Drop The Top: The Best New Convertible Cars For 2024

Did you know that the UK buys more convertibles per capita than any other country? While this might sound ambitious considering our weather, one thing all Brits are good at is making the most of when the sun’s shining, and part of that is being able to fold the roof down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

So, while convertibles might have some technical compromises – such as stiffness, lack of practicality (thanks to the folding roof mechanism), and increased weight – some cars just work better as convertibles.

Whether cruising the Riviera, driving down a challenging mountain road or just floating through the countryside, convertibles remain a unique experience in the car world. They turn otherwise mundane drives into events.

Looking to drop the top? These are our favourite new convertibles of 2024.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante

There are few more sophisticated-looking cars out there than an open-top Aston Martin, but the new DB12 Volante has appeal beyond its reputation. This is one of the best coupe-to-convertible conversions on the market, with a unique body (from the A-pillars back) compared to the coupe. In our opinion, it looks better than the fixed-head model – whether the roof is up or down.

The new DB12 might appear similar to the old DB11, but there are some huge changes under the skin. It has a mighty new V8 engine with more power than the previous V12, as well as some major upgrades to the suspension, steering and brakes. Producing a fairly ridiculous 680hp, the new DB12 Volante will hit 62mph in 3.7 seconds and storm past 200mph.

Yet beyond the numbers, one can’t help but admire the brand-new interior and the incredible material quality and workmanship that go into every model. Many people might get hung up on digital interfaces or sheer numbers on paper, but the real magic of an Aston Martin is how it makes you feel whenever you drop into the driver’s seat.

The DB12 is no different and will make any journey, no matter how monotonous, an event to savour.


Maserati GranCabrio

Maserati’s lineup is somewhat varied, ranging from a four-cylinder midsize family SUV to a crazy triple-motor supercar with or without a roof. But at the core of its offering sits the classic four-seater GT, and the new one is now available without a roof, creating the next-generation GranCabrio.

Like the last generation, the folding fabric roof only heightens this car’s appeal, making an exceptionally spacious and comfortable GT even better. Available with a turbocharged V6 engine or a new triple-motor EV powertrain, the new GranCabrio also neatly fills a few niches that could find favour with buyers.

In fact, the all-electric Folgore might well be the most interesting application. Its outright range figure will likely be less of a concern, as cabrios are rarely long-distance cruisers. Just imagine floating down elegant beachside towns and cities with no noise, only a smooth, elegant open-top shape reflecting in show windows.

And suppose you’re after something particularly attention-grabbing. In that case, Maserati’s Fuoriserie personalisation program can produce your GranCabrio in a wide range of colours and finishes to suit your exacting taste.


Mazda MX-5

The evergreen Mazda MX-5 (or Miata, for our American friends) might be an easy car to overlook, given its constant presence and slow technical evolution, but this remains one of the absolute best open-top cars on sale right now. As the market changes and cars get bigger, heavier, and packed with lots of power, toys and turbochargers, the MX-5’s DNA hasn’t altered.

This is excellent news because, almost paradoxically, this lack of change makes it a total breath of fresh air in 2024. It also helps that, much like a Porsche 911, this slow evolution has meant the rough edges have been constantly buffed away to reveal an almost perfect package.

The modern MX-5 – best in its top-spec Roadster form with the 2-litre engine and a six-speed manual – only produces 181hp but fights back with a tiny weight figure and one of the best gear shifts in the business. As part of a recent update, the traction control has also been tweaked, and the brakes are now a much more serious set of Brembos that will stand up perfectly well to the occasional track day.

Finally, the interior has been updated, with a new infotainment system that brings the car’s technology pack up to date with slick graphics and effortless iPhone integration. The only thing we think is now missing is the respect this brilliant little car deserves. Buy one while you can.


Mercedes-AMG SL 63 S E Performance

The Mercedes SL is another long-standing open-top model, but it’s not slow-moving when it comes to technology or performance. The latest and greatest model might not have a V12 engine (although watch this space) but instead comes with one of the most potent plug-in hybrid powertrains on the market.

Packing no less than 816hp and up to 1,420Nm of torque, the SL63 S E Performance is all about the numbers and uses absolute cutting-edge technology to reach them. The engine is AMG’s typical twin-turbo 4-litre V8, but to this, AMG has fitted the same electrified rear axle as you’ll find in the new C 63 S E Performance.

This places a small electric motor between the rear wheels, powered by a small battery pack mounted above it. The batteries aren’t from Mercedes but are specific to AMG and draw technology from the F1 car. As such, they won’t get you far on a charge but are instead designed to expel and regenerate energy as quickly as possible.

To harness all the power, this SL also has pages and pages of chassis tech, including all-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and a clever cross-linked suspension system, just to name a few. It’s all somehow packaged into a two-plus-two drop-top that’ll hit 62mph in 2.9 seconds.

If you’re into your numbers, there are few, if any, that get close to the mega Merc.


BMW Z4 M40i ‘Handschalter Package’

The BMW Z4 has been around for generations, but its popularity has waned lately. With this subsequent dip in interest, BMW has turned to some very interesting elements to bring some spark back to the classic roadster.

New for 2024 is the snappily titled ‘Handschalter Package’, which pairs the top-spec M40i’s 335bhp engine with a six-speed manual transmission for the first time in this generation. In addition to the new gearbox, there are a variety of other small changes, such as new springs and software for the adaptive dampers. There’s also a new anti-roll bar clamp and tweaks to the steering rack.

Also new for the Handschalter is a staggered wheel size of 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear, which works with a bespoke Frozen Deep Green paintwork, diamond-cut wheels and a tan interior to create a really striking new look.

The added benefit is that any BMW aficionado will note the unique colour and know this as a Handschalter Package car. Its relative rarity and bespoke upgrades could also see it become something of a future classic, leveraging the fact that this is likely to be the last open-top BMW with a six-speed manual fitted.


MG Cyberster

MG’s rebirth might seem a little adrift of the small sports cars that defined the brand for generations, but finally, the now Chinese-owned manufacturer has brought out a model that looks back for direct inspiration. Called the Cyberster, this is not only the brand’s first performance-minded model since its Chinese takeover but also the first all-electric Roadster from China or, indeed, almost anywhere else.

The new Cyberster was designed right here in the UK from MG’s advanced design studio in Marylebone. There, it was decided that a new halo model would head up MG’s incredibly successful new era of models.

Despite what it might look like on the outside, though, this is now a big car, with dimensions closer to a Mercedes SL than a Mazda MX-5. To suit, the performance and luxury elements of the Cyberster have taken a corresponding leap forward, with the top-spec dual-motor car capable of reaching 62mph in under 4 seconds.

The interior is just as futuristic as the powertrain, packed with digital interfaces and no less than four screens in its compact two-seater body. It’s even available in a fairly wild collection of colours and finishes inside and out, and it could just be the model to prove that Chinese cars here in the UK are never a cheap or low-cost option.


Ferrari Roma Spider

The notion of an open-top Ferrari can often connote ultra-sporty or rare limited-edition models, but the Roma Spider isn’t quite that. This car is pure refinement, designed to mimic the elegance and romance of the Ferrari brand away from the race track and more in tune with glamorous locations like Monaco, the French Riviera or even places like Pebble Beach in California.

Taking obvious inspiration from the Roma coupe, the new Spider retains much of that car’s elegant silhouette thanks to a flowing fabric roof and those rising haunches. This is a far cry from the often awkward-looking California or later Portofino models and their folding metal roof systems. Instead, the Roma looks back further to a time of 250 Californias and their more regal clientele.

Of course, performance is barely impacted as the wild twin-turbocharged V8 still produces well over 600bhp, getting the Spider to 62mph in just over 4 seconds and onto a top speed approaching 200mph. This puts it right in the firing line of the Aston, making for a difficult decision.

The good news is that there’s really no wrong answer, as both confirm that the drop-top GT is in safe hands despite the genre’s shrinking popularity. In fact, we can’t think of a time when the open-top car has been so impressive – there’s no longer space for wobbly drop-tops or underdeveloped sports cars. We’re in the age of near-perfection.


Porsche Boxster Spyder RS

Speaking of perfection, enter the Boxster RS. The Porsche Boxster was first revealed in 1996, and at a difficult time for Porsche, it laid the foundation for its intense growth, later informed by the Cayenne SUV and explosion of popularity surrounding the 911. But the Boxster has been a constant figure since then, and despite nearing its own expiration date, it remains one of the best performance cars ever.

This RS model is particularly special as it’s the only Boxster to ever feature a full-fat flat-six engine from the 911 GT3, a distinction that creates a miniature supercar thanks to its lightweight and incredible performance.

Its on-paper figures aren’t supercar-worthy at first glance, but its 493bhp and meagre 450Nm torque figure makes short work of the lightened body and create a driving experience that’s as visceral as it is enlightening. This is not an easy-going sports car but rather a hardcore, eardrum-bursting celebration of Porsche at its most simple.

Of course, being a rare Porsche means you’ll have to pay for it. But with that will come a high chance of retained value in the short term and bonafide classic status further down the line. So while we wouldn’t call it the best everyday companion – it’s just too rough and too stiff to work every day – an RS really is too special to be used every day, so it makes a must-add to any Porsche collection.


Jordan Katsianis

If there’s an interesting high performance or luxury car, chances are Jordan has driven it. With experience working for the world’s most respected editorial brands, Jordan’s eye for picking out the best new cars in the world is backed up with a past in automotive design and engineering - appreciating true innovation, while sorting out the good from the bad, and the ugly.