2016 Mazda MX-5 in Forza

Starting on March 17 Forza Horizon 2 players will be the first to drive the all new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata on XBox months before the actual car goes on sale.

And if that wasn’t enough to bait you in, by downloading the free car from Forza and driving it in the game, users will be eligible to win a real 2016 Mazda MX-5 by competing in a Time Trial Rivals Contest.

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 in Forza Horizon 2 will of course feature exact detail inside and out. It will the be first opportunity to see and hear the car virtually, and test on famous roads globally.

In addition to the 2016 Mazda MX-5 download, there will be additional special one-of-a-kind MX-5 downloads exclusively for XBox One.

The download pack will include a variety of legacy models including the 2010 MX-5 Super20 SEMA concept car, a vintage 1990 MX-5 and the rare 2005 MAZDASPEED MX-5.

The Time Trials Rivals Contest component of the launch program will also give qualified users the chance to win a real 2016 Mazda MX-5. The two players with the fastest times will be flown to Los Angeles in June to compete head-to-head in a winner-take-all race.

On March 17th and beyond Forza Horizon 2 users can download the cars and enter the contest through XBox Live at the the Mazda landing page.

Infiniti QX30 Concept at Geneva

Very close to production intent is the Infiniti QX30 Concept compact crossover which made its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month.

The next entry to come in the luxury compact crossover class is the bold and brash QX30 which takes Infiniti’s sea mammal styling DNA into a far more appealing direction than in the past.

Creative details like an artfully conceived C-pillar and deep contour lines along the doors add significant visual drama while 21-inch wheels give it a fat planted stance. Combine aluminum skid plate trim treatments and you have upscale off-road flair.

The interior too is very close to production save for some flourishes of leather covered everything. The forms and design are however the real deal. The diamond stitched trims are the latest rage right now and some amount could see production.

While not far from the Q30 Concept shown in Frankfurt back in 2013, this one has been honed and detail driven to near showroom levels. What you see here is likely spitting distance from what will go on sale next year.

The Q30 five-door hatch and QX30 crossover are based on a front-wheel drive architecture co-developed with Mercedes-Benz which builds the CLA and GLA offerings upon it.

Infiniti says the Q30 five-door hatch will be built in the U.K. starting later this year, with the production QX30 crossover likely to follow.

Second Ford F-150 Production Line at Kansas City

Unless you live under a rock, you know the new all-aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 is hot. And Ford this week just opened a second plant to keep dealers supplied with the new trucks.

This week marked the official start of production at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant which joins three three round-the-clock shifts already going at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan.

The Kansas City Assembly Plant will exclusively build 2015 F-150s with 8-foot cargo beds and heavy payload configurations serving primarily the work truck and commercial fleet customer base, leaving well optioned consumer oriented models to the Dearborn plant.

And to build the new F-150, the Kansas City Assembly Plant received $1.1 billion dollars in remodeling and retooling to build the new pickups, in addition to the other vehicles built there such as the new Ford Transit commercial vans.

The expansion brought in over 900 new workers, many of which went to the all-new body shop where the aluminum-alloy bodies are constructed in a new process which uses rivets and bonding agents instead of spot welds.

There’s also a new paint shop with high-tech dirt detection technology and increased robotic paint automation. Outside the plant is a new rough-road test course that selected trucks off the line will be tested on which duplicates extreme, real-life road conditions.

With the new line they have the capacity to build some 700,000 trucks a year between Kansas City and Dearborn. Ford is now building more F-150 pickup trucks than ever in its history.

Test Drives:

In our test drives this week, we sampled the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy, the all-wheel drive sedan which offers something different than the Camrys, Altimas, and Accords of the world.

Not only does all-wheel drive come standard with the Legacy, but it features Subaru’s venerable flat four and six-cylinder boxer engines which are now somewhat legendary in the market.

The Legacy shows it is well built, solid as a rock in terms of fit and finish. It offers a lot of value for its price, excellent safety ratings, and has a comfortable cabin. But questions remain about its driving excitement.

No questions about excitement came up in our test of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392. The bad boy done good of the muscle car class comes to us with 485 horsepower and a rip snarling V8 that wakes the neighbors every time you start it.

But a car has to be more than fast right? And to that, the Challenger impresses with a new interior that is miles above the old one in material quality and comfort. It has a more refined chassis to go along with its adjustable suspension and drive modes too.

It makes for a great anger management therapy tool in many ways but shows well it’s a car you can live with day to day in the real world.

To see more detailed reviews on both these cars, click the links below or go to our website www.TestDriven.TV.

Reality Check:

While we here in America seem to worship at the altar of silver and dull metallic shades, Ford is telling us that in Europe and Asia new Mustang customers lean toward much bolder colors than we the free.

Black is a top color choice globally, but bright shades like Race Red and Deep Impact Blue are topping the charts in places like China and Europe where buyers have built some 1.1 million of their own online.

In China, the non-metallic shade of Race Red is number one with 35% of buyers choosing this color. Though, in communist China one could say red is a popular hue in Chinese culture for a number of reasons.

In Europe, Race Red and Absolute Black tie for most popular with 20% choosing each. A close third is the bright shade of Deep Impact Blue.

By comparison, here in the United States where our society is built on the premise of expressing ourselves freely we tend toward colors less brash.

Black is the number one color for Mustang here, but Magnetic Metallic (metallic grey) and Ruby Red (dull red metallic) are the next in line for most popular. Boring.

The marketing gurus likely have Freudian theories to explain why buyers in more socialist or collective cultures choose brighter and bolder colors, and we here in the land of freedom choose to blend into the crowd when it comes to color here at home.

Regardless of which, colors like Triple Yellow and Competition Orange remain outliers for those who really have the guts to buck the crowd and are likely the ones historically willing to climb the wall for a better life.

Money Shot

Now it’s time for our Money Shot where we choose this week’s hottest photo from the news and show it to ya!

This month Chevrolet will build the 500,000th copy of its 5th generation Camaro. This 2015 Z28 really pops visually and I think is easily the high water mark for its generation. It will be replaced with an all new 2016 Camaro, very soon.

Well that’s it for Motoring Monday, we appreciate you being with us. Click the link below to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and I’ll keep you updated on all our new test drives, automotive news, and Motoring Monday episodes.

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