Cabriolet Cruisers

Nothing says summer quite like an open-top drive, and these three cabriolets would make for a thrilling ride.

By Juliet McGuire

BMW Z4 M40i
Priced from R1 331 537

Z4 loyalists rejoice. This soft-top sportscar has become somewhat of a pop culture icon thanks, in part, to both its styling and performance. As BMW describes it, the vehicle is “open, sporty and uncompromising… it has only one aim: the freedom between the road and the open sky.” We say the freedom between the road, the open sky, and the ocean.

The facelifted Z4 arrived in South Africa last year showcasing a redesigned grille with the kidneys adopting a horizontal inner structure, and revised side air intakes. It’s also available in new exterior colours such as Portimao Blue metallic, Skyscraper Grey metallic and Thundernight metallic. And if you aren’t keen on the standard black fabric soft-top, you can opt for the Anthracite Silver.

Step inside to the Vernasca leather of your choice, be it in Cognac, Magma Red, Ivory White or black. This is where your heart starts to race. Pop the top down, which will take all of 10 seconds at driving speeds up to 50 km/h and enjoy what this car was designed to be: a true driver’s car. Put your foot down and you’ll instantly feel the 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight six petrol engine come to life – all 285kW and 500Nm of it! It will take you just 4.1 seconds to get to 100 km/h. The Z4 strikes the perfect balance between agile handling, dynamic driving, and ride comfort, making it a fun car to drive, and a luxury seaside wanderer.

Priced from R2 892 000

At a time when there were calls for cabriolets to be banned in the United States due to safety concerns, Porsche responded with the Targa – originally marketed as a “safety cabriolet with an anti-roll bar.” It was originally named after the endurance race held in Sicily. The latest generation Targa features a fully automatic roof system, just like the original 1966 Targa model. It features a characteristic wide roll hoop, a moveable roof section above the front seat and a wraparound rear window. The roof can be opened or closed in 19 seconds.

The Targa 4S is powered by the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-6 engine as the Targa 4 derivative, but it has more power. The 4S boasts 331kW and 530Nm (as opposed to the 4’s 283kW and 450Nm). This means you will get to 100km/h in a lightning quick 3.4 seconds. Don’t blink – you might just miss the ocean view!

Maximum driving pleasure is available thanks to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and intelligent all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management as standard. Although, the 4S can be ordered with a newly developed seven-speed manual gearbox if you so choose.

Porsche has managed to combine two worlds within the 911 Targa: the advantages of open-top driving in a cabriolet combined with the everyday comfort and safety of a coupe.

Priced from R7 820 000

This cabriolet version of the MC20 coupe (otherwise known as “Spyder”) is, quite frankly, out of this world, and we are not just talking about the price. It was made to cruise along a coastline. One of its colours, Acquamarina, was inspired by the sea and the restless energy beneath the waves. It reflects the sky and the sea shimmering and shifting in motion, it is always restless, always moving forward.

And move forward it can, at insanely quick speeds. Think 0-100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds. That’s 463kW of power and a whopping 730Nm of torque propelling you to a top speed of over 325km/h thanks to the 3.0-litre, V6 twin-turbo petrol engine.

It also wows with its retractable glass roof which uses Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystal technology to transform it from opaque to clear at the touch of a button. This means that you can “look up to the stars, even if the top is on.” The wow factor continues with the upward-opening butterfly doors that are thankfully retained from the coupe. There is absolutely nothing discreet about this car… and there shouldn’t be.

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