Convertible sales account for a tiny fraction of the market, and that slice is shrinking.
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BMW is getting ready to launch a more affordable sports car for 2014 called the Z2. The Z4 was a fabulous roadster however it has moved upmarket and BMW is hoping to produce a simpler successor to the original Z3.
It has been reported that BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer is not exactly a fan of the Z2 but, the board understands the brand cannot surrender this segment to be monopolized by the Mazda Mx-5.
Plans are leading us to believe that the Z2 will be a soft-top roadster and it is unlikely to be front-wheel drive. It is still up in the air as to whether the new roadster will be RWD or AWD.
Plans to launch a front wheel drive UKL1 platform for future BMWs and Minis was met by significant public outcry, convincing BMW to utilize a 4wd system if production commences affecting the Z2 as well.
There would be both positive and negative aspects of using an all-wheel drive system. Benefits include better traction as well as a broader appeal to consumers. On the other hand, weight, space and cost are all affected by the awd possibility.
Three different turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engines would be used producing between 170- 272-h There may also be a 2.0-liter turbodiesel alternative in works, producing 184-hp or 204-hp.
Mercedes-Benz revealed the 2012 SLS AMG soft-top Roadster a few days ago, and this 563-hp sportscar demands a high price. Available later this year, the $183,000 Merc may be missing the signature gullwing doors, but it certainly does retain the coupe’s power and sex appeal.
The SLS AMG will be powered by a 6.2-liter V8 front-mid engine producing 479 lb-ft of torque, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and an aluminum space frame body.
Amazingly, the soft-top can open and close in 11 seconds and operates at speeds of up to 31mp/h (50km/h). Three colors are available for the soft-top in red, black and beige.
“The SLS Roadster is a super sports car, cruiser and highly desirable dream-car all in one. In its distinctive way, it continues the succession of iconic and exciting sports cars from Mercedes-Benz,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars.