Wind Damage: Quantifying Convertible Weight and Noise Compromises [Infographic]

2015 BMW M4 convertible

2015 BMW M4 convertible From the November 2015 issue

Lay the old rooster on the chopping block and he’ll be a little lighter after the hatchet falls. It’s a sad fact that the opposite is true of cars. Subtract the top and you’ve got to add a bunch of stuff back in. But, while convertibles consistently weigh more than their coupe counterparts, by how much is hardly a constant. Here, we’ve compiled their manufacturers’ quoted weights for 25 current coupe/convertible pairs. The true heavyweights are not the ones you’d expect. Clever automakers anticipate that both open and closed body styles will spring from a common platform and engineer their cars to minimize the convertible’s weight gain and added manufacturing complexity. Case in point: Porsche’s Cayman and Boxster weigh the same.

Key

Wind Damage: Quantifying Convertible Weight and Noise Compromises [Infographic]

*The 4-series is the only four-seat folding hardtop currently on the market, let alone the only one with a coupe sibling. So it’s difficult to put this number into context. But before the Chrysler 200 droptop was pulled from the market, it was 495 pounds heavier than the sedan. And the VW Eos—set to die in early 2016—is 481 pounds heavier than a two-door GTI.

Wind Damage: Quantifying Convertible Weight and Noise Compromises [Infographic]

With modern materials, there needn’t be a noise penalty for going with a softtop, as proven here by our measured interior sound levels at a 70-mph cruise. All convertible sound-level measurements are performed with the top raised.

Porsche 911 Targa

It’s not the heaviest convertible, but Porsche’s 911 Targa has the most interesting (and undoubtedly most complex) means of introducing wind to hair.

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