Preorders open for the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Launch Edition


After unveiling the gorgeous 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Launch Edition at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, the Japanese automaker announced plans to give loyal customers first dibs on one of the 1,000 models. Preorders are open at 12 PM EST on Monday, September 26th at the Mazda MX-5 RF Launch Edition website.

Customers who were sent an invitation with a personalized code will have a limited time to put a $500 refundable deposit down on a limited model. Customers also have the opportunity to select the dealership where they would like to complete the transaction.

Pricing for the MX-5 RF has also been announced with the sports car starting at $34,685, including destination and handling. That’s roughly $9,000 more than a base MX-5 Miata. Deliveries of the sports car will begin in February 2017.

While the MX-5 RF is a looker, $9,000 is a lot of change for the Launch Edition, which only adds a black roof and special badges over the regular MX-5 RF models. All 1,000 Launch Editions will be finished in Machine Gray with a black roof panel and Auburn Nappa leather on the inside. Buyers who opt for the Launch Edition will also get a numbered 42mm Tourneau watch, and can choose between an automatic and a manual transmission.

The MX-5 RF Launch Edition should sell out quickly, as the 2015 Mazda MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition sold out in roughly 10 minutes when it went on sale in 2014. Didn’t get an invite to preorder the Launch Edition? Worry not, as Mazda will open the special model to the general public on October 3, if there are any left.

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Junkyard Gem: 1991 Mercury Capri


Ford has gotten a lot of use out of the Capri name in the United States. First, there was the Lincoln Capri in the 1950s, followed by the Ford Capri Mk1 (which was sold by Mercury dealers in the USA but never actually badged as a Mercury). Then came the 1979-1986 Mercury Capri, built on the very successful Fox Platform and essentially a clone of the Mustang. Finally, in 1991, the Australian Ford Capri came to the United States. Here is an example of this rare car that I spotted in a Northern California self-service yard not long ago.

14+ +1991+Mercury+Capri+in+California+Junkyard+ +photo+by+Murilee+Martin Junkyard Gem: 1991 Mercury Capri

Mechanically speaking, the 1991-1994 Capri was a Mazda 323 under the skin, complete with a member of the same B-series engine family that went into such cars as the Miata and Ford Escort.

09+ +1991+Mercury+Capri+in+California+Junkyard+ +photo+by+Murilee+Martin Junkyard Gem: 1991 Mercury Capri

So, for a few years in the early 1990s, car shoppers who wanted a sporty Mazda convertible could choose between a Miata and a Capri. The Capri had front-wheel-drive, but could be had with factory turbocharging.

IMG 1703 Junkyard Gem: 1991 Mercury Capri

These cars were reliable and fun, but had a tough time competing with the Miata in the showroom battles. You’ll see the occasional example now and then, but most of the 1991-1994 Capris have met the same fate that awaits this one.

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The Mitsubishi GT-PHEV Concept offers an unsightly look into the automaker's future


It was only a few months ago that Mitsubishi teased the Grand Tourer Concept with an image of the SUV’s side profile. Now that it’s just a few weeks before the Paris Motor Show, Mitsubishi released some renderings of the GT-PHEV Concept that will influence the rest of the automaker’s lineup for the future. Mitsubishi is touting the concept as a “high-end next-generation SUV.”

Styling may indeed be subjective, but the GT-PHEV Concept has a face that only a mother could love. There’s a bit of Lexus-like hate-it-or-like-it in the fascia, and the rest of it looks similar to that of the eX Concept that was revealed last year. Both concepts have grille openings that resemble the letter X, three hexagonal fog lights on the sides, and tiny slivers for headlights. The side profile of the GT-PHEV Concept reminds us of a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, which isn’t such a bad thing. The back of the concept features a rakish design with thin wrap-around taillights that also look good.

If you can get past the SUV’s looks, you’ll find comfort the GT-PHEV’s powertrain to be an interesting look into the future. The concept features Mitsubishi’s next-gen plug-in hybrid system, which is comprised of three electric motors (one in the front and two at the back), a regular internal combustion engine, and a high-capacity battery. The systems work together as a full-time four-wheel-drive system. On electric-only power, the GT-PHEV Concept can travel an estimated 75 miles, while the car’s total range is roughly 746 miles.

Mitsubishi claims the GT-PHEV Concept is a ground tourer capable of chewing away the miles with ease. And while the automaker didn’t include any images of the vehicle’s interior, Mitsubishi claims the concept has a cockpit-like interior that wraps around the front passengers. The interior leather color can also be found on the roof of the vehicle for a “classy” look.

Mitsubishi continues to focus on SUVs and crossovers, but we doubt the automaker will put a vehicle that looks like the GT-PHEV Concept on the road. We think this concept is more for show, but it will probably be used as inspiration for the design of the next Mitsubishi Outlander. Here’s hoping that face gets toned down some.

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