Our Top 5 Convertible Choices for Summer 2014

Welcome to FloridaIt’s summer here in Florida, sure the calendar may not say it’s summer until June 21st but by all accounts it’s summer here. The highs are in the 90’s the lows are in the 80’s, the humidity is getting almost thick enough to cut with a knife and the afternoon thunderstorms are rolling in like clock-work off the gulf and Atlantic. The beaches are packed, the water is warm, and the snowbirds have been replaced by girls in bikinis and guys wearing board shorts…it’s summer in Florida. So now that the heat is up all of the tourists (who we so appreciate for their tax dollars), retirees, transplants and locals a-like are on the hunt for fun, fast and refined convertibles. Here’s our top five picks for Summer 2014.


2014 Jaguar F-TypeJaguar F-Type V8 S

Price: $92,000
Engine: 5.0-liter V8
HP: 495 @ 6,500 RPM
Torque: 460lb-ft @ 2,500 RPM
Transmission: 8 Speed Automatic
Weight: 3,558-lbs

It’s hard not to love this car… Coming in just under the $100,000 mark, it brings so much to the table in terms of performance, prestige, pedigree and most importantly fun. Feather the throttle and this 5.0-liter V8 sings a melody of mechanical-symphonic excellence…perfectly high-pitched, deep and gaspy it’s automotive audio erotica akin to a much costlier Ferrari or Maserati.

 


2014 Porsche 911 Targa 4SPorsche 911 Targa 4s

Price: $116,200
Engine: 3.8-liter 6-Cylinder
HP: 400 @ 7,400 RPM
Torque: 325 lb-ft
Transmission: 7 Speed Manual
Weight: 3,248-lbs

The venerable Targa returns to us and in doing so makes a statement. A few decades ago targas and t-tops were all the rage offering the fun-factor of a vert with the performance stability of a convertible (Mk4 Supra and 300ZX we’re looking at you). It’s fast, nimble, beautiful and refines…it’s a Porsche. At $116k if you’ve got the budget its hard to go wrong here and it’s the perfect Florida summer time car.

 


2015 BMW M4 ConvertibleBMW M4 Convertible

Price: $73,425
Engine: Twin-Turbo 6-Cylinder
HP: 431 @ 5,500 RPM
Torque: 406 lb-ft @ 1,850 RPM
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Weight: 3,858-lbs

A newcomer the M4 brings us everything we love in the M3 coupled with most of what we love in the M5, a luxo-performance home-run from the good folks in Stuttgart. Fit and Finish are excellent the feel of this car makes it seem much smaller and more nimble than it outwardly appears…BMW’s brings that ol’ magic one more time. Fast, fun and accommodating this new Bimmer will do it’s best to avert that summertime sadness.

 


2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible Z51Chevrolet Stingray Convertible Z51

Price: $62, 995
Engine: 6.2-liter V8
HP: 455 @ 6,000 RPM
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 4,600 RPM
Transmission: 7 Speed Manual
Weight: 3,362-lbs

We just can’t help but smile every time we see one of these new vettes on the road. Chevrolet really hit a home-run with aesthetics, fit, finishing and styling that makes this latest Corvette seem like so much more than a…well Corvette. Typically not fans of chopped-top Corvettes this latest iteration maintains performance and handling which not sacrificing looks…falling only slightly behind the hard-top couple in all categories. At a mere $63k, this is a lot of car for the money and something that will continue getting the top-down attention for many years to come.

 


2014 Nissan 370Z RoadsterNissan 370Z Roadster

Price: $41,470
Engine: 3.7-liter V6
HP: 332 @ 7,000 RPM
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 5,200 RPM
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Weight: 3,278-lbs

Balling on a budget, we’re still huge fans of Nissan’s latest Z-car and this fondness extends to the convertible as well. A marked improvement over it’s predecessor 350Z vert, this latest topless offering from Nissan looks as good as it sounds and performs and at a paltry $42k fully loaded it’s a hell of a deal for anyone in the market for some fun top down Florida cruising. While not the fastest or most ostentatious of the bunch there is something to be said for being a well rounded performer with a good sportscar pedigree that won’t break the bank while having fun.