I’ve been a fan of nearly every A3 model I’ve yet driven from Audi, from the entry-level 1.8-liter, front-driven A3 sedan to the range-topping S3 Quattro. The droptop version of Audi’s junior line finally found its way to my doorstep a few weeks ago, and though its cutesy looks might be received more favorably among the sorority house set than by the patronage of your average sports bar, it nonetheless holds some appeal in the sun-soaked state of Florida this writer calls home.
Tag - convertible
Introduced for 2011, the current-gen 6 is BMW’s largest, most sumptuous and most expensive convertible, and to keep it relevant against rivals, it was recently given a nip and tuck treatment for 2016. I recently spent a week with the big BeeEm to see what’s what.
The Beetle has always carried with it a sort of “love it or hate it” image, and while the newest version is less polarizing, both opponents and proponents of the love bug’s cutesy styling seem to come out of the woodwork when you’re driving around in one.
When development work concluded on the V36 platform, which forms the basis for the 2014 Q60 seen above, it’s easy to believe that Nissan’s engineers had little inkling of the radical brand changes that would occur at Infiniti during their new model’s shelf life. Indeed, during Johan de Nysschen’s two-year tenure as the brand’s chief, much was changed – including their entire system of model nomenclature. Thus, the G37 convertible became the Q60 convertible that I recently spent a week with – but make no mistake, the G37 is still alive and well in this car.
Introduced as a 2010 model, the hardtop convertible version of the Lexus IS isn’t yet “old” by industry standards. Still, a replacement looms on the horizon in the form of the upcoming RC coupe and likely convertible spin-off. Its main competitor from the land of the rising sun, the Infiniti Q60 (nee G37), is also nearing replacement, though neither of these cars could be called dated from an aesthetic perspective. I drove the IS 350 and Q60 convertibles back to back to find out what makes these two hardtops tick.
I’ve never personally been a fan of hardtop convertibles, as I believe the lines from the overly complicated mechanical tops ruin the looks of an otherwise stylish car. Sure, they look great with top down but what about with the top up? More often than not, these convertibles also feel sloppy and heavy with the top down, ruining what should otherwise be a fun and engaging driving experience. Fortunately the designers at Infiniti felt the same way I do, and designed the 2014 Infiniti Q60S Convertible to look just as beautiful with the top up as it looks with the top down. Better still, Infiniti engineers managed to make the Q60S Convertible equally fun to drive regardless of what orientation the top is in.