Mazda Says "No" To Mazdaspeed Mx-5
If you've been patiently hanging out for Mazda to drop a hard-core turbocharged Mazdaspeed version of the NC MX-5, then you may as well not bother. Word from Mazda is that it has no plans to release a factory-tuned version of the popular roadster and, even if they did, such a car wouldn't feature the turbocharged 2.3L MZR mill from the Mazdaspeed3 due to compatibility issues.

The problem stems from the Mazdaspeed3's direct-injection system, which utilizes a cam-driven high-pressure fuel pump mounted at the back of the head. When mounted longitudinally in the NC's engine bay, it fouls on the firewall, necessitating expensive (and therefore unviable) sheetmetal changes in order to make it fit.

Looks like MX-5 fans will need to wait for the aftermarket to bring them some forced-induction thrills.

Honda Reveals Osm Concept, Denies It's The New S2000
Honda recently displayed its OSM concept car at the British Motor Show, prompting many to speculate that it represented the next-generation Honda S2000.

Designed to showcase Honda's idea for a futuristic low-emission sports car, theOpen Study Model (OSM) actually has very little in common with Honda's iconic S2000. The OSM's hybrid drivetrain is pretty limp-wristed compared to the raucous F22C that beats beneath the hood of the S2K, while the OSM's overall proportions suggest it's a front-wheel-drive cruiser rather than a rear-wheel-drive bruiser.

So if the OSM ain't it, then when will Honda replace the aging AP2 S2000? A successsor is due next year, but Honda's keeping quiet on whether or not they'll actually proceed with an all-new car. With the new NSX on its way and the CR-Z reviving the spirit of the CRX, Honda will have both the low and high end of the sports car market covered, but the real question is: What will they put in the middle?

Mitsubishi lancer sportback
Goes to dakar
Mitsubishi's hard-core rally raid vehicles have traditionally been based on its Pajero off-roaders, however for the '09 Dakar rally they've decided to go for something a little different: a Lancer Sportback with a serious case of 'roid rage.

Of course, that Sportback body is but a carbon-fiber facsimile of the actual car that the European market (and perhaps ours) will get, and the car (dubbed the MRX09) actually rides on a tube-frame chassis with a 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 mounted up front-worlds away from the Lancer Sportback's 2.0L 4B11 and stamped-steel unibody.

With 255 hp and a stonking 479 lb-ft of torque coming out the rear of that diesel V-6 and a bulletproof five-speed sequential gearbox and permanent all-wheel drive backing it up, the MRX09 should have little difficulty overcoming whatever obstacles the Dakar may put in its path. Will this Lancer-bodied monster be able to prevail? We'll find out this January.