Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster
It’s very difficult to look at the V12 Vantage S Roadster and not pass out with the sheer beauty of the thing. Then try and slide inside the low-slung body, operate the automatically folding roof and awaken the furious 6.0-litre V12 without reaching for the defibrillator as your body goes into Aston Martin meltdown. Over £150,000 might sound steep but the V12 Vantage S Roadster can hit a top speed of 201mph, sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds and it possesses looks that are not suitable for those with a patchy medical history.
£155,000 | Aston Martin
Porsche 911 Targa
Porsche set pulses racing when it unveiled the new 911 Targa at the Detroit motor show earlier this year with its brilliantly retro styling and Michael Bay-inspired folding roof. Now on sale, the new Targa is based on the latest generation 350bhp 911 Carrera 4 Cabrio or the 400bhp 4S but features the iconic metal roof hoop that has been a staple on Targas since the late 1960s. The innovative folding top mechanism sees a number of flaps open, the glass roof panel slide backwards and the soft Targa top neatly stow behind the rear seats. It’s all over in 19 seconds but it’s impossible to get bored of the engineering genius behind that Transformers-esque drop-top. The only downside is it’s heavy, which minutely affects performance. Oh, and it’s expensive.
£86,377 | Porsche
There were cries of anger from the M3 faithful when BMW announced it was to split its iconic everyday supercar-spanker into two badge designations: the M3 saloon and the M4 Coupe. There were further wails of anguish when the German marque announced it was to slap a new turbocharged six-cylinder engine under the bonnet but all this bawling was unnecessary – the M3 and M4 are quite simply brilliant. A convertible version arrives in September and it’s set to cost just a few quid more than its comparatively archaic predecessor. Expect an automatically folding, state-of-the-art three-piece metal roof, BMW’s new Professional media package with upgraded Bluetooth and USB functionality as well as 425 stonking horses under the bonnet.
£60,730 | BMW
Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
You’ve heard the story about the American muscle car that can’t go around corners, right? Well, this beefy offering from Chevrolet bucks that trend thanks to some serious investment in the handling and chassis development departments. It still has a glacier-melting 6.2-litre V8 underneath the bonnet that can be specified in either 432bhp or the slightly less ridiculous 405bhp guise, so expect to be stopping at almost every petrol station you pass. Chevrolet interiors are notoriously substandard but that also doesn’t really matter, this is a thoroughbred muscle car with steroid-slurping looks and a heavy metal soundtrack that is all the more enjoyable thanks to a lack of roof.
£40,345 | Chevrolet
Ford Mustang Convertible
This is the first Ford Mustang to be developed for European tastes, so that means suspension that can soak up our pothole-peppered roads, a chassis that can tackle country lane corners and a range of engines that won’t empty wallets at the petrol pumps. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a complete bore though, there’s still the option of a 420bhp, 5.0-litre V8 and Ford’s brilliant new SYNC AppLink functionality, which allows drivers to pair smartphones and run a number of apps. Available to order at the end of this year, it’s set to be one of the most anticipated Fords of recent times.
£30,000 | Ford
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
Quite simply, this is an open-top version of Bentley’s fastest-ever Continental GT, meaning you get the same massive 6.0-litre, 626bhp W12 engine as its fixed-head sibling but with added hair-tousling abilities. Styling tweaks over its predecessor are minor and the slightly clunky Bentley multimedia system could do with an overhaul but it remains one of the most stylish continent-crossers money can buy. And don’t forget, you’ll be treating your face to a healthy dose of vitamin-D while you accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.1 seconds.
£172,400 | Bentley
Porsche Boxster GTS
Why plump for the bog standard Boxster when you can have a more aggressive, more powerful and slightly sharper package for a few grand more than the standard model? Ok, it’s £13k more than the most basic Boxster on the market but you do get an added 15bhp, suspension lowered by 10mm and some angry styling additions, which include 20-inch rims stolen from the 911 and GTS lettering plastered throughout. Porsche has quite simply taken one of the best open-top two-seater sports cars on the market and made it just a little bit better - which is fine by us.
£52,839 | Porsche
Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible
What? The piffling V8 model? When the Continental GT Convertible's super-sized shell will easily accommodate the glories of Bentley's W12 powerplant? Yep. Whisper it, but the 4-litre V8 engine is actually a little more engaging, a bit more characterful than the piston-powered sledgehammer that is the 6-litre W12. And anyway, 187mph all out and zero to 62mph in 4.7 seconds hardly makes the V8 Convertible a slouch. This is surely the best current Bentley.
£152,900 | Bentley
See open-top car. Think sheddy, compromised lash up. Not any more. Not when you can have the do-everything, go-anywhere with-anyone drop top supercar that is the Audi S5. For starters, it's a proper four-seater, capable of genuine long-distance luxury and has a decent boot. It comes with Audi's Quattro four-wheel drive system for all-weather impregnability, too. But with a 333hp supercharged V6, it's also an autobahn stormer of epic proportions.
£46,770 | Audi
Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Is this the single most salubrious motorcar ever made? We think it just might be. We've driven the Phantom saloon and can only imagine the outrageous splendour of the world's finest luxury limo transmogrified into a 2.6 tonne two-door indulgence. Highlights include Rolls' signature rear-hinged suicide doors and enough wood and high-end marquetry to furnish the small Georgian manor house the Phantom so deftly brings to mind. Irrelevant? Yup. Sublime? Definitely.
£332,400 | Rolls Royce
Porsche's popular two-seat roadster isn't just the best cabriolet you can buy. It might just be the best car in the world. OK, with prices starting at £38,810 you'd hardly call it cheap. But for what is - a supremely sophisticated sports car with a glorious flat-six engine and one of the best badges in the business - that's actually a bit of a bargain. With two decently commodious boots, the Boxster is also twice as practical as you might imagine.
£38,810 | Porsche
This is it, the car that started the folding hard top revolution. OK, it wasn't the first. But it refined the idea of replacing fragile fabric with stiff, strong steel so perfectly, the market for cabrio cars was never the same again. Today, the third-generation SLK is better than ever. It takes the premium vibe and classic style of the original and adds genuine driving dynamism to the mix. It's no Porsche Boxster to pedal. But it is a fabulous sporting GT.
£32,620 | Mercedes Benz
Just when you thought every car in our list was made of unobtainium and priced to attract a Russian oligarch's even wealthier uncle, we give you the ever-green, always-affordable Mazda MX-5. It's the world's best selling two-seat cabriolet and for good reason. It's an absolute hoot to take out for a hoon, it's built to last and it's reasonably frugal on fuel. You even have the option of a fabric or folding metal roof. But most of all, it's simple sports car fun.
£18,495 | Mazda
Appearing nearly 40 years after the last of the iconic Jaguar E-Types rolled off the production line, the new F-Type roadster was a long time coming. But boy is it worth the wait. With looks to die for and a killer engine note, the F-Type is pure automotive theatre. But more than that, it's a superb sports car, too, so agile, so precise. Apart from the pricing, which is pretty punchy, the only real demerit involves the preposterously puny boot. Sort it out, Jag!
£51,250 | Jaguar
Ferrari California T
With the 458 Spider not quite qualifying as a full cabriolet, it falls to the recently revised California to represent that little yellow badge. The 'T' stands for turbo, making the California the first forced-induction Fezza since those ghastly tax-break specials from the 1980s. Purists will mourn the naturally-aspirated shriek of the outgoing model. Everyone else will simply be trying to keep up with the T's 552bhp and enjoying a 15 per cent bump in fuel efficiency.
£155,000 | Ferrari