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If you’re shopping for a sports car under $30,000 – AutoGuide.com has you covered.
Day One: Street Test
Sporty cars are not dead. Rumors of their demise are premature. Thrill-packed machinery litters the automotive landscape, available to suit nearly every budget.
When it comes to motoring fun, one of the most intriguing segments is the under $30,000 price bracket, where several enticing choices can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes.
It’s human nature to want what you can’t have. American car enthusiasts stare longingly across the Atlantic at all the cool and unusual products their European counterparts have access to.
The big surprise here was the announcement of the Fiat 500 as the Hottest Sport Compact, despite a relatively small presence at the SEMA show. The Hyundai Veloster seemed like a far more likely candidate for the award, given the ubiquity of the new Hyundai hatchback.
Check out AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here
It’s safe to say that the Honda CR-Z has been given a solid reception by everyone outside the “enthusiast” community. Sales have been brisk and reviews are generally positive, but car lovers seem unable to accept the “hybrid” part of the equation.
Honda gave a few tuners the chance to trick out a CR-Z, and some came back with turbocharged monsters, while others returned with vinyl wraps and big wheels. We think the six cars cover the spread pretty well, but we’ll let you decide. You can check out the pictures below, and hit the jump for the official specs.
Gallery: Bismoto Honda CR-Z
Gallery: Fortune Honda CR-Z
Gallery: Eibach Honda CR-Z
Gallery: Honda Tuning Honda CR-Z
Gallery: Wraptivo Honda CR-Z
Officially unveiled as the Mazda MPS at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this month, the U.S.-spec MazdaSpeed3 will make it’s North American debut at the New York Auto Show on April 9th.
We don’t expect much to change from the Euro version, so don’t plan on any more power from the direct-injection 2.3-liter turbo-four. Power is rated at 260ps (256hp) and 280 ft-lbs of torque. Thankfully, the MazdaSpeed3 doesn’t need more power.
This is enough for a 0-62 mph run of 6.1 seconds, so the run to 60 might be able to get under the 6.0-second mark.
The engine does get some advancements though. For starters, emissions are reduced thanks to a new single-nanotechnology catalytic converter. As well, the 2.3-liter engine gets 0.5 liters/100km (0.1 mpg) better fuel economy.
In terms of technological advancements, the MAzdaSpeed3 has plenty of them. For starters the new engine features an advanced boost controller that reduces peaks for a more linear power delivery. The left and right drive shafts have been modified to reduce torque steer. The six-speed manual transmission now has wider ratios than before and the tranny uses a low-viscosity fluid to reduce shift effort.
With the new body and chassis, the 2010 MazdaSpeed3 is naturally better, however, it also gets large stabilizer bars, stiffer springs and shocks. As well, it now features 18-inch wheels with big brakes – 12.6-inches up front and 11-inches in the rear.
We’ll bring you full details in our New york Auto Show coverage starting April 8th.
Full Euro-spec details after the jump: