Cars Coming Soon: Laser-Powered Mazda, Another New Lamborghini, No Jeep Pickup… Yet

Mazda Kabura concept

Put the words “laser-powered” in front of anything and, odds are, I’ll be sold on it.

For some reason I’m reminded of a great Steve Martin quote,

I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.

Imagine a laser-powered turtleneck sweater. Infinitely more cool, right?

The same is true for cars. Would you want one powered by a measly spark, or a laser beam?

I’ve been tracking the progress of laser ignition for over two years (here and here), and now, finally, we might have our first real candidate: the next Mazda rotary engine.

Autocar reports that the zoom-zoom automaker may turn to a laser ignition system instead of traditional spark plugs in its next-gen 1.6-liter aluminium rotary engine. The super-secret info supposedly comes straight from a mysterious senior engineer within the program who would surely be disposed of if he (or she) spoke publicly.

Perhaps such an engine might power the RX-7 sequel we believe is on the way?

Another story we’ve been following with bated breath are two new models from Lamborghini: a sedan and an SUV. Certainly not traditional choices for the exotic Raging Bull, known for wedge-shaped supercars!

The Rambo Lambo: Lamborghini LM002

Alas, only one of those new models appears to be on the horizon, though engineers are crafting concept versions of both. Company execs will then decide which gets the nod for production. My vote is for the sedan, because it opens the possibility of more variants: convertible, coupe, front-engine (gasp!) Panamera sibling… A crossover SUV is just a crossover SUV (unless you are Nissan and just lop off the top).

Finally, for those who have been saving for the down payment on a new Jeep pickup: You have time to keep saving.

According to, Jeep CEO Mike Manley has said that Chrysler just doesn’t have the available resources right now to develop an all-new rock-climber. Most of Chrysler’s attention (and money) currently is devoted to small-car development, meaning the Jeep pickup will remain a figment of the imagination… at least for the time being.

Maybe Chrysler should build a laser-powered Jeep pickup. What do you think?


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  1. I owned one of their last laser powered pickups, the Commanche back in the early 90s. I had the laser powered V-6 which unfortunately, had terminal sudden acceleration syndrome. What a nightmare! Chrysler was in denial and ordered me to the BBB and a litany of steps that I had to follow, but in the end I had to sue them. What fools!! All I wanted was a replacement. They wanted to fight. They did and I won. Cost them a new S-10 loaded beyond belief, lawyers fees and compensation to my local dealer. Small wonder they are now part of government motors.

  2. Jeep seems to have a fairly hard-core following for the traditional CJ-style vehicle, and sales seem to maintain a fairly steady pace, so I can see why Chrysler isn’t in a big rush for a new model. They desperately need some small cars to help their gas hog fleet, no doubt they are working hard on some NA Fiat derivatives. Given their lackluster effort on the 200, they need some cars with personality.

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