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2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Review & Test Drive 26
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in 2014 Mazda MX-5, Automotive, convertible, Mazda, Mazda Miata, Mazda MX-5, Roadster, Test Drives on 02 26th, 2014
2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Right Done Small

2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Right Done Small

When I say ‘cheap thrills’ I mean that I can’t find any other two-seat pure sports roadster for under $30,000.00 that gives so much sports car thrills and driving pleasure with a power-retracting hardtop.  I just finished testing and photographing the new Club model and it is a real ‘kick-in-the-pants’.  For a pure two-seat sports car the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata ‘Club’ has it all.

2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Left XDown LA Small

The Club model that I tested has styling that is pure with a wide-mouth front grille finished with a piano black upper brow, black splitter with a flat underside, an aluminum hood, projector-beam headlamp clusters with black bezels, new projector-beam foglamps with black matte surrounds, flared fenders stuffed with 17X7 inch dark gunmetal alloy wheels wrapped with Bridgestone 205/45R17 inch street-sticky Potenza RE050A low-profile performance tires, body-color pull-out door handles, black power-remote outside mirrors, black ‘MX-5’ lower strip, a ‘Club’ medallion on each fender, seat back bar garnish is displayed in a glossy dark gray motif, rear diffuser and finished with dual sport-tuned, polished stainless steel exhaust tips.  The power hard-top is painted in glossy black to give the body a bolder look.  The power hard-top just takes 15-seconds to raise or lower and I just have to release the center lock on the inside and push a lighted button.

2014 Mazda MX5 Engine Done Small

Power and performance easily back up the bold looks starting with the high-revving (7,200rpm redline), MZR 2.0 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC, four-cylinder engine with VVT for excellent low-end torque.  It generates a healthy 167hp at 7,000rpm and 140lb.ft. of torque at 5,000rpm.  I tested the engine mated to the six-speed, short-throw manual transmission that comes with an Induction Sound Enhancer that consists of a series of tuned pipes and a passive resonance membrane.  It delivers the engine’s natural induction sound to the cowl, just ahead of the windshield, so more attractive engine sounds can be heard at a satisfying volume without resorting to simply being a loud, obtrusive noise.  Mounted front mid-ship for precise handling and balance, additional engine features include a forged steel crankcase, forged steel connecting rods with floating wrist pins, and revised pistons with stronger wrist pin bosses, stiffer valve springs and engine oil cooler when exercising the MX-5 for long periods of time on the backroads.

2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Side Done Small

The stubby, leather-wrapped, short-throw six-speed manual that was mated to my test MX-5 was perfectly placed and a pleasure to use.  Each time I changed gears to the next I felt a push to my back, the harder I pushed on the throttle, the more the push back into my seatback.  The MX-5 also comes standard with aluminum Power Plant Frame for exceptional stiffness and weight saving, plus a limited-slip differential to put the power down to the pavement.

2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Rear TopUp Done Small

The MX-5 ‘Club’ comes standard with a sport-tuned fully independent suspension for precise handling when cornering and a solid feel when driving at triple-digits on the highway.  Even though the weight is only 2,511 pounds the MX-5 feels like it is riding on wheels. Up front is a double-wishbone setup with forged aluminum arms, coil springs, monotube gas-filled Bilstein shocks and a stabilizer bar.  The rear features a multi-link setup with an aluminum baring support, monotube gas-filled Bilstein shocks, coil springs, tubular control arms, an aluminum knuckle and a stabilizer bar.  For added stiffness and control the MX-5 comes standard with front/rear subframes, a monocoque unibody with a backbone frame construction.  These items further eliminated any noise, vibration and harshness when driving.

2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Rear Done Small

Away we go with a perfectly calibrated electronic power-assisted rack & pinion -steering system that moves the MX-5 exactly where I want the car to head-just a little tug on the leather-wrapped/tilting steering wheel moves its direction with precision.  A front strut tower brace further adds to the stiffness and cornering prowess.  On-center feel and my feel for the road are exceptional.  This system is just perfect for the MX-5 to keep it up-to-date and pure.

Quickly and safely slowing the MX-5 ‘Club’ down from speed are power-assisted, steel disc brakes.  Up front are 11.4 inch vented discs clamped with large single-piston aluminum-housed calipers with the rear equipped with 11 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston aluminum-housed calipers.  Standard brake enhancements include ABS, EBD, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control.  For real pulse-quickening times I shut off the Stability/Traction Control system off to let rear slid out when exiting a steep corner.

2014 Mazda MX5 Dashboard Done Small

On the inside the ‘Club’ theme continues with a body-color-matching decoration panel feature trim-specific graphics, red contrast stitching on the deeply cut yet comfortable cloth bucket seats with manual adjustments and driver’s-side height adjuster, a dark gray contoured surround meter around the stunning gauges, A/C, power express down windows, power door locks, cruise control and AM-FM-CD-MP3-WMA-Sirius radio controls on the steering wheel, rear center console storage, storage baskets at the bottom of each door, mesh aero board, center console with dual cupholders and storage bin, front open storage tray, map light, dual vanity mirrors, auxiliary audio input jack, remote keyless entry, trip computer and floor mats.  All buttons, switches and dials are easy to reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime travel.

2014 Mazda MX5 Cluster Done Small

Standard safety systems include 3-point safety belts with pretensioners/load limiters, advanced dual front and side airbags, front/rear crumple zones, anti-theft engine immobilizer and side-impact door beams.

The new 2014 Mazda MX-5 Club Hardtop Convertible is one of the best values in two-seat sport roadsters.  More than 900,000 consumers have purchased the MX-5 so far and the owners that I spoke to raved about the fun-to-drive elements.  I would recommend that consumers over 6ft. 3in. get inside first with the top up before a purchase because I had only ½ inch of headroom and I am 6ft. 3in.  Other than that its ZOOM-ZOOM fun!

2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Right Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Right Up Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Left XDown LA Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Side Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Rear TopUp Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Rear Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Fender Club Badge Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Badge Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Dashboard Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Cluster Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Door Trim Done Small
2014 Mazda MX5 Engine Done Small



  • Price: $28,665.00 as tested
  • Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4-cylinder 167 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm / 140 ft-lbs. of torque @ 5,000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 91.7 inches
  • Total length: 157.3 inches
  • Total width: 67.7 inches
  • Total height: 49.4 inches
  • Headroom: 37 inches
  • Legroom: 43.1 inches
  • Turning circle: 30.8 feet
  • Ground clearance: 5 inches
  • Fuel tank: 12.7 gallons
  • EPA fuel mileage: 21mpg/city, 28mpg/highway
  • 0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds


Official: Lamborghini’s Veneno Roadster 19
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in Automotive News, Lamborghini, limited-edition, Popular, Roadster, Super car news on 08 19th, 2013

Lamborghini Veneno

The Lamborghini Veneno is already a rare masterpiece in itself, and today, the Italian supercar maker has confirmed that there will be a roadster variant of this exquisite car.

The Veneno is based on her more famous sibling, the Aventador, and now a topless Veneno will soon wow the world.

However, if you were hoping to get your hands on one of these, your just out of luck. Only four will built and one of these will go to the Lamborghini Museum in Sant’ Agata, Italy.

The other three Veneno Roadsters (as it is officially being called) were sold for a whopping $4 million each!

Gallery: The current, hard top Veveno –

Veneno 01
Veneno 02
Veneno 03
Veneno 04

There has long since been rumours that Lamborghini was considering manufacturing a roadster version of the Veneno. Many supercar-lovers’ dreams came true when the rumours were confirmed by Car and Driver during an interview with the CEO of Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann.

At $4 million, the Veneno Roadster is 10% more expensive than the Veneno hard top.

With exception of the hard roof, making way for a roadster roof, the Veneno roadster will unlikely showcase any other major styling changes – however, we will have to wait to see what happens.

If you have always wanted to drive a Lamborghini with the wind blowing through your hair, then this is the car for you – that is, if you can get your hands on one!

Source: CarBuzz

2013 Nissan 370Z Touring Roadster Quick Spin 14
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 370Z, Automotive, convertible, nissan, Nissan 370Z, Roadster, Test Drives on 08 14th, 2013


Nissan’s Z-car heritage is alive and well, residing in the latest iteration including the convertible variation featuring roadster-like styling and a sports car edge. For the model year 2013, Nissan revises the front end with new LED running lights, while an optional Sports package gets revised euro-tuned shocks for better balance in road handling and comfort.


Powered by the highly praised VQ-series 3.7-liter V6 engine, the 370Z keeps its competitive edge even when you are allowed to fold the top down. With 332 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 270 lb-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm, the new 370Z keeps its paces on par with its competition. Still offering the choice of an intricate SyncroRev Match 6-speed manual transmission or the adaptable 7-speed automatic with steering column-mounted paddle shifters, the Z car continues to appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts.


The SyncroRev Match system found in my new 370Z roadster test vehicle is a feature that is just now starting to show up in many other sports cars that still offer up a manual transmission. Though, as a dying breed, the 6-speed manual box bridges its life over to Generation Y’ers with the adaptation of its rev-matched downshifts. Basically, the system automatically controls the throttle upon recognizing a shift into a lower gear from the previous. It works pretty good to give novice and competent drives the ability to perform seamless rev-matched downshifts. The system also aids in upshifts on those rare occasions you take an ample amount of time to up-shift where the engine speed no-longer matches the rotational speed of the vehicles wheels – the system will place the throttle in the position to match the shift.

The engine, virtually unchanged from the past few years, remains to have a wide usable RPM range of power. At its sweet spot, about 5,000 rpm all the way to redline at 7,000 rpm, the engine keeps you well entertained. That entertainment comes with some subtle punishment with the characteristic peddle and floorboard vibrations that we have grown to know all-to-well in the 370Z.


In comparison to the 370Z Coupe, the Roadster tends have a bit of the expected body flex. Nevertheless, body flex and vibrations are kept to a minimum with the implications of the 370Z Roadster having the proper reinforcements and suspension tweaking to nearly match the Coupe in performance. As far as 0-60 mph time variances go, the 370Z Coupe makes the run in 5.1 seconds while my 370Z Roadster is capable of taking just 5.5 seconds to reach 60 mph.

Handling and road adaptation in the 370Z Roadster is virtually identical to that of the Coupe. The well-balanced chassis of the 370Z Roadster has an open line of communication when behind the driver’s seat allowing you to kick the rear-end out and bring it back in line with ease for any proficient driver. The 6-speed manual gearbox also meets the demand for capable drivers with quick and direct shifts.


Having had an abundance of time behind the wheel of the 370Z coupe and convertible variations over the past few years, we can all agree on its Z heritage and true sports car character remaining intact as an appealing enthusiast-oriented two-seater. The Nissan Z Roadster, with its power-folding soft-top, now can be optioned out with a respectable list of options once only available on the Sport Touring Coupe trim.

My 2013 Nissan 370Z Touring Roadster came with many of those options featuring the Sport Package, including a staggered set of 19-inch RAYS Forged wheels, Limited Slip Differential, SyncroRev Match 6-speed manual transmission, Euro-tuned shocks and Sport Brakes with 4-piston calipers up front and 2-piston rears. Also found on my test vehicle as optional equipment is the Navigation System package featuring a 7-inch color LCD touch-screen monitor, hard-drive based GPS Navigation, USB connection port, Streaming Bluetooth audio, NavTraffic/NavWeather updates, single CD player and auxiliary audio input connection.


Of course with the 370Z Touring trim you automatically get a plethora of including amenities raising the bar for Nissan’s Roadster, such as ventilated and heated seats, 8-way power driver’s seat, 4-way power passenger’s seat, auto dim review mirror, Intelligent Key w/ pushbutton start, bi-functional HID headlights and automatic temperature controls.

The Nissan 370Z’s styling is unmistakable in either Coupe or Roadster form. Its design pays homage to the classic Z car’s original design and impression on the road. Getting past the great design and excellent drivetrain, one would have to employ the 370Z Roadster’s uniqueness and long list of options to digest the as-tested price of $50,055. Although, the base price of a 370Z Coupe starts at just $33,120, the contrasting acceptance would reside on the Z Roadster being a rare and unique breed among sports cars and half of the price of its bigger brother, being the pavement shattering GT-R, which isn’t available in a drop-top form.


Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base 370Z convertible $41,470 /As-Tested $50,055. including $780 destination charge
  • Engine: 3.7-liter V6 332 horsepower @ 7000 rpm / 270 ft-lbs. torque @ 5200 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 100.4in.
  • Total length: 167.2in.
  • Total width: 72.8in.
  • Total height with top up: 52.2in.
  • Track: f/r-60.6/61.6in.
  • Headroom: 38.7in.
  • Legroom: 42.9in.
  • Turning circle: 32.8ft.
  • Weight distribution: f/r-54/46%
  • Passenger volume: 52.3cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: 4.2cu.ft.
  • Fuel tank: 19 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,488lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 17 mpg/city, 24 mpg/highway (6-speed manual transmission)

2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster Review & Test Drive 10
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, BMW, BMW Z4, BMW Z4 Roadster, convertible, Roadster, Test Drives on 05 10th, 2013


The BMW Z4 roadster isn’t for everyone, yet it is for everyone who desires something driver-focused, easy on the petrol, has two excellent seats surrounded by luxury, a hard drop-top, and the infamous Bavarian roundel stamped on the aluminum hood and rear deck lid. Receiving a complete redesign for the 2012 model, the new 2013 BMW Z4 freshens up its standard equipment list and keeps the German roadster an engaging experience for the convertible enthusiast.


BMW is one of the few companies to consistently keep a tradition of making cars attractive for the enthusiast while some others have to play catch up after they assumed the common denominator was their choice audience. The BMW Z4 has remained in its exclusive corner for many always playing with the same old friends. It is possible now, with the new Z4, that the smallish BMW roadster will find its way to make some new friends by offering some new toys to play with in the form of a 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, proving to be just as powerful as some V6 engines yet a serious gas miser. Moreover, aside from my SDrive28i Z4 test vehicle’s force-fed 4-cylinder engine, the Z4 can be had in a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 cylinder sDrive35i flavor pumping out 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. To top off the Z4 line, the sDrive35is gets a more powerful version of the Turbo 3.0-liter good for 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque, with a full-throttle overboost feature reaching 365 lb-ft. of torque.


Midrange power from the turbo 4 is surprisingly plentiful and smoothly delivered. Even up high close to its 7000 rpm redline, the engine does not give out of breath, though from 5000 to 7000 rpm you don’t want to expect to produce any more power, but the output remains mostly consistent until fuel cut. The remarkable initiation of torque starts its peak output at a low 1,250 rpm. There is virtually no turbo lag and the turbo spools up remarkably fast followed up by a progressive release of pressure after letting off of the throttle. In a nutshell, this turbo 4-cylinder is among the best I have ever experienced in stock form, possibly producing more power than what is stated on paper by BMW. To add to the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine’s fuel efficiency, is an included Automatic Start/Stop function. The start/stop system works well with the manual transmission turning the engine off at stops while the clutch peddle is not pressed under certain conditions. The engine starts back in just under a second after depressing the clutch pedal to shift into first gear.


The new 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i can be had with a no-cost optional 8-speed automatic transmission, or the enthusiast desired 6-speed manual as equipped in my test vehicle. The new Z4 sDrive35i gets either the 6-speed manual box or the 7-speed automated dual-clutch transmission (DCT). The sDrive35is, for some odd reason, only gets the dual-clutch unit. Probably the gem of the bunch, if shear acceleration is not a deal-breaker, is the sDrive28i with the twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder. Having less weight to carry around it tends to have slightly better handling and lower price to boot.


Having spent a good amount of time driving the new Z4 sDrive28i around town, I find that many of its better attributes shine through its Citrus Yellow M Sport Package and glistening Atacama Yellow exterior paint. Some of these traits would otherwise be hidden until you get in and live with the German roadster on a couple road trips. Those attributes pay homage to the rest of the BMW line of vehicles, especially by providing a surprising amount of legroom for those over 6 feet tall, such as myself. You would also take notice to an upscale cabin with high-quality materials where you get stitched alcantara trim lacing the dashboard and door trim. The beefy leather wrapped steering wheel fits in your hands like a glove, and the 6-speed shifter, unique to BMW, allows a few quick yet focused throws.

On the performance scale the new 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i is no pushover what-so-ever, even when it is described as having a smallish 4-cylinder engine. You can call the turbo 4 in the new Z4, the engine that could conquer, and conquer it does. 0-60 mph times come in just at 5.4 seconds. The Z4 sDrive28i boasts a nimble curb weight of 3,263 pounds allowing you to nudge out a 0.89g on the skid pad. Putting the Z4 sDrive28i through its paces can be somewhat of an uneasy feeling at first, mainly due to your seating position close to the rear wheels. At times when you find the handling limits, the Z4 bites back with additional grip. Basically, you must really feed the throttle and lay into turns to break the rear end loose. In other words, don’t expect all 260 lb-ft. of torque to upset the rear that much just by dropping the clutch with traction and dynamic stability control disabled. Possibly, the engagement level required for the Z4 mixed in with its ease of drivability makes for the perfect roadster driving machine formula.


The interior of the new 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i fits the bill for a performance oriented roadster. The sport seats, courtesy of the optional M Sport Package, are very supportive with plenty of bolstering, accent stitching throughout the alcantara inserts, and leather surroundings. The M Sport Package, selectable in variety of extended interior and exterior colors, adds on an adaptive suspension system, M steering wheel, and 18-inch star-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in a staggered set of 225/40R front – 255/35R rear Bridgestone Potenza run-flat rubber.


The Z4’s roadster cabin has an interesting rear-biased design where visibility is surprisingly good in both blind spot areas and over the long hood. The rear window area with the top up is deep enough behind the rear seats that you get a wide-angle glance at what is in the rear and in most of your blind spot areas. Putting the power top down, which takes a short 15 seconds, is a silent undisturbed motion that can be activated at speeds up to 35 mph. This is a great feature for those times you have impatient cars behind you at the traffic light that just turned green.

BMW has always built the Z4 as a purposed roadster, which in turn contributes to the rigidity of the new Z4. Hardly ever do you notice any body flex or abnormal vibrations with the hard-top up or down. The bulky size of the lower door frames gives away the additional structure supports incorporated in the new BMW Z4’s design to keep it stable at all times – considering it does not have a fixed roof.


The new 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i is a dynamic and capable luxury-roaster that has what it takes to keep its two occupants enthused on short or long trips. During the long hauls, you not only conserve fuel with the EPA figures of 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, but you can stow your luggage in the trunk’s extra reserve space and let the top down all the while you enjoy the wind in your hair and sunny blue sky. The folding hard-top collapses into a uniquely small sandwiched area in the truck leaving you just enough room for two small sized luggage bags. I saw a combined average of 27 mpg around town and as high as 35 mpg on the highway for about a 20 mile stretch.

BMW shares its technology in a seamless fashion on the 2013 Z4 roadster offering most infotainment and comfort features found on the new 3 series vehicles. A long list of options and packages can quickly raise the price point of the new 2013 BMW Z4, however, you have a respectable base at just $47,350 to work with. Tacking on the M Sport/Citrus Yellow package, Premium Sound Package, heated front seats and BMW Assist w/Bluetooth, brings the price to $56,395 for my test vehicle including $895 destination charge. Pitted against its direct competition, the 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive2i exudes an edge over the likings of the new Mercedes-Benz SLK from an enthusiast perspective, but may end up being just shy of the all-new Porsche Boxster’s hardcore performance. Nevertheless, the new 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive28i combines all the good aspects of a true roadster as somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades in the convertible two-seater roll – still, no qualms here.


Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base BMW Z4 sDrive28i $47,350 / As-Tested $56,395
  • Engine: 2.0-liter Turbocharged inline-4 cylinder 240 horsepower @ 5000 rpm / 260 ft-lbs. torque @ 1250 rpm
  • Turning circle: 35.1 ft.
  • Track: f/r-59.5/61.4 ft.
  • Legroom: 42.2 inches
  • Headroom: 39.1  inches
  • Fuel tank: 14.5 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,263 lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • Cargo: 8.0 cu.ft.
  • EPA Mileage: 22 mpg city / 34 mpg highway

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 Roadster Review & Test Drive 28
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, convertible, featured, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Benz SL550, Roadster, Test Drives on 02 28th, 2013


With Mercedes-Benz having a lineage that has stood the test of time for almost as long as the Automotive industry has been around, it is refreshing to testify to their latest SL roadster still pushing forward the luxury envelope without leaving anything to be desired.

The all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 exudes premium luxury appointments for two passengers with the enjoyment of a 429 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs. of torque twin-turbocharged direct-injected V8 engine and a convertible hard-top to boot. Not only does the new Benz SL550 accel over previous generations, but the new 5th generation reaches a new level of refinement and appeal to enthusiasts.


The new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is light on its feet where it can channel all of its brute force to the rear wheels through a smooth-shifting 7-speed automatic transmission thrusting the newly sculpted body forward with authority. The new body panel structure is new composed of 90% aluminum and 10% magnesium allowing the SL to shed some unwanted weight over the previous generation, as much as 200 pounds, while stiffening the vehicle overall by 20%.

Proving to literally have a face-lift resembling the new Benz SLS AMG, the new Benz SL takes claim to its wider track, taller front fascia and lengthened body over the outgoing model. Even with the larger dimensions the new Benz SL remains to keep its curb weight right at 3,935 pounds. Shedding the extra weight allows the 4.7-liter direct-injected twin-turbocharged V8 prove its agility combined with a capable hard-top convertible chassis reaching 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.


In true Mercedes-Benz fashion, the new SL exudes luxury even with the quiet and quickly folding hard top up or down. Pushing enduring luxury amenities even further in Mercedes’ prided SL roadster, the roof is a never-ending joy by means of Magic Sky Control, basically an electronically controlled tinting of the glass panel delightfully encased in the roof top. When up, the roof can express a subdued sense of having a sunroof with a tinted glass shade that dims or lightens at the push of a button. It is simply an ingenious touch.

With the fun extending far beyond leaving the hard-top roof up, the new Mercedes-Benz SL fully retracts the top in just 21 seconds. Having a cabin as quite as any other luxury sports coupe when the top is up, the SL merely extends its luxurious cabin delight equally with the top or down.


Part of keeping the driver and passenger encased in an unforgettable luxury-laced environment, the new Mercedes-Benz SL features AIRSCARF, which is a venting system that emits heat under the seat headrests aimed at the back of your neck. This is a highly sought-after option for the SL not only in cooler regions but for those starry nights when the temperature may have been considered too cool to let the top down. In a way, combined with the active bolstered, heated, massaging, ventilated and exceptionally perforated seats, the SL can be a yearlong fun machine.

Speaking of fun, the 4.7-liter forced-fed V8 engine implements power beyond numbers on paper. Although the horsepower figure of 429 is short of many sports cars, the new Benz SL can hang with some of the best through efficient power management via the well-adapted 7-speed automatic transmission and a curb weight kept to a minim for a large performance luxury hardtop convertible roadster. Selectable Eco, Sport and manual transmission (through steering wheel-mounted paddles) modes allow the driver to dial in an adapted shift program while the Active Body Control (ABC) suspension system can be set to a desired Comfort, Normal or Sport mode.


Driving dynamics of the new SL can sometimes come off as a bit artificial, mainly due to absence of much body roll when putting the SL into a sharp turn. Moreover, the SL seems to show a sign of its mass when really pushed to the limit, almost as if it wants to understeer just because the Active Body Control suspension kept the body as flat as an ironing board. Over all, the SL is well suited to be driven hard but begs to mislead the driver on quickly finding its limits, somewhat in part to the ample surging horsepower and low rpm-pumping torque. It is highly suggestive to leave the traction and stability control in place or your insurance company may not be happy about forking over the bill on your mishap. Though, it is likely you will walk away from incidents should they occur due to Mercedes-Benz’s efforts of a massive security blanket. Of course an abundance of active safety features are available to keep you from entering into the forbidden territory such as Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe Brake, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and an Attention Assist system.

The latest Active Body Control in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is remarkable in its efforts to keep the vehicle balanced, almost level, through hard cornering. Additionally, the Active Body Control raises and lowers the suspension based on drive speeds and mode setting. As the vehicle nears highway speeds, the suspension adapts by lowering the vehicle for added stability. Set in full sport modes, the quick speed-adapted steering rack is slightly modified with added tension, the suspension limits body motion and the transmission holds lower gears longer but not to the point that it upsets an expected every-day smooth shift-pattern.


When inside of the new 2013 SL550, the abundance of luxury features and amenities can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming. Though, Mercedes-Benz pulls off making many controls and access of class-leading features somewhat simplistic. I would not say the new SL is an easy machine to completely understand just by jumping in and driving into the sunset, but it fits like a glove after going on a 15-minute learning curve journey. The latest Mercedes-Benz COMMAND SYSTEM with navigation proves to be very responsive but does require taking time out for adapting yourself to an eccentric setup when put up against the likings of BMW’s iDrive or Audi’s Multimedia Interface.

Found on my SL test vehicle was just about every option offered through the long laundry list of advanced technology and a few first-time amenities such as the AIRSCARF system. The Harmon Kardon audio system is truly exceptional, one of the best I have heard in an OEM flavor – not to mention the clarity of its deep bass emitting through my chest and crisp highs noticeably captured with the top up or down.


From a lax daily commuter to an adventurous enthusiast, Mercedes-Benz engineers didn’t spare their efforts to give the new SL550 true customization for just about any type of driver. Basking in the lap of luxury with a solitary quiet cabin is just as enjoyable as letting the hardtop down and letting your hair blow in the wind. You can do it all within the confides of an exceptional performance luxury hardtop convertible roadster laced in a plethora of luxury amenities to keep everyone entertained, comfortable and thrilled.

Of course this delighting enjoyment and satisfaction of a new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 comes at a vast price, about $125,000 when fully loaded. Starting price for the new 2013 SL550 is $105,500, a price point that is justified only after repeatedly treating yourself to world-class roadster with performance, good looks and true luxury appeal.


Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base SL550 $105.500 /$124,935 as tested including destination and delivery charges
  • Engine: 4.7 liter Direct Injected Twin Turbocharged V8 – 429 horsepower @ 5,250 rpm / 516 ft-lbs. @ 1,800 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 101.8 in.
  • Total length: 181.8 in.
  • Total width: 73.9 in.
  • Total height: 51.8 in.
  • Track: f/r-62.9/63 in.
  • Headroom: 39.1 in.
  • Legroom: 42.9 in.
  • Cargo volume: 13.5-top up/8.5 cu.ft. top down
  • Turning circle: 36.2 ft.
  • Fuel tank: 19.8 gallons
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds


2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster Revealed 13
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in ASTON MARTIN, Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster, Automotive, convertible, News, Roadster on 07 13th, 2012

Most enthusiasts will eagerly admit that Aston Martin vehicles are sex on 4 wheels. Aston Martin never ceases to keep us enthralled with the introduction of some of the sexiest vehicles on the road today. The latest passion to come out of the Aston Martin line is the new 2013 V12 Vantage Roadster.

In its full open-air splendor, the 2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster boasts performance to match its stellar looks.

The new 2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster does not differ too much from its Coupe sibling. However, the V12 Vantage Roadster, being a convertible, gets a redesigned rear decklid with a “flip” (spoiler) to provide stability at high speeds. Moreover, the new V12 Vantage Roadster has new lower front intakes and modified suspension system with unique valves to aid in its road-going handling dynamics when reaching its top speed of 190 mph. 0-62 mph time is listed as 4.5 seconds.

The new 2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster will launch with a starting price of $233,340 (₤150,000). View the full press release below for additional information on the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster.


Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster Roars In

Aston Martin is lifting the lid on an extreme new sports car with the global debut of the V12 Vantage Roadster.

The new sports car, available as a limited edition in selected markets worldwide, immediately becomes the most potent example of the open-top Vantage range and mixes the breath-taking power of Aston Martin’s naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 engine with the established thrills of Vantage Roadster driving for what is an unforgettable sports car experience.

The V12 Vantage Roadster’s 6.0-litre engine, mated as in the Coupe to a six-speed manual gearbox, generates 517 PS at 6,500 rpm and a muscular 570 Nm of torque at 5,750 rpm. It has been intelligently packaged into the Vantage Roadster’s compact form to fully exploit the sports-orientated model’s ample natural agility.

The naturally-aspirated V12 provides high levels of power and torque yet it delivers a flexible, refined driving experience illuminated with the potential for truly electrifying performance. The 0-62 mph sprint is dispatched in just 4.5 seconds* while this most potent Aston Martin Roadster is capable of 190 mph*.

While the Roadster naturally shares much of the technical and specification features of the V12 Vantage Coupe, some elements are redesigned to take account of the Roadster’s neat packaging and engaging dynamics.

The V12 Vantage Roadster features a redesigned rear boot lid and lower front air intake to maintain a level of dynamic performance that’s fully in keeping with the V12 Coupe, while there are also a number of unique chassis revisions. These include a modified rear damper set-up, front and rear damper valve tuning and a new rear spring design.

These changes, in conjunction with Aston Martin’s use of Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, ensure the sports car delivers dramatic straight-line performance as well as outstanding handling.

Styled to be as beautiful as it is potent, the new Roadster boasts a number of eye-catching additions that underline its sporty characteristics. Carbon fibre side strakes; a carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser; carbon fibre mirror caps and carbon fibre rear lamp infills – plus the new forged alloy wheel design – should leave the sports car cognoscenti in no doubt that this is a truly exclusive Aston Martin.

At the rear, the boot lid on the V12 Vantage Roadster incorporates a more pronounced ‘flip’ to reduce rear lift and improve stability at high speeds. The V12′s diffuser houses a large, centre-mounted oil cooler and two large tail-pipe finishers.

As with the front splitter, the carbon fibre rear diffuser is hand-made to ensure the direction and consistency of the weave and ensure the best possible finish.

Inside, there are other distinguishing features that make the new car stand out from its illustrious siblings in the sought-after Aston Martin V8 Vantage and V12 Vantage line-up. Subtle additions such as the use of glass switches in the lower centre stack elevate yet further the luxurious ambience in the V12 Vantage Roadster cabin.

While for those seeking the ultimate in V12 Vantage Roadster personalisation, a package of interior trim comprising carbon fibre facia and carbon fibre gearshift surround is available.

Unique to the V12 Vantage and new V12 Vantage Roadster is the engine’s “Sport” mode button, which enables the driver to select between two different powertrain modes.

Normal mode is the default from start-up and provides not only a more relaxed throttle response but also a quieter, more refined exhaust note. This creates a more progressive throttle response, suited to ‘everyday’ situations such as when driving in heavy traffic.

Sport mode, meanwhile, is designed for use in more dynamic driving situations where sharper responses are required. It has a number of tangible effects on the powertrain including a sharper throttle response, with the engine delivering more torque during the early stages of throttle pedal travel. Exhaust system bypass valves are also kept open for longer to create a particularly sporty exhaust note.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez said: “The V12 Vantage models are, first and foremost, driver’s cars – inviting and fully rewarding the driver’s full involvement.

“The addition to our range of this exceptional new Roadster allows the driver and passenger to experience full ‘sensory overload’ thanks to its outstanding performance.”

He added: “I believe no other car in this class offers the combination of the V12 Vantage Roadster’s prestige, six-speed manual gearbox and the unique enjoyment that driving a high performance convertible can deliver.”

Available to order in selected markets now, the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster is priced at £150,000 RRP in the UK.



– Two-door, two-seat layout
– VH bonded aluminium structure
– Aluminium, magnesium alloy, composite and steel body
– Extruded aluminium door side impact beams
– High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped beam)
– Halogen projector headlamps (main beam)
– LED rear lamps


– All-alloy quad overhead cam 48 valve 5,935cc V12
– Compression ratio 10.7:1
– Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
– Fully-catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
– 517 PS at 6,500 rpm
– 570 Nm at 5,750 rpm
– 0-62 mph (100 km/h): 4.5 seconds***
– Maximum speed: 190 mph*** (305 km/h***)


– Rear mid-mounted six-speed manual gearbox
– Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre prop shaft
– Limited-slip differential
– Final drive ratio 3.71:1


– Rack and pinion
– Column tilt and reach adjustment


– Length: 4,382mm
– Width: 2,022mm (including mirrors)
– Height: 1,256mm
– Wheelbase: 2,600mm
– Fuel Tank: 80ltrs
– Weight: 1,760kg***


– Front: Independent double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube dampers
– Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, dual-rate coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube dampers

Wheels and tyres

– Front: 9J x 19″ Pirelli P Zero Corsa 255/35 ZR19
– Rear: 11J x 19″ Pirelli P Zero Corsa 295/30 ZR19
– Tyre repair kit


– Front: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs – 398 mm diameter with six-piston calipers
– Rear: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs – 360 mm diameter with four-piston calipers
– Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
– Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
– Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
– Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
– Traction Control

Standard equipment

– Glass switches
– Carbon fibre door pulls
– Leather trimmed steering wheel
– Memory seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
– Sports seats with 10-way electric adjustment, including height, tilt and lumbar adjustment
– Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
– Side Airbags (Sports seats only)
– Heated rear screen
– Automatic temperature control
– Trip computer
– Cruise control
– Hard Disk Drive (HDD) satellite navigation system*
– Bluetooth telephone preparation*
– Powerfold exterior mirrors
– Rain-sensing wipers
– Rear parking sensors
– Automatic headlamps
– Auto-dimming interior rear view mirror
– Tyre pressure monitoring*
– Alarm and immobiliser
– Remote-control central door locking
– Battery disconnect switch
– Tracking device (UK only)
– 160W Aston Martin Audio System
– MP3 player connectivity

Optional equipment

– Carbon Fibre Interior Pack (comprising carbon fibre facia and gearshift surround)
– Lightweight seats with six-way adjustment, including front and rear height adjust (does not include side airbags or passenger airbag cut-off switch)
– 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby® Pro Logic II®
– Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 1000W Audio System
– Black Bang & Olufsen speaker grilles and acoustic lens towers
– Black finish grille
– Bright finish grille
– Black exhaust tailpipes
– Black bonnet and side strake meshes
– Personalised sill plaques
– Garage door opener (Europe only)
– Tracking device**
– First aid kit
– Ashtray and cigar lighter
– Boot-mounted umbrella
– Front parking sensors
– Reversing camera
– Heated seats (Sports seats only)
– ISOFIX and fixed-height passenger seat (Sports seat only)
– Battery conditioner

*Not available in all markets

**Complies with UK Thatcham Category 5 requirements. Excludes subscription. Standard in UK

***Predicted figures

2012 Nissan 370Z Touring Sport Roadster Review – Top-Down Sports Car Thrills 13
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, convertible, featured, nissan, Nissan 370Z, Roadster, Test Drives on 04 13th, 2012

When it comes to having affordable fun in the sun with the top down, Nissan aims to fulfill such desires of the true enthusiast with the new 2012 370Z Roadster. The new 370Z convertible carries over its design from last year once again offering excellent handling, sufficient power and sexy styling.

The Nissan 370Z, in its latest iteration, provides the driver and passenger with a thrilling ride that does not break the bank. In terms of a top-down sports coupe with some muscle under the hood, there are not many choices if you are not rich enough to opt for an Italian stallion or American sports-car icon. However, there are a few choices within the 370Z segment that push the envelope for affordable top-down hot rods.

The new Nissan 370Z Roadster (Convertible) does not lack enthusiasm when it comes to laying power to the ground. My 2012 370Z Roadster test vehicle was optioned with Nissan’s 7-speed automatic box mated to the same 3.7-liter VQ series V6 engine found in the 370Z coupe -as well as its not-so-distant cousin, the Infiniti G37. The high-strung V6 powerplant outputs a healthy 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. With this combination, the quick-shifting 7-speed auto transmission and V6 engine is able to get the 370Z Roadster up to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.

Surprisingly, the 7-speed automatic transmission is very snappy and darn-right fast when it comes to shifting cogs in the lower 5 gears. I found myself using the magnesium shift-paddles to row through gears about 80% of the time driving the 370Z Roadster. The shifts are amazingly fast, probably among the fastest for an automatic gearbox with a torque converter.  The rev-matched downshifts are almost just as rewarding as the up-shifts, especially when it blips the throttle just enough to get that characteristic audible note from the exhaust. At times, the 370Z Roadster sounded like a mellow GT-R.

Revving the 3.7-liter V6 near redline seems to be a little harsh by means of unexpected engine vibrations. This seems to be a common trait in the 370Z, but I tend to overlook it due to the plentiful power generated at such high rpms. Although, consistently running the strong V6 engine at high rpms will yield a not-so-appealing gas mileage figure. In the city, the 370Z Roadster automatic gets a respectable 18 mpg while on the highway expect to get about 25 mpg.

With the top up, the new 370Z Roadster has a nice looking silhouette. The thick fabric top seemed like it would do a decent job keeping road noise out of the cabin but proved to be quite noisy. Nevertheless, putting the relatively quick-folding top down, you tend to notice the typical vibrations and structural degradation you get from a convertible vehicle. To my surprise, the 370Z Roadster does not flex as much as I thought it would when taking twisty roads with your right foot firmly planted to the floorboard.

The new 370Z Roadster’s exterior does not sway too far away from the coupe. The rear of the front seats has a creative design with a glass separator and raised curvy bodywork, giving the 370Z Roadster a nice sports appeal.

The trunk space is lacking, as it is in any roadster style vehicle. In spite of this, trunk space is fixed and separated from where the top is stowed when let down. This makes it easy to avoid guessing where your luggage capacity starts and ends when you want to let your hair blow in the wind.

The 2012 370Z Roadster is only available in Base and Touring trim levels. Inside of my 370Z Roadster Touring test vehicle, is an interior typical to the Z-car. The instrument cluster has a center-mounted tachometer and seats are ideally suited to the aptitude of a Roadster. The seats are very supportive with just enough adjustability to keep two normal-sized adult occupants firmly planted but not overly uncomfortable. My 370Z Roadster Touring comes with ventilated and heated seats, which prove to be very useful with the top down while the blazing sun rays attempt to rid your body of all clear fluids.

There is no doubt that the 370Z Roadster has a distinctive personality. One could say that the 370Z Roadster has better handling characteristics than that of a Convertible Mustang or Camaro. The 370Z Roadster remains to be somewhat price-competitive within its segment of convertible sports cars provided you limit your options. The pricing of my 370Z Roadster Touring edition climbed to an estimated $48,000 due to the sports package (19-inch RAYS forged wheels, Sport Brakes and Limited-Slip Differential) and optional rearview mirror backup camera.

Being that the 370Z Roadster instills that Z car heritage and sporty traits, dating from the old 240Z and 280Z, it continues to transform the capable sports car and roadster market for Americans.


Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base 370Z convertible $40,050 /As-Tested $48,000 est. including destination charge
  • Engine: 3.7-liter V6 332 horsepower @ 7000 rpm / 270 ft-lbs. torque @ 5200 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 100.4in.
  • Total length: 167.2in.
  • Total width: 72.8in.
  • Total height with top up: 52.2in.
  • Track: f/r-60.6/61.6in.
  • Headroom: 38.7in.
  • Legroom: 42.9in.
  • Turning circle: 32.8ft.
  • Weight distribution: f/r-54/46%
  • Passenger volume: 52.3cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: 4.2cu.ft.
  • Fuel tank: 19 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,497lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 18mpg/city, 25mpg/highway

Tesla Roadster Production to End This Year 30
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Model X, Roadster, Tesla on 05 30th, 2011

Tesla has announced plans to stop the production of their Roadster model by the end of 2011. The details were secured from a filing of motor maker with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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This strategy has taken the motor world by surprise as Tesla’s Model S won’t be hitting market until mid-2012 s was earlier revealed. Tesla seems confident about surviving the tough competition with their remaining stock of Roadsters through out  their year-and-a-half long manufacturing process.

The other details availed from the filing reveal the company’s idea to introduce a Model X concept later this year. Though not many details are known about the concept, we guess this crossover will incorporate the functionality of a minivan with the consumer appeal of a sports-utility vehicle.

The Model X concept is expected to launch the production model in 2014.

(Via WCF)


Gender Reassignment In the Automotive World 26
Posted by Jen Stadler in Automotive, convertible, Roadster, Stereotypes on 05 26th, 2011

Specifically, can we please once and for all reassign the gender of every car to “neutral”?  After all, the last time I checked they are not organic beings and are typically inanimate objects while parked (unless Stephen King is involved).  Don’t get me wrong, by all means continue to lovingly assign a name to your Precious and refer to it as “she”.  As in, “I rode her hard and put her away wet” after a good flogging on a track day.

No, what I am referring to is the proliferation of the over-used and abused term “chick car”.  A vehicle inherently cannot have a gender.  It can have feminine lines (which I will get to in a second), and it can appeal to a specific demographic because of, or in spite of, the Marketing Department’s efforts.  But the only thing that makes a vehicle a “chick car” is the opinion of the person launching the term.

So when do we typically hear this cliche?  The Fiat 500, MR2, New Beetle, PT Cruiser, Miata/MX-5, Jetta, MINI (depending on model), and virtually all convertibles to name a few.  Why?  Best I can gather is that the car either has a rounded appearance, tends to be driven by rich high school girls or trophy wives, or has a drop-top (although logically why this equates to being feminine is beyond me; if you’re going to be stereotypical about it, females tend to not want their hair blown about by the wind).  For the record, minivans and SUVs tend to get dubbed mommy-mobiles, which is a crusade for another day.

Why do so many other cars that fit this mold escape the label?  The Viper is one of the most voluptuous things I’ve seen this side of a Victoria’s Secret model.  Tons of females of all ages pilot Mustangs on our roads every single day.  Porsches and Corvettes are curvy, expensive, and some even go topless.  So what gives?  All I can figure is “power”.  If that’s the case, why not be more accurate, or even creative, when referring to a particular model?  I have never heard anyone deem something a “dude car” because they instead use applicable adjectives such as “manly”, “rumbling”, and “authoritative”.  No one gives a girl grief for driving an STi or Camaro SS but woe is the guy who, though secure in his manhood, chooses a “chick car” as his daily driver.

I am not a feminist, to be sure, and honestly, that’s not the point of this at all.  It’s just that people who truly appreciate cars love them for what they do, especially if they perform well as in the case of the MX-5, MR2 and certain Jettas depending on trim/engine.  Even the 240SX, once panned as “a secretary’s car”, is now a cult classic and favorite of tuners and drifters worldwide. All I’m asking is for a little less prejudice, and a lot more thought put into automotive commentary than reverting to a tired old cliche.

Mini Roadster & Coupe Models Head for Frankfurt Show 13
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Coupe, MINI, Roadster, Upcoming Events on 05 13th, 2011

Mini’s Roadster and Coupe models are expected to debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Have a look at the latest leaked images of the 2012 Mini Roadster alongside.


The prototype that has been revealed has its rear trunk area covered where the roof is stored. Perhaps, these covered parts are the only panels, which make it different from the standard MINI and the Roadster’s Coupe sibling. However, it is the least camouflaged snap we have got so far.

As we mentioned in the beginning, the Roadster model is expected to be paired with a new Coupe variant.  So, which one do you prefer? The Roadster or the Coupe?  Let’s know and stay tuned for more updates.

(Via WCF)





Kia Gears Up for a Compact Roadster 13
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Kia, Mazda MX-5, Roadster on 05 13th, 2011

Kia seems to be in full swing in its endeavor to move up in brand cache. The automobile giant is reported to have been on road developing a new compact roadster to serve as a halo model for the marque. The two-seat roadster is aimed at competing against models such as the Mazda MX-5.

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It has been known that Peter Schreyer, Kia’s head of design, has created Kia’s new roadster design. However, the sketch unveiled appears to be based on the old KCV III, which was created way back in 2003. Have a look at the pictures alongside.

Amidst all these, no official announcement has come from Kia other than the fact that such a model is under construction. Stay tuned with us to know whether Kia will be able to successfully hit the highly competitive compact roadster segment in the US.

(Via MA)



Mini Roadster & Coupe Models to Debut at Frankfurt 11
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Coupe, MINI, Roadster on 05 11th, 2011

Mini’s Roadster and Coupe models are expected to debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Have a look at the latest leaked images of the 2012 Mini Roadster alongside.

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Mini 1

The prototype revealed has its rear trunk area covered where the roof is stored. Perhaps, these covered parts are the only panels, which make it different from the standard Mini and the Roadster’s Coupe sibling. However, it is the least camouflaged snap we have got so far.

As we mentioned in the beginning, the Roadster model is expected to be paired with a new Coupe variant.  So, which one do you prefer? The Roadster or the Coupe. Let’s know and stay tuned for more updates.

(Via WCF)



Mercedes Benz SLS Roadster Revealed During Final Testing 5
Posted by overdrivetv in Benz, CarBlog News, mercedes, Roadster, SLS on 05 5th, 2011

We can’t think of too many ways to make the stunning SLS ‘Gullwing’ any more desirable, and to be honest we wouldn’t have immediately thought of removing those epic doors. But that’s just what Mercedes has gone and done, and the result is this, the SLS Roadster.

As you’ll see in the picture gallery, the car is undergoing final testing before its debut in Frankfurt later this year. Can you just imagine that job, testing one of these to destruction. We’ve got a full gallery and more specs after the jump.

If you look carefully you’ll notice the Merc badges are disguised, this is apparently a symbol that the car is not yet signed off as a production model.

The newly-engineered soft top takes just 11 seconds to open and has been tested on a stationary rig over 20 000 times to make sure that whichever billionaire buys one doesn’t get his hairpiece wet – if he doesn’t want to.

Mercedes say the rag-top has been engineered so that there is “no intrusive flapping, booming, hissing, clattering or howling”. Good to know. It’s also safe up to 196mph, which is quick.

Usually convertibles are much heavier than the coupe equivalent, not only because of all the extra machinery required to move the roof, but because the resulting loss of rigidity from chopping the roof away means the car has to be reinforced with heavy beams. However because the door assembly of the SLS is already so heavy, the Roadster is only 2kg heavier. Which is basically a big lunch.

The best part? Having the sound of that magnificent 6.2 litre V8 filter directly into the cockpit. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it.

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The 62nd Annual Grand National Roadster Show 1
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in auto show, Automotive, gnxs, Grand National Roadster Show, Roadster on 02 1st, 2011

Welcome to the 62nd Annual Grand National Roadster Show.  It is nine giant buildings filled to the brim with more than 500 stunningly beautiful works of automotive art, showing outstanding design, engineering, metal craftsmanship, and colorful custom paint schemes.

Every American auto manufacturer from the 1920’s through the 1970’s is represented on the floors of the buildings for a close-up look and fascination about the build-up process.

Most of the owners of the vehicles on display are on hand to answer the many questions that attendees may have.

The theme of this year’s show is Route 66, the Mother Road, that connected the country by automobile and brought about the growth that made America what it is today.

The show runs from Friday through Sunday, January 28-30th, and ends with the crowning of ‘America’s Most Beautiful Roadster’.  The award is open to all U.S. built roadsters, roadster pickups and touring vehicles 1937 and older, including designer roadsters that resemble 1937 or older roadsters.  The ‘America’s Most Beautiful Roadster’ (AMBR) is a special class with awards for Display, Engineering, Undercarriage, Paint, Engine, Interior and Detail.  The winner has their name applied to the perpetual nine and one-half foot tall trophy, a $10,000 cash package and the title AMBR Award presented by Pirelli.

The winner of this year’s AMBR is Daryl Wolfswinkel’s 1934 Black Ford Roadster.

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Porsche Entry-Level Roadster to Sport New Four-Cylinder Engine 20
Posted by Alex Ion in 2012 Boxster, 911, audi, Automotive News, Boxster, cayman, mini roadster, porsche, R&D, Roadster, Volkswagen Bluesport on 01 20th, 2011

You might remember, Porsche was planning to introduce a 4-cylinder engine on its new small roadster. Latest buzz indicates that the carmaker is indeed developing a flat four engine for the mini roadster, Boxster, Cayman and even the 911.

The outgoing head of R&D at Porsche has confirmed the news, saying that the engine could be used to power the 911 (in the future).

However, he added that for now they will stick with the flat 6 cylinder engine. It is expected that the flat four cylinder engine might be used in 2012 Boxster and Cayman models.

The upcoming mini roadster becomes a likely candidate after Porsche won an internal dispute to put their own engine in the car.

The engine is 2.5L and with the help of a turbocharger can produce 360 HP (268 kW/365 PS) or more. The car is supposed to be sharing functions and parts with Volkswagen Bluesport and a sister car from Audi.


(Via WCF)