Mercedes SLK World banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Next 4 series convertible will lose the retractable hardtop

Report: Next BMW 4 Series Convertible Ditches Retractable Hardtop

The sale of convertible is getting weaker every month in Europe and retractable hardtop is getting out of fashion.

Peugeot stopped production of its convertibles. The 206 CC was a massive hit in the 2000's but the 308 CC was ugly and sales were poor.
Eos production is stopped and VW will only produce Golf and Beetle soft tops.
Renault will not renew the Megane CC
Chrysler did not renew the 200 convertible
BMW announcing that the next Z4 will not be a convertible to please the Chinese market where high level of pollution prevent usage of convertible.
Next MX5 is a soft top as far as I know

What is left of the hardtop?
SLK, SL... what else?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
The vario roof will go eventually with the newer SL and SLK replacements.

Unfortunately the smaller engines are now vogue, and in an effort to save weight to get the best performance from them, the vario roofs - weighty items - are as you say, doomed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Sad development...

And for us living in the northern hemisphere and want to be able to drive the car comfortably in the winter the vario-roofs is just what we need! Flimsy noisy soft tops with soft plastic rear windows that crack or fog up was behind us I thought.... :-/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
I could see the SL ditching the retractable hardtop, as it has historically not had one, but the SLK? It was created with the vario roof as one of the main attracting features. Making it a soft top removes some of it's differentiation with other roadster brands. Get rid of it all together and it's no longer a roadster, you might as well merge the SLK with the CLA or some other small fixed roof car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
While it is the case that the lower end has seen some retractable hardtop models not replaced, Volvo V70 , Sebring, Opel Astra, Tigra, Pontiac G6 ,Mitsubishi GTO , Nissan Silvia, the high end , McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, I feel they are likely to continue, particularly for the 2- seaters where the roof is basically two panel.

Look up "retractable hardtop" on wikipedia for a list.

It remains to be seen whether the new MX-5 gets one in a year or so like the last model , NC, did.
Smaller to Medium Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Lexus and Ford Focus all have retractable hard tops. Also VW Eos.

In the european market where many cars live on the street, and many families have just one car, then the car that does everything has a niche.

The bigger four seaters require the three panel designs that are both significantly more complex, bulky when stowed, and also less forgiving of any misfits. The cars needing a bigger luggage space for more passengers are burdened with more of it filled with roof. So it is not hard to see why CLK, E and S class would/will have fabric convertibles.

Maybe the experiment where every manufacturer had to have one to prove they too could do it, has finished.

But for premium 2 seater vehicles and some European needs, I think there will be enough demand to justify future model investment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
868 Posts
Sad development...

And for us living in the northern hemisphere and want to be able to drive the car comfortably in the winter the vario-roofs is just what we need! Flimsy noisy soft tops with soft plastic rear windows that crack or fog up was behind us I thought.... :-/
aye - sad news indeed. This is my first convertible in 20 odd years (the previous was an X1/9 so still not a true convertible) and I love it. The other thing I love is the potential security non of the bottom right going on...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I agree premium cars will keep the vario roof longer than the lower end as they can continue with thirstier engines as they will get the well heeled buyer.

I came from a rag-top driving in the UK where weather is as changeable as a pair of socks, and winching up and down a beefy hard top onto an R129 SL was a chore that the R230 put to extinction! No matter what marque, a soft top is no match to a hard top.

Moving onto smaller cars, the vario roof was/is my main requirement. When the SLK roof is replaced with a soft, then I will buy the last off the line of a vario model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
I agree premium cars will keep the vario roof longer than the lower end as they can continue with thirstier engines as they will get the well heeled buyer.

I came from a rag-top driving in the UK where weather is as changeable as a pair of socks, and winching up and down a beefy hard top onto an R129 SL was a chore that the R230 put to extinction! No matter what marque, a soft top is no match to a hard top.

Moving onto smaller cars, the vario roof was/is my main requirement. When the SLK roof is replaced with a soft, then I will buy the last off the line of a vario model.
I couldn't have put it better myself!:wink:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,682 Posts
Bmw started the trend to go back to the basic Merc will follow and Audi will get you free driving hats with every new 2 Seater.



Lets face it that Steel Top is for ............anyway.:grin::grin::grin:

Real Roadster Drivers do not need a roof.

:wink:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,181 Posts
Having had use of and had clean the roof of My Ex's MX5, the SLK Hard Top gets My vote.
(Plus the minor detail of a V6 under the bonnet! >:D)
The real down side of a "Rag Top" is when they are parked any where near trees & go green...

Though I've read that the UK has a higher percentage of open top car, than most of Europe?
As the sun is such a novelty for us Brit's.... !!
And having tried driving day in, day out in 35'c plus sun, I can see their point.... :cool:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
899 Posts
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top