Entries Tagged as 'Asian Cars'

Motorsport Hype: Lexus Builds RC-F GT Concept To Tackle Pikes Peak

Posted on 06.22.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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What happens when you combine Lexus’ IS-F CCS-R Pikes Peak car with a RC-F GT3 car?  You get the RC-F GT concept.  An RC-F coupe built and bred specifically to take on the 156 perilous corners of Pike’s Peak.  Lexus has tapped automotive media darling and hot shoe Justin Bell to pilot their RC-F GT up the peak this year and Bell will have a full arsenal of weapons to use in his hill climb attack.  The RC-F GT has just shy of 470HP, weighs 800lbs less than the street going model thanks to a diet of carbon fiber, and will stick to the road thanks to some Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD tires.

I’m not sure what the team’s target time is for the hill climb or exactly what class the RC-F GT will enter but the one thing that is certain is that Justin Bell is likely to have buckets full of fun piloting this thing to the peak.  Hopefully, we’ll get some tasty video of this thing in action at which I will share with you all!  In the meantime click the thumbnail below for pictures and for official specs see the press release below as well.

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Press Release:

TORRANCE, Calif. (June 22, 2015) – On June 28th, Lexus will compete in the Time Attack class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The luxury automaker will be campaigning the all-new RC F GT Concept, a vehicle that builds upon the legacy of the IS F CCS-R vehicles that last competed at Pikes Peak in 2013. This historic event, now in its 93rd running, is a race against the clock that tests man and machine with the changing elements, altitude, and a treacherous 12.42 mile, 156 turn course that winds up the peak from 9,390 feet up to the 14,115 foot summit.

The new Lexus will be piloted up the mountain by British driving ace, 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and automotive media personality Justin Bell. “With very little time behind the wheel, the RC F GT Concept has already proven fast and easy to drive, very much like the production models, actually. We expect the race car will only pick up pace as we engage more testing, tuning, and data acquisition on the mountain”, said Bell. A seasoned driver in a wide range of vehicles, Bell will bring his vast experience and knowledge to bear on the development side of the RC F GT Concept.

Serving as much more than a mere competition vehicle, the new RC F GT Concept represents  a pivotal piece of the Lexus F brand motorsports effort along with the forthcoming global GT3 program. Much like the IS F CCS-R vehicles whose efforts in motorsports helped develop key components such as the engine and transmission for the 2015 RC F, the new GT Concept program will continue to elaborate on the F brand’s performance mission, allowing Lexus engineers to experiment with prototype components, tuning ideas, settings, and software development.

A focused race car involving a high level of composite materials, the RCF GT Concept weighs about 800 lbs. less (3130 lbs.) than the street version, while retaining the same engine and transmission as the production RC F, though states of tune are adjusted for the competition environment. With RC F GT Concept, engineers can test the engine, transmission and chassis components in various conditions, experimenting with different tuning ideas, settings and software.

“The continued evolution of the F brand remains a top priority for Lexus, and motorsports provide us an outstanding opportunity to develop more than concepts and components for F brand products. Our niche line of high performance products are geared toward enthusiast drivers, and also make a very strong statement about Lexus’ engineering capabilities. Competition efforts like Pikes Peak help nurture a performance engineering culture and ideology that will have the greatest influence of future F brand products”, said Jeff Bracken group Vice President and General Manager Lexus division.

RC F GT Concept 

Curb weight 3130 lbs. (1420 kgs.)
Engine displacement 5.0 Liter
Horsepower/torque 467+ Hp at 7100 rpm/ 390+ lbs.-ft at 4800 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase 107.4 inches (2730 mm)
Overall Length 189.2 inches (4805 mm)
Overall Width 77.8 inches (1915 mm)
Overall Height 53.4 (1357 mm)
Weight Reduction Carbon fiber construction of: hood, roof, trunk lid, door panels, front and rear over fenders, front canards, rear spoiler, interior trim and dashboard. Polycarbonate window.
Tires Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08R 265/40R18
Yokohama ADVAN A005 280/680R18

 

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Hype: GReddy Now Taking Pre-Orders On Rocket Bunny V2 “Boss” Conversion For Nissan S14

Posted on 05.27.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Love them or hate them, Rocket Bunny aero kits are what all the “cool children” are doing right now.  Just about every popular platform has a Rocket Bunny kit available and in some cases, several.  The latest Rocket Bunny kit to come out of TRA Kyoto is for the Nissan S14 (95-98 240SX).  Its actually the second kit for the S14.  The first (V1) kit was just about making things wider.  This new kit not only widens the S14’s stance but converts the front end into something completely different from what Nissan had in mind when they originally designed the car.

The Rocket Bunny V2 kit essentially converts the S14 into a very “muscle car” looking vehicle.  In fact the V2 kit’s nickname is the “Boss” conversion.  Perhaps that is a reference to the Boss 302 Mustang, yet this conversion actually resembles something closer to a Plymouth Barracuda.  To make things even more punk rock, the kit actually eliminates the rear bumper all together for a big rear diffuser.  The OEM bumper may still fit on the car but don’t quote us on that.

If this new Rocket Bunny aero kit stirs your lemonade, you can pre-order the V2 Boss conversion right now from GReddy.  The complete FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) kit which includes: a front lip, front bumper, hood, front fenders, grill, headlight mounts, headlights, side skirts, rear “duck tail” wing, rear fenders, and rear diffuser will set you back $4,380.  The conversion requires turn signals from an S13 and aren’t included in the package.

What do you think of the new Rocket Bunny V2 aero kit?  Do you like the muscle car conversion look?  Do you hate it?  Are you tired of Rocket Bunny kits or do you want to Rocket Bunny all the things?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.  For more pictures of the Boss conversion just click the thumbnails.

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[Source: GReddy.com]

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Hype Event: Scion Invites Industry Influencers And Media For A Casual Intro To The New Scion iM & iA

Posted on 05.19.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Usually, when a OEM introduces a new car to their line up the occasional is marked with pomp and circumstance in the form of a big event at some even bigger auto show with lights and cameras.  Scion tends to do things differently.  To celebrate their upcoming new models the iM and the iA Scion invited a group of industry influencers, car crews, and media out to the Toyota mothership campus for a private but casual car show.  Knowing that many influencers enjoy various types of cars Scion even encouraged owners of classic cars, low riders, and exotic cars to come out.  How cool is that?  Even cooler was the line up of food trucks serving up some pretty delicious fare.

A few aftermarket staple companies were on hand as well like GReddy and TEIN.  Formula Drift drivers Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck made an appearance and most importantly attendees had a chance to get up close and personal with the new Scion iA and iM.  I was lucky enough to get invited to the event thanks our friends at MotorMavens so of course I brought my trusty camera and whipped up a nice gallery for you!  Check it out below but make sure you are logged into your Facebook account to view it!

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Event Hype: Z Bash 2015 Drew Hundreds Of Loyal Z-ists Despite Wind And Rain (Gallery)

Posted on 04.27.15 | Andrew Beckford 2 Comments

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There are lots of cars that have a “following.”  Cars that certainly have fans who are enthusiastic to that particular make and model.  Cars like the Subaru WRX, Honda Civic, etc.  Then there are cars that have “cult followings”.  These cars have rabid, extremely devoted, perhaps even devout fans that will snarl and fight tooth and nail to defend the honor of their coveted vehicle and derive great joy from owning said vehicle.    There are really only a handful of true cult cars in the world and the Datsun/Nissan Z is definitely on that short list.

The Z was originally created by Nissan (Datsun in America back then) to compete with the current European sports cars of the time from Jaguar, Porsche, and BMW.  The President of Nissan Motors USA Yutaka Katayama, known affectionately by Z enthusiasts as “Mr. K” saw the potential impact that Nissan’s sports car could have in the states and was responsible for bringing the Z to America.  The rest as they say, is history.

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Several iterations and generations later the Z is still beloved by hundreds of thousands of fans today.  Be it a modern 370Z or a classic 240Z, each generation has its throngs of dedicated fans.  Serving those fans is famed Z shop, Motorsport Auto.  For 30 years Motorsport Auto has been the “go to” shop for anyone looking to modify or restore a Z from virtually any generation.  Once a year Z fans all gather together at Motorsport Auto in Orange, CA for the annual “Z Bash” meet, which is essentially the mecca of Z.  Despite the rain, hundreds of people came out from far and wide to check out beautifully restored classic Z cars, built modern Z cars, buy, sell, and trade Z parts, and just celebrate all things Z.  When I say “far and wide” I really mean it too.  Plenty of people came from out of state but some people even flew in from other countries.  In fact, there was a guy who came all the way from Amsterdam!  I went to the event and was completely overwhelmed with the amount of cars on hand so I instead focused on the cars that caught my eye the most.  Just click the thumbnails for larger pictures.  Also stay tuned to our Instagram at @MotorworldHype for more pictures that aren’t in the gallery.  FYI: all the pictures are in HD resolution!

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Hype: A Quick Look Inside Mazda USA’s Unofficial Museum

Posted on 04.27.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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A short while ago a group of journalists (including myself) were invited to Mazda USA’s R&D headquarters in sunny industrial Irvine California get a look into their Mazdaspeed motorsports ladder and preview their upcoming season.  We even got to meet a few of their young gun drivers but you’ll get more on that in a later post.  What this post is about is what happened after the presentation.  Once the presentation was over the group was taken into what the staff at Mazda R&D refers to as “The Basement”.  Technically, its more of an underground parking garage but semantics aside, “The Basement” is pretty special.  Why?  Because it is the area in which several historically significant Mazda race cars, production cars, and concept cars are kept.   Want to see a 4-Rotor Le Mans race car?  There are two of them in the basement.  How about a super rare Miata coupe? Not hard top but a true coupe.  Yes, Virginia, it does exist.  There were also vintage race cars, and other show room stock rare production cars like the short lived all wheel drive turbo-charged 323 GTX hatchback.

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This place is a candy store for any Mazda enthusiast and the best part is they let me take pictures!  Well, I couldn’t take pictures of everything I saw down there but I shot as much as they’d let me get away with.  Just click on any of the thumbnails in this post to see a few cool pieces of Mazda history.

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Hype: Subaru Teases The Future Of BRZ With STI Concept At New York Auto Show

Posted on 04.02.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Ever since the BRZ was released Subaru fans have been holding out for the possibility that an STI version would be on the horizon.  Just as the WRX has its ultimate version, the BRZ is begging for a bawls-out, track weapon variation.  For years Subaru has trolled and teased a BRZ STI but has yet to say anything official on the possibility of one in the future.  At New York this week Subaru may have finally given their fans some real hope of a BRZ STI by way of a concept that sits center stage at their booth.

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Dubbed the “STI Performance Concept” this wide body BRZ is meant as a showcase for everything that STI can do with existing Subaru platforms.  It looks like Subaru may be moving to position STI to produce aftermarket products as well as top end performance models, essentially replacing the Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) brand in America.  So perhaps Subaru may not release an STi version of the BRZ but release an “STI package” that any BRZ owner can bolt on and achieve STI-level performance.  I just wrote “STI” a lot…  Anyhow while it may not be what we imagined its still a step in the right direction.

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As for the concept itself, its essentially a slightly toned down version of the BRZ Super GT race car.  In fact this concept has the same engine as the Super GT version under the hood.  Some chassis components, the intake, and exhaust are “off the shelf” STI parts while the crazy wide body kit is likely a one-off.  Although it would be pretty awesome to make the kit available for production.

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What do you think about the STI Performance Concept”? Do you think this could really mean a future BRZ STI or do you think Subaru is just trolling us again?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.  For HD resolution pics of the STI Performance Concept just click the thumbnails and for more info see the press release below.

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Press Release:

SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. UNVEILS STI PERFORMANCE CONCEPT AT 2015 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

• Concept showcases Subaru Tecnica International (STI) vehicle performance capabilities
• Concept features enhancements for chassis, body, and air intake/exhaust systems
• Concept’s engine is based on the racing engine from the Subaru BRZ Super GT race car

New York, N.Y. –  Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the STI Performance Concept at the New York International Auto Show.

The STI Performance Concept signifies a plan for U.S.-expansion of Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the performance division of Subaru, in its three core business areas; aftermarket parts, STI-tuned cars and motorsports.

The expansion has already begun, with STI-engineered parts replacing Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) aftermarket parts in the U.S. market, and with STI’s increasing engineering presence in Subaru of America’s Global RallyCross team.

In the future, further models tuned by STI will be available in the US. These cars could feature more extensive modifications from the factory than previously offered, such as suspension, performance, braking, chassis and aerodynamic upgrades.

“At STI we know from our racing that to win, it is important not only to have high power, but also that all aspects of performance are balanced over the whole car,” said Yoshio Hirakawa, president of Subaru Tecnica International, Inc. “When we achieve this balance, the driver feels that the car is easy to handle and reliable, and he can use it fully to the limits of its performance. Our plan is to produce cars and accessories that drivers can really enjoy.”

The STI Performance Concept is a showcase for the engineering prowess and tuning capability of STI, featuring the racing engine developed by STI for the BRZ Super GT racecar, suspension and chassis components and aerodynamic upgrades.

Complete cars (extensive tuning by STI) and performance parts available now in Japan focus on the WRX STI, Forester and BRZ models. The Japanese domestic market uses the nomenclature “S model” as its naming for the WRX STI and uses “tS” on BRZ and Forester vehicles that have STI components, but a naming convention for any future US models has not yet been established.

STI was founded as Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries’ motor sports division in 1988. In 1989, a first-generation Subaru Legacy, tuned by STI, broke the FIA-certified world speed record over 100,000 kilometers. From there, STI moved on to the World Rally Championship, winning 3 constructors championships and 3 driver championships for Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg. It currently competes in the Nurburgring 24 Hour Challenge race winning its class two times in 2011 and 2012 and also in the Super GT series with its BRZ-based Super GT.

For more information on Subaru Tecnica International go to http://www.sti.jp/en/

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Hype: The Honda Civic Type R Is Officially Coming To North America! Lets Have A Look Shall We? (Video)

Posted on 04.01.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Civic Concept

Its officially official!  Honda just announced during their New York Auto Show press conference that the 10th generation Civic will have base, Si, and Type R variants sold in North America!  To give an idea of what the 10th generation Civic will look like, Honda brought out this crazy lime-green concept coupe.  Now, this isn’t necessarily to say that the American version of the Type R will be a coupe.  Honda stated that the 1oth gen Civic will come in sedan, coupe, and 5 door hatchback flavors.  So, America may get the same version of the Type R that the rest of the world is getting or perhaps Honda will try to differentiate the American Type R from the others by making it a coupe in this market.  It is not clear at the moment but will likely be revealed later on.  The other question is if the new Civic Si will feature the same turbo charged VTEC engine as the Type R, albeit detuned a bit or will the Type R be the only VTEC Turbo in the line up?  There are plenty of juicy questions to ponder on but we can all still revel in the fact that this isn’t an April Fool’s joke and the Type R is finally hitting American shores!  For my thoughts on the car and a video over view scroll below.  You can also click on any of the thumbnails for an HD resolution picture and get more info about the 10th gen Civic in the press release.  What do you think about this concept?  Are you excited about the Civic Type R coming to North America?  How much do you think it should cost?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us @MotorworldHype.

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Press Release:

Apr 1, 2015 – NEW YORK

  • 10th-generation, 2016 model year Civic focuses on sporty, fun-to-drive dynamics
  • Civic lineup to include Sedan, Coupe, and 5-door Hatchback body types, as well as Si and Type-R versions
  • First Honda model to apply new VTEC® Turbo engines in North America
  • Civic, America’s most popular small car is designed, developed and produced in North America

Today Honda unveiled its ultra-sporty Civic Concept at the New York International Auto Show as the brand prepares to launch its completely reimagined 10th-Generation Civic models beginning this fall. With a sharper focus on spirited performance and class-leading versatility, the new Civic lineup will include Civic Sedan, Coupe and Si models along with the return of the Civic hatchback, followed by the launch of a new Civic Type-R as the performance flagship of the Civic lineup. The new Civic also will be the first U.S. model to apply new VTEC® Turbo engines from the company’s Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrain series.

“The new Civic will be, flat out, the most dynamic, the most technologically advanced and the most refined and stylish Civic we’ve ever made,” said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.  “In every way, this will be an epic Civic.”

The Civic Concept provides a tantalizing glimpse forward to the thrilling design direction for the all-new 10th-generation Civic lineup launching in the U.S. this fall. Featuring a longer wheelbase and lower, wider stance, the new Civic emphasizes its aggressive personality and the engaging experience it will provide behind the wheel. Proportionally it boasts a longer hood, a shorter front overhang, a more set-back greenhouse and a shorter rear deck, lending the Civic a more athletic and “in motion” appearance.

The low and wide proportions are underscored by its more aggressive wheel-to-body relationship and pronounced fender arches. Its sporty and expressive face is highlighted by bright new LED headlights flanking the “Flying H” Honda grille which is supported by deeply sculpted lower air intakes.

“Charismatic, connected and athletic, our goal was to create a design that is emotional and sporty yet with a sense of timelessness and simplicity,” said Guy Melville-Brown, Chief Exterior designer of the Civic concept, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “In this we set out to create a vehicle that goes beyond the superficial and embraces the very philosophy of what a true Civic should be; it’s a real game changer.”

The 10th-generation Civic is based on a compact platform that targets benchmark levels of efficiency, dynamic performance, safety and manufacturing productivity. Leveraging this new platform in conjunction with new Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrains – including a new 1.5-liter VTEC® Turbo engine with direct injection, a short-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, and a new, more sporty and efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) – the Civic will target class-leading fuel economy ratings and fun-to-drive performance with near-luxury levels of cabin quietness and ride refinement.

The new Civic will also target class-leading levels of safety performance and will offer the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control and Honda LaneWatch™, along with Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.

The new Civic marks the first time that global development of both the sedan and coupe models is being led by a North American R&D team, with design led by a team from Honda’s Los Angeles design studio and development centered in the company’s Raymond, Ohio vehicle development center. The North American version of the Civic Sedan will be produced in Greensburg, Indiana, and in Alliston, Ontario. The Civic Coupe and Si models will also be manufactured in Alliston. The VTEC Turbo engine will be produced in Anna, Ohio with engines also produced in Alliston. The CVT will be produced in Russells Point, Ohio. Together, these four Honda plants have invested in new equipment, processes and training to prepare for new Civic production, which will use domestic and globally sourced parts. Production of the five-door hatchback will take place at the company’s Swindon, UK plant.

Honda is in the midst of a series of major product launches that began with the freshened CR-V – 2015 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year – and continues with the spring launch of the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover and the summer launch of the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot SUV. This will be followed by the new Civic release beginning this fall.

About Civic
The current generation Civic has been the best-selling small car in America with individual retail car buyers every year since its launch as a 2012 model in calendar year 2011, with sales in excess of 300,000 units in each of the past three years. The first-generation Civic debuted in America in 1972, and Civic has played a leading role in advancing fuel efficiency, small-car safety performance, design, technology and fun-to-drive performance over nine generations of development. American car buyers have purchased more than 10 million Civics over the course of 43 years and Civic has been manufactured in North America since 1986, with cumulative production in North America approaching 9 million units.

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive automobiles for American car buyers through approximately 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Accord, Crosstour, Civic, Fit, and CR-Z along with the Pilot, and CR-V sport-utility vehicles and the Odyssey minivan.

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Hype: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Roadster Gets A Reasonable Price

Posted on 03.30.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The 2016 Mazda MX-5 roadster is easily one of the most anticipated cars in a good long while.  In fact I would argue that gearheads are just as excited for the MX-5 release as they were for the release of hypercars like the McLaren P1, LaFerrari, and Porsche 918.  The difference with the MX-5 is that it will be way more available and much more affordable.  Today Mazda has announced that the new MX-5 will have a starting MSRP of $24,995 for the “entry-level sport trim”.

This puts the ’16 MX-5 in Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ territory.  Obviously, that number will go up if buyers opt for other trims and options but for those who just one the pure MX-5 experience, the price for entry is very enticing.  The true test is if the new MX-5 will live up to the legendary reputation that precedes it.  If it does, then the other test will be if Mazda can keep up with demand.  If you don’t need a review to convince you, then I would highly recommend checking with your local Mazda dealer now to see if you can reserve an MX-5 before they sell out.

Press Release:

IRVINE, Calif., March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced that the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will start at $24,9151 in entry-level Sport trim. Mazda has instilled the latest MX-5 with the pure driving experience that has won worldwide fanfare since the arrival of the first-generation MX-5 in 1989 as a 1990 model.

Yet, the fourth-generation MX-5 provides Mazda’s latest safety features and technologies and maintains an inflation-adjusted price close to that of the original roadster. The 2016 MX-5 launches this summer and will be available in Sport, Club and Grand Touring trim levels.

“As we get closer to the MX-5’s summer on-sale date, we’re seeing a surge in interest and excitement from enthusiasts and journalists,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. “Already, early MX-5 reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and we expect the momentum that MX-5 has garnered to continue to build as drivers get behind the wheel of our fourth-generation sports car.”

Infused with SKYACTIV®2 TECHNOLOGY and KODO—Soul of Motion design, the 2016 MX-5 is smaller, lighter and more aggressive than its predecessor, with the base MX-5 Sport expected to outperform the sportiest previous road-going variants. However, even with its focus on delivering maximum driving enjoyment, the 2016 MX-5 boasts more creature comforts and a more functional interior than the vehicle it replaces.

For the first time, a six-speed manual transmission will come standard as well as LED headlights, USB audio input, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a leather-wrapped shift knob and power door locks.

“The three trim levels available – Sport, Club and Grand Touring – are tailored for three very different types of customers, broadening the MX-5’s appeal,” said Rod McLaughlin, MX-5 vehicle line manager, MNAO. “The Sport model is for those desiring a pure, lightweight, unadulterated wind-in-the-hair driving experience. MX-5 Club is for those seeking a more aggressive appearance and driving experience and Grand Touring models are for loyal MX-5 owners who seek premium amenities and a driving experience that only MX-5 can deliver.”

A full list of pricing information, specifications, options, packages and other information will be available at a later date.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.

1 Starting price is manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).  MSRP does not include $820 destination charge (Alaska $865), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
2 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).

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Hype: Mazda Bringing “Club Edition” 2016 MX-5 To 2015 New York Auto Show

Posted on 03.25.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The base 2016 MX-5 isn’t even in show rooms yet and Mazda is already working on tantalizing variants!  Mazda has officially announced that there will be a “Club Edition” of the 2016 MX-5 and it will make its debut next month at the New York International Auto Show.  The concept of the club edition is relatively new and showed up a few years ago for the current generation MX-5.  The current club edition doesn’t offer much in the way of additional performance but does put together an exterior package that looks pretty sharp.

Mazda hasn’t announced if the Club Edition for the new MX-5 will also be purely aesthetic or add some function as well.  The current Club Edition was created as something of a send off for the current gen MX-5 which would explain why its strictly cosmetic.  However, with the new Club Edition coming at the beginning of the next-gen MX-5’s life cycle, I am hoping that they do more than make it look nicer.  At the very least perhaps Mazda may re-tune the suspension to make it even more nimble than the base MX-5 promises to be.

Either way, I am looking forward to see what they come up with!  Although, if I’m being honest with myself, what I really want to see is the new Mazdaspeed3 that we thought we were going to get at the end of last year.  If there was ever a time to debut the new Mazdaspeed3, it would be just before the summer kicks off.  Though, even if Mazda doesn’t reveal the new ‘speed3 at New York, there is still the possibility it could debut at the LA Auto Show this year, which would actually work out better on a personal level.  But hey, if Mazda is ready to pull the trigger I’d rather it be sooner than later.

Anyhow, I digress.  I am very curious as to how they will handle the new Club Edition.  As soon as I get more news about it I will share all the juicy details.  So stay tuned!

Press Release:

IRVINE, Calif., March 25, 2015 : Ready to join the Club? The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club edition, that is.

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) will be introducing the North American-spec MX-5 Club next week at the New York International Auto Show. The MX-5 Club represents the most aggressive road-going iteration of Mazda’s fourth-generation flagship roadster.

The 2016 MX-5 sheds approximately 150 lbs. from its predecessor through use of lightweight, efficient SKYACTIV®1 TECHNOLOGY, now weighing 2,332 lbs. when equipped with the standard SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission (2,381 lbs. with the six-speed automatic). Powering all North American models will be a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV engine, rated at 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque.

Shorter than the first-generation MX-5 that initially graced U.S. shores in 1989, yet wider than the outgoing model and with its engine lower and farther back in its chassis, the 2016 MX-5 is designed to deliver maximum driving enjoyment. The MX-5 Club aims to amplify that experience, harking back to the early lightweight sports cars that inspired it, but serving as a beacon for the future as a thoroughly modern, sophisticated package.

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Hype: The Nissan GT-R Turns 45, Gets More Power, And Loves Gooolllldddd

Posted on 03.17.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Gold Edition

Its been 45 years since the legend of the GT-R began, and ever since it has been coveted by speed freaks all over the world.  The GT-R has seen several re-designs and each one has its own tale to tell.  From the classic Hakosuka C10, to the beastly R32, to the now physics defying R35, each iteration of the GT-R remained always evolving and always drool worthy.  To mark the GT-R’s 45th birthday Nissan will gifting the GT-R with a few extra ponies, leaving the MSRP alone, and gracing us with a special edition model that comes in a special gold (well technically its called Silica Brass) paint color.

2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Gold Edition 2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Gold Edition

The GT-R Premium and Black editions will receive an extra 50 horsepower bringing their totals to 550 while the GT-R NISMO will remain at 600 horsepower.  The Premium Edition will also come with new 20 spoke aluminum RAYS wheels finished in a “near dark” color and wrapped with Dunlop Sport Maxx GT 600 run flat tires.

The 45th Anniversary Limited Edition will be based on the Premium trim but come in the Silica Brass color mentioned earlier.  It will also feature a special gold colored vin number plate in the engine compartment and will also come with a commemorative plaque on the center console.  The 45th Anniversary Edition will be extremely limited and “less than 30″ examples will be sold in the U.S.A. which means we can likely expect magnificent mark ups from any Nissan dealership that is chosen to sell one.  This also means by the time you finish reading this it will probably already be much too late to order one even if you do have the cash for it.  Fortunately for me that isn’t a concern as there is no way I’d be able to afford one anyway!

For more info on the changes and prices of the 2016 GT-R and its trim models check out the press release below.  For a closer look just click on any of the thumbnails!
Press Release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan today announced pricing for the 2016 Nissan GT-R supercar, which is on sale now at select Nissan dealers in the United States. Prices* for the three 2016 GT-R models remains unchanged from last year, despite several significant enhancements, including:

  • Additional five horsepower for the GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition
  • All-new 20-spoke wheels for the GT-R Premium
  • New 45th Anniversary Gold Edition, featuring a special exterior paint color

The 45th Anniversary Gold Edition, built off of the GT-R Premium model, commemorates the GT-R’s long heritage of world-class high performance. Featuring a special gold paint color, the limited edition model also includes a special gold-tone VIN plate located inside the engine compartment and a special commemorative plaque on the interior center console. The paint color itself is the same “Silica Brass” color that marked the 2001 Skyline GT-R M-Spec (R34 Type). Fewer than 30 of these special GT-Rs are slated for the United States market.

The GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition are now rated at 550 horsepower**, the result of additional fine-tuning of the advanced VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6’s engine electronics. The power rating for the exclusive GT-R NISMO remains unchanged at 600 horsepower. Along with the 50 additional horsepower and 18 additional lb-ft of torque, the GT-R NISMO features enhanced aerodynamic features, body reinforcement and ultra-precise handling (versus the Premium and Black Edition models).

The GT-R Premium’s new 20-spoke RAYS® aluminum-alloy forged wheels with premium dark (near black) finish replace the previous 10-spoke design. The wheels are mounted with sticky nitrogen-filled Dunlop® Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT ultra high performance run-flat tires, sized 255/40ZRF20 front and 285/35ZRF20 rear.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for the 2016 Nissan GT-R:

GT-R Premium $101,770 USD
GT-R Black Edition $111,510 USD
GT-R NISMO $149,990 USD

Destination and handling $1,595

About the 2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO
Now in its second year of availability, the Nissan GT-R NISMO delivers “factory tuned” supercar dynamics with advanced aerodynamics and ultra-precise handling. It takes the “standard” GT-R to an even higher level of street-legal driving excitement.

As in its debut year, for 2016 the GT-R NISMO model is available in very limited numbers in North America. It features exclusive styling that embraces the longstanding racing philosophy of form following function. It has numerous motorsports-inspired technologies to enhance the car’s performance through optimized aerodynamics, suspension and powertrain, creating a well-balanced machine that is at home on both the road and track***.

The 2016 GT-R NISMO’s 600-horsepower VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 is rated at 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque**. The engine’s high-flow, high-capacity turbochargers are similar to those used for GT3 racing and offer improved breathing. Optimized individual ignition timing control for each cylinder and upgraded fuel pump (versus standard models) help improve combustion.

The VR38DETT V6 is backed by an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds. The sequential-shifting transaxle features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for quick shifts. High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.

The 4-wheel independent suspension receives unique NISMO tuning, with reduced weight and additional roll stiffness. Additional adhesive bonding (in addition to spot welding) helps increase body shell rigidity.

The GT-R NISMO also features a special aerodynamic body treatment designed to enhance rod holding and minimize the negative impact of drag while adding to the GT-R’s muscular appearance. The unique front bumper, engine undercover and carbon rear spoiler increase downforce, lowering the center of gravity and generating an additional 220 pounds of downforce (at 185 mph) compared to the standard GT-R models. The car’s aerodynamic characteristics are tuned to ensure the downforce is equally spread front to rear at all speeds for progressive handling characteristics. A widened front bumper configuration and elongated yet tapered rear bumper design keep the drag to Cd 0.26, same with that of standard Nissan GT-R. Four exterior colors are available for the GT-R NISMO: Solid Red, Jet Black, Super Silver and Pearl White.

Inside, the Nissan GT-R NISMO’s racing-style RECARO® seats offer comfortable yet firm support for the driver and front passenger. NISMO racers influenced the design of the steering wheel, which is dressed in Italian-made Alcantara® with three spokes, red leather center mark and red stitching to give the best combination of grip, feedback and comfort. The combi meter has carbon-like finish, and tachometer features a red design. The meter hood is also dressed with Alcantara®. Interior trim features include discreet red stitching on the seats, center console, door trim and steering wheel.

About the 2016 Nissan GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition
For 2016, the Nissan GT-R defends its position as one of the most striking supercars in the market today – with the addition of five horsepower (non-NISMO only), new 20-spoke wheels for the GT-R Premium and a limited-availability 45th Anniversary Gold Edition with special exterior paint color.

All 2016 Nissan GT-Rs are again built on an exclusive Premium Midship platform, which enables the use of the unique independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system. This system places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, optimizing weight distribution and maximizing handling capability. Total vehicle adjustability is provided by set-up switches located in the center of the instrument panel, enabling the driver to adjust transmission, shock absorbers and the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R) among three settings – Normal, Special or R.

As in previous years, the 2016 GT-R Premium and Black Edition’s 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by specially trained technicians, a process similar to racing powerplant construction. An aluminum plate is added to the front of each engine showing the name of the “Takumi” engine craftsman. The advanced VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 is now rated at 550 horsepower. Torque remains at 463 lb-ft. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.

GT-R’s interior balances functionality with a sense of ease and comfort. It features sculpted performance bucket seats for an optimal driving position and a cockpit-style instrument panel with a large center-mounted tachometer and multi-function display – which includes mechanical and driving information, as well as an on-board driving recorder. A specially designed 11-speaker Bose® sound system with speakers mounted in rigid aluminum die cast panels, which provides sound quality suitable for a supercar, is standard. The system includes a Bose® Active Noise Cancellation system (not applied to GT-R NISMO) tuned to reduce engine booming sounds. Also standard on all models is a RearView Monitor.

The 2016 GT-R again includes a choice of three interior color schemes, including a hand-stitched Premium Interior Package, offered in both Ivory and Red Amber, with semi-aniline leather appointments with hand-stitching on the front seats, along with accents on the instrument panel, steering wheel, door trim, armrests and shift knob.

The GT-R Black Edition adds special lightweight black aluminum forged RAYS® wheels, unique red and black interior, Recaro® leather-appointed seats and a unique dry carbon fiber**** rear spoiler.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 244,500 employees globally, Nissan sold almost 5.2 million vehicles and generated revenue of 10.5 trillion yen (USD 105 billion) in fiscal 2013. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

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