Supercars are our bread and butter. They are not only super-fast, but they also look amazing and are very rare. With all of those awesome features also comes a super price. This means that the normal person that reads about them can’t pull off the kind of financial gymnastics to afford one.
For these people (us included), we have a special list of sports cars that you can typically find for $9,999 or less, making them an obtainable goal. This may require dipping back a few years, but you’ll still get yourself a nice car that is both quick and agile. Sure, it may not have fancy leather, a killer stereo system, navigation, Bluetooth, or any other modern features, but you will get yourself a true sports car.
There are literally thousands of cars we can choose from in this group, so we have to make some tough decisions on who gets in and who’s left out.
Click past the jump to read our complete list and see where we rank each car. Full story
We already know that Mazda and Alfa Romeo are in bed together on the MX-5 Miata/Alfa Romeo Spider project, but the specifics were still a relative unknown. A little bird, in the form of a senior design source, flew down and chirped a little info to our friends at What Car. We cannot vouch for the validity of this info, but we’re going to pass it on to you.
First up, the engine... According to this unnamed source, Mazda has chosen an engine already and it is a 1.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. It pumps out a healthy 200 horsepower, which is 22 horsepower more than the 2004 and 2005 Mazdaspeed MX-5 produced and 33 horsepower more than the current model. We’re also certain that we’ll see torque cresting the 200 pound-feet mark, though there was no mention of that.
The source also reports that the MX-5 will hit showrooms in 2015 with a lighter body and chassis, and a sportier look than the current model. The estimated weight the source gave was 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs), which is 276 lbs less than the 2012 model. In a car as small as the Miata, that is significant weight loss, to say the least.
There is also talk that Mazda will offer its roadster up with many more options that will help give the car more of a personality. This will help form a stronger bond between the person and the car. Typically, Miata owners already have this bond with their car, but a little extra something can’t hurt.
Lastly, there will be a top-end model, similar to the Mazdaspeed version in 2004 and 2005, that will be even lighter yet and more tuned for racing, as it will be stripped of unnecessary add-on features to save every ounce.
There was one bit of info on the project altogether and it is that Mazda will only provide the platform (chassis, uni-body, and drivetrain); Alfa Romeo will add on its own body and interior. So scratch the evil idea that we’ll have two almost identical cars.
We’ll keep an eye out for more whispers as this project continues.
There are some videos that are flat-out awesome and there are others that you can’t help but watch and just say “dayum, that was sick!” The above video just so happens to be a card-carrying member of the latter group. As a fellow Miata owner, I am slightly biased here...
This dude not only dropped an RB26 engine from a Skyline into his second-gen Miata, but he also pulled off one of the most bad-ass saves we have ever witnessed. This Miata launches from the starting tree and all is well, as it pulls away from its competitor until suddenly the back end of the Miata starts wagging its 900-horsepower tail all over the track.
The quick-acting driver manages to pull the reigns on this wild ride and get her going straight again. After all of that the Miata still crossed the finish line in just 16 seconds, which is faster than the majority of the cars on the road today.
The video ends with the guy operating the camera catching up to the slick driver and asking him what happened. It turns out that the car overheated and popped a freeze plug, which caused the coolant to spill all over the track. When you mix any liquid, especially coolant, with slick tires and 900 ponies, you are definitely in for just a little bit of tail action...
Hats off to the driver for keeping calm and not smashing his likely expensive Miata into the wall.
Most guys won’t admit this off the bat, but the truth is, men are pretty predictable when it comes to their interests. Ask them their top three interests and you can take it to the bank that two out of those three will be cars and girls.
So what happens when you put one and one together and bring Playboy Playmates to participate in an actual racing environment?
You won’t have to imagine that anymore after Playboy served as an official sponsor of the MX-5 Cup at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca. Not only do you get your fair share of high-octane MX-5s that have all been tuned to race, but you also get hotties like Pilar Lastra and Deanna Brooks acting as the faces of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup.
In addition to being two of the finest playmates in Hugh Heffner’s stable, both Lastra and Brooks have, at one point in their lives, traded their lingerie for racing suits.
Check out the video and listen to their personal racing stories around Laguna Seca!
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is already undergoing a complete overhaul to enter its new generation, but the company has apparently realized the dire need for the Miata to be refreshed before it becomes completely obsolete ahead of the new generation’s debut.
Launched in 2005, the third generation MX-5 (NC) received its first major update in 2008. It’s barely been touched since then, but 2013 will come with a second round of updates before the car gets canned for the new generation. The new MX-5 (known as the Roadster in Japan) has already made its officially debut and is already on sale at all Mazda dealerships throughout Japan.
The exterior has been redesigned to offer a more aggressive look, while the interior has received a new luxury tan color finish for the genuine leather seats. The model has also received revised characteristics of the throttle and brake booster that help improve control of the accelerator in the manual transmission models and the brakes in all models.
UPDATE 07/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the 2013 Mazda MX-5.
Hit the jump to read more on the 2013 Mazda MX5 Miata. Full story
Despite having more special edition versions than any model in recent history, the Mazda MX-5’s popularity doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon.
Over in the UK, the Japanese sports roadster is still a hot ticket, so much so in fact that Mazda has decided to give the UK market yet another special edition model of the MX-5.
Say hello to the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition.
Available in two variants - one for the soft-top and one for the folding hard top - the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition distinguishes itself from the rest of its MX-5 peers with a host of aesthetic alterations, including a race car-inspired exterior graphics, black detailing around the front grille and front fog lights, ‘Kuro Edition’ badging all over the exterior, and a new set of 17" alloy wheels. The special edition model also gets a new rear sports bumper, a larger sports exhaust, and a choice of three different color options: Velocity Red Mica, Crystal White Pearlescent, and Brilliant Black.
Inside, the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition gets treated to Stone and Black heated leather seats, Stone leather door inserts, red stitching, a silver interior panel with red accents, alloy pedals, and floor mats with a race-inspired logo.
The soft-top variant of the Kuro Special Edition will come with a 1.8 liter engine that nets 126 horsepower and 123 lb/ft of torque while the hard-top model will be powered by a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that produces 167 horsepower and 158 lb/ft of torque.
200 units of the soft-top model will be available in the UK at a price of £18,495 ($28,890), while 400 of the hard-top variant will be available at a price of £21,995 ($34,350).
Mazda will be attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a very cool Mazda MX-5 GT Concept which may head to production depending on customers’ reactions at the festival. The concept was developed by Jota Sport and looks a lot like the MX-5 Super20 unveiled last year at the SEMA Auto Show.
The GT Concept is powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre Mazda petrol engine that delivers a total of 205 HP and is mated to a standard manual gearbox. Mazda is also offering an updated suspension, as well as an impressive aerodynamic package that includes a carbon front splitter, a rear diffuser, and a boot spoiler. The final piece of the exterior is a sports exhaust system with a central tailpipe.
For the interior, the concept gets Recaro seats and plenty of carbon fiber to suits any sports car enthusiast. Road slicks and body-colored roll hoops behind the seats were also added for customers who want to run the car on the race track.
"This year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed we have a number of significant cars on the stand and contesting the hillclimb," said Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director, Mazda UK. "The MX-5 has been our best known car for 22 years and with the GT4 and GT Concept on show, we are demonstrating that this car can compete with the more expensive race and performance cars but still remain true to its roots of affordable motoring with a strong focus on the driving experience."
The European auto market has the Spring Edition. The American auto market has the Special Edition. Continuing on that trend, Mazda has announced that it will be releasing a new special run model of their highly-popular MX-5 Miata sports car for the German market.
The model is called the MX-5 Senshu Special Edition, which made its debut at the 2012 Auto Mobil International Show in Leipzig, Germany.
The "Senshu" name is Japanese for "player," and this particular Miata is all that and more. It’s available in three different exterior colors - Red, White, and Black - and is based on the MX-5’s Sports Line spec model.
On the outside, the Senshu Special Edition comes equipped with a unique black surround design on the front front grille, racing stripes that run along the car’s profile, a matte black rear diffuser, xenon headlights, a lowered Bilstein sports suspension, and a new set of 17" dark alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45 R17 tires.
Inside, the special edition MX-5 gets treated to leather seats dressed in a two-tone black and gray scheme. It also has red stitching on the door panels, red surrounds on the air vents, an aluminum trim decoration, sports aluminum pedals, and a Bose audio system.
No performance enhancements were made to the car so expect it to carry the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Only 200 of these babies will hit the German market with each being priced at €29,190, a number that converts to $36,297 based on current exchange rates.
Last week, we reported that Fiat was open to allowing Mazda to use U.S.-based Chrysler factories to manufacture U.S.-bound Mazda models. Before that, Fiat and Mazda officially announced a partnership in building the MX5 Miata and Alfa Romeo Spider. These two announcements brought about a lot of speculation of Fiat taking the same approach that Ford did, by buying into the struggling, but slowly recovering, Mazda.
After hearing plenty of these rumors, Fiat Chairman, John Elkann, had enough and announced at a shareholder meeting that Fiat is not interested in acquiring any percentage of Mazda in the future. Fiat does plan on adding a Japanese partner in the future to help expand its global reach, but there is no mention of what companies Fiat is considering.
We would not be surprised to find out that this is simply a rouge to not tip its hand too early. It only makes sense for the two to partner up in a larger sense, as Mazda needs some help getting over the recovery hump and Fiat needs a Japanese partner. It would be a win-win situation, so we’ll see if Fiat’s tune changes after testing out Mazda’s abilities with the Mazda Miata-Alfa Romeo Spider production deal.
Fiat is planning a little bit of expansion soon though. In July 2012, Fiat is planning to expand its ownership in Chrysler by an additional 3 percent, bringing its total ownership to over 60 percent. Over the course of time, Fiat plans to jump its overall Chrysler ownership to 100 percent, giving it complete control over the recovering automaker’s operations and profit.
It definitely looks like Fiat is on the right track here so far. We will keep you updated as its expansion continues.
Leave it to Mazda to decide that the world hasn’t had enough of special edition MX-5 Miatas.
Actually, they’re right; we can’t get enough of them. So when they took to the 2012 Auto Mobil International Show in Leipzig, Germany to debut the MX-5 Miata Yushu Concept, it certainly got our attention, and then some.
Named after the Japanese word for "Victory," the MX-5 Yusho Concept is the kind of concept proposal for the popular sports car that makes us remember why we love Miatas so much.
The matte white paint finish is already an eye-catcher in its own right, but it also paints only a part of the modifications Mazda did to the car. It also received new aero components, a new interior treatment, and best of all, engine modifications.
About the only thing we didn’t like about the MX-5 Yushu Concept was Mazda failing to say that the car - or at least some of the mods - is getting ready for production.
Nevertheless, the MX-5 Yushu Concept is still a beauty, a car that we’re more than hoping to see out in dealerships sooner rather than later.
UPDATE 07/24/12: Mazda has released a new video of the MX-5 Yushu Concept doing some rounds at the Nurburgring! Check it out by clicking on the photo above!
Find out more about the Mazda MX-5 Miata Yushu Concept after the jump. Full story