Fiat’s new 124 Spider doesn’t look like the Mazda MX-5 that underpins it. For some, the semi-retro lines will be a deal-braker. For others, the promise of 1.4-litre turbocharged power and Japanese build quality – it’ll be built alongside the Mazda in Hiroshima – will seal its appeal.
Fiat also promises its car will be sharper than Mazda’s offering. Body roll is reduced, and the engine makes more torque than the MX-5. It could add up to the kind of driving experience we hoped the Mazda would offer.
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But really, we’re excited for the eventual Abarth version. Offering even more power than the Fiat’s 138bhp and potentially less weight, it’s one to wait for.
Ford Focus RS
Four cylinders, turbocharged, all-wheel drive and based on a sensible Ford family hatchback. The recipe could refer to the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, but it also applies to the new Focus RS.
By adding drive to the rear wheels as well as the front ones, Ford is sure to have one of the fastest hot hatchbacks on the market – 345bhp, launch control, a drift button and Michelin Pilot Super Sports are all standard.
The drift mode is particularly intriguing, sending more power to the rear wheels, and in particular the outside rear wheel, based on the driver’s intent – steering angle and throttle position.
Even more exciting than the Focus RS, Ford’s new GT was the undoubted star of the Detroit motor show in January 2015.
Best of all, few expected it to appear at all – in an age where manufacturers deliberately leak spy shots and we all clamour for scoop stories, the GT’s surprise appearance bowled everyone over.
Its 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 develops more than 600bhp, sending power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transaxle. And in terms of detailing, sculptural form and presence, it’ll be like little else on the road.
“Like little else on the road” is more than can be said for Honda’s upcoming NSX. If there’s one area that disappoints with the new car, it’s that it’s hardly groundbreaking in terms of styling.
Of course, the original wasn’t either, but made up for it with an engineering-led focus – it had fully aluminium construction and had one of the world’s greatest V6 engines.
We’ve already driven the new NSX – see evo issue 217 – and rate it highly. Now a 3.5-litre V6 hybrid with all-wheel drive, it’s a technological statement like the original, and an expected £140,000 price makes it a great deal cheaper than other hybrid supercars on the market.