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Auto blogThu, 06 Jun 2013 14:57:00 EST
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.
It's a fairly well known fact that removing weight from a car is essentially a panacea for many of the modern automobiles problems. Does it handle like crap? Remove weight. Underpowered? Don't add power; trim the fat. Need to improve fuel economy? It's diet time.
Actually executing a major weight reduction program, though, much like with human beings, is no easy task. Unlike you or I, where motivation is the issue, the prohibitive measure in trimming a car's waistline is money. Lightweight materials are expensive, with carbon fiber and carbon-fiber reinforced plastic still primarily in the domain of higher end vehicles. Even aluminum construction, pioneered on a mass-produced level by Audi and Jaguar, is only now starting to make its way into the mainstream, thanks to the upcoming Ford F-150.
With this concept, though, Ford is attempting to show that a mass-produced, lightweight vehicle isn't too far off. This is the Lightweight Concept, and while it may look like a Fusion, it weighs as much as a Fiesta. For reference, the lightest Fusion available to the public is the 3,323-pound, 2.5-liter model with a manual transmission. A manually equipped, 1.6-liter Fiesta, meanwhile, is just 2,537 pounds.
After one of the worst winters in recent memory for much of the country, summer is finally here. It's time to drop the top, open the sunroof or at least put down the windows and take a long drive. The United States Postal Service is celebrating the season's sun in automotive style with two new hot rod Forever stamps.
Both stamps depict classic '32 Ford hot rods. One shows the car from the front at a low angle in red (pictured above), while the other depicts the car from the back in black with flames running down the side.
To introduce the new stamps on their first day of availability, the USPS went straight to the source at the National Street Rod Association Street Rod Nationals in York, PA. They were unveiled by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Car Crazy host Barry Meguiar and NSRA Special Events Director Jerry Kennedy.