We are an optimistic bunch in the UK! Despite our weather often being wet and dreary, we love to drive convertibles. It makes sense in a way — we want to make the most of the few sunny days we have! What better way to do so than a long drive around the countryside or to the beach with the top down.
Per capita, consumers in the UK buy more convertibles than almost any other country in the world — we are ranked #2 behind Germany. That is an incredible statistic given the number of rainy days we have each year and highlights our passion for driving.
Because convertibles are so popular, there are many different types of cabriolets available in the UK. Two or four seaters, small and sporty, or big and luxurious — we really are spoiled for choice.
If you are in the market for a new cabriolet or simply interested in the features of the latest models, this article is for you. Here is a preview of some of the models being released in 2017/2018.
Aston Martin DB11 Volante (2018)
The Aston Martin DB11 Volante is one of the most hotly-anticipated cabriolets being released in the next couple of years. It is the next revision of the popular DB11, a grand tourer coupe that launched in 2016. The DB11 combines a sleek design with a high performance sports engine. This is a seriously sexy and fast car — the upcoming release of the cabriolet variant has convertible lovers excited!
The “DB” in DB11 refers to David Brown, the man who bought Aston Martin in the 1940s. Brown helped turn Aston Martin’s fortunes and make it into the global brand that it is today. The first DB model launched in 1950 and was a two-seat, two-door sports car that was available as a roadster or hard-top coupe. It was a very popular model and Aston Martin has retained the ‘DB’ moniker since then.
The DB11 Volante is the successor to the DB9, however, Aston Martin claim that nothing from the DB9 has been carried over to the new car. The DB11 is built on a new aluminium bonded platform that is super-light, rigid, and strong. The front end of the car is absolutely stunning, with a wider grill than the DB9. The DB11 also features a clamshell bonnet and the innovative Aston Martin Aeroblade™ system, which pushes air through the DB11’s bodywork.
The DB11 is has a twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine boasting 600 bhp and 700 Nm of torque. This is the most powerful engine Aston Martin have ever used in an Aston Martin DB. The Aston Martin DB11 Volante will be available as a soft top convertible in the Spring of 2018.
Bristol Bullet (2017)
The Bristol Bullet is the perfect choice for cabriolet-lovers who have a hefty budget and a penchant for unique vehicles. It is a hand-built sportster that combines 1960s glamour with modern luxury, a certain quirkiness, and high-performance.
The Bristol Bullet is manufactured by Bristol Cars, a speciality automaker that produces small batches of hand-built vehicles. This is the company’s first all-new car since the Bristol Fighter in 2011, and it is the first Bristol car to utilise a carbon fibre chassis.
The retro design of the Bullet is reminiscent of the classic Bristol 405 Drophead coupé, produced between 1953 and 1958. It has a long wheelbase and beautiful curved exterior. Combining this vintage exterior with a modern engine and luxurious interior makes this vehicle a “dream car” for many cabriolet lovers.
The Bristol Bullet is powered by a naturally aspirated 4.8-litre BMW V8 producing 400 bhp. This engine provides plenty of power for the open road and makes the Bullet truly exciting to drive.
Of course, a specialty car like this does not come cheap! The retail price is expected to be somewhere around the £250,000 mark, so start saving now! The Bristol Bullet is will be released to the general public in 2017.
Mazda MX-5 Retractable Fastback (2017)
If you are looking for a new convertible that is “slightly” more affordable than the Bullet, the new Mazda MX-5 RF may be the answer! Going on sale on the 4th of March 2017, this is a fun and sporty cabriolet with an electric hard top roof. The RF in the name stands for “Retractable Fastback” in reference to the sloping convertible roof.
Starting at £22,195, the Mazda MX-5 RF is a great choice for someone who is buying their first cabriolet or looking for a high-quality sports car at an affordable price. The top of the range model goes for £28,995 and has some great extras including BS alloy wheels, a black rear spoiler, Alcantara trim and Recaro seats as standard, and a two-tone roof. The base model has a 1.5-litre 129bhp engine while the more expensive sports and Launch Edition model has a 2.0-litre 159bhp engine.
The folding roof is completely automated and folds down at the press of a single button. It is a sophisticated roof with buttresses that lift up, allowing the roof panels and rear window to collapse into the rear compartment. It takes about 12 seconds to complete the process and it can be performed while the car is moving at up to 6 miles per hour. Mazda has spent years working on this four-part folding roof mechanism after testing many other designs. It really is a work of art!
Another great feature of the Mazda MX-5 RF is that it retains a respectable 130 litres of boot space — more than many sporty cabriolets made by Mazda’s competitors. The rear glass window can also be lowered while the hard-top roof is up, which increases airflow throughout the vehicle. The hard-top folding roof adds about 40 kilograms compared to the soft-top of previous models.
Now for the bad news — there will only be 500 MX-5 RF Launch Editions available in the UK! If you are interested in purchasing one of these great cars, you better trot down to your local Mazda dealer soon.
We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the exciting cabriolets being launched in 2017/2018. They look like fantastic cars and we can’t wait to see them come into the shop!
If you are interested in learning more about cabriolets or you have an issue with your current cabriolet, contact Cayman Auto Services today! We are the UK’s leading repairers of retracting roofs and have incredible knowledge when it comes to cabriolets. Contact us today on 01306 885566.