What Happened to the Toyota Convertible?
Living in Clermont, you’ve probably dreamt of driving a Toyota convertible at some point in your life. A car with a removable top is perfect for cruising by the beach on a Saturday while you soak of some sun. It’s the perfect blend of sun, fun, and driving. While there’s an audience that thoroughly enjoys convertibles out there, their popularity has definitely seen better days.
To our point, do you remember the last convertible you ever saw? Can you remember Toyota producing a convertible recently other than the Camry Solara? If you answered no to both of those questions, there are a few reasons why that is.
If you’re looking for answer as to why your favorite vehicle subtype is out of the spotlight, following along with us at Toyota of Clermont while we break down the problem with Toyota convertibles.
Why Toyota Convertibles Are Gone
For many Clermont Toyota drivers, the convertible was the “it” vehicle. Convertibles have been offered for as long as we can remember, but their popularity hit significant highs in the late 80s with the release of the Mazda Miata. This Toyota convertible sold over a million units and solidified this popular vehicle segment.
For a while, auto manufacturers by and large made submodels of their lineup with convertible tops. Even Toyota with the Camry Solara. But, this Clermont Toyota model was shelved in 2008 due to waning popularity.
The fun and sun of a convertible come at quite a cost that you may have never considered before.
Convertible Design Factors
It may sound a little odd that a vehicle manufacturer can’t just yank the roof off one of their vehicle models and replace it with a foldable soft top. But, it’s true. Cars rely on their roofing for structural integrity and removing that creates issues for the vehicle’s body if not compensated for.
That’s why Clermont Toyota model designers have to do a complete design rework when considering adding a convertible option to the lineup. The body was must be refortified and tweaked to compensate for the structural reduction. A missing roof on a car also creates an inherent safety hazard. Drivers are more exposed to flying debris on the road and there’s nothing to protect those in the cabin in the event the vehicle rolls over. Designers must also consider this aspect when redesigning the vehicle.
Convertible Fuel Efficiency Factors
Achieving peak fuel efficiency for a Clermont Toyota vehicle doesn’t stop at the engine type or drivetrain. The body of the vehicle must also be designed to reduce air drag, a key component to allowing vehicles to commute at high speeds without losing fuel efficiency or control. Toyota convertibles are inherently prone to poor drag because of the missing roof. Air flows toward the rear of the vehicle at high speeds and can become trapped just above the back seat which causes an odd down draft to form.
If you’ve ever seen someone driving a Clermont Toyota convertible and their hair is blowing the opposite way of the wind, that’s why. Not only this, but convertibles are designed with heavier bodies and additional safety features because of their missing roof which can lead to decreased fuel efficiency due to weight.
We’re not sure if Toyota will ever venture into the convertible market again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t soak up the sun and have fun from behind the wheel of one of our amazing vehicles! Check them all out Toyota of Clermont’s website or visit our dealership at 16851 State Road 50 today.