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Vale, North Carolina, United States
The horsepower wars are tightening among the Detroit Three, as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger are getting bigger, more powerful, and yes, more fuel efficient.
That came into sharper focus this week as more information was revealed about the most insane Challenger ever - the 707-horsepower Hellcat - followed quickly by Ford's in-depth showcase of the 2015 Mustang in Dearborn.
It's shaping up to be a golden age for enthusiasts, and what's under the hood is becoming more important than ever.
As is the case with most auto shows, waiting for the reveal of hot new models is the worst part. So, while our own Drew Phillips has been wandering the halls here in Las Vegas since they unlocked the doors for SEMA 2014, we didn't expect him to come back with any big reveals until later in the day. Until this happened.
Meandering by the Ford stand, Phillips eagle-eyed a trunk lid that caught his attention. Popping out from an otherwise draped 2015 Mustang, the matte black lid clearly has the name King Cobra embossed on the rear.
That name is interesting for a few reasons: to start, Ford hasn't used the Cobra name (without "Jet" attached) since way back in 2004, so a new snake is certainly something to take note of. Second, the King Cobra name dates all the way back to the ill-remembered Mustang II, meaning there is a clear link to Blue Oval history here.
When is a stock, 167-horsepower Mazda MX-5 Miata quicker than a Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Lamborghini Gallardo, Lotus Elise and a Porsche 911? When it's raining. Sort of.
Mazda Canada arranged a unique drag race to show off the fact that the Miata's optional power retractable folding hardtop can go from top-down to top-up in just 12 seconds flat. In this video, all six cars line up for a drag race, and it starts to rain (well, sort of - but you'll have to watch the video all the way to the end to see what we mean). The green flag is waved, and the timer starts as soon as the convertibles begin to put their tops up. But because the Miata's roof mechanism gets the car's roof back up a full 5.1 seconds quicker than the second-place car, the Mazda gets a serious advantage off the line for the actual drag race.
It's a fun video. And while we've spoiled the results (come on, the video was uploaded by Mazda, you knew the Miata was going to win), be sure to see how it all unfolds, below.