There’s some rather strange things about German car culture, which are troubling for a South African to understand. Cloth seats on Golf GTis. Steel wheels on luxury cars. And convertibles. Germany might only have a tenth of South Africa’s generosity of sunlight a year, but that never deters the locals from retracting that foldable roof, turning the heater up, and cruising any autobahn in single digit temperatures.
If you are an authentic petrolhead, hate of the convertible is a given. They’re heavier and structurally less rigid than any equivalent coupe and that means they’re also slower and a touch more cumbersome into and around corners. All that aside, German still love them – so I was desperate to know why?
BMW’s 440i convertible. It’s a strikingly attractive car with full proportions, short overhangs and an absence of silly imitation chrome garnish littering spoiling design. It’s also 205kg heavier than a 440i coupe, which is a lot. That means slower acceleration and less disciplined reactions to your braking and steering inputs. So why bother? German enthusiasts find it unusual that we don’t embrace the convertible car lifestyle with greater enthusiasm, considering our embarrassment of clear weather and great roads.
The reasons are obvious. Opportunistic traffic light crime makes sitting in a car, fully exposed, foolish personal security management and pleasant weather in African