A former Motoring Editor at the Telegraph, Erin Baker combines a bike licence and race licence with a love of high-speed cars and penchant for embarrassingly low-speed crashes. Now she has two sons, she’s largely put her leathers to one side, preferring the cut and thrust of automotive industry debates and wondering which cars have Isofix…
Easter is here, the clocks go forward this weekend, the daffodils are out… all of which means, it’s time to get your tops off.
Yes, my convertible friends, it’s time for a little al fresco motoring. Britain is the second biggest market for convertibles, after Germany. It’s obvious, when you consider how starved of sunshine we are – any tiny peek at that yellow orb, and we wrap up warm, put the heater on full blast and venture out. Mad dogs and Englishmen…
This year has been a fine year for the convertible. Here’s Goodwood Road and Racing’s Top 9.
1) Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Who would have thought this would be so good? A comprehensive off-roader, its capabilities unsullied by chopping the top off. It’s handsome, and British. Hurrah.
2) Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe
Whichever of the four generations you choose, you will not be disappointed with an MX-5. Excellent driver ergonomics, and now the simple folding roof gets the hardtop, targa-style treatment. Fingers crossed for the same great petrol engines.
3) Rolls-Royce Dawn
£250,000 of pure joy. The famous waftability of the drive, a stunning V12 engine, coach doors, the largest fabric folding roof ever and a near-silent cabin. This car takes Rolls-Royce to yet another level.
4) Ferrari California T Handling Speciale
A harder, more dynamic driving package for the grand tourer of the lot – the “ladies” Ferrari… yuck. Rejoice therefore, in this sharpening up of the handling and a more aggressive noise.
5) Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Spyder
What a looker. Boom… a naturally aspirated V10 and noise, nosie, noise. Very much a boulevard cruiser for those not of a wallflower disposition. Miami Beach, take me, I am yours.
6) Mini Convertible
Much loved by its owners, and with the usual decent customisation options on offer like bespoke fabric roof colours and patterns, this is the convertible for around town.
7) Mercedes-Benz C-class Cabriolet
The coupe version has won plaudits from every journalist out there; the soft-top adds a huge dose of desirability to this sophisticated Benz.
8) Porsche 718 Boxster
Two new four-cylinder turbocharged engines on offer plus fabulous new looks for Porsche’s mid-engined sports car makes this a winner before we’ve even driven it, despite what the purists say about forced induction.
9) McLaren 650S Spider
McLaren Automotive can do little wrong of late. The handling pretty much matches that of the coupe, but you get the wind through your hair and a chance to sample that exhaust note properly. Well done, Woking.