convertible

convertible

  A convertible is a car body style with a folding or retracting roof. The collapsible roof section is typically made from flexible canvas or vinyl, although plastic, aluminium and steel have occasionally been used in elaborate folding designs.

At last, the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is finally here to put an end to years of speculation over its new design. Sure, details surrounding its engine and the amenities it will come with are still under wraps, but that didn’t stop us from having an argument about what impact will the 2016 Miata have on the sports car market once it hits showrooms. While most of us agree the Miata is a rather unique vehicle, we do know the Japanese roadster faces stiff competition from larger and sometime more powerful convertibles .

Of course, if you’re a Miata enthusiast, then it’s likely you’re not even considering what other manufacturers have to offer. But it’s not that of a bad idea to know how the fourth-generation MX-5 stacks up against its main competitors, which mostly come from either Japan or Germany. So what nameplates should fear the new Miata’s arrival in late 2015? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata and its competitors

With a history that began in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 is one of the best-sold convertibles on the market. In its 21 years of history, the MX-5 saw three different generations, numerous design updates, and even more engine changes. However, the most impressive update has been announced for the fourth generation that is set to debut on September 3rd, 2014.

The Mazda MX-5 will remain a rear-wheel drive compact sports coupe with exterior design inspired by the Shinari Concept unveiled earlier this year. With the new generation, Mazda will focus on reducing the total weight to less than 1,000 kilos.

At the launch of the Shinari concept, Ikuo Maeda, general manager of Mazda Motor Corp.’s design division said: "this design will lead to the next generation of Mazda design and will lead to other elements." Guess the MX-5 will be among the first to adopt Mazda’s new "Kodo - Soul of Motion" design language.

UPDATE 09/03/2014: Mazda has finally unveiled its all-new fourth generation MX-5 Miata. Its new design still stays true to the original, but has a look all its own. Mazda was very stingy on the mechanical details, but did spill some important info. Click past the jump to see all we know.

Hit the jump to read more about the fourth generation Mazda MX-5.

Well, it seems that the internet has been lit on fire by a set of renderings that have been posted to the Miata.net forums. While the rendering is rather attractive, what has set this apart from any other is the belief that it comes directly from a Mazda USA product engineer.

Now the rendering was posted by someone with the name “SethOfDeath” but the photo has a watermark that says Seth Elson. Jalopnik grabbed word of this and did some digging. According to a LinkedIn account, there is a Seth Elson who lives in Orange County California that is an engineer at Mazda North America. Jalops also found a twitter account named SethOfDeath that is based in Orange County and has a few references to Mazda as well. It hasn’t been confirmed that this is really from a Mazda employee, but all signs are pointing in that direction.

Jalopnik reached out to Mazda about these renders but only received, "another nice rendering. You fanatics."

Judging by the renders here and the photos and spy shots we have so far, this rendering does look very close to the right proportions and shape. My only concern is the that front end seems a bit to sculpted to match the spy car.

Whatever the case, we will know what the new ND Miata looks like in just a few hours when it is revealed live.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Mazda MX-5.

Source: Miata Forum

In the matter of hours, Mazda is going to be livecasting the unveiling of all the all-new fourth generation Miata, the 2016 Mazda MX-5. It has been almost ten years since the NC-generation car made its debut, and the world is ready for a new roadster.

Will it have a turbocharged engine? How much less will it weigh? Will it shoot lasers into space from magical performance canons? Tune in tonight and you can find out. The party starts at 6 p.m. PDT. That means 9 p.m. if you are on the East Coast and a rather crazy 2 a.m. if you find yourself in a city like London.

Don’t forget to come back right after the reveal to check our coverage. We will have a full write-up with all of the important details, specifications and new press photos as soon as we can get it live.

While you wait for the reveal, feel free to hop into the comments and let us know what you think is coming. I especially want to know what you guys think about the engine. Justin and I have a bet going on; he thinks it will have a turbo, and I think that he is wrong.

Get to commenting and we will see you back here in just a few hours for the party.

Ever since Zenos introduced the E10 in 2013, I’ve been pretty intrigued about the company’s production plans. I knew that the E10 was a road-legal, track-focused sports car. I also knew that the company had plans for expanding its lineup in the future. Recently, that talk of expansion began to take shape with the unveiling of the E10 S, a faster and more powerful version of the E10 .

Zenos was actually founded by ex-Caterham boss, Ansar Ali. The man started Zenos with the idea of building sports cars based on the Lotus Elise . While he’s still a ways away from getting there, he’s done an admirable job in building up Zenos with a line of models that now includes the E10 S.

Give it a few more years and we might see more Zenos models prowling the roads and tracks everywhere. For now, it’s the E10 S’ well-deserved turn in the spotlight. Smile for the cameras, you little track-ready racer.

Click past the jump to read more about the Zenos E10 S.

We’ve told you about Jaguar’s race-ready F-Type Project 7 before, but now thanks to Justin Bell we are getting a glimpse of what the car is really all about. Jaguar built the Project 7 to celebrate its racing heritage that dates back to the 1950s when the D-Type won Le Mans three times. After the success of the D-Type, Jaguar created the E-Type and brought beauty to the scene in the 1960s. Between the two cars, Jaguar’s catapult into the history books was solidified.

Unfortunately the world had to wait some 50 years before Jaguar produced a vehicle that matched the D-Type and E-Type’s reputation and beauty. The new-for-2013 F-Type has shaken the brand’s dusty image and brought back the iconic status of its vehicles. The new F-Type is a formidable car on the open road and track, making everyone take notice.

Jaguar was kind enough to give Justin Bell and the MotorTrend team the keys to this early Project 7 example just before the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance . Bell stretches the Jaguar’s legs at the Mazda Laguna Seca raceway and along the California coastline, though at a very leisurely pace.

The Project 7 represents an awe-inspiring iteration of the current F-Type that harks back to the glory days of Jaguar racing. Its sharp paint scheme and is matched by the added carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, and large rear wing. Even more so is the shapely cowl just aft of the driver’s head. Under the Project 7’s hood lies the same supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, but its output has been increased to 567 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. The eight-speed automatic does the shifting.

Based on a car that is the successor to the legendary E-Type, and built as an homage to the incredible D-Type, Jaguar’s Project 7 is truly a thing of beauty.

Audi has been testing quite a lot of cars at the Nürburgring track this year, including the TT coupe and its beefed-up iterations, the TTS and the TT-RS . Only the TT Roadster has been missing from the pack, but that ends now as the Germans have begun hooning the drop-top around the "Green Hell" as well. And we have solid proof thanks to our skilled paparazzi, who sent yet another batch of spy shots our way. The bad news is the TT Roadster is hidden underneath a thick layer of swirly camouflage, but at least now we know the vehicle’s development has reached the chassis and engine tuning stage.

Although the third-generation TT coupe was revealed earlier in 2014 and it’s already on sale in Europe, it will take a while longer until the Roadster breaks cover and reaches dealerships. It will likely debut in early 2015, but don’t expect to see it in North America before 2016, when the coupe version is set to cross the Pond. Be that as it may, we’re anxious to see that the fourth member of the TT family is already stretching its legs on the ’Ring.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi TT Roadster.

Concept cars don’t come any cooler than the Pininfarina Sergio Concept. The radical sports car was introduced at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and the incredible reception it received immediately gave rise to reports that Pininfarina was contemplating on building a limited number of models.

Those reports laid dormant for a while but now it looks like the Sergio Concept will indeed make it to production. TheSupercarkids reported that a production model is currently in the works. There’s even an alleged rendering of the final production version of the Sergio Concept, completed with windows and an actual windscreen.

The Sergio Concept originally created a stir because it lacked both side windows and the front windscreen - rather important equipment for even the most basic vehicular transportation.

The rendering shows a more complete design that actually looks like it was based on the 458 Italia. There are no indications that Ferrari and Pininfarina are planning to work together, but the resemblance is pretty striking.

Engine specifications are still being kept under wraps, but the concept version did come with a 4.5-liter V-8 engine that produces 562 horsepower. That’s similar to what the 458 IItalia has under its hood. Put those numbers to use and the Sergio Concept can hit 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 198 mph.

Should a limited-run production version come to fruition, expect the price tag to reach somewhere close to $2 million.

Click past the jump to read more about the Pininfarina Sergio.

Porsche introduced the 911 Targa back in 1967, four years after the regular 911 went on sale. Unlike the coupe , the Targa came with a removable roof section, a full rollbar behind the seats, and a fixed rear window. The Targa name is a registered trademark of Porsche AG, but other manufacturers have used the concept as well, including Ferrari , Dodge , Bugatti or Chevrolet . Targa body styles continued to be offered with mostly each facelift or redesigned 911, although these versions were less popular than the coupes and the cabriolets. The 991 series received its Targa variant for the 2014 model year, two years since the revamped 911, this time using a brand-new platform, arrived in U.S. dealerships.

As we’re moving closer to the 2015 model year, the Germans are working on a revised version of the 911 Targa, which is set to arrive alongside the facelifted, 992 version of the current 911. The update brings many visual changes, as revealed by the latest spy shots we receive from our trusted paparazzi, but modifications are likely to occur under the skin as well.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Targa Facelift.

I’ve discussed before how every car in the Flyin’ Miata fleet has a special character. Each car is designed and created to show off a certain characteristic or modification. Nancy demonstrates just how the great the Miata the can be with a bit more power and a little suspension love, while Atomic Betty represents the pinnacle of a Grand Touring style roadster. And then we have Elvis.

Elvis is similar to Atomic Betty in that it is a V-8 conversion Miata, but Elvis is an NB-generation car, and it was the first V-8 car that FM converted. While Betty is a comfortable cruiser that just happens to have incredible power and immense speed; Elvis is a bit rougher, a little more raw, and he is all the better for it.

With a more horsepower thanks to a different engine cam, the smaller size and weight that comes with the older generation cars, and the inherently less rigid NB chassis, Elvis has a feel that is all his own.

Do all these differences make Elvis and inferior machine to the mighty Betty, or is he great just the way he is? We spent some serious time behind the wheel to figure it out.

Read on to find out more about the V-8 powered Miata that Flyin’ Miata call Elvis


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