Cars Coming Soon: New Mazda Miata, Tesla Model S and Model X

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Having heard from a few of the people over the last couple days who think American muscle cars are outdated relics of a power-hungry past, I thought it would be a good time to look into the future of speed.

Instead of low-rumbling V8s powering heavy chunks of steel, expect high-revving turbo 4-cylinders propelling waif-like composite bodies and, eventually, all-electric, torque-heavy silent speed demons.

Keep reading for two examples of the future of speed-related fun: the next Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Tesla Model S.

According to Inside Line, Mazda execs have asked engineers to lop off an incredible 720 pounds from the current MX-5′s already-light 2,480-pound curb weight. If they can do it, the car would weigh in somewhere around 1,760 pounds, which is roughly the weight of the Mustang GT500′s engine.

2009 Mazda MX-5

2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I kid, of course, but that 1,760 is still about 400 pounds less than the 1989 Miata. Engineers will look everywhere they can to shave pounds, including the smaller engine, composite materials and an owner’s manual saved on a USB stick instead of printed and bound on paper.

Whatever Mazda does, we’re sure it’ll be a fun car to drive, even if it’s not capable of tire-smoking burnouts.

Electric sports car maker Tesla has teased its Model S (top) for at least a year now and just recently released new images of its almost production-ready sedan, proving that the car is indeed real and will very likely blow the doors off any expectations.

Just look at the thing. A low, aggressive, Jaguar-esque front end, sleek lines and massive wheels put to shame any other alternatively powered vehicle. With a starting price of about $57,000 (not including the $7,500 federal rebate), even the Volt should be nervous.

Production should begin in 2012, and there are already more than 1,000 reservations for the car.

While we’re on the topic of Tesla, we should also mention the Model X, an electric crossover due in 2013. Design of the Model X is said to incorporate the functionality of a minivan with the consumer appeal of a sports utility vehicle.

Granted, that’s not exactly sports-car material, but being fully electric is sure to give these cars plenty of torque for some good old-fashioned 0-60 fun.

If you had the choice today, and both cost about the same, would you take American V8 muscle or new electric speed? For me, nothing will ever replace that V8 rumble.

-tgriffith

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Used Mazda MX-5 Miata

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  1. Randy
    June 9th, 2011 at 07:04 | #1

    I guess since Mazda has announced they are ending car production in North America, I could care less what they produce. It will become just another Japanese brand that helps Americans hurt their own economy.

    For electrics, they can produce tremendous amounts of power but only for a short time, but that can be an advantage in traffic. Of course, you’ve got to lug around those heavy batteries, so anything that lightens the overall vehicle improves the power to weight ratio.

    In my lifetime I had plenty of that big V8 rumble and even drove an EV-1 for a few months. The range on the EV-1 was just barely enough to cover my work commute so I couldn’t have any real fun with the car. I’d love to try a Tesla or even a Nissan Leaf. I’ve driven the Prius and it’s not a sterling performer but it’s very well developed and mature.

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