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Four Generations of the Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Evolution of the Mazda MX-5 Miata

It’s said that driving a slow car fast is one of the greatest automotive thrills, especially when it’s a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive roadster with a rigid chassis, slick manual transmission, phenomenal balance and perfectly-weighted steering — a car like the Mazda Miata. With the latest generation just released, it’s about time we explored the past, present and future of the world’s most popular roadster.

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The horse without the mane is just as wild

Quick Spin: Ferrari 458 Spider, The Perfect Convertible?

In the middle of a cool Chicago summer, sunlight bounces off the unmistakeable Rosso Corsa hood of a V8 Ferrari. A mere eighth of a depression of the throttle produces a sound I can only describe as a chorus of angels descending to earth on winged stallions. Against all odds, Ferrari’s delicious V8 458 Spider has won me over to top-down driving.

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252 made. Get one if you can.

Octane Icon: BMW 507

Trace some of the best modern cars back to their origins and you’ll be surprised how much design language and heritage have been passed forward, in some cases for decades. BMW is no exception. The pioneering Z3, the unique Z8, today’s Z4 — the BMW 507 is the granddaddy of them all. It’s only fitting to look back to the origins of the BMW convertible and pay our respects to the iconic 507, a car that nearly bankrupted BMW, but provided an immense wealth of legacy.

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Andiamo!

Behind The Wheel: 2013 Fiat Abarth 500 Cabrio

It’s nearly impossible to miss the iconic Fiat silhouette made more aggressive and distinctive in the 2013 Abarth 500 Cabrio ($26,000). Fiat’s answer to the 500’s supposed lack of soul carries the fervor — in its looks, its performance, and its aural delight — of an operatic crescendo. The sound of the engine and smooth long revs mean you can exploit every tick on the tach and push this thing hard — which, of course, we recommend, having tried it ourselves.

octane-promo-box-logo-gear-patrolThis article is part of a new original series, OCTANE -- a premium take on all things motoring.
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Don't be ashamed of going topless

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible

The wraps just came off the Corvette Stingray Convertible, which will be sold alongside the hardtop in the fourth quarter of 2013. Powered by the same potent 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine with 450 hp, the convertible sheds the metal for a fully electronic top that can be deployed or retracted at speeds of up to 30 mph. It’s the perfect new recipe for fast, top-down driving, American style.

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Topless terror

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

We love the rip-roaring sound of a Bentley with the top down, and if you mate it with the locomotive torque of a monster W12 engine, everyone’s happy. This is exactly what you get with the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible. 616 horses, 590 lb ft and 0-60 in about 4 very fast seconds….

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Drop Top Gorgeous

Behind The Wheel: Audi R8 V10 Spyder

Legend has it that when you drive a supercar, your biceps and pectorals enlarge by up to 30% and your testosterone levels climb rapidly, giving your confidence a much needed kick in the basement. On the down side, you become increasingly discourteous and you can’t seem to supress the desire to purchase (and wear) a…

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Zagato staccato

BMW Zagato Roadster

A few months ago, we showed you gorgeous photos of the BMW Zagato Coupe formed from the minds at the Italian design house. Well, they’ve pulled off the covers and the roof of the BMW Zagato Roadster for the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach this weekend, and it is stunning — on screen and in…

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We've seen the future, and it's topless

BMW i8 Concept Spyder

If Jeff Bridges’ Kevin Flynn was ever searching for the perfect summer ride, it would most certainly be the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, about to debut in New York. Based on the ultra-futuristic BMW i8, the Concept Spyder is driven by the same 131 horsepower electric motor, providing a whole 19 miles of electrical driving…

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Air Hoardin'

Brabus Mercedes-Benz 800 E V12 Cabriolet

Had enough mad black tuner cars yet? It looks like there’s no end in sight, and that’s okay with us. Brabus recently released the automotive equivalent of an M198 Howitzer, the Brabus Mercedes-Benz 800 E V12 Cabriolet ($681,484) turning an already powerful convertible into an instant way to flatten the top of your skull. The…

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Envy Green

2011 Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe Karai

The Mazda Miata (or MX-5 in current form) has clearly put its automotive stamp on the world. It truly is a purist’s car with great balance, a precise shifter and envied lightness and handling. A classic roadster for the modern world, indeed. Now, the Japanese automaker has come out with a special version for the…

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$50k BMW 3-Series? Yes, With 320 Horsepower

2011 BMW 335is

Taking the venerable BMW 3 series to its most powerful, non-M, variant, BMW has just announced the 2011 BMW 335is. At 320 hp, 332 lb-ft torque (or 370 lb-ft when launch control is used on the new 7 speed transmission), the 335is will reach 60 mph in 5 seconds flat. For comparison, a Chevy Camaro…

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2010 Ferrari California Review

By: Daniel Mader | The Truth About Cars The California is a bit like my first girlfriend: pretty from the front, but a little frumpy at the rear, especially in the wrong clothes (sorry Sarah). This is Ferrari’s softer side. Huh? How can you mess with the classic GT recipe? Sorry Ferrari but the California…

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Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

You’re looking at the most expensive variant of the Porsche 911. The 911 Turbo Cabriolet. It marks the third generation of the cabriolet (convertible) and is the best yet. Porsche has made every effort to lose little of the coupe’s dynamic agility while providing top-down summer fun. Expensive fun, nonetheless. Accelerating to 60mph in a…