The News for September 5th, 2014

2016+MX-5_SideProfile_JP_1 Welcome to the Hooniverse Miata! As always, this is a weekly Miata of some of the biggest Miata in the automotive Miata without the Miata or Miata. I just throw in a little Miata of mine because I can. This Miata:

  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 (ND) Miata!

  • Land Rover reveals something that isn’t the Miata

  • Dodge updates their not-Miata

  • Toyota prices their not-Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2016+MX-5_Front3qtr_White_JP   I’m sure most of you are aware already. In fact, I’m positive. Everyone looking at this page right now surely knows about Mazda’s all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata. During its live unveiling Wednesday night in Monterey, the Internet lit up with #LongLiveTheRoadster tweets and live photos of the all-new sheet metal. Important people talked about the car as it glistened in the stage lighting and Mazda put the press release in a prominent spot on its website, but sadly, we’re still missing a lot of the valuable technical details about the car. So here’s what we know so far… The fourth-generation of the MX-5 (ND) wears the company’s newest Kodo design language which has already beautified most of the Mazda lineup. While Kodo is a significant departure from Mazda designs of the past, on the MX-5 at least, it had to strike a balance. Yes it looks more aggressive and ditches the previous NC’s happy face, but it still follows the basic principles of the original NA MX-5’s design. It looks small, it’s proportions make the driver and passenger stand out, and there isn’t a single defined line to it. No MX-5 has ever had a “muscular” or “bold” line sculpted into its side, and for the new MX-5, Mazda wasn’t about to go the way of Lexus and add a sculpted line (or twelve) to the body. From the internet photos at least, I’d say Mazda has done a great job of making the MX-5 look more modern by 2014 standards but yet as clean and pure as the original. 2016+MX-5_Rear3qtr_White_JP At least that’s the body as a whole. The front is still open for debate since most of the commentary seems to be about that. I mentioned that the happy face from the NC generation is gone, but it may have just been replaced by another happy but slightly mischievous face. If the NC MX-5 looked as happy as a roadster being flung through the hills, then the ND MX-5 looks as happy as a fourth grader who just put a whoopee cushion on his teacher’s chair. All MX-5s of the past have been known for putting a smile on the face of anyone who saw it drive by – perhaps better than any other car. I think the new face can still do that. Just check your seat before sitting down. And those headlights are full LED which is what allowed designers to make them so pointy. Also there’s a back side to the car. In pictures it seems like it’s a little bigger than before and a little higher. Since we don’t have dimensions for the car yet, I’ll assume the Internet added ten pounds. The tail lamps are also full LED. 2016+MX-5_interior Like the exterior, the interior is all-new and more modern but still pays homage to the signature styling of past MX-5s. It’s still open and driver-focused but has a few more angles to its overall design than before to make it more modern. As Autoweek notes, it features a fixed seven-inch screen above the climate control. It’s not hard to find classic MX-5 styling cues though, like the traditionally round air vents and the lack of integrated cup holders. They give you two, but they’re not built-in to the center console and don’t get in the way of the shifter, which is optimal for track days, bro! As mentioned earlier, technical data is scarce and unofficial, but here’s what we do know so far. Mazda’s now signature SkyActive technology is included and that likely means a new engine, among many other things, with greater efficiency and hopefully a bit more power. A manual transmission is standard, because if it wasn’t there would be riots. The ND will be about 100 kilograms, or roughly 220 pounds, lighter than the NC and the NC wasn’t exactly a heavyweight. Rumors have been circulating that the ND MX-5 would be available as a hardtop or with a power-folding top, but none of those rumors were addressed. Not even our pal Blake Z. Rong, the biggest MX-5 enthusiast Hooniverse knows of, couldn’t get any additional info out of the Mazda guys who were there. But his live photos were able to confirm four-lug wheels, because MX-5. Full technical data will become available “closer to next year”, and when it does, Hooniverse will be sure to pass it along. In the meantime, check out some [maybe official?] specs of the JDM MX-5 at Road & Track. Electric power assisted steering is mentioned… which will make things interesting. [Sources: Mazda, Autoweek, Road & Track, Regular Car Reviews]

Land Rover Discovery Sport

LR_Discovery_Sport_07_LowRes In not Miata news, Land Rover has revealed the all-new Discovery Sport – their attempt at making the most versatile and capable premium compact SUV on the market. This is relevant [maybe] because part of the all-new Discovery family which we’ll be seeing more of. Details are still emerging, but here’s what we know so far… The Land Rover Discovery Sport features an all-new design which will continue to define the look of the new Discovery family, for better or worse. Its design focuses on having a dynamic profile with athletic proportions (I’ve read that a million times by now) and a stance which makes it look like a grown-up adventurer. Because it is a Land Rover, it’s capabilities off the beaten path can surely back up the looks. Maybe. LR_Discovery_Sport_25 Interior space is designed to be generous enough for a 5+2 seating configuration. High-quality materials and a modern design (which they won’t let us see yet) provide a warm welcome to passengers while innovative storage solutions, four 12V power points, and six USB charging sockets make it convenient. The driver will benefit from a heads-up display, an all-new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and Terrain Response technology for when the going gets rough. The Discovery Sport will be powered by a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, including a 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol and a 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel with automatic stop/start, direct injection, and “outstanding” performance and economy. Two and four-wheel drive is available with an optional nine-speed automatic or six-speed manual to send power. The Land Rover Discovery Sport will go on sale early 2015 at an undisclosed price. In the meantime, Land Rover wants to send you to space via Virgin Galactic. Aspiring astronauts are encouraged to go to www.landrover.com/gotospace and upload a quick video which demonstrates their spirit of adventure. One winner will be chosen who can then bring three friends along for one of the first space voyages on Virgin Galactic. It should be quite the ride, so get to it! [Source: Land Rover]

2015 Dodge Viper updates

2015viper Dodge is now back in control of the former SRT Viper and they’re kicking off the 2015 model year with a fresh round of updates. A new mid-range trim level, a new go-fast trim level, a new special edition, new paint, and a little extra power are on tap. All 2015 Dodge Vipers will benefit from an extra five whole horsepower, which brings the massive 8.4-liter V10’s output up to 645 horsepower. The Tremec six-speed manual is still standard and power goes nowhere but to the rear wheels. The new trim level is the Viper GT, which fits between the standard trim and the more expensive GTS trim. The GT model adds electronically adjustable suspension courtesy of Bilstein and a five-way stability control system which might be enough to keep it out of the bushes when at the hands of a not professional. Adding an extra bit of luxury to the GT is a full leather interior which you normally get on the GTS, which makes the new Viper GT an interesting choice for the people who can still afford to buy one. The Viper GT and the GTS can now be specified in a new color, Stryker Purple, and can include striping in black, silver, white, red, and pearl. The new go-fast trim level is actually one that has already been built before. The Time Attack (TA) trim, once limited to just 30 units, returns and is hopefully here to stay. Built primarily for enthusiasts who believe in track days, the Viper TA features enhanced aerodynamics, new race-tuned suspension calibration, racing sway bars, carbon fiber for lightness, Brembo brakes, and “Sidewinder” wheels on Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. The Viper TA is only available in yellow-orange, black, and competition blue. Dodge is giving the Viper another special edition model, this time called the Ceramic Blue Edition. Other than being painted in a fancy blue, it features a satin-black exhaust bezel, orange brake calipers, and carbon fiber stuff. Only 40 examples will be built. How many of those actually get bought may be a different question. Is five extra horsepower, two new trim levels, and new paint color enough to win back some customers? I personally hope so, because I still have an undying love for this car and seeing these on the road makes me happy. [Source: Dodge via Autoweek]

2015 Toyota Camry priced

2015_Toyota_Camry_055 Toyota showed America its new Camry back at the New York Auto Show, and I’m pretty sure I ignored in during the News that week. This week though, it’s ready to go live and it’s got that final bit of info which some people might have been waiting for. When the 2015 Toyota Camry goes on sale late this month, it will start at a reasonable $22,970 which is hardly a change from the previous model’s pricing. That gets you the Camry LE with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a six-speed automatic transmission, and tons of standard features. The cheapest V6 model is the Camry XSE which starts at $31,370 and includes extra standard features. The fuel-efficient Camry Hybrid, with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric power, starts at $26,790. Practical and reliable transportation at a reasonable price and with less beige is the 2015 Toyota Camry in a nutshell. [Source: Toyota]

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