The coolest convertibles for a hot summer
By Casey Williams
Warm weather has finally arrived, and with it comes the need for speed—even better with the top down and sitting by the one you love. Go for a date in one of these convertibles and you’ll get anything you want when the sun goes down.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Born in 1969, Camaro ZL1 returns with a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine that delivers 640 horsepower and 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds. Get it with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. Magnetic ride control, Brembo brakes and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires keep it grounded. Enjoy Recaro seats, WiFi and a Performance Data Recorder. Put the top down and blow your hair back.
Base price: $75,755
Any Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is cool, but it looks especially fetching in Dune trim with Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED headlights and DUNE lettering. While it looks like a beach buggy, its increased ride height can only take light trails. Sandstorm Yellow is the best hue, but you can also get it in Pure White and Deep Black Pearl. Step into a 170 horsepower 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power the top down in just 9.5 seconds at speeds up to 50 km/h.
Base price: $25,390
Fiat 124 Abarth
While based on the Mazda MX-5, Fiat uses its own 164 horsepower 1.4-litre turbocharged engine for the 124 Abarth. It connects through a quick-click six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Sporty exterior trim highlights round headlamps, long hood, and rear lights that echo classic Fiat Spiders. Blind spot monitoring, backing camera and rear cross path detection enhance safety. The soft top can be manually deployed from the driver’s seat.
Base price: $35,495
Porsche Boxer 718
Named for the Porsche 718 race cars from the ’50s and ’60s, the latest model places a 300 horsepower 2.0-litre “flat four” engine behind the seats. It runs 0-100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds on the way to a 273 km/h top speed. A revised suspension, quick steering and perfect balance make for easy handling. Classic beauty is enhanced by a wider, more muscular appearance and optional LED headlamps. In any decade, the car looks drop-dead sexy.
Base price $61,500
CASEY WILLIAMS is a contributing writer for Gaywheels.com. He contributes to the New York-based LGBT magazine Metrosource and the Chicago Tribune. He and his husband live in Indianapolis, where Williams contributes videos and reviews to wfyi.org, the area’s PBS/NPR station.