Reveling in five of the hottest convertibles for my next coastal road trip.
by Marcus Amick
There is nothing more exhilarating than cruising your Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible.
Sure, I imagine after seeing the breathtaking views every day for so long, it’s easy to grow numb to it all. But rest assured, some of the most coveted spots to drive a convertible are in Southern California, which is why your roads are envied by so many car lovers around the world.
Even with reports of a recent decline in convertible sales, there still is nothing comparable to driving one in places like Malibu. From the thrill of the open top riding through the mountains to the smell of the fresh ocean air along the PCH, it’s an experience like no other.
Forgive me if I sound a bit like a tourist. Even after spending a great deal of time in your state, I tend to find myself recalling some of my road trips back home in the Midwest where the views require a bit more imagination.
Still, I make no excuses for the fact that of all the roads I’ve test driven new cars on during my travels, your PCH still ranks as a favorite.
Of course, the automobile and point of destination can certainly enhance the experience. That goes without saying. However, this year’s line-up of convertibles features a few high-performance models that’ll have most dreaming of the most routine drives just to get behind the wheel.
Perhaps one of the most stunning is the Aston Martin Vanquish Ultimate Volante.
The convertible Vanquish, touted as a pinnacle mark for the brand, is something to behold both inside and out. In fact, it’s the first Aston Martin to be sculpted entirely from carbon fiber to ensure that every element of the designers’ vision was maintained.
The sports car’s beauty is accented with a V12 engine with 565 horsepower and a 0 – 60 mph time of 4.1 seconds.
While the exterior design hasn’t changed much, the 2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is no less impressive.
The new convertible builds on the appeal of its high performance coupe counterpart, which is heralded as the fastest production Bentley ever. It features a V12 engine with an estimated 626 horsepower and a 0 – 60 mph time of 4.0 seconds.
Unique interior features include a choice of contrasting stitching and color on the seats, doors, rear quarter panels, center console, and armrests.
When it comes to the experience associated with driving exclusive convertibles in California, no brand in the world carries more prestige than Ferrari.
The Italian automaker’s latest model, the 2015 California T, features a retractable hard-top equipped with a twin turbo V8 with 553 horsepower and a 0 to 60 time of 3.6 seconds.
Inspired by the 250 TestaRossa, the California T is defined by its long front wingspan that stretches to the cockpit, which gives the Ferrari a very distinctive profile.
The interior features many of the same contemporary design cues that have come to define Ferrari.
Certainly one of the most exclusive in this year’s line-up, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT Final Edition is definitely not for the discrete. Limited to just 350 models, the convertible features an exposed carbon fiber hood accented by racing cues that carry over into the interior.
The topless Mercedes is equipped with a 583 horsepower V8 engine with a 0 to 60 time of 3.6 seconds.
For classic appeal in a new convertible, look no further than the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet.
A tribute to Porsche’s legacy in the world of performance, the new 911 is powered by a six- cylinder turbocharged engine with 560 horsepower and a 0 to 60 time of 3.0 seconds.
Inside, the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet features many of the same design elements that give the exterior so much classic appeal.
Now, if I can just get my hands on one of these hot convertibles for an LA test drive.