auto

5 convertibles at the Chicago Auto Show

No question that convertibles represent a niche in the U.S. automotive market. Demand has as much to do with where you live as with personal driving needs. Drop-tops simply do better in the Sun Belt than in cold-weather states.

Even location didn't help when lackluster sales almost killed the convertible in the U.S. in the 1970s. Today, however, you can spot a variety of drop-tops -- both cloth and hardtop -- in showrooms. They are stylish, fun, and, some might say, romantic.

Here are five convertibles that caught Bankrate's attention at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

Jaguar F-Type

Base price: $69,000
Projected on-sale date: Summer 2013
Highlights:

  • Generous use of aluminum in its structure reduces weight while it increases agility.
  • The convertible top drops in 12 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph.

2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible

Base price: $60,600
Projected on-sale date: In showrooms now
Highlights:

  • It features a retractable hardtop.
  • Special Bose open-air sound system is optimized for top-up and top-down positions.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Base price: $24,995
Projected on-sale date: In showrooms now
Highlights:

  • Soft top opens in 9.5 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
  • Three special-edition convertibles celebrate three decades in Beetle history: 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder

Base price: $210,300
Projected on-sale date: In showrooms now
Highlights:

  • It takes 3.8 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph from a stop with its 5.2-liter V-10 engine.
  • Liberal use of aluminum keeps weight low.

Honda EV-STER Concept

Base price: Not applicable
Projected on-sale date: No date; won't be produced in current form
Highlights:
  • It is a full-electric rear-wheel-drive roadster.
  • Honda estimates range on a full charge at 99 miles.

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