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Will the new Mazda Miata be available with multiple engines?

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 2:45PM

Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 spy shot

At this point, the countdown until the launch of the all-new, fourth-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata can be measured in hours until its September 3 unveiling as easily as it can in days. With the debut of such a highly anticipated model so close, the rumours about the new sports car are starting to boil over.

We recently heard that the new Miata would likely get a 2.0-litre Skyactiv four-cylinder with a six-speed manual, plus a decent drop in weight compared to the current gen. There's even the rumoured possibility of a fastback coupe version sometime in the future.

Now, Australia's GoAuto is adding another dollop of speculation into the mix with the claim that there could be "potentially more engine options," according to Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders to the website. The more potent option would still be the 2.0-litre Skyactiv with a power bump from its current 167 hp to closer to 200 ponies. The other possible powerplant option would be a 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated four-cylinder taken from the upcoming Mazda2 replacement. This version would also ditch some of the MX-5's more premium features to cut the weight and the price slightly.

"Lightweight rear-wheel drive sportscar offering great value is what we want to return to," said Mazda Australia senior public relations manager Steve Maciver to GoAuto. While such a tiny engine might sound dubious, remember that the original NA Miata performs admirably with just a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder. The potential small-displacement MX-5 might not make it to North America – we'd be a bit surprised if it did, to be honest – but it could still be quite an engaging driver. Besides, it's worth noting that earlier rumours had a 1.5-litre mill pegged as a possibility for the ND Miata.

News Source: GoAuto

Image Credit: CarPix

A Bacon-Fueled Motorcycle Now Exists

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 2:00PM

A Bacon-Fueled Motorcycle Now Exists

While it sounds like a wild bacon biker-infused idea, Hormel has created a new motorcycle that is fueled by, you guessed it... bacon grease! Click on the video above for the full story, as this bacon-fueled motorcycle attracted a lot of hungry tailgaters during its journey from Minnesota to the San Diego for Bacon Fest this past weekend (that's right, Bacon Fest is a real thing!)

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News Source: Buzz60 via AOL On

Are these the world's worst speed bumps?

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 1:00PM

Speed Bumps in Palm Bay

If you ask a lot of driving enthusiasts, they'll tell you that speed bumps are annoying across the board. Most community organizations, however, would argue the opposite. And as with so many other things, the most effective and mutually tolerable path lies somewhere in the middle. But that middle ground is a big area. Some speed bumps are more tolerable – or more effective – than others, but striking a balance between safely slowing down vehicles and not rattling them into an early repair shop visit can sometimes be tough.

This 41-second video appears to favour one side of the aforementioned balance pretty distinctly over the other. It depicts a set of five speed bumps to slow any traffic down to an absolute crawl... and a bouncing one at that. Though we don't know exactly where it was shot, it appears to have emerged from Florida. (The mail truck tells us it's in the United States, the absence of front plates narrows it down to one of 19 states, the weather and vegetation hint at the southeast and that truck in the first frame seems to belong to a landscaping company in Palm Bay, FL.) Wherever these humps were installed though, it strikes us as the local community going a little overboard.

News Source: 0to100RealQuick via YouTube

2014 Volkswagen e-Up!

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 12:00PM

Our Favorite European Supermini Gets Juiced

2014 Volkswagen e-Up!

Volkswagen sets targets that are entertainingly confident, its stated goal for electric mobility being "market leadership by 2018." The tiny e-Up! is the first round out of the electric cannon, one of 14 EV and hybrid models the company will put on the menu this year as it spreads the electric gospel throughout its range...

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

Fisker-based V8-powered Destino caught testing with changes

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 11:00AM

WM Destino Spy Shots

New spy shots make it look like Bob Lutz's idea to convert the Fisker Karma into a fire-breathing sports sedan called the Destino might not be vaporware after all. Two of them were recently spotted testing in Death Valley sporting changes that make them appear closer than ever to actually going on sale.

The idea behind the Destino was always fantastic. Take the Karma (already a great-looking sedan), ditch it's powertrain and drop in the supercharged 6.2-litre V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. However, since we first saw the concept at the 2013 Detroit auto show, there hasn't been much solid news about its actual production... READ MORE


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Image Credit: KGP Photography

Lamborghini Huracán races Su-30 jet in Russia

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 10:00AM

Su-30 vs Lamborghini Huracan

We've seen it time and time again, but we never seem to get tired of it. We are referring, of course, to races between supercars and fighter jets. The time-honoured tradition has seen a Lamborghini Reventón take on a Panavia Tornado, an SRT Viper line up alongside an F-16, even a Red Bull F1 car tackle an F/A-18 Hornet. But now it's time for the new Lamborghini Huracán to take its turn. And since this contest takes place in Russia, its rival is none other than the Sukhoi Su-30 Flanker-C, the two-seat version of the earlier Su-27 and one of the most advanced aircraft to come out of the Soviet Union.

Now there are, of course, many ways to set up a race between car and jet, but for this one, the organizers had the competitors line up on the runway, accelerate past a marker (at which point the jet is already in the air), turn around and return. We'll let you watch the video for yourself to see which won, but either way, there can be little question that the Su-30 and the latest Lamborghini are two of the most formidable performance machines ever devised.

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News Source: tvZvezda via YouTube, MotorAuthority

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata reveal to be livestreamed, feature Duran Duran

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 9:00AM

Mazda MX-5 Miata Duran Duran

We're all hungry like the wolf to see the unveiling of the next-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata on September 3, but Mazda is seriously excited about taking the sheet of its latest droptop because it has 1980s New Wave act Duran Duran headlining the event. In case you can't make it to Monterey, CA, Tokyo or Barcelona to watch the reveal happen, the brand is also livestreaming it on YouTube starting at 6:00 PM PT (9:00 PM ET). The Miata is then showing its all-new face again during the broadcast of Fashion Rocks on CBS on September 9 at 9:00 PM ET.

Facts about the new MX-5 have remained elusive, but we saw its bare chassis at the 2014 New York show. The roadster was rumoured to return to the classic oval grille from the earlier models and also shed a decent amount of weight over the current version, possibly around 136 kilograms.

Don't worry about noting the big reveal in your calendars, though. Not only will Autoblog be in attendance in Monterey to hear Simon Le Bon belt out Rio, we will also publish another post linking to the livestream before the unveiling. In the meantime, scroll down to read Mazda's announcement and check out the link to the stream, which just shows a countdown at the moment.

News Source: Mazda, Mazda USA via YouTube

Noble developing M600 roadster with paddle shifters

Posted Sep 1st 2014 5:59PM

Noble M600

Want to get your hands on a Noble? May we first compliment you on your choice, good sir or madam, because the British niche manufacturer produces some of the most direct, hardcore sports cars on the market. And that, thanks to Rossion and its Noble-derived Q1, includes the United States. But if you live somewhere where Noble actually sells its own cars, you'll want to look at the M600.

The Noble M600 is about as hardcore as they come. It packs a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 kicking out 650 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual, and not much else: no ABS, no traction control, certainly no all-wheel drive. Just 650 horsepower and a curb weight of around 2,600 pounds (1,180 kilograms). No flappy-paddle gearbox here, and no trick folding roof. Only those last bits are about to change.

Speaking with Dutch publication Autovisie, Noble chief Peter Bolt Wood – a former racing and Ferrari F40 driver – revealed that his company is working on two new developments for the puritanical M600. One is an open roof, and the other some sort of paddle-shift transmission.

This isn't the first time Noble will have created an open-top sportscar. In fact we reported on the prospect of an M600 roadster a couple years ago when the company released a teaser image. But now it appears to be moving ahead with the plans.

Details are sketchy at the moment, so we don't know if the former will be a simple removable roof panel, a folding soft top, a collapsible hardtop or something else. Nor do we know if the two-pedal gearbox will be a sequential, dual-clutch or torque-converter automatic. But Wood and company seem eager to break into new markets, and apparently see both developments as vital to its expansion, without sacrificing performance. Its order books may be full at the moment, but it's expanding into China, Taiwan and Japan.

Here's hoping – with or without an open roof and paddle-shift transmission, through Rossion or on its own – it brings the M600 to North America soon as well.

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News Source: Autovisie

Volkswagen considering a four-door, four-seat XL1

Posted Sep 1st 2014 5:00PM

Volkswagen XL1, front three-quarter view.

According to a report in Autocar, Volkswagen might have more in mind for the XL1 than mining it for advances to grace the next-generation Golf. Aiming to fight the Honda FCEV due for public consumption next year, we're told VW executives have put a four-door, four-seater version of the XL1 - it could be called XL2 - on the drawing board. The impetus is said to come from the top, with VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch intent on staying in the deep end of "super-efficent vehicles."

Autocar suspects the necessary changes could raise the weight of the car from 1,749 pounds (793 kilograms) to 2,068 pounds (938 kilograms), which would make it four pounds less than the 2,072-pound (940-kilogram) Up! we drove a few years ago. Crucially, however, the mag thinks the extra capacity wouldn't change the two-seater's 310-mile (500-kilometre) per-gallon rating, with tech tweaks and the aerodynamic benefit of a longer car offsetting the weight. Speculation is that the back seats would be staggered like the fronts in order to maintain the XL1's overall profile.

We recently heard about another XL1 variant that's gone off the radar entirely, the Ducati-engined XLR that we thought we'd see at the Geneva Motor Show and that was said to be going into production, so this one could go the same way. The biggest hurdle to making such an idea a reality, though, could be the price: the current XL1 costs 110,000 euros ($159,400). If VW really is going to compete with the Honda FCEV and the Toyota FCV - $70,000 in Japan - that might be where it wants to start.

News Source: Autocar

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

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