The possibilities are endless, albeit ragtops and roadsters don’t come cheap. Besides that, people in the market for this type of car don’t give the slightest damn about how cavernous the trunk is or other sensible details in the same vein. If it weren’t for this carefree attitude to reasonableness, the MX-5 wouldn’t have become the best-selling two-seater convertible in the world.
Come what may, I understand these people. Few experiences in life come close to peeling back the roof, putting the lever in drive, feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. For recreational purposes, the convertible is the opium of the people. Power and comfort are just extras, even though that’s not the case for the rich and the famous amongst us.
That got me thinking. If I were a well-to-do man with seven digits in my yearly income, what sort of convertible would I drive out of the showroom? It stands to reason that I would settle for nothing less than one of the most expensive open-top cars available on the market. The shortlist is as follows:2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV Roadster – $530,075
It is a mad, mad 21st century supercar that abides by the madness of Lamborghini cars from the 20th century. The most expensive production model to wear a Lamborghini badge is also one of the most exhilarating, more so if you take into consideration that it has a removable two-part roof.
Who could say no to a top speed of more than 217 mph (350 km/h) with the carbon fiber hardtop off? I definitely could not, nor could I refuse the proposition of riding a wave of V12 sonorousness into the sunset.2016 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe – $492,000
There is but one Rolls-Royce that is more expensive than this soft-top convertible. That is the Phantom Extended Wheelbase, a luxobarge that is nigh on 20 feet (6,092 mm) long. The Drophead Coupe may be riding on a shorter wheelbase than that of the regular Phantom, but I don’t mind that.
It can seat me and three of my buddies, it features bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful teak decking, and it is inspired by the 1930s J-class yachts without looking like an outdated jalopy. For a cruise down to sunny Santa Barbara, the Phantom Drophead Coupe ticks all the right boxes.2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster – $443,800
The amazing proportions of the Aventador are further enhanced by chopping the roof off. One of the design features that separate the Roadster from the coupe is the profile of the upper area, which extends along geometric lines from the roof to the hood. And what a beautiful hood. Of course, I am referring to the spine of this thing and the hexagonal glasshouse that make it for me.
The purpose of those bits of glass is to let you admire the exquisiteness that hides under the hood – a savage V12. It is surprising when you think about it, but the 6.5-liter powerhouse in the Aventador is the first all-new V12 engine developed by Lamborghini since the 3.5-liter unit designed by Giotto Bizzarrini at the dawn of the 1960s.2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn – $335,000
Think about the average age of Rolls-Royce customers around the world. In the United States and Europe, you’re looking at wealthy people aged 60 to 65 years old. In China and Russia, things are a little different – 40 to 45 years old. Strictly speaking, the nouveau riche have come to appreciate Rolls-Royce as much as old farts do.
The brand understood this in the eleventh hour, six years after the Ghost started production. Yes, what you’re looking at is a Ghost without two of its doors and the metal roof. The Dawn boasts 86 million miles of blue sky with the fabric roof retracted and seating for four. Better still, its 6.6-liter V12 is more powerful than the 6.75-liter V12 of the Phantom.2016 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante Carbon Edition – $320,695
Tick it from the options list and you get carbon fiber trim on the side mirror caps, door handles, fender vents, front and rear bumpers. Inside the Vanquish Volante Carbon Edition, you’re greeted by more carbon fiber on the center console, flappy paddles, and sill plates. From a mechanical point of view, nothing separates this from the standard Vanquish Volante.
The belly of the beast is a naturally aspirated V12 with 568 ponies and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) on tap, connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF. The change from 6-speed to 8-speed cuts down acceleration time by half a second. As such, 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) occurs in 3.6 seconds. Not bad for the most aristocratic of grand tourers out there.2016 McLaren 650S Spider – $280,225
But let’s face it – some keen drivers want a convertible, so they will go for the Spider version. According to McLaren, the 650S Spider is “offering the same performance, handling and driver enjoyment.” I can’t argue with that considering that both hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3 seconds dead. From 0 to 124 mph (200 km/h), on the other hand, the Spider is 0.2 seconds slower.
In the real world, such a difference is hardly noticeable because you can’t drive faster than 85 mph (136 km/h) in the United States. If you are Randy Pobst and your job is to be the hot shoe at Motor Trend, then you will prefer the coupe. Then again, 99 percent of us lot aren’t as talented as Randy, which is why the Spider is a bit more appealing.2016 Ferrari 488 Spider – $275,000
Thanks to the fancy technologies imbued into the F154CB engine, 62 mph (100 km/h) is doable in 3 seconds flat. 124 mph (200 km/h) takes a mere 8.7 seconds, which is how much a plebeian car needs to get to 60 mph (96 km/h). Performance-wise, the Ferrari 488 Spider is a tough cookie to crack.
What I admire most about the 488, though, is that the engineers from Maranello did their best to let that 3.9-liter V8 sing the song of its people. While it may not be as sonorous as the 5-valve per cylinder V8 of the F355, this engine sure acts as an eight-cylinder sound system. It can’t match the animalistic wail of the higher rev band of the N/A V8 in the 458 Spider, but the bassier tone is intoxicating enough in my book.2016 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible – $263,400
Fast-forward to the present day and the Continental GT earned its Speed handle because it is the most powerful member of the Continental GT family. 6 liters of twin-turbo W12 fury, 626 horsepower, 607 lb-ft (820 Nm) of torque, variable power assisted steering, and minute changes to the suspension are the highlight features of the Bentley Continental GT Speed.
There are minor visual differences between the Speed and the normal model, including a more aggressively styled front fascia and something that the Crewe-based manufacturer calls the Mulliner Driving Specification. In plain English, that’s short for a diamond quilting pattern on the seats.2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder – $262,350
What you wouldn’t expect from a 5.2-liter V10-powered thoroughbred is something called stop & start and cylinder on demand. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Huracan saves fuel when you stop at a red light and it can operate in 5-cylinder mode if you’re gentle with the pedal on the right.
But then again, the Germanic influence Audi has on Lamborghini pales in comparison to the knee-trembling design and the thundering exhaust note. While not as fast as a Ferrari 488 Spider, the Huracan Spyder will attract significantly more envious looks from passersby.2016 Bentley Continental GT W12 Convertible – $236,100
Do fuel-saving technologies matter for the people who might be interested in buying such a car? Not quite. They’re more interested in looking good and feeling good behind the wheel. That’s why the 2016 Bentley Continental GT in W12 Convertible guise sports an ever-so-slightly-redesigned body shell and a modestly overhauled interior.
For those who prefer the rumble of a V8 instead of the operatic harmony of a W12, the Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible is the model for you. The lesser model is priced at $218,400, an amount of money that could also be spent on the Mercedes-AMG SL65.