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Hardtop convertibles are spreading like wildfire. In the modern era of carmaking, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot started the trend with their two smallest convertibles. The trend has pushed past trendy and is now de rigeur. Ford’s Euro-Focus has, in its model lineup, a hardtop cabrio. Peugeot and Renault both offer hardtops. Daihatsu has made the Copen, which looks to be a miniature version of the Audi TT… but with a hardtop.

BMW’s next 3-series cabriolet will be covered in metal, and not cloth. Even GM has gotten into the game with their Pontiac G6 convertible. Mazda now offers a hardtop version of the venerable Miata, probably the best-packaged hardtop available. There are others, but yesterday I feasted my eyes upon one of the most, if not the most beautiful variations on the theme.

Volvo C70. Hot car. No, not the best handling convertible you can buy, not the fastest for the money, not the cheapest in its ‘class’. However, the top is integrated wonderfully, the rear end has not taken on ungainly proportions, and the whole car has an aura of class that others can’t match. Clean lines, nice detailing, proper proportions. Job well done by Volvo.