Is the folding roof a dead trend ? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 06-08-2012
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Is the folding roof a dead trend ?

Just read today in a car magazine that the next generation of the GM convertible Opel/Vauxhall Astra will no longer be a folding roof.

Same story with Peugeot. The 207 CC and 308 CC will be replaced by regular soft tops.

The cost to design a folding roof is now too expensive for those car makers and the look of the cars with their big bums does not appeal to everyone.
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#2 Old 06-08-2012
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glad our slks have small bums!
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#3 Old 06-08-2012
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Originally Posted by BCoolidge View Post
Just read today in a car magazine that the next generation of the GM convertible Opel/Vauxhall Astra will no longer be a folding roof.

Same story with Peugeot. The 207 CC and 308 CC will be replaced by regular soft tops.

The cost to design a folding roof is now too expensive for those car makers and the look of the cars with their big bums does not appeal to everyone.
Having watched what happens to a Peugeot convertible when it flips over they would be better off sticking to saloon bodies
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#4 Old 06-08-2012
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Having owned a soft top convertible I wouldn't buy one again. In fact when I purchased my SLK I initially had no idea the car even existed, I was just looking for a hard top convertible.

That said, the trend may be real. It won't be the first time that a manufacturer was driven more by cost than the perceived value of the end product.

IMHO I believe that fortunately Mercedes will be offering the Vario Roof for many years if not decades to come.

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#5 Old 06-08-2012
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Personally, I have always associated folding roofs with premium brands. And the above mentioned ones are far from premium. Those manufacturers know that and this is a prudent policy from their side. The soft top, on the other hand, is a dead trend in my opinion.
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#6 Old 06-08-2012
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Just to add that I would buy the SLK even if it is not a convertible! ))
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They did a roll over test on a Pug. No roll bars fitted and the screen pillars just flattened when it went over (
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#8 Old 06-08-2012
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The folding roof is definately a key feature that on the SLK provides the car with true Jekyl and Hyde characteristics that I would miss if were abandonded for a fixed-head or a soft-top.

Classic examples from last week end:
Saturday: 200+ miles run over Peninnes to the north-east in the rain with the top up in GT mode. Car is fast, quiet, surefooted, refined.
Sunday : 150+ miles nipping around the moors with a bunch of other SLKs in top-down roadster mode (most of the time Pete, most of the time ). Exhaust noise goodness, wind in the (wife's) hair. Car is quick, sure footed and more raw. Chassis still stiff enough get round the odd bend..
Monday : 200+ miles in GT mode again on the way home down the motorway.

I just can't think of many (if any) cars that do this as well as the SLK.

I'm not surprised Pug et al are looking to drop it. Must add some real cost to production. They can adjust the doors with a block of wood, but must take a bit of time to align the roof accurately, not to mention the cost and complexity of the parts.
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#9 Old 06-08-2012
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just some trivia. Ford offered a folding roof in either '55 or '56.
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#10 Old 06-08-2012
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Originally Posted by bobl View Post
just some trivia. Ford offered a folding roof in either '55 or '56.

I'm with Glen - I did ~ 300 miles headed up 'norf "top-up", then the SheepChasing mainly top-down (yes Pete, you *are* the only real man!), and then a nice combo on the 300 miles back home of top-up/top-down.


For sure it was on the '59 Fairlane "Skyliner"! If you look closely, you can see hydraulic cylinders bigger than the struts on our SLK's! :-)






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#11 Old 06-08-2012
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I would have driven through those showers roof down, but of course I took care of the guided tour ahead of my own selfish needs ... although it is sometimes tempting to floor it and not wait at junctions
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I wouldn't have bought the 55 if it had a fixed roof or soft top. That being said I don't think the soft top is on the way out. There are times that I think a soft top is very classic on a car. Plus with a hard top you've got to decide where to put that top when it's down. BTW no one does it better than the MX-5 (hard top). It doesn't go into the trunk instead sits vertical between the seats and the trunk.
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We did as much roof down the week before the HUNT as possible. Couldnt do the M1 home with it down as it was a mixed weather day and putting the roof up and down at 90 mph is not an option
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#14 Old 06-08-2012
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It's not the wind noise or turbulence that I dislike at speed on the motorway, it's the tyre noise from the other traffic.

It's possible to hear a motrway from say 1 mile away. As sound level drops off at the square of the distance, it's not too hard to guesstimate that actually on the motorway the sound pressure level (SPL) is above the 85 dBA action limit used in industry.

On a long journey with several hours of exposure, it may actually result in some HEARING LOSS....
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Originally Posted by GeeJay View Post
It's not the wind noise or turbulence that I dislike at speed on the motorway, it's the tyre noise from the other traffic.

It's possible to hear a motrway from say 1 mile away. As sound level drops off at the square of the distance, it's not too hard to guesstimate that actually on the motorway the sound pressure level (SPL) is above the 85 dBA action limit used in industry.

On a long journey with several hours of exposure, it may actually result in some HEARING LOSS....
There are more stretches of roads with this super quite tarmac and thats much nicer to drive along. The increase in tyre noise is even more obvious when you run back onto rough tarmac and even worse on concrete Being deaf in one ear and partially in the other its almost impossible to hear anything Jen says to me with the roof up. With it down at speed its a none starter
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#16 Old 06-08-2012
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Being deaf in one ear and partially in the other its almost impossible to hear anything Jen says to me with the roof up. With it down at speed its a none starter

LOL - at least your camera records her comments quite nicely - so you can always go back and do a review! :-)



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#17 Old 06-08-2012
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LOL - at least your camera records her comments quite nicely - so you can always go back and do a review! :-)
I cant understand most of what she or I say on those vids apart from the Pot Hole one. What I said then wasnt hard to hear
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