Update: ‘Wuling Mini EV Convertible’ updated with information about European launch.
The convertible body style has always represented the concept of open-top, fun, motoring, and the transition from ICE powertrains does not mean this body style is dead. Rather, here are the electric convertible cars expected on the market in the next few years.
BYD Han EV convertible
Spy shots posted on AutoEvolution.com show that the Warren Buffett-backed Chinese carmaker is testing a convertible variant of its BYD Han sedan, already on sale in China. The Han would be a key model, especially if the company green-lights the Han convertible and estate variants which are popular segments in Europe. BYD also showcased the Han EV sedan at a German roadshow in 2020, and with its BYD Blade LFP battery, the range goes up to 444 miles (715 km) as per CLTC testing in the 2022 model.
Launch Date: Expected to be approved for production this year
Price: Equivalent of $33,000 onwards
Wuling Mini EV Convertible
Among the electric convertible cars from China is the Wuling Mini EV convertible, which debuted at Auto Shanghai 2021. Images of the tiny convertible EV went viral on social media owing to its ‘Smart’ car-like size and an expectation of a very low price. As per Chinese reports, it gets a 30 kW motor with a bigger 26.45 kWh LFP battery, giving it a top speed of 62 mph (100 km), though the exact specifications has not been announced.
Wuling said the future Mini EV variant would feature an electric soft top mechanism, dual 10-inch screens for the interior, and the rear seat would be removed (Wuling already makes a Mini EV hardtop) to accommodate the mechanism. A market launch in China is expected this year. Wuling has released a video (watch on Twitter) of the Mini EV Cabrio that presents its exterior and interior highlights. It says that Digitalization, Electrification, Intelligence, Recreation, and Comfort are packaged in the pint-sized vehicle.
In Europe, Dartz has announced its own version of the Wuling Mini EV Convertible, previewing it with the Freze Froggy Beachstar Body concept. It says that the Freze Froggy would be suitable for car sharing and car rental companies as well as sea hotels. Freze Froggy pre-orders have begun, but launch dates and pricing have yet to be revealed. In case you didn’t know, Dartz already sells the Wuling Mini EV hatchback as the Freze Nikrob in Europe.
Launch Date: Expected to launch in China and Europe this year
Price: Expected to be priced from $5,000 in China
Electric VW Convertible
Since Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess teased an ID.3 electric convertible on Twitter in March 2021, it’s only a matter of time before we see a VW convertible riding on the MEB platform. As per Autocar, a concept previewing the design of the electric cabrio could be revealed soon, and the production version could mirror the ID.3 hatch’s powertrains: from a base 217 mile, 150 hp variant to a 338 mile, 204 hp version, the future addition could become the most successful among electric convertible cars.
Launch Date: Concept expected to be shown in the near future
Price: From $45,000 in the EU and UK markets where it will launch initially
The production MG Cyberster is a pure electric roadster likely to debut in August or September 2022. Far less dramatic than the concept car unveiled at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, it is still quite radical in terms of technology.
The roadworthy Cyberster will feature radiation symbol-inspired headlamps, electronically-folding soft top, scissor doors, and full-width tail lights with Union Jack-inspired long arrows. The interior is a class apart, with a gaming cockpit that’s far advanced, at least in terms of looks, from its competitors. It will feature three screens clubbed like gaming monitors and a steering yoke that allows an unobstructed view of these screens and the road ahead. A fourth screen, a touch-operated unit, is likely to be added to the center console.
The Cyberster could ride on the Nebula platform (European name: Modular Scalable Platform) that underpins the MG4 Electric. The dedicated EV platform is suitable for regular models with the usual system voltage of 400 volts as well as premium models with a higher system voltage of 800 volts. The production Cyberster could have a CATL-developed module-less battery pack with the cell-to-pack CTP (cell-to-pack) technology.
According to autohome.com.cn, Nebula platform-based EVs with 400V system voltage will allow fast-charging to 80% SoC in 30 minutes and add 100 km (62 miles) of range with 5 minutes of charging. The Nebula platform-based EVs with 800V system voltage’s same parameters will be 15 minutes and 200 km (124 miles), respectively.
Launch Date: Expected by the end of 2023
Price: Expected to be within $50,000
New Tesla Roadster
Highly anticipated among electric convertible cars is the Tesla Roadster, with Elon Musk stating in June 2021 that the company had ideas to further increase torque and maximum rpm for the Roadster, indicating that new performance milestones will be achieved for a production car. The SpaceX package for the Roadster could see 60 mph come up in 1.1 seconds. However, it is anyone’s guess how much further the Roadster production will be delayed due to supply chain issues, which have already delayed the Tesla Cybertruck and slowed deliveries of the 2022 Tesla Model X.
Products like the Model X and Cybertruck (where Tesla can make significant profits) are essential for projects like the Roadster, which consumes a high level of resources for development and production.
Launch Date: At the Tesla Cyber Rodeo event on April 7, 2022, Musk sounded confident about the next-gen Roadster production beginning in 2023. Expect customer deliveries to commence in the fall of 2023.
Price: From $200,000
Fiat/Abarth 500e Cabrio
If you are after electric convertible cars available today, the 500e Cabriolet certainly ticks that box. However, Fiat is not done launching the product across all its markets. The 500e Cabriolet is presently available in certain EU countries and the UK and was Italy’s best-selling EV in 2021 with a 16 percent market share of the passenger EV industry.
With the 42 kWh battery, the 500e Cabriolet has a WLTP range of 199 miles and takes 9 seconds to sprint to 62 mph. If Fiat can bring out a version of the 500e with more range performance (the 199-mile WLTP rating would fall further under EPA conditions), we feel that a launch in the USA could be up for exploration.
A future Abarth 500e (which could be offered in convertible body style too) has the potential to put this nameplate among the quickest electric convertible cars you can buy in the future.
Launch Date: Currently available, but more countries should soon get the 500e Cabriolet
Price: From $38,000
Maserati GranCabrio Electric (Maserati GranCabrio Folgore)
At the Stellantis FY2021 results presentation in February 2022, the group confirmed the arrival of the next-generation Maserati GranCabrio electric. Announcing its 2021 results and electrification plan on March 17, 2022, the brand with the trident revealed plans to launch the GranCabrio EV as the Maserati GranCabrio Folgore in 2023.
Its coupe sibling, the 2023 Maserati GranTurismo, which would be the first Maserati electric car when it launches next year, was spotted testing in Modena recently. A close look at the prototype revealed MC20-like headlamps, large 20-inch aero wheels, and a silhouette reminiscent of its ICE-powered predecessor, whose production ended in 2019.
Maserati has confirmed that the GranTurismo Folgore will sport three independent motors that generate more than 1,200 horsepower. Two motors could be at the rear, and the third motor could power the front wheels. Maserati claims a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time in the 2-second range and a top speed of over 300 km/h (186 mph). The company has used a “Bone” battery for optimal weight distribution and low center of gravity and Formula E inverters in the electric sports coupe. It could launch the GranCabrio Folgore with the same powertrain and similar specifications.
Launch Date/Availability: 2023
Price: From $140,000 (estimated)
2025 Mini Convertible EV
The 2025 Mini Convertible EV would be a significant addition to the segment of electric convertible cars, as one in five new Mini vehicles bought in Germany in 2020 was a convertible. The demand for the Mini convertible is poised to grow, so much that the company is convinced to launch the next-gen model as an electric vehicle.
The development of a successor to the only open-top four-seater in the premium small car segment is a done deal. The new model is scheduled to be unveiled in 2025.BMW Group’s announcement on May 12, 2021 via press.bmwgroup.com
The 2025 MINI Electric could borrow design cues from an upcoming MINI electric crossover concept for the small-car segment that will debut by the end of July 2022. MINI has said that this concept will fully preview the new design language for its next-gen pure electric models. The next-generation Mini Cooper electric will be launched globally in 2024, and the convertible variant should land in dealer showrooms in 2025.
Release Date: Expected in the U.S. in the second half of 2025
Price: Expected from $42,000 onwards
GMC Hummer EV pickup
What is the GMC Hummer EV doing in a list of electric convertible cars, you ask? Well, when the four rectangle-tinted ‘Lexan’ panels are removed from the roof, the Hummer EV is as open-top as a convertible can get! Better still, owners can choose to remove the individual panels in any combination, and once uninstalled, and they can be accommodated in the ‘frunk’ in vinyl bags or foam boxes.
And until the Tesla Roadster and MG Cyberster are out, if you want a fast electric convertible car, look no further than the Hummer EV as it claims 3 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint using the Watts to Freedom feature.
Release Date: The Edition 1 deliveries are underway, though this model is sold out. Deliveries of the EV3X are expected in fall 2022, followed by the EV2X in spring 2023 and the EV2 in spring 2024.
Price: Currently at $110,295 though future versions will see the price dropping to $80,000
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath has indicated that the O₂ will make it to production. Speaking to CAR at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Ingenlath said that the O₂ “is not a flying saucer.” Polestar aspires to add this type of model to its line-up, the CEO added.
Ingenlath told Yahoo Finance on March 3, 2022, that the brand will analyze if its sports car architecture will be the “door that opens to the sports car segment.” The Polestar O₂ is a hard-top convertible roadster that builds on the Precept’s design language. It’s based on a bonded aluminum construction adapted from the Polestar 5, developed in-house by the brand’s R&D team in the UK.
Pete Allen, Head of R&D, Polestar UK, said that the company designed the aluminum-intensive architecture to deliver a high level of rigidity, making it possible to build open-top cars on it that don’t wobble. Allen told CAR that the company can adjust this architecture to meet different goals. The British publication claims that the O₂ will sport two electric motors, one on each axle. Technically, it will be possible to squeeze out 872 hp with this setup.
The design is closely related to the Precept, with Thor’s hammer LED DRLs, low profile tires, and sharp hips. Aerodynamic elements like integrated ducts improve the ‘laminar air flow’ over the wheels and the sides. Polestar says even the rear lights function as air blades to reduce turbulence.
The Fisker Ocean might feel like the odd man out in this list of convertibles. But it’s not because it has the soul of a convertible. At the press of a button, eight glass panels on the Ocean retract to give customers the feeling of a convertible. Fisker calls it the ‘California Mode,’ which rolls all windows down, including the rear quarter glass, rear windscreen, and the sunroof, that doubles up as a solar panel.
Fisker calls the rear quarter glass the rear windscreen the ‘Doggie Window,’ hinting that pets seated at the rear can enjoy the breeze thanks to the retractable nature of the windows. There are more innovative features inside the Ocean. On the top variants, the massive touchscreen inside can rotate into portrait or horizontal modes.
The Ocean will come with AWD or FWD powertrain options. The dual-motors on the top variants produce 550 hp and can rocket the SUV to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The estimated EPA range is over 350 miles. The entry-level Sport variant comes with an FWD drivetrain with a single electric motor that produces 275 hp and can rush to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. Its estimated EPA range is 250 miles for the basic version.
Release date: Production begins on November 17, 2022, and deliveries will start soon after in the U.S. market.
Price: $37,499 to $68,999
Audi electric convertible
Audi’s open-top model line-up, which currently includes the TT Roadster, A5 Convertible, and R8 Spyder, will see the addition of an EV this decade. According to a report from German news agency dpa (via Suddeutsche Zeitung), Volkswagen Group is considering to increase the capacity utilization of the Volkswagen Osnabruck plant with electric convertible cars.
VW Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess has suggested that the company is considering making Volkswagen’s underutilized vehicle factory a “niche convertible location.” He has said that both Volkswagen and Audi are mulling over the launch of an electric convertible.
In February 2022, Dr. Diess held an AMA session on Reddit. During the Reddit AMA, user linknewtab asked him about the progress of the VW ID.3 Cabriolet. “Working on a new idea,” the CEO responded, hinting that a different electric convertible (from the Volkswagen brand) is under consideration now. This model and the Audi electric convertible will likely be technical cousins.
Wiesmann Project Thunderball
The Wiesmann Project Thunderball is the brand’s first electric car. The German sports car maker has used an 83 kWh battery pack operating at 800 volts in this electric roadster. Two rear-mounted motors source energy from the battery pack and power the rear wheels. The two motors produce 671 hp of combined power and 811 lb.-ft. of combined torque.
The Project Thunderball accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds, and it should be able to travel up to 311 miles on a full charge. Production will take place at the company’s existing factory in Dulmen, Germany.
Mercedes-AMG electric convertible
Mercedes-AMG’s electric vehicle line-up is likely to include a convertible, Mercedes-Benz Group CTO Markus Schafer has suggested. Speaking to TopGear in September 2021, Schafer said that building a good-looking electric convertible is not easy and the demand for roadsters and convertibles is falling, but such a model could be an attractive product, an emotional one that builds the brand. The company has to start thinking “and engineer an EV in the form of a roadster,” the CTO said. Mercedes-AMG will “definitely think about a (zero-emission) cabriolet as well,” he added.
Release date: Expected in 2026
Price: Upwards of $200,000
Chevrolet Corvette electric convertible
On April 25, 2022, General Motors confirmed the Chevrolet Corvette electric (all-electric) version via its Twitter handle. The company didn’t offer any details, but said that the zero-emission model would follow the hybrid version.
A Chevrolet Corvette electric convertible is almost certain be part of the new family, as it is a popular body style choice for Corvette customers. Harlan Charles, the Corvette’s product manager, gave a presentation at the National Corvette Museum during the “What’s New with Corvette” seminar (NCM Bash held between April 28-30, 2022), as reported by CorvetteBlogger.com.
The ‘2022 Options’ slide of his presentation confirmed that 48% of the Corvette C8 units produced of the MY2022 (as of April 4, 2022) were convertibles. Harlan promptly noted that Convertibles haven’t accounted for such a high percentage of Corvette production since the 1968 model year! According to a report Autocar published in March 2022, the Corvette convertible is one of best-selling convertibles in history, alongside names like the Mazda MX-5 and MGB Roadster.
Release date: Expected in 2026
Price: Upwards of $100,000
Fisker Project Ronin
After the Fisker Ocean and the Pear, a four-seater sports GT is in the pipeline from the American startup company. CEO Henrik Fisker posted computer-generated images of the upcoming electric convertible car, and it looks striking. The four-door, four-seater convertible, was first showcased with a fixed roof, and then in another Instagram post, Henrik Fisker revealed the convertible body style.
The target range for the Fisker Ronin is 600 miles, while 0-60 mph acceleration time would be close to 2 seconds. Thanks to its tri-motor all-wheel-drive layout, the Fisker Project Ronin is expected to have incredible grip and off-the-line acceleration.
The CEO also revealed that the prototype would be showcased in August 2023. Expect the production version to be showcased sometime in 2024. According to the CEO, the Fisker Project Ronin price would be under USD 200,000.
Release date: 2024
Price: Upwards of $150,000
Maserati MC20 ‘Cielo’ Folgore
A Maserati MC20 Cielo Folgore will be the brand’s first electric convertible supercar. Maserati Vehicle Line Executive Federico Landini has revealed to Auto Express that an MC20 electric is in the pipeline, and it will debut as a ‘Cielo’ or a convertible. A coupe version will arrive at a later stage.
The electric variant of the MC20 Cielo may have subtle exterior changes, such as a closed front grille with shiny vertical slats that look richer, redesigned front bumper, modified rear air intakes, and masked wheels, as reflected in our render (above).
The MC20 Cielo Folgore will sport the same tri-motor powertrain as the GranTurismo Folgore. Two individual motors would each rear wheel, and the front wheels would share a less potent motor, creating an e-AWD drivetrain layout. The GranTurismo Folgore will extract over 1,200 hp from these motors, Maserati has confirmed. The company is targeting a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of under three seconds and a top speed of over 300 km/h (186 mph) with this setup. We expect the MC20 Cielo Folgore to be both quicker and faster.
Release date: 2024
Featured Image – Audi A3 Cabriolet (For illustration); Source: Audi