirelli tyres, hefty brakes, and stiff structure to support that much power, the DBS reminds you of better times when a performance car was to be wrestled with – difficult to tame, but extremely rewarding when you respect it and get it right.
Rolls-Royce Dawn – The Indulgent One
When it comes to travelling in comfort, Rolls-Royce needs no introduction. Known the world over as the pinnacle of luxury, Rolls-Royce are experts in the marriage of engineering and craftsmanship. And now you can transform your Rolls-Royce experience by putting the roof down in the Rolls Royce Dawn.
The Dawn is powered by a 6.6L V12 with 563bhp, and whilst a Rolls-Royce isn’t about pure speed or performance, it certainly won’t feel slow despite its 2.4-tonne, 5.2m long body. On the outside, the Dawn is an effortlessly elegant and distinctively Rolls-Royce, with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy sitting proudly upon the hood. Taking a look at the cabin, which is where you will want to spend almost all your time, you can find the highest quality materials sourced from all round the world with limitless opportunity for personalisation. With the trademarked Rolls-Royce air suspension, you are blissfully cocooned inside, feeling almost nothing as your driver takes you anywhere you desire.
The Dawn doesn’t lose anything to its bigger coupe siblings either – in fact, the addition of a convertible roof allows you to enjoy the Rolls Royce we know and love like never before. Dropping the roof allows you to take the level of comfort and amenities expected of this ultra-exclusive brand out on the open road for a wider array of occasions. Whilst many Phantoms or Ghosts are submitted to a life of chauffeuring round the crowded city streets from meeting to meeting, the Dawn lends itself to a leisurely drive around the Italian lakes. Taking the roof off not only opens the cabin but opens up the opportunity to appreciate this masterpiece in more scenic environments.
The Dawn takes everything great about a Rolls-Royce and gives you an even better way of experiencing what the brand has to offer. Sit back, relax, and take in the views of the blue skies above.
MC20 Cielo – The Refined One
The long-awaited Maserati MC20 made big waves in the automotive community, being the Italian manufacturers first supercar in 16 years. Following in the footsteps of the legendary MC12, the MC20 received great praise as a dynamic and versatile supercar. To build upon their latest success, Maserati have created the MC20 Cielo – Italian for “sky” – a convertible supercar that encapsulates the coupes’ style and then adding a whole new dimension.
Drawing from the same 621bhp ‘Nettuno’ V6 engine as the coupe, the Cielo has speed and performance in excess. Even though you could never come close to using the full potential of any of these cars on the road, the Cielo deploys this power in a friendly and inviting way, allowing you to use as much as you can bear. With the optional carbon ceramic brakes, a rigid and reinforced chassis, and the various driving modes at your disposal, you can feel secure driving in any environment. Twists and turns, long straight roads, damp, and bumpy – the MC20 Cielo will give you the confidence to tackle it head on whilst remaining elegant and effortlessly fast throughout the journey.
The option to remove your roof and open the cabin to the ‘cielo’ is a welcome addition to what was already a special experience. Opening in just 12 seconds, you can enjoy every last ray of sunshine at a moment’s notice, even whilst on the move up to 31mph. When it is time to put the roof back on, you can still enjoy a more panoramic view by changing the opacity of the roof glass in an instant – switching from opaque to transparent at the click of a button.
The MC20 Cielo is a great sign of where Maserati is heading and shows that even after a hiatus from the supercar world, it can still create a fast, beautiful, and refined machine capable of battling it out with its rivals.
So which one will you take? Refined, or track focused? High-tech, or raw? Brutal, or indulgent? The sky is the limit (quite literally) with so many great and versatile convertibles on the market today. If you are interested in any of the cars mentioned, or any other convertible listed on the Roman’s website, please give us a call! The sales team will be more than happy to help you get your hands on the drop-top of your dreams just in time for summer.