roadster

roadster

  Roadster cars are convertible compact sport cars, more or less luxurious but with a bold look and providing lots of feedback to the driver. they are the fun fast cars by excellence

***We will start this party at approximately 0945 US EASTERN TIME***

Ladies and Gentleman, you are invited to join us for a special early-week TopSpeed Podcast . The best part? It is totally live. Feel free to click the play button on the YouTube video to hang out with us; you can even chat and comment live to give us feedback and ask us questions.

I know the show is a few days early, but I have a special announcement to make. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it involves lots of horsepower and an epic road trip. You have to watch to see what the announcement is.

Beyond the special announcement, we are going to talk about Justin’s drive of the new 4-Series , the new McLaren P13 GT and the future of solar powered roads .

Mark is also going to regale us with tales of his time with the Chrysler Town & Country , and then we plan on discussing the changed coming to the 2015 Nissan Frontier and then we plan on covering the crazy Hyundai Veloster Midship Concept .

We may have another piece of news or two, and of course we will have viewer questions, and a round of Own, Drive, Burn.

Click that play button and hang out!

Gran Turismo’s Vision Gran Turismo series of concepts is slowly taking shape and another automaker has come out and released its creative work.

Joining in on the fun is Volkswagen with its Vision Gran Turismo Concept . And if we’re into picking among the best of what we’ve seen, it’s hard to go against what looks like a pretty sick roadster that actually bears resemblance to one of Volkswagen’s production models, specifically the Scirocco .

This is what the creative forces at Volkswagen thought of when they were asked to build a concept for the video game franchise. It’s not that the car looks good; it’s that it looks exceptionally good, one we hope Volkswagen decides to build as an actual production car in the future.

It retains most of the essential characteristics of the brand’s sports hatch and wraps it up in a sportier package, one that features a dramatically low windshield, a swooping front end, new headlights, and lest we forget, the sickest set of wheels we’ve seen among all the Vision Gran Turismo Concept cars that have come out.

Updated 05/23/2014: Volkswagen revealed the first details and specs on the Vision Gran Turismo Concept, just a few days before the car’s official debut on May 28th at the Worthersee Festival in Austria.

Updated 05/28/2014: Volkswagen unveiled a new video (above) revealing the new Vision Gran Turismo Concept in action and it surely looks fast! A new set of images were also dropped by the developers of the Gran Turismo game. Enjoy!

Updated 05/29/2014: Volkswagen unveiled the new Vision Gran Turismo Concept - or GTI Roadster - at the Worthersee Festival. Click past the jump to find out the new details.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Vision Gran Turismo Concept

In our most recent TopSpeed Podcast , Christian, Justin, and myself were asked the age-old question: If you had a reasonable amount of dough to blow on a sports car, what would you get? Well, we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t a constant fantasy in our subconscious. The idea of a sporty car with generous power and an accessible sticker price would make any gear head salivate.

To that end, we’ve gathered a list of eight respectably sporty cars that can be picked up for under $20,000. The list includes a mix of foreign and domestic brands with coupes, convertibles, and even a four-door sedan. Of course, this is hardly an exhaustive list that includes every good sports car under $20K, but it’s a good start and will likely generate ideas for other cars if you’re in the market.

And like we said on the podcast, it’s always a smart idea to have a trusted mechanic give the car a once-over before fronting the cash. Even if problems don’t exist on your car in question, it’s always a good idea to know the typical problem areas of that particular model.

So without further rambling, click past the jump for our list of cheap kicks. Oh, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below. It might just get covered in the next podcast.

Click past the jump for our list of cheap kicks

One of the most notable and memorable of the early Porsche cars is the Speedster . This car actually came into existence at the insistence of U.S. distributor Max Hoffman. He was able to convince Ferdinand Porsche that there was a market for a “stripper” car. A stripper is essentially a barebones Roadster that could be easily converted into a racing specification car without too much trouble. The low level of standard equipment also kept prices low, leaving you more budget for race gear and modifications.

This particular Black Speedster here carries a particularly special heritage. It was owned by none other than James Dean, twice. Dean bought the car to race in SCCA competition, but after a few years he sold it to a car collector named Bruce Meyers. Later in 1974 Dean bought the car back from Bruce. This particular model does not wear a Speedster badge as Dean had it removed from the car during his first ownership.

Porsche dropped the Speedster model from the 356 lineup in 1959 in favor of building the newer Convertible D cars. Only 3,122 of Speedsters were ever constructed.

When the cars first entered production there were powered by a 1.5-liter flat-four engine that produced 64 horsepower. Before the production ended, you could order a race-ready Carrera spec model with 128 horsepower. With the proper gearing in the transmission, a Speedster could reach speeds of over 125 mph, making it one of the fastest cars of the era.

Dean’s car here was a mid-range “Super” model that managed 88 horsepower from its 1.6-liter engine. The car is still in Dean’s family under the ownership of his son, Chad.

Few companies cater to the petrol-head quite like Porsche . Sure Ferrari provides excitement, and Lamborghini is the maestro of theater, but Porsche has cornered the market on feel and precision.

Beyond that, Porsche also seems to demonstrate a peculiar, un-German ability to create cars that are very pretty. Not the sensual beauty the Italians have mastered, but still pretty.

Late last year the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh decided that Porsche had done so much in the field of design, that it deserved to be recognized. They then began the laborious task of collecting an eclectic assortment of metal from the brand’s storied history; from the Type 64 of 1938 up to the 911 GTS R Hybrid race car .

As a man with a slight fetish for German autos, the exhibit intrigued me. The NCMA is only a six-hour drive from my house, through some of the most beautiful roads and scenery in the U.S., and I had just been granted the keys to a 2014 Porsche Cayman S .

It was a recipe that sounded like a Porsche enthusiast’s perfect weekend.

Read on to find out more about my journey, the Cayman S and the NCMA exhibit.

The Donkervoort D8 GTO is nothing short of a riot. With its Audi -sourced, turbocharged five-cylinder engine and aggressive styling, the D8 GTO is breaking boundaries and expectations.

Now the D8 GTO is breaking more than mental and performance boundaries. Last week, the very first D8 GTOs were registered outside the European Union, as a pair of premium model GTOs found new homes and registration plates in Switzerland.

We brought you the news that the Donkervoort D8 GTO had received its small series-type approval, allowing it to be sold in the EU, Russia, Switzerland and the Gulf States, but it wasn’t until last week that the first GTOs actually made that journey.

The two new Swiss owners now own the keys to a two-seat roadster in the same track-day vein as the Lotus Seven, but thanks to that Audi engine, these monsters produce up to 400 horsepower.

To commemorate the occasion, the cars were personally delivered by Dennis Donkervoort.

Read more about Donkervoort and its D8 GTO after the jump.}

We cover a lot of automotive-related material here at TopSpeed. From the latest and greatest vehicles with promises of fast quarter-mile times, insane 0-to-60 sprints , and the occasional gravel-shredding off-roader , it’s all about the newest and fastest.

But sometimes, you just have to slow down and enjoy the drive — to bask in every last mile of a pure driving experience in a pure sports car . That’s exactly what one man set out to do.

Scott Fisher and his beloved 1967 Datsun Fairlady Roadster are on a meandering mission to travel the United States in a clockwise fashion, while soaking in the experience on the timeless journey. No schedules needed.

Fisher started his epic journey last spring from his home in Las Vegas after selling his manufacturing business that he ran for 16 long years. It has since taken him over 30,000 miles through the American heartland, rolling over local highways and byways, while avoiding major routes and interstates “like the plague.” And it was all done in his beautiful ’67 Fairlady.

“I knew I needed to kinda’ get out, and unwind, and get my mojo back,” the 45-year-old man says. His journey has taken him north through the Pacific Northwest and over through the flyover states. Fisher’s goal was to stay up north during the summer months to avoid the extreme heat and sun exposure. “[It’s] allowed me to keep the top down, maybe 80 percent of the time.”

Click past the jump to keep reading about Scott’s amazing travels

The Mini Cooper Roadster is one of the oddballs in the Mini family. It takes the exact same platform as the base Cooper and Cooper Convertible but it tosses two seats in favor of a more traditional trunk to create a two-seat open-top joyriders toy.

Thanks to the loss of seats, the Roadster is lighter than its Convertible platform mate and therefore more entertaining to drive.

When it lost the seats and that square profile, it didn’t lose its Mini heritage. The classic Mini proportions and design cues are all present, and to our eyes the Roadster looks even better than the Coupe and Convertible cars.

Just like almost every other Mini in the lineup, the new Roadster is offered in standard, S and John Cooper Works trim levels with varying levels of performance and equipment.

What does the Mini Roadster have that gives it an edge over the six other Mini body styles you can take home from your local dealer.

Click past the jump for all the details.

Zenos E10

The Zenos E10 was unveiled just this month, and former Caterham boss Ansar Ali — the man behind Zenos — is already talking about developing the E11 roadster. The E11 roadster is expected to come out in 2016 and Ali has tipped its selling price as slightly more expensive than the E10.

We actually don’t know how much exactly the E11 is going to cost, but since the E10 has a price of £24,995 ($41,380), maybe the E11 adds another £2,000 or £3,000 to that selling price?

In any case, the release date is still a few years out, so if you’re thinking of getting one, you still have time to save up for that purchase.

Far more than just talking shop with sticker prices and all that, the E11 Roadster is being promoted as a track car that breathes unbridled power and performance — two things you always want to hear in what has become a competitive market. Zenos Zenos says the E11 has that in spades, not to mention the same Ford-sourced 2.0-liter engine that the E10 has. That powertrain is capable of producing a total of 197 horsepower in the E10, we’re not too sure what it’ll crank out in the E11.

Incredibly, though, the E11 already has customers — 23, in fact — that have already pre-ordered the roadster well ahead of its 2016 launch date. Can’t blame them for being eager when you’re talking about as unique a roadster as what Zenos is promising the E11 is going to be.

*Note: Photo is of the Zenos E10

Click past the jump to read about the Zenos E10

Source: Autocar UK

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is really one of the more polarizing roadsters available today. Those who are fans of it — myself included — rave about its handling, power-to-weight ratio, analog feel and balance on the track. Those who hate it argue that it looks like a "chick’s car," isn’t fast enough, too loud and never has all of the cool features found in modern cars.

Well, Mazda has — for the most part — ignored all of the MX-5 haters and focused on what the MX-5 lovers desire from the Japanese roadster. When Mazda redesigned the MX-5 in 2006, it listened to enthusiasts by adding in a Club Spec model that eliminated all of the higher-end features and replaced them with performance goodies, like Billstein struts, a strut tower brace and upgraded tires. Well, Mazda was gracious enough to bestow upon me a 2014 MX-5 Club for a week, and as a Miataphile, I was more than thrilled to get a crack at a new model.

I personally own a modified 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 that pumps out about 225 to 250 horsepower, so I had a good base to go off of for this review. Some of you may think that since my daily driver is a modded MX-5 that I may not find the new Club model all that thrilling, but you would be absolutely incorrect.

Click past the jump to read our Driven review of the 2014 Mazda Miata Club.


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