The hardtop convertible dates back some 85 years, though Americans of a certain age might recall a car two decades later — the 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner — as their first sight of a folding steel roof. Whatever your reference point, the power-retractable hardtop is well established these days.
Widely available, though? Not so much. Droptops as mass-market as the Mazda Miata MX-5, Pontiac G6 and Volkswagen Eos once offered the feature; of that trio, only the MX-5 remains. Its RF variant, which stands for “retractable fastback,” is the most affordable power-folding hardtop for 2019 (starting at $33,265 including destination), though some might debate its convertibleness because not all of the roof structure retracts.
Opine all you want, but alternatives are few. For the 2019 model year, only six other cars offer a power-folding hardtop, though at least a few more — the redesigned Chevrolet Corvette, which adds a hardtop-convertible variant for 2020, plus folding-hardtop variants of the McLaren 600LT and 720S — will join for the 2020 model year.
Here are the seven convertibles with power-folding hardtops for 2019:
- BMW 4 Series
- Ferrari 488 Spider
- Ferrari Portofino
- McLaren 570S Spider
- Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
- Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
- Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class
It’s a thin crowd. The days when many automakers tried their hand at power-folding hardtops — with results as disparate as the Lexus SC and Chevrolet SSR — are long gone. Many current examples are six-figure supercars, leaving few choices within the realm of affordability.
Bummed about your options? Check out all convertibles, both hardtop and soft-top. That list is considerably longer.
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