One of our writers remembers the first car he saw with a folding hardtop was a Mercedes-Benz SLK. He thought it was the coolest thing and from then on set his sights on buying one. He never did (Life, in the form of jobs, house payments, etc., constantly derailed him), but still thinks they’re the coolest thing.
We agree and, to the surprise of no Californian, so has the public. Folding hardtops, reports AutoWeek, have become the rage, with sales soaring. The Volkswagen Eos (pictured), which was introduced last fall, is well on its way to reaching 12,000 to 13,000 in sales this year. The all-new Volvo C70 saw sales has nearly tripled in the first quarter of this year compared to 2006.
But to consumers’ delight, folding hardtops are appearing on less expensive models. The Pontiac G6, with a starting price in the low $30,000 range, saw sales go through the roof. Sales were up 38 percent in the first quarter of 2007, driven in part by the demand for the hardtop convertible model, one of the least expensive at a little over $29,000.
Other hardtops include the all-new Chrysler Sebring, the Mazda MX-5, and the BMW 3-Series.
Our take? Will there one day be hardtop convertibles around $14,000 to $16,000 or so range?