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.

Mazda is now confirming details on its upcoming launch of the all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata . The event is set to take place in Monterey, California on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. It will in fact be a global launch with simultaneous debuts in Tokyo and Barcelona. Coverage will also be viewable live on Mazda’s YouTube channel.

Besides the new MX-5 getting the spotlight, 1980s rock band Duran Duran will headline the event, singing plenty of their classic hits. “Duran Duran and the MX-5 Miata both made their world debuts in the 1980s and captured the hearts and imagination of an entire generation,” says Russell Wager, vice president of marketing for Mazda North American Operations. “In 25 years, both the car and the band have evolved while staying true to their roots.”

This is a special time for the MX-5 Miata, as it celebrated its 25th anniversary on February 10, 2014 and will soon break the one millionth unit sold. As of this writing, Mazda quotes that it’s sold over 930,000 Miatas globally since its debut back in 1989.

The details about the new Miata are still unknown, but that won’t last for long. Its debut is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PDT.

Mazda is throwing a second party for the MX-5 in partnership with Fashion Rocks. The event will be broadcast live on CBS on Tuesday, September 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Fashion Rocks will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The two-hour event will celebrate the close relationship between fashion and music.

Click past the jump to read the full press release

The folks over at Porsche are definitely up to something these days at the Nurburgring track, as two more prototypes have joined the 911 Convertible and the Cayenne GTS for extensive testing on the track. This time around, the Germans were spotted hooning a couple of mid-engined Boxster and Cayman sports cars. Although both look like plain, flat-six-powered vehicles from the company’s current lineup, there’s more to these black-painted Porsches. And it all comes down to the engine note bursting from those center-mounted exhaust pipes.

Both cars sound different than any Boxster and Cayman we’ve heard up until now, and this can only mean one thing: Porsche is these shells and chassis to test its upcoming four-cylinder engines. Stuttgart has already confirmed there’s a flat-four underway, but the Germans have declined to reveal further details. We expect the new powerplants to arrive in the facelifted versions of the current Boxster and Cayman. Three different units are rumored to emerge, with 1.6-, 2.0-, and 2.5-liter displacements. Each of them will be accompanied by turbochargers, with ouput to range between 210 and 360 horsepower.

There’s no indication as to how big the engines hidden in these test cars are, but they do sound quite impressive under full throttle. Combine that with a hefty reduction in CO2 emission, improved fuel efficiency and a lower curb weight, and the result is downright impressive. All of a sudden downsizing sounds like a terrific idea! Hit the play button and tell us what you think.

It seems Chevrolet has a hit on its hands. The new 2014 Corvette Stingray has posted some rather impressive sales stats during its first year in production. General Motors officially announced the C7’s sales numbers at the 2014 Carlisle event, quoting it had sold 37,288 Corvettes so far this year.

This represents a massive increase in Corvette sales over last year’s sales of roughly 11,392 cars. Granted, 2013 was the last year for the outgoing C6. The C6 hadn’t always had slow sales – in fact, the C6 still holds the No. 1 and No. 3 spots in Corvette sales history at 40,561 and 37,372 respectively for 2007 and 2005. The 1985 Corvette C4 holds second place at 39,729 units moved.

It’s also interesting to note that the majority of Stingrays sold were ordered with the Z51 performance package. According to Corvette Blogger, the Z51 accounts for 56 percent of all C7s sold. The six-speed automatic also won out over the seven-speed manual, accounting for 65 percent of sales. That number may actually increase for 2015 with Corvette adopting a new eight-speed auto unit.

All the details aside, the fact that Corvette is selling well again is great news for the “New GM.” The automaker certainly has a popular product on its hands and sales will only continue to grow as the monstrous Z06 coupe and convertible hit the streets for 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Naturally aspirated engines seem destined for the endangered species’ list as forced induction makes its way into nearly every mainstream category. The latest example is the new SL400 roadster Mercedes announced today. It’s a direct replacement for the SL350 roadster with the only real change centered around the new 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6.

The new biturbo V-6 might be down on displacement from its 3.5-liter predecessor, but it makes up for it with power — 26 extra horses and 81 extra pound-feet. Mercedes says 0 to 62 mph time will drop 0.7 seconds, doing the deed in 5.2 seconds on its way to its 155-mph governed top speed. While Mercedes does have a nine-speed transmission available for use, the German automaker decided the current seven-speed unit would suffice for the SL400.

The biturbo V-6 was first seen last year in the E400 sedan, though it made less power. Like that engine, the SL400’s mill features some pretty snazzy tech to create tire-turning torque while keeping the EPA (and customers’ wallets) happy. Its direct-injection fuel system features Piezo injectors that squirt fuel up to five times per power stroke for an even burn. The pressure at which they operate is varied based on engine mapping and certain conditions. Lighting the fuel is an ignition system that creates multiple sparks over during the same power stroke of each piston. Just like the fuel, the individual spark events are variable in their timing — all in an effort for the cleanest, most power-producing burn possible.

Mercedes says the SL400 will get 32 mpg while producing minimal tailpipe emissions.

Updated 08/27/14: Mercedes has released pricing details for the SL400. The model also has extra options that you can have installed at a cost.

Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes-Benz SL 400.

Source: MBUSA SL

Our spy photographers have again caught Porsche testing the upcoming 911 Convertible , though this time things look a little more production-ready. As evidenced by the lack of major camouflaging, this test mule may actually be closer to a pre-production unit. What’s more, it’s painted a grey metallic color rather than Porsche’s always-black early test beds.

The lack of heavy camo and a lighter paint color affords us our best look yet at the new 911 . Reshaped door handles, a more throwback style on the engine cover, and the conformation of air ducts aft of the rear tires are the three biggest fresh updates. These changes join other reshapings we’ve already seen, including a new front bumper with its active air ducts, new parking lights, and new LED taillights.

Since this is likely a few steps away from being production ready, we wouldn’t be surprised to find the new Porsche parked at the LA Auto Show come November. In that case, the new 911 will likely be slotted for release in the 2016 model year.

Also unconfirmed but harder to prove is the theory Porsche will use turbocharging on all its Boxer engines across the board. This would help the German automaker reduce emissions and while still making appropriate power. Also likely is a smaller, six-cylinder, turbo engine for the 911, along with a four-cylinder turbo for the Boxster and Cayman cars coming in the near future.

Lastly, rumors suggest Porsche will codename this 2016 911 the 992 rather than 991.2, as previously thought by some. Rumors are rumors though, so we’ll have to wait for Porsche to make an official move before we know anything solid.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Convertible

Flyin’ Miata has this incredible ability to create unique and wonderful cars from the Miata . Nancy the supercharged NC is a sprightly car that is set for rally racing, Atomic Betty is a world class GT car and the Exocet is a track-day phenom. These are all shop cars, however, and are set up to portray a certain style and characteristic.

But what would an employee of Flyin’ Miata do to their own car. With no need to highlight a certain part or feature, and no need to cater to the desires of a customer, what would they create. If you are Keith Tanner, you create the Turbo Smurf.

This 1990 Miata has been fettled, upgraded and altered in essentially every manner to become what is Keith’s ideal daily driver. From the drivetrain and suspension to the interior and even the sound insulation, there is almost no part of this roadster that has been left untouched.

Are the results a carefully created car that coddles as well as it excites? Or did Keith just create a Frankenstein of speed and noise that only just manages to ferry him to the shop without killing him? I spent some time behind the driver seat to figure it out.

Read on to discover more about the Flyin’ Miata Turbo Smurf Miata

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Imagine this, you’re driving down a twisty, winding road, in a convertible BMW with the top down, wind in your hair and in your ears, and the sound of…nothing because you’re driving a hybrid. Sounds pretty awful, right? Well don’t worry because BMW isn’t making a hybrid convertible, at least until the i8 goes topless. BMW has officially stated that six, inline cylinders will drive the upcoming Z4 replacement. This is good news. The Bavarians have always made wonderful I-6 engines; with smooth, buttery powerbands and lovely, growling exhaust notes.

The engine in question, code named B58, will be a 3.0-liter, turbocharged I-6 that will put out around 335 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. Combine that with an estimated curb weight of around 3,084 pounds, and you’ve got one hell of a convertible sports car. Rumor also has it that this car will be developed together with Toyota and its upcoming Supra replacement. Based on the success of the Toyobaru twins and all of the success BMW’s had developing sports cars, I cannot see this car being anything other than fantastic.

This is a whole new line of engines from BMW. It’s in the same “Efficient Dynamics” engine family that its newly released, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder and 2.0-liter. four-cylinder engines are from. This engine is also rumored to debut in the upcoming 7 Series replacement, and should trickle down into the 3 Series and 5 Series cars shortly after. It’s also good to see Bimmer sticking with six-cylinder engines. Many automakers have been ditching sixes for turbo-fed fours, and while the turbo fours pack quite a punch, they lack in emotion and excitement compared to sixes. So while the Z4 might eventually get the familiar 2.0-liter turbo four as well, it’s refreshing to see BMW also offer an I-6.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Z4 successor.

Source: Motoring

Ever since the F-Type debuted, it has received rave reviews, but there has been one sore spot among traditionalists. This issue is that it is only available with a eight-speed auto transmission, and traditionalists want the opportunity to row their own gears. I, for one, want the fastest shift times possible, and the eight-speed automatic is likely faster than any manual ever could be shifted, but some people just like that analog feeling.

Well, for those of you who have been craving for a manual in the F-Type , it looks as if Jag is working on making your dreams a reality. Today, the spy shooters from Touriclips managed to film an F-Type lapping the Nurburgring. But there is something a little different about its shift pattern. That’s right, this is the obvious sound of a test driver manually rowing a shifter through the gears as he laps the Green Hell

This can only mean that Jaguar is at the very least toying with the idea of offering a manual gearbox, but with it already doing hot laps around the `Ring, it is likely well past the "toying" phase. Jaguar is likely readying the transmission for release in the next few months, and simply testing out its durability on the famed raceway. This new transmission will be among a series of upcoming updates that will also include an all-wheel-drive option .

We’ll keep you updated on this development and pass along any new information as soon as we can.

ICON has done some pretty amazing things with old barn-find vehicles, forgotten for decades until the California team breathes new life into them. ICON’s M.O. is unlike other restoration companies, as its Derelicts line combines all the underpinnings of modern street machines, while keeping nearly every visible piece just as it was the day the company found it. ICON’s latest example is this beautiful 1948 Buick Super Convertible.

The process started when the Buick was found in a Pennsylvania garage. The car’s body was then carefully separated from its original chassis and laser-scanned. The team then spent hundreds of hours designing a new chassis to perfectly match the body’s underside, but would also hold performance gains not otherwise possible with the old 1948 frame.

The new Art Morrison chassis is complete with independent front suspension and a four-link rear suspension. Coil over JRI shocks hold up each corner while a 20-to-1 rack and pinion power steering system makes the Buick drive more like a Corvette. Speaking of Corvette , ICON dropped in a ZR1-sourced, supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 V-8. The small block Chevy churns out 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. A Supermatic 4L85E automatic transmission does the shifting, while a set of Z-rated, BF Goodrich G-Force tires lay the power down.

Though the interior looks completely original, ICON worked hard to hide all the modern electronic conveniences, including a web-enabled audio system with navigation, Bluetooth, a backup camera, and an Audison sound system. The touchscreen head unit is hidden behind the Buick’s original AM radio that articulates down when touched.

It’s amazing to see how well the project turned out. It took over a year to complete, and it’s easy to see why. The Buick Buick combines its original exterior and all its character, along with a kickin’ LS9 small block and a suspension that will handle the track. If that’s not a perfect combination, I don’t know what is.

Photo credit: Boldride

Click past the jump to read more about the ICON Derelict Buick Super Convertible

Source: Boldride
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Caterham is just one of many car manufactures that have built replicas or continuation cars based on the iconic Lotus Seven. That said, Caterham is the only one that has become notorious for its Seven continuation cars and its numerous iterations. Ranging from the lightest and cheapest Caterham Seven Caterham Seven 160 to the powerful and expensive Seven 620 R, the Caterham line of Sevens is nothing short of impressive. Caterham cars remain rather scarce in the States, but for 2015, the automaker is growing its lineup in America with the addition of the Seven 480.

We live in the golden age for performance cars. Most old-school enthusiasts will say that the 70’s were the golden years because big, bad muscle cars and a "No replacement for displacement" attitude. I respectfully disagree, because while old school muscle cars are cool, they never really got any power out of those huge engines. Nowadays, car makers can get huge performance numbers out of engines with the same displacement as a container of milk. A perfect example of this is Caterham . A small British car company, who hangs its hat on making small, ultra lightweight performance cars. People might snicker at a purpose built track car that only has 237 horsepower, but when it flies past you on the track, that snicker will quickly fade. While Caterhams are wonderful cars, they’ve been absent in America. Now, however, Caterham here, in the good ole U.S. of A.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Caterham Seven 480.


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