A convertible is a car with a roof that can be removed or folded down, but is often seen without a roof. A convertible usually has two doors, but convertibles with four doors can also be found. Some examples are Mazda MX-5, BMW Z4, Ferrari 458 Spyder, Mercedes-Benz SLK Class, etc. A convertible is a type of automobile of various automobile body styles that can convert from open-air (top-down or topless) mode to a provisionally enclosed (roofed or top-up) mode. Convertibles evolved from the earlier Phaeton, a similar vehicle without glass side windows that may or may not have had removable panels of fabric or other material instead to protect passengers from rain and cold, etc. A semi-convertible or cabrio coach is similar to a convertible and also has a retractable or removable top, but has fully framed windows on its side doors as opposed to a convertible's roll-down frameless windows that provide an even more open car driving experience.
Roof designs have varied widely and have evolved from the earliest models, where roofs were demountable and/or detachable. Contemporary roofs are often hinged to fold away, either into a recess behind the rear seats or into the boot or trunk of the vehicle. The roof may operate either manually or automatically via hydraulic or electrical actuators, and the roof itself may be constructed of soft or rigid material. Soft-tops are made of vinyl, canvas or other textile material, while hard-tops are made of steel, aluminum, plastic, or other rigid materials.
The majority of convertible cars are two door models, with markedly fewer four-door models.
Convertibles may also be referred to as cabriolet, roadster, tourer or drophead coupé and the colloquial terms drop top and rag top are also used. Hard-top convertibles may be called coupé cabriolet, coupé convertible, retractable hardtop or, when equipped with two seats, coupé roadster/roadster coupé.
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