13 Types of convertible cars: What are their characteristics?

Driving in the open air is a fun and exciting experience; it’s different from what we usually see, and it gives you a sense of freedom that is impossible to have in a vehicle with a roof over it.

Who among us has not been thrilled while watching a movie scene where the protagonist is seen giggling and laughing like a child while driving a convertible?

Types of convertible cars

In order to provide some context and assist readers interested in witnessing all of this in person, the following paragraphs in this issue of Motorbli will discuss the 14 different kinds of convertible cars currently available for purchase.

By doing so, we can determine which will likely be easier to reach.

Pay attention to the different kinds of convertibles that are available.

After this brief and contextualized introduction, it is time to move on to action and individually explains the 14 different types of convertible cars available to drivers worldwide. Cabrio

The word cabriolet originates from the French language and refers to the expensive horse-drawn carriages that were popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Only a select few people could afford these carriages. In modern parlance, any automobile with a retractable roof can be referred to as a cabriolet.

However, purists reserve the term “cabriolet” for the convertible versions of coupés and sedans, which typically include four or more seating positions.

The Volkswagen Golf Cabrio and the BMW 4 Series Cabrio, amongst other examples, are currently available on the market and are excellent representations of this category.


Although it is becoming less common to use this term, not too long ago, it was the name given to those pioneering automobiles with a roof that could be opened and did not require it to be concealed inside the trunk.

The hood could be rigid or made of another material in their case; however, it is flexible regardless of the case and can be folded out of sight or removed entirely from the vehicle.

They typically have a particular chassis configuration that allows them to adequately withstand torsional rigidity forces, as with the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro.


At the beginning of their time, they were open cars with two to three seats, even though this word was closely linked to small English convertibles of the 1950s and 1960s of the previous century, or what is essentially the same thing: straightforward sports cars that were designed to compete in races.

In general, they did not have windows in the doors; if they did have them, they were removable and had a basic hood that was difficult to install.

Additionally, if they did have windows in the doors, they were generally small and obscured by a hood.

Since then, the definition of the term “two-seater sports car” has expanded to include any open-air sports car with at least two seats.

Although the Lotus Seven and the Triumph TR5 are perhaps the most well-known examples of this type of vehicle, the Mazda MX-5 is widely regarded as the most illustrious model in its class.


This word comes from Italy and refers to light carriages with a shape similar to that of a spider.

These carriages had a petite frame and large wooden wheels with thin spokes, which were compared to the legs of this insect during the nineteenth century.

With the advent of automobiles, the name was given to new types of small, nimble, sporty-looking, and convertible vehicles.

Since these automobiles were not based on any previously produced model, it was impossible to locate them with any other bodywork.

There are hardly any examples left on the market, with only the Ferrari Portofino, California, or the Alfa Romeo receiving this nomenclature.

This is because there are almost no examples left on the market.


Because the bark was developed primarily for competition, they are distinguished by the absence of any component that, despite increasing comfort, slows down the boat’s speed.

This information clarifies why they do not have a top, hood, side windows, or windshield wipers on their vehicle.

Only the driver and his helmet are visible, and in the market, a situation very similar to this occurs with the Renault Spider, the KTM X-Bow, or the Dallara Stradale.


Hardtops are characterized by having a removable hardtop that consists of a piece that, with very few exceptions, cannot be mounted and removed by one person.

Hardtops gained popularity in the United States of America.

They are designed to be used solely and exclusively for mounting the vehicle’s roof during the winter and other times of the year when it will not be driven with the top down. Some SUVs have hardtops, such as the Suzuki Vitara, and some hardtop examples, such as the Mercedes-Benz SL Pagoda.


They enjoyed the same level of success as the hardtop did in North America, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s, and they did the same in Japan.

They are distinguished by a central edge connecting the rear arch to the windshield wiper, another distinguishing feature.

This adds rigidity to the structure due to the presence of two equally immovable and independent half-hooks.

However, models of this type are no longer manufactured, although, in the past, one might have been able to find examples such as the Chevrolet Corvette C3 or the Nissan 300 ZX T Top.


Mercedes-Benz and Maybach are responsible for popularizing the word “landaulet.”

On the other hand, during the latter half of the 20th century, such vehicles were frequently utilized by heads of state during official events.

However, because they are a type of limousine in which only the back section is convertible, and the roof is typically made of canvas, they are not used in modern times.

This is because of the fear that they could be used in terrorist attacks.

The Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet and the Mercedes Maybach G 650 Landaulet are two models that stand out as particularly illustrative examples.


In 1965, the Porsche Targa brought widespread attention to this body style and established its place among convertibles.

Its raison d’être was in greater security that concerned the niche of the Stuttgart firm in the United States and is that they were semi-convertible cars since the removable part, and that is done by hand, the roof only goes from the windshield to the roll bar that is installed next to a fixed medallion just behind the passengers of the car.

Its raison d’être was in greater security that concerned the niche of the Stuttgart firm in the United States, and they were semi-convertible.

The 1961 Triumph TR4 and the 1964 Saab Catherina are two cars that come to mind as clear forerunners to the Porsche Targa.

However, it is essential to note that these cars existed before the Targa was introduced.

Soft top made of cloth

Most people think of conventional convertibles when they hear the term “fabric-top convertible.”

They have a wide range of color options and several beneficial properties, such as excellent insulation that is made possible, in turn, by the many layers that it contains.

They were all operated manually when they were first introduced, but these days the interior of the passenger compartment is where the electronic controls are located.

It is important to note that some manufacturers consider the cabriolet and the fabric hood to be the only way to maintain the spirit of their vehicles, particularly the roadster.

More examples can be found in this section than in any others: the Audi A3 and A5, the BMW 6 Series, the Opel Astra, the Volkswagen Golf, the Beetle Cabrio, the Jaguar F-Type, the Porsche 911, or the Aston Martin Vantage.

A roof that can be folded down or removed

There is typically a folding or roll-up canvas in convertible cars with a retractable roof. In some cases, such as the Citroen Pluriel, there is also a canvas with slats.

Therefore, it can be considered a transitional stage between an enclosed automobile and a true convertible.

It is distinguished from folding roofs that are more conventional in that it has a larger surface area than those roofs.

The Fiat 500, the Citroen DS3, and the Citroen C1 are three of the most prominent examples of modern automobiles that feature a top that can be folded down.

Panoramic windows

Fixed, folding or mixed configurations of panoramic windows are all possible.

Because of the rigidity prevalent in chassis construction, huge, glazed surfaces have been utilized in the vehicle’s roof.

The divided ones allow it to be opened electrically with a lower curtain that moves independently underneath the glass.

However, this takes up more space in the passenger compartment’s height level.

To illustrate this point: Because the glass in the Citroen C4 Cactus has been subjected to a specific treatment that blocks the transmission of ultraviolet rays, there is no need for a curtain to be placed in front of the vehicle.

13 Types of convertible cars

Two-seater, two-plus-two, and four-seater options

The number of seats in a convertible is one of the defining characteristics of this type of vehicle.

For example, there are some four-seat convertibles in which the passengers in the back are more vulnerable to the effects of wind than those in the front.

However, when only the front seats are occupied, they have a removable rear windbreak that prevents the air from causing discomfort in the front area, even when driving at high speeds.

This is because the windbreak is located behind the rear seats.

The rear seats of a 2+2 are significantly smaller than those of a standard vehicle, so children or adults in an emergency should only occupy them.

Last but not least, the two-seaters are a type of car closely related to the roadster. As the name suggests, these cars only have room for two people inside.

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