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Going Topless This Summer? (Enhanced With DEEP-LINKS)

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Convertibles For Sale in North America

Editor's Note: I have added targeted deep links for each convertible model in this article, as always The Auto Channel makes it easy to get the complete specs, comparisons, reviews and prices for each convertible, just click on the name. Enjoy, don't forget to apply HD sunscreen and wear a hat.

NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 -- The summer is all about vacations, road trips, and cruising the beach and open road. Above all it's about having fun. And what could be more fun than the sun-in-your-face, wind-blown hair feeling of an open top car? The 2011 New York International Automobile Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (April 22 €“ May 1) has more new convertibles than ever before in all shapes and sizes, with seating for two, four or five, and offering buyers a choice between models with conventional rag tops or retractable hardtops.

"Convertibles make every journey a special one, and over the last few years the world's auto manufacturers have been quickly responding to America's renewed demand for the open-aired excitement that only a convertible can deliver," said Show Chairman John LaSorsa.

This year alone, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Fiat, Mercedes, Nissan, and Volkswagen among others have fresh new convertibles. Manufacturers like Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche and Rolls Royce have never stopped producing exciting, great looking convertible vehicles whatever the vagaries of the drop-top market in general, but with over three dozen models now available to all, there has never been a better time to own a convertible. From the $18,000 Smart Fortwo to the $450,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, there's a drop-top to fit every budget and need.

One of this summer's most sought after convertibles will be Fiat's brand-new 500C Cabrio, offering fun-seekers one of the most hip and cheeky soft tops for under $30k.

Also new is the segment-busting Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. The world's first all-wheel drive crossover convertible combines fun-in-the-sun driving with a secure, rewarding driving experience. Powered by a 265 hp 3.5-liter V6, the CrossCabriolet comes with an all-wheel drive system connecting the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system, yaw sensors, wheel slip sensors and steering angle sensors to distribute torque according to driving conditions.

Without question, there's no better time than now to buy a convertible. Today's ragtops are safe, reliable, and fun and most are perfectly equipped for year-round use.

Affordable Fun

At the less expensive end of the financial spectrum, Mazda's classic MX-5 Miata has been widely credited with bringing open-top motoring back into fashion while MINI's ultra-cool Convertible sealed the deal. This stylish pair priced at $23,110 and $25,550 respectively, proves that style doesn't have to break the bank. The Volkswagen Eos is another trend-setter that has been completely redesigned for the 2012 model year. With an MSRP expected to start around $30K, the sophisticated German is the only hardtop convertible with a built-in sunroof offering true four-season fun.

All-American Droptops

Chrysler has long been the maker of America's best selling convertibles and 2011 is likely to be no different with the unveiling of the new Chrysler 200 Convertible. The 200 is a true mid-sized convertible that comfortably seats 4 adults and has enough room in the trunk, even when the power top is dropped. The new Chrysler is powered by either a 283 hp 3.6-liter V-6 engine or a 2.4-liter engine -- both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox €“ and starts at $26,445.

If it's power you want, an American pony car convertible is hard to beat. While the Ford Mustang Convertible begins at $27,145 with a 3.7-liter V-6 under the hood it can also be had as a V8-powered GT starting at $34,645 or as a teeth-rattling $53K Shelby GT500 Convertible with a 5.4-liter Supercharged V-8 capable of delivering 540 horsepower and 510 lb. €“ft of torque to really 'blow away the cobwebs'!

Another American favorite is also available in a topless format this year. The Chevrolet Camaro Convertible has been painstakingly engineered to provide coupe-like dynamics with the roof down. The Camaro's 312 horsepower V6 engine offers an impressive 29 mpg on highway, while the legendary SS model features a 6.2L V8 engine producing 426 horsepower and 24 mpg. The available automatic transmission version of the SS features Active Fuel Management and offers 25 mpg highway while delivering 400 horsepower. The Camaro starts at $21,950 and it's worth it for the exhaust rumble alone.

If the Camaro is a shade too aggressive, check-out the new Volvo C70 Convertible which blends safety and comfort with style and sportiness. This sexy Swede loses its top for just under $40k and is powered by a smooth 2.5-liter turbocharged inline five cylinder engine.

BMW has a new drop-top for 2011 in the shape of the muscular 2012 model year 650i Convertible. Offering groundbreaking luxury and crisp good looks, the 650i features all the advanced chassis technology, innovative comfort, infotainment and safety features you'd expect from the marque. The BMW's 4.4-liter V-8 engine develops a maximum 400 hp between 5,500 and 6,400 rpm and is fitted with an 8-speed Sport automatic transmission to create a sensational blend of speed, flexibility, sportiness and efficiency.

When Money's No Object

Just a lottery win away, the stunning $162,000 Audi R8 Spyder is the stuff of summer driving dreams. At the heart of the Spyder is a soul stirring 525 hp 5.2-liter V10 engine displayed under a transparent panel and nestled within a Carbon Fiber Sigma engine bay. The V10 screams to an astronomical 8700 rpm and propels the R8 to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds on the way up to a top track speed of 195 mph.

"So, is there any sign of an end to the growing popularity of convertibles? Not as long as there's a sunny day, and an open road ahead," concluded LaSorsa.

About the 2011 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)

Showcasing the latest automotive trends, the 2011 New York International Auto Show will unveil an extensive collection of the most technologically advanced vehicles on display anywhere in the world. More than four floors of displays, including the new Javits Center North exhibition hall, will house nearly 1,000 stunning new 2011/2012 vehicles as well as sensational futuristic concept cars. NYIAS is owned and produced by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.

Important Show Dates:

Press Preview

April 20 and April 21

Public Sneak Preview

April 22

Public Show Dates

April 22 €“ May 1

Show Hours:

Monday €“ Saturday: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Pre-Show Private Group Tours: The price includes a ticket to the show, early access to the floor and a tour by an automotive expert. Visit for more information or to reserve a place on one of our tours!