At the annual Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) Topless In Miami event held at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Resort, it was the FCA group that brought the most varied vehicles. FCA's Maserati brought this writer's favorite luxury/performance convertible, the GranTurismo MC. FCA's Alfa Romeo brought the winning panoramic roof-equipped crossover Stelvio Quadrifoglio. And last, but by no means least, Jeep brought a Gladiator Rubicon equipped with a Jeep Sunrider Haartz soft top. Both the Jeep and the Alfa won their categories with ease.
Despite there being a Mercedes-AMG GT C on hand, and no fewer than seven Rolls-Royce vehicles with a combined worth over $3 million dollars, the buzz surrounding the Jeep Gladiator pickup was perhaps the most noticeable. Every journalist on-hand drove and loved the Gladiator.
The Jeep Gladiator's unique soft top drops back quickly and easily to create an "open air" feeling that no other pickup can replicate. When the tropical Miami rains came by for a quick visit, the Jeep was also one of the easiest vehicles to make weather-proof.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio was one of the most comfortable and practical of the vehicles on hand. And one of the fastest. Capable of a 3.3-second sprint to 60 MPH, the 505 HP Stelvio has a Ferrari-designed engine and never worked hard during our testing. The panoramic moonroof was the perfect way to enjoy the Miami sun, while still offering silent motoring when we closed it when the heat was too much mid-day.
We adored the Bianco Birdcage Pearl White Maserati GranTurismo. Its red Rosso Corallo interior had so much personality that we felt the vehicle was the clear style winner of the event. The exhaust note of the Ferrari-designed V8 was also one of the best sounds of the day.
FCA group offers some of the best open-air vehicles in the world. These three top the list.
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