If you’ve ever looked at someone in a convertible car and thought “poseur”, then you’ll probably feel vindicated by a recent survey by Audi. But it might not be for the reason you’d expect.
Rather than convertible owners getting the top down at every opportunity, the four-ringed automaker’s survey suggests that 64 percent of convertible owners rarely - or even never - drop the roof, regardless of the weather.
Even in rainy old Blighty, that’s pretty shocking. Particularly since previous surveys have revealed that we Brits buy more convertibles than any other country in Europe.
Maybe we’re gluttons for punishment, but it seems more likely that we’re all just a big bunch of self-obsessed poseurs, desperate to be seen to own a drop-top but reluctant to benefit from that wind-in-the-hair feeling the cars were invented for in the first place.
Audi’s poll confirms it. 46 percent of those questioned bought their soft-tops for “exotic looks” rather than the top-down option.
We can’t help feeling that’s a bit of a waste. Not only is it brilliant fun to drive with the roof down - personally, as long as it wasn’t chucking down the roof on my old Mazda MX-5 rarely came up - but soft tops are easier than ever to use these days. Just one press of a button on the centre console will erect or stow the roof, and some cars even let you do so on the move at lower speeds.
And while modern soft-tops are also pretty refined and water-tight, they still don’t match their hard-topped brethren. Why you’d pick a more expensive, less refined convertible Audi TT over the pretty coupe if you never planned to drop the roof, is beyond us.
Still, there is hope.
Women clearly have more sense than men, since 39 percent said they almost always drive with the roof down, compared to 32 percent of men. You go girls! Far be it from us to judge, but we suspect the remaining 68 percent of men are going bald and realise what a plonker they’d look with the roof down.
25-34 year olds are also most likely to go topless (as Prince Harry would no doubt confirm) and those in the East Midlands are the UK’s most eager top-droppers.
At carwow, we’d advocate MINI’s idea. The MINI Convertible comes with an “Always Open” timer, letting you know how often and for how long you’ve dropped the roof. Ideally, it’d scorn you for not dropping the top. Maybe even punish you, by automatically dropping it when it rains. Don’t want to get wet? Make the most of the sun!
So, as we said at the top, you’re right. UK convertible drivers are poseurs. But what you didn’t know is that the real poseurs are the ones with the roof up.
Seriously, try it. Next time we get three minutes and fourteen seconds of sunlight, drop the top. You’ll thank us…