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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.
Porsche is having a good sales year in the US, with 25,129 vehicles delivered year-to-date coming off the automaker's best July sales ever. That's a 31-percent increase over the same period last year (19,253 deliveries). With year-to-date Panamera sales a surprising 36 percent lower than last year, what possibly could be driving Porsche's sales surge? If you answered Cayman and Boxster sales, you're right. But dealerships are noticing another factor: more women are coming in to buy Porsches, CNBC reports, the bulk of whom picked up new Cayenne SUVs. The German automaker's sales to women in the US have more than doubled in the past two years, increasing from 7 percent to 15 percent. This has helped year-to-date Cayenne sales reach 11,082 - 31 percent higher than the same time last year.
Porsche executives have been trying to tap into the women's market, as evidenced in part by the company's move to pick professional tennis player Maria Sharapova as a brand ambassador. Porsche maintains it has not moved to dramatically change its brand image, but it has shown a number of ads in recent years that uncharacteristically emphasize its vehicles' practicality under the "Engineered for Magic. Everyday" banner - some featuring female drivers.
Be sure to watch CNBC's video report on Porsche's female movement below - you'll also find one of the aforementioned Engineered For Magic ads as well as an interesting case study video on the campaign from ad agency Cramer-Krasselt.
Walk into a Porsche dealer today, place an order for a Macan and you'll be looking at a waiting period of six months or more before you can expect delivery. That may be common enough for high-end European automakers, but the Macan is meant to lure new buyers to the brand, and the waitlist could be enough to deter them from sticking around.
The solution? Offer to lease them a Boxster or Cayman until their new Macan arrives. Shorter in term that the usual new-car lease, these six-month terms are designed to keep buyers from turning their backs, all the while experiencing the kind of vehicle Porsche does best.
Of course it doesn't hurt that the dealer then gets a used sports car to sell again once the short-term lease is up. And we wouldn't be surprised to see some buyers asking to hold on to their mid-engined sports car for a little longer, either.