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Auto blogWed, 27 Aug 2014 14:58:00 EST
Racing is all about finding the little advantages over competitors that allow you to get ahead. Sometimes those are legitimate means - like being able to take advantage of a better line through a corner - and other times drivers get a little more creative for a leg up over opponents. Sometimes things might even go a little too far. Case in point: just watch the opening of this Mazda MX-5 Cup race from Silverstone in the UK.
According to the YouTube description, we're riding with James Rogers in this video, and he appears to be pretty talented behind the wheel. Rogers has a great start from fifth that has him in third within just a few corners. He starts stalking the top two drivers, who are already having a fantastic race themselves, but then we see that the person in second is clearly willing to do whatever it takes to win. Just watch the video, and you'll see what we mean. Bravo (?) to that racer for some very quick, albeit fiendish, thinking.
Looking to appeal to the compact tuner crowd, Mazda brought two different flavors of its 2014 Mazda3 to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week. The Club Sport 3 Concept hatchback (above) has more of a racing vibe to it, while the Vector 3 Concept sedan (right) looks to inject a little extra fashion into the all-new Mazda3.
Hotting up the 3, Mazda stuck with the stock 2.5-liter engine on the Club Sport 3 Concept but added a limited-slip differential and six-speed manual gearbox, the latter of which was lifted from the CX-5 crossover. Other upgrades include coil-over shocks, a performance exhaust, Brembo brakes and an aero body kit - the latter of which will be offered to buyers at a later date.
While the Vector 3 Concept does get some performance bits like two-piece Brembo brake rotors and grippier tires, the focus on this sedan is all about styling. Starting with a custom paint job and ghost stripes, the whole look is tied together with 19-inch, V-spoke Rays wheels.
In a temporarily repurposed airport hanger in Monterey, CA, the world caught its first glimpse of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata tonight, and I was fortunate enough to attend in person along with my fellow auto media colleagues, Mazda execs, a couple hundred Miata devotees and, oddly, a fair number of Duran Duran fans. The klieg lights have dimmed, Simon Le Bon is no longer ringing in my ears, and I'm left to ponder what I've seen. I've scavenged my notes - and my Twitter feed - to give you some details and brief thoughts.
Fair Warning: I can't claim to be completely impartial (I own a second-generation NB and consider the Miata franchise to be one of but a few sacrosanct franchises in modern motoring), but I will share my honest first impressions of the new car, both good and bad.
Here are my notes: