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Description
  • Pop-up sunroofs are simply a manually operated tilting panel. These panels are usually removable, and like T-roofs, must be stored when removed. The tilting action provides a vent in the roof, or a full opening when the panel is removed. Pop-ups can be installed in most vehicles, and are relatively inexpensive. Examples include metal panels in Porsche 944, early Mazda RX-7 and many glass panel factory and aftermarket installations.
  • Spoiler sunroofs (tilt-&-slides) combine the features of a pop-up with those of a sliding roof system. They tilt to vent and slide open above the roof, requiring little headroom or roof length. Spoilers typically do not provide as large an opening as other roof systems, but offer the convenience of a self-storing panel. Most spoiler roofs are electric, with optional features like integrated sun shades and express open/close. Spoilers are ideal for short-roof vehicles where other types of sliders can't be installed. Examples include Honda CRX, Toyota Celica and the Mazda RX-7.
  • Inbuilt sunroof systems have a panel which slides between the metal roof and interior headliner, requiring some loss of headroom but providing a full opening in the roof. All inbuilts slide inside the roof, while some also include a rear venting feature (see pop-up), and/or express open/close functions. Inbuilts don't fit every vehicle, as the panel must slide and store completely within the vehicle roof. Historically, inbuilts were a metal sunroof panel painted to match the vehicle roof, but now most are glass-panel systems with sliding sunshades (typically referred to as moonroofs). One of the first examples was the 1960 Ford Thunderbird.
  • Folding sunroofs (often called rag-tops or cabrio coach) are a European tradition. They offer the convenience of a sunroof, with an opening more like aconvertible. The panel is made of fabric (often vinyl), which folds back as it slides open. After a long absence in European and North American Markets, folding sunroofs have experienced a resurgence with several new factory-installed options. Aftermarket versions were once only manual, but now are also available in powered versions. Examples include the original VW Beetle, Renault Twingo and Jeep Liberty.