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The top six convertibles

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/18/2006 | Auto and Trucks

The convertible is a dream car for a lot of people, particularly the young and the adventurous. They love the wind whistle past their ears and their hair fly as they drive with the top brought down. Six convertibles that are traffic stoppers are:

1. The 2005 BMW 6 Series: Priced from 69,900 to 76,900, this is a 4.4 liter V8 with 325 horsepower. It has a high speed of 149 mph and comes in two variants - an automatic transmission and a six-speed manual transmission. This car comes with active roll stabilization technology which makes it safe even on steep turns. It also has a great cruise control and is tailor made for the young guys who want to impress their dates.

2. The 2005 Lotus Elise: It has the looks of a wild race car and packs tremendous speed. It is also not so hard on the pocket and can be bought for 42,990. It weights 2000 pounds and has a 4 cylinder, 190 horsepower engine. It can race from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. This may sometimes encourage rash driving. However, the Elise is a good performer on the road even if it seems to be made for the race track.

3. The 2005 Lexus SC 430: This heavyweight (3800 pounds) beauty costs 63,575 and is a cruiser to the core. With a powerful 300 horsepower, V8 engine and a top speed of 156 mph, it also scores in performance. It has the trademark Lexus luxury and provides an effortless driving experience. With two stylish front leather seats, this car would be the ideal companion for a perfect honeymoon.

4. The ASC Helios 4-door: This concept car is nothing but a 2005 Chrysler 300, minus the roof. It has a 5.7 liter, HEMI V8 engine, which takes 6 seconds to race from 0 to 60. It has some of the most high tech gadgets that include a sophisticated navigator system, 3D images of the road ahead, DVD monitors for the passengers and a 400 watt music system with 13 speakers. This car doesnt have a fixed price and it is for those with a liking for flamboyance.

5. The 2005 Cadillac XLR: At a price of 75,835, this is one of the expensive convertibles, but is a fine performer with its 4.6 liter, 320 horsepower, V8 engine. It does 0-60 in less than 6 seconds, but the top speed has a ceiling at 155 mph. It is a half-sports, half-luxury car. It comes with a push button retractable hard-roof top and is best suited for those not so young men.

6. The 2005 Honda S2000: Being the cheapest of all these convertibles doesnt mean that the S2000 is low on performance. The 240hp, 4 cylinder engine may be small but has immaculate timing and precision. The car has great control, and can go over sharp curves at high speeds. This is the car for those guys who trust performance more than a name.

Any convertible, for that matter, gives you that wonderful feeling of wind rushing against you as you drive. As the sun shines on your skin and as thousands of eyes gaze at you with envy, you can cruise through the streets in a convertible. That feeling has no comparison.