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.

What happens when you take the stiffest and most refined Miata ever built, and then have Flyin’ Miata cram a fire-breathing small block V-8 under the hood? You get one of the best cars I have ever driven. Period.

This is Atomic Betty and she has stolen my heart.

With more than 400 horsepower and an equal measure of torque, Atomic Betty takes the power and thrust of a Corvette , and cuts a few hundred pounds. The results are staggering to say the least. Despite the insertion of the large engine, very little of Betty has been altered, and from the exterior she looks like a stock NC Miata to 99-percent of onlookers. If you prefer the idea of a “sleeper,” Betty is about the best you can get.

Best of all, the weight balance has barely been changed and overall weight gain from the new engine is less than putting a full-size male in the passenger seat. That means that same handling and crispness of the Miata remains, there just happens to be almost three-times as much power at the call of your right foot.

Hell. Yes.

Continue to read more about Flyin’ Miata’s V-8 powered NC Miata Atomic Betty.

When I was a child, my only real experience with the idea of summer camp was watching Salute Your Shorts on Nickelodeon. I was always active and outside, I just never went to an actual camp. Now that I am an adult who is staring at 30, the idea of going to summer camp sounds even more laughable. At least, it did until I got a quick message from Flyin’ Miata asking me if I wanted to come out for its annual Summer Camp.

This isn’t a s’mores, campfires and Kumbaya style of summer camp. Rather, it would be a several days of epic drives, track time, food and friends, all wrapped up with the lovely veneer of driving in a roadster.

Within hours of the invitation I was trying to arrange flights.

Upon my arrival in the great state of Colorado my time as a FM Summer Camp attendee began. From my blast up Pikes Peaks in the supercharged NC, Nancy, to a welcoming party, two full track days, several information seminars and the awards dinner, the next few days were packed with fun, friendship and long-lasting memories. The heat was a bit intense though, and as you can see by the photo, it made me do some really weird things.

Special thanks to Travis Ingram Photography for the photo.

Read more about the Flyin’ Miata Summer Camp Festivities after the break.

Bugatti stunned the entire world in 2005 by releasing the Veyron , its first production vehicle in 10 years. At first it was powered by a quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter, W-16 engine rated at 987 horsepower, which was later uprated to deliver 1,183 ponies. It is mostly know for being the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a record sitting at 267.856 mph. Its roadster version, the Grand Sport Vitesse , holds the same benchmark for the world’s fastest open-top with a top speed of 254.04 mph. Set to go out of production sometime in 2015, the Veyron is bidding the supercar market farewell through a series of "Les Legendes de Bugatti" special-edition models. The final version of the series — in all the series includes six special editions — pays tribute to Bugatti founder and designer Ettore Bugatti and Bugatti unveiled it just ahead of its official launch at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance .

As with most "Legends" Veyrons, it pays tribute to a very special person and an iconic Bugatti model from the company’s glorious past. This time around the French selected the Type 41 Royale , a 21-foot-long luxury car built in only six units between 1927 and 1933. Needless to say, this is a great way to send the current Veyron into the history books, while an even more impressive successor is being developed.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Bugatti Veyron "Ettore Bugatti".

Well, the live show is over. A huge thanks goes out to everyone who tuned it and chatted with us. You guys make this even more fun. If you tuned in last week to take part in the fiasco that was my terrible Internet service, I apologize, but I am back this week. After our usual mildly hilarious intro issues, we move straight into the Weekly Wheels. You get to hear all about the new Toyota Corolla , the 2015 Buick LaCrosse and the brand-spanking new Lexus NX .

After weekly wheels we break straight into my epic trip to Colorado to drive a whole collection of amazing and modified Miatas at the Flyin’ Miata Summer Camp. From V-8s and turbocharged cars, to built and stroked naturally aspirated engines and race-bread kit cars, I drove all kinds on awesome things.

After I quit swooning over the multiple Miatas, we move into the news. We cover two upcoming BMW i models, the nearly 300-mph feud between Hennessey and Bugatti, and rumors of a 700-horsepower Infiniti. We also touch on the potential future of Cadillac and the rumors of a RWD flagship for the American brand.

The Question and Answer segment featured what cars we think are the most boring, as well as what we would buy for our own children when they are old enough to drive. Finishing our little shindig is Own, Drive, Burn in which we have to choose between special Aston Martin models.

Please let us know if you liked the show or not, any and all feedback is appreciated. As always, you can find us on iTunes if you want to subscribe to the audio feed. Have a safe weekend, and we will see you next Thursday.

Back in 2005, Bugatti launched the Veyron , a supercar that would end up becoming one of the most important cars of this generation. It’s already 2014 and 405 of the 450 Veyrons Bugatti planned to produce already have owners. That leaves 45 more Veyrons that are still in production. Of that 45, there are 30 current Veyrons that are already accounted for. That leaves 15 Veyrons that still don’t have an owner. Yes, we’re down to the last 15 models of the most iconic supercar of this era. Once all 15 find owners, Bugatti will no longer build the Veyron.

In some ways, it’s pretty sad knowing that we can’t look forward to more of those exclusive one-off Veyrons that Bugatti releases at the most inexplicable of times. On the other hand, it also feels like the right time to say farewell to the supercar.

It’s had a tremendous run over the past nine years, highlighted by numerous record-setting achievements as the fastest production car in the world. Bugatti is also responsible for some incredibly rare Veyrons that includes the recently launched Legends series.

But all good things really do come to an end, and the Veyron isn’t an exception to that. So with 15 models left before it rides of into the sunset, here’s a toast to celebrate the legendary life of one of the most iconic modern-day supercars.

Godpseed, Bugatti Veyron. Thanks for the memories.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bugatti Veyron.

Source: AutoCar

The Fiat 500 first saw life back in 1957 as the Fiat Nuova 500 and was an inexpensive little city car that became extremely popular throughout Italy. Its small, two-cylinder engine displaced roughly 500cc — hence the name — and produced a modest 13 brake horsepower. It enjoyed a ragtop roof that slid rearward and a pair of suicide doors. In comparison to today’s cars, the original Fiat 500 was a toy, only standing chest height to the average person. Production ended in 1975 and the 500 name laid dormant until 2007 when the current version became available in Europe.

The Fiat 500 swam the pond in 2010, marking the first time Fiat sold vehicles in the U.S. since 1984. The return happened, thanks to Fiat’s purchase of Chrysler and the two automakers’ global alliances. The car has remained unchanged for the most part, except the additional Abarth trim level new for 2012. That sporty trim added a ton of go-fast, have-fun goodies to Fiat’s spunky little run-about.

I recently spend a week getting to know the Fiat 500c Abarth. You’ll notice the ‘c’ in the 500’s name, well that signifies it carries a ragtop roof, just like the original Fiat 500 did. This 500, however, has 147 more horsepower than the original, a sweet exhaust note, and a superb five-speed manual gearbox. This thing is like the Mazda Miata of Italy — the tossable plaything that begs to be driven hard.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Fiat 500c Abarth

Honda’s sports car lineup has become a lot clearer today. We already know the NSX is coming and the same for the diminutive S660 sports coupe. Now, Motoring Australia is reporting that Honda has given the green light to bring back the S2000 . Pop open the metaphorical champagne, ladies and gentlemen, Honda’s recently discontinued sports car is coming back!

Okay, let me pump the brakes up a little bit. Technically, this sports car won’t be packaged as a direct successor to the S2000. Remember, the S2000 was a front-engine mounted sports car that broke out in the 2000 model year and was produced until 2009. The new S2000 will be developed with a mid-mounted engine setup. This setup is similar to what Honda is preparing for the NSX and the S660, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the new S2000 adopt the same setup.

Motoring Australia also said that the new S2000 will adopt similar styling to the NSX and the S660, including wraparound headlights, large side air intakes, and flared wheel arches. This could point to a more robust design for the S2000, as opposed to the sleek, bullet-like look of the model’s previous incarnation.

The same report also indicated that the new rear-wheel drive S2000 will employ a modified version of the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that currently takes residence under the Honda Civic Type-R’s hood. An electric motor is also expected to be slapped into the car, ensuring a total output of around 365 horsepower and mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Honda is also reportedly planning to produce the new S2000 at its Performance Manufacturing Center in the U.S. This little detail is important because that’s where the NSX will also be built, which means that there’s a possibility that the S2000 receives the same production materials as its big bro.

What’s still unclear is when the new S2000 will arrive. By all indications, a launch in late 2017 sounds like a fair estimate of the sports car’s development timeline.

For now, we’re not concentrating on that as much as the report that a spiritual successor to the Honda S2000 is officially coming.

Note: Last-generation Honda S2000 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the Honda S2000.

Source: Motoring

Forget about the endless rumors and speculation; Rolls-Royce has officially confirmed the arrival of a new model by mid-2016. The announcement came by the tried-and-tested method of a press release, which is about as direct and clear-cut as you can get. The British automaker didn’t dive into the specifics of the model with Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös opting only to say that the new model will be an "exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer."

Based on that statement, you can rule out the rumored Rolls-Royce SUV as the model Müller-Ötvös is describing. Our best bet is that this model will be the Wraith Drophead, which not only fits the description, but has also been spotted in recent months doing some test runs while dressed in heavy camouflage.

The press release also said that the new car is undergoing prototype testing as it "enters its next stage of development."

It’s hard not to get excited about this announcement because we’ve been waiting for Rolls-Royce to expand its lineup for years, and the arrival of the Wraith in 2013 began that process. Hopefully, this new car will continue this trend.

Click past the jump to read more about Rolls-Royce’s future model.

Mercedes’ AMG division has been a good source of performance variants for a lot of the company’s models. But recent moves by Audi and BMW into the niche between their base models and performance variants has Mercedes thinking of expanding AMG’s role within the company. Autocar is reporting that the German automaker wants to build a range of AMG Sport vehicles, to complement the C450 AMG Sport that we caught testing earlier in 2014.

In line with what we assume we’ll see from the C450 AMG Sport, expect this new line of AMG Sport models to features steady doses of exterior and interior upgrades to go with improved performance numbers. The company has made no bones about its desire to keep pace with both Audi and BMW and this is one avenue that Mercedes is keen on exploring.

This extended AMG range will feature models based on the Mercedes A-Class , C-Class , E-Class , and S-Class models, on top of sprouting new variants from the Mercedes SUVs like the GL-Class, M-Class , GLK-Class , and GLA Class . At least that’s the plan. Execution will likely be a bit trickier.

One of Mercedes’ most important objectives with this expansion is to create models that are unique from their standard variations, but do not encroach on their respective AMG models. This translates to modified chassis, new electronics, light engine tuning and AMG-inspired body kits on AMG Sport models. Additionally, these AMG Sport models may be available in gasoline or diesel versions, similar to the approach Audi and BMW have used in expanding their S and M Performance lineups, respectively.

The first two offerings from this new range appear to be the Mercedes C450 AMG Sport and M-Class AMG Sport Coupe. The latter is under development, although a launch isn’t expected until next year.

Click past the jump to read more about 2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport.

Source: AutoCar

What happens when Flyin’ Miata gets a hold of an old Mazda press loaner and the supercharger kit that was designed for the Super20 concept? It creates an all-out targa rally car , of course. Meet "Nancy," the supercharged and rally-prepped 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 .

Nancy started life as a test bed for NC-generation parts, but after the application of the supercharger kit and a full suspension upgrade, she got wrapped in a racing livery vinyl and Flyin’ Miata took her racing across Canada in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

I got to spend several days, a few hundred miles and some track time with this incredible machine. Did Flyin’ Miata ruin the balance and fun of the Miata with all of its racing upgrades, or is Nancy merely a better version of an already great car? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to find out what I thought about Flyin’ Miata’s Nancy.


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