4 March 2004

There's a brace of new soft-top exotics at this week’s Geneva show: the Corvette Convertible and Lamborghini’s new Murciélago Roadster.

The C6 Corvette partners the coupé shown at Detroit in January and shares that car’s 400bhp 6.0-litre V8. Its canvas hood folds in 18sec and GM says the rear window is a fifth bigger than the outgoing car’s. Production starts this autumn, but UK sales won’t begin until 2005 and right-hand drive isn’t yet confirmed.

Lamborghini has built the roadster concept shown at Detroit last year – and right-hand-drive deliveries start in Britain early next year. Strictly a roadster in the true sense of the word, the Lambo’s clip-on soft-top is only homologated up to 130km/h (80mph), making it more of a fair-weather cruiser. Prices will be around 12 per cent higher than the tin-top Murciélago, which was launched in 2001. Depending on exchange rates, Lambo UK predicts a price of £190,000. Sant’Agata has added strengthening to keep the roadster rigid. It should be fast: the coupé’s 570bhp 6.2 V12 is unchanged, suggesting a top speed of 200mph.

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