On the face of it, combining all-wheel drive with a convertible top seems like a contradiction. After all, if you’re buying a convertible it means you’re living someplace the weather is mild enough to enjoy top down motoring quite often. Or, it means you’re buying the car to use only when the weather is nice enough to drive around with its interior exposed to the elements.
All wheel drive on the other hand is generally thought of as providing superior traction in inclement conditions. In other words, you buy all-wheel drive if you live where there’s a preponderance of rain, snow or a mixture of the two. However, to think of all-wheel drive only in those terms is to miss one of the biggest performance advantages available.
Even a cursory glance at the collection of automobiles on this list, immediately reveals each of the listings here is either an extremely high performance machine, or has a very high performance variant in its lineup. There’s a reason the builders of cars like the Lamborghini Gallardo, Bentley Continental and Audi R8 specified the prodigious power those cars are capable of generating get to the ground through all four wheels.
In a word, that reason is traction.
You want a truly fast car to corner better? Let it work with all four wheels powered. You want that car to have superior grip at very high speeds? Let it use power to all four wheels. You have a front-drive platform you want to infuse with more horsepower than its current powertrain can handle comfortably? Feed some of that power to the rear wheels too.
Conversely, if you have a fabulous car with huge power, along with the exceptional traction and stability afforded by all-wheel drive and you want to make it just a tad more extraordinary? Give it a folding roof too. What follows is our list of the cream of such cars; the best of 2012’s all-wheel drive convertibles.