2011 Lexus IS 350CEnlarge Photo
Lexus IS 350 C
The top-of-the-line 2011 Lexus IS 350 C boasts a 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine matched with six-speed automatic tranny achieving EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway fuel economy. Starting price for the top-level Lexus IS C convertible is $45,840.
2011 Audi TTS RoadsterEnlarge Photo
Audi TTS Roadster
Prices start from $50,000 but the 2011 Audi TTS Roadster (European model shown here), with its standard quattro all-wheel drive, stands apart from the competition in that it is the only sports car in its class with all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 265-horsepower 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder turbocharged engine mated with six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission (sorry, no manual gearbox available). Fuel economy is respectable at EPA-estimated 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway.
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 CabrioletEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
With its insulated cloth soft top, 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet offers open-air driving in refined luxury and comfort. Fuel economy with the V-6-powered E350 Cabriolet is EPA estimated at 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway. Starting price is $56,850. Move up to the E550 Cabriolet, which starts at $64,800, and you get a 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V-8 engine with EPA rating at 15/22 mpg city/highway fuel economy.
2011 BMW 3-Series CoupeEnlarge Photo
BMW 335is convertible
In convertible form, the ultimate 2011 BMW 3-Series convertible is the 335is, which starts at $59,650. Powered by a new 320-horsepower 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine with TwinPower turbo technology paired with a seven-speed double-clutch transmission, the 335is convertible still manages to achieve city/highway fuel economy of 17/26 mpg. For a four-passenger power-retractable hardtop convertible with the BMW logo that doesn’t cost as much as M models, it doesn’t get much better than this.
2011 Porsche Boxster SpyderEnlarge Photo
Porsche Boxster Spyder
The two-place 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder sits at the top of the Boxster roadster lineup, powered by 320-horsepower power-boosted 3.4-liter flat six mated with a precise six-speed manual transmission. The rear-wheel driver Porsche Boxster Spyder is priced from $61,800.
2011 Audi R8 SpyderEnlarge Photo
Audi R8 Spyder
King-of-the-hill of our twelve hot convertibles for summer is the 2011 Audi R8 Spyder. Priced from $162,700, the Audi R8 Spyder is by far the most expensive droptop on the list. With its 525-horsepower 5.2-liter V-10 engine mated with six-speed manual or six-speed R tronic transmission, the Audi R8 Spyder does zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. Sure, it only seats two, and fuel economy is a mere 12/19 mpg (manual gearbox) and 13/19 mpg (automatic tranny), but what a ride!
For more in-depth information on all of these models, be sure to check out reviews at TheCarConnection.