Mazda3 versus BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 in Euro diesel showdown

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 21st, 2014

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From drag races to roominess comparison, the Mazda3 came out ahead of the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series in a diesel-hatchback comparison.

Continue reading Mazda3 versus BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 in Euro diesel showdown

Mazda3 versus BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 in Euro diesel showdown originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Alfa Romeo takes Spider in-house, Mazda-Fiat roadster partnership not dead

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 20th, 2014

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Alfa Romeo will base its next Spider not on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but on the same Project Giorgio platform that will underpin other Alfa models, like the replacement for the 159. Mazda will, however, donate the MX-5 for an upcoming roadster from Fiat and Abarth, Alfa Romeo boss Harald Wester told Car.

Continue reading Alfa Romeo takes Spider in-house, Mazda-Fiat roadster partnership not dead

Alfa Romeo takes Spider in-house, Mazda-Fiat roadster partnership not dead originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda CX-3 almost ready for LA Show

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 19th, 2014

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The Mazda CX-3 is just days away from its unveiling at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, but elsewhere in the world, the Japanese brand still has the compact crossover disguised for testing. These spy shots aren’t too camouflaged though, and when combined with the previous teaser image, they give a pretty clear idea what the new model will look like.

Mazda CX-3 almost ready for LA Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Recharge Wrap-up: First EV to attempt Dakar Rally, Mazda makes bioplastic parts

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 19th, 2014

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Zap and Jonway Auto brought their Urbee EV and their new Falcon A-380 SUV to the Peru Motor Show in Lima. Jonway sells its SUV and minivan in Lima through Dai-Ichi Motors, which displayed the cars at the show. According to the companies, their cars “received tremendous interest from the public,” including private citizens as well as groups who would use the EVs for security guard service or campus use. Read more in the press release below.

Continue reading Recharge Wrap-up: First EV to attempt Dakar Rally, Mazda makes bioplastic parts

Recharge Wrap-up: First EV to attempt Dakar Rally, Mazda makes bioplastic parts originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda6 Global Production Reaches Three Million Units

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 19th, 2014

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A car writer’s year in new sheetmetal [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 18th, 2014

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I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I’d never done before.

Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I’m not the only one taking stock of the year that’s we’re almost shut of.

Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I’ve driven over the preceding 12 months.

Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I’ve done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I’ve been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures.

Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I’d never done before. The results are, well, they’re a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they’ll affect how I approach this gig in 2015.

Continue reading A car writer’s year in new sheetmetal [w/video]

A car writer’s year in new sheetmetal [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kiwi seniors accidentally lock themselves in Mazda3 for 13 hours, nearly die

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 17th, 2014

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2014 Mazda3

It’s an over-played trope that senior citizens are bad with technology. Its regular use as a comedic device, though, overshadows a more dire circumstance that comes when elderly citizens are paired with gizmos and gadgets they don’t fully understand.

A couple from New Zealand spent the night in their new, smart-key-equipped Mazda3 after thinking they’d locked themselves in, in what The Otago Daily Times called “a series of ‘Murphy’s Law’ events.” The two thought the car wouldn’t function without the key fob, which had accidentally been left outside of the car, along with the owner’s manual. That, along with the combination of stress, darkness and a lack of overall information about the car nearly killed Mollieanne and Brian Smith.

After thinking they’d become trapped, the Smiths, 65 and 68, respectively, tried honking the horn to alert neighbors – it was Guy Fawkes Night, so the sound was drowned out by fireworks – and even took the Mazda’s jack to a window in their attempt to escape.

When they were discovered and freed 13 hours later, Mrs. Smith was unconscious and Mr. Smith was having trouble breathing, with emergency crews telling the couple another half hour in the car would have killed them. Mr. Smith later told The Otago Daily Times he was “very methodical,” but couldn’t figure out how to unlock the car.

“Once I found out how simple it was to unlock it I kicked myself that I did not find the way out,” the 68-year-old told The Times. “I had this mind-set that I did not have the transponder [so I could not get out].”

Mazda New Zealand pointed out that is not the case.

“It’s not a design flaw with the car,” Mazda New Zealand General Manager Glenn Harris told The Times. “What we have said to the [dealership] network is, with new technologies, don’t forget to show customers how to use them in their entirety [and] how to override them. There is always a manual process to override them.”

Kiwi seniors accidentally lock themselves in Mazda3 for 13 hours, nearly die originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 automakers shack up in Detroit hotel to talk Takata airbags

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 14th, 2014

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JAPAN-US-AUTO-RECALL-TAKATA-REGULATE-AUTOMOBILE

Since Takata has decided not to take the lead concerning potential issues with its airbag inflators, the automakers have. Perhaps that’s unsurprising, since it’s the automakers, not Takata, that will take a beating on the dealership floor if consumers decide its models are a health hazards. The Detroit News reports that Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru met in a hotel conference room near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport last week to sort out a way to understand the technical issues involved.

So far, faulty airbag inflators have been ruled the cause of five deaths and 50 injuries around the world, but neither Takata nor investigators understands exactly why the inflators are malfunctioning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently asked Takata to issue a national recall, Takata declined, citing a minuscule failure rate and the fact that it’s still investigating the issue. Toyota and Honda then made an industry-wide appeal for “a coordinated, comprehensive testing program” that would pinpoint the problem inflators and get them replaced, and that’s what the Detroit meeting was about.

Numerous issues, however, will make this a long row to hoe: simply getting the parts to replace the nearly 20 million inflators in cars recalled around the world so far – even working with other supplierswill take a years, but more importantly, no one knows if the replacement inflators currently being installed will suffer the same issue. Answers will hopefully come quickly with Takata, the ten automakers and NHTSA all independently investigating the problem.

10 automakers shack up in Detroit hotel to talk Takata airbags originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 14 Dec 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This is what a 1,200-hp twin-turbo 4-rotor looks like in a Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 12th, 2014

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The engine bay of drifter

We’ve seen the diminutive Mazda MX-5 Miata swallow plenty of big engines, but New Zealand drifting ace “Mad Mike” Whiddett is roaring into where-no-man-has-gone-before territory. Wanting to replace his 515-horsepower “MADBUL” RX-7 and its twin-turbocharged, three-rotor 20B engine, his new ride is an NC-series Miata with four rotors and twin Garrett turbochargers courtesy of Pulse Performance Race Engineering. It is called “RADBUL,” and expected power at standard boost is 1,200 hp, but the builders at Pulse Performance think it will get up to 1,500 hp at full boost. And yes, that exhaust exits through the hood.

Four-rotor engines are actually popular – builds are detailed on forums like this one from 2007 and this one from 2008, this UK company or this Canadian company will sell you one complete – but they’re usually being prepped for an RX-7. Mad Mike’s choice of a Miata for this enterprise makes this about as extreme as you can get, short of throwing it into a Mazda R360. You can watch Mad Mike tell the story of the build in the video, and check out the first and second installments about the build on the Red Bull site.

Continue reading This is what a 1,200-hp twin-turbo 4-rotor looks like in a Miata

This is what a 1,200-hp twin-turbo 4-rotor looks like in a Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda expands scope of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recall to 330k

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 12th, 2014

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2008 Mazda 6. (11/06/07)

Earlier this week a Reuters report indicated that Mazda was considering a nationwide expansion of its recall for vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators. The company has now confirmed said expansion, with the vehicle count jumping from 86,770 to 330,000 affected in the US.

As before, the affected vehicles are Mazda6 and RX-8 cars from the 2004 to 2008 model years.

Mazda reports that Takata has tested a “large number of inflators removed from Mazda vehicles” and not found any to be “non-compliant” as of yet. With that said, the company also reports in its statement that one 2005 Mazda6, located in Florida, has been identified as having had an “abnormal” deployment of the driver’s side airbag.

For what it’s worth, though the company’s statement references the Takata inflator issue as a proper recall, it is calling its own program of notification a “Safety Improvement Campaign” for the moment. Find the full, if brief, Mazda press release in the form below.

Continue reading Mazda expands scope of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recall to 330k

Mazda expands scope of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recall to 330k originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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