Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 12th, 2014

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Mazda Miata History

Over the past 25 years and 3 model generations, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has shown that you don’t have to be the best to be a massive success. The little, Japanese roadster has never been the absolute peak of automotive performance, but it’s precise handling, good reliability and frugal running costs have helped make it a star. Autoblog recently tried to give you the experience of driving one on video, and now Xcar Films has made its own in an attempt to show what makes this droptop an icon.

As Xcar puts it, the Miata isn’t the world’s best sports car, but it is the world’s favorite. When they were originally designing the roadster, Mazda’s engineers took everything that made British droptops from the ’60s great, and junked all of the stuff that made them a terror to own. The result was a car that would start up everyday with no fuss and get drivers wherever they needed to go with a huge grin on their face.

The fourth-generation Miata is imminently on the way for its September 3 unveiling, and the very early rumors indicate that Mazda doesn’t plan to rock the boat too much with the latest one. It supposedly rides on a longer wheelbase and wider track but with the weight trimmed by over 200 pounds. Check out Xcar‘s video for a primer on MX-5 history and why the automotive world loves this little roadster.

Continue reading Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Are you the 2016 Mazda Miata?

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 11th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

Tech nerds are spoiled. Every year, there’s a new iPhone that arrives following months and months of breathless speculation and rumormongering. We car folk have a more difficult life, because vehicles with the iPhone’s cult-like devotion and following, while plentiful, only receive hefty updates after several years. Case in point, the Mazda MX-5.

There’s a new one coming, and much like the iPhone 6, it’ll arrive in just a few weeks. So, in lockstep with the tech folk, we’re anxiously biding our time and waiting with baited breath for the expected debut date of September 3. Also, like Apple fanboys, we’re clamoring over any hint or teaser as to what the next-gen Miata will bring, which is why we’re showing you the above image.

That is, allegedly, the new MX-5 hiding under the sheet. Auto Motor und Sport has the image, which according to World Car Fans was released by Mazda. Of course, we’ve reached out to the Zoom-Zoom brand for verification of its authenticity, and will be sure to update as soon as we hear back.

Until then, what can we see on this sheet-festooned roadster? Well, the wheel arches look suitably flared, while the traditional long-hood, short-deck look of the past three generations of Miatas soldiers on. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the track has been widened, while the wheelbase has also been stretched. The big news is that the new car should trim around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of body fat and that it will boast a perfect fifty-fifty weight distribution.

Of course, should we hear anything more, we’ll be sure to update you. Stay tuned.

Are you the 2016 Mazda Miata? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda to Contribute to Earthquake Relief in Yunnan, China

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 8th, 2014

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Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 31st, 2014

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We all have controversial opinions. Be it whether you think the Nissan Juke is actually pretty attractive, manual transmissions aren’t always better, or you honestly didn’t hate the Pontiac Aztek, we all harbor some persuasion, be it big or small, for which we catch copious flak upon expression.

In recognizing that all of us here at Autoblog harbor at least one viewpoint that stubbornly goes against the grain of popular opinion among auto enthusiasts, we’ve decided to come clean with them right here, proudly speaking our minds in a mature, structured manner – a striking contrast to how these things tend to come up while debated in the office.

We’d also like to invite you to share your unpopular and controversial opinions with us and the Autoblog faithful down in Comments. Don’t be ashamed – this is a safe place.

Continue reading Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs

Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiscal Year Ending March 2015 First Quarter Financial Results Announcement

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 31st, 2014

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Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 30th, 2014

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Competitors in the small-car segment didn’t do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned “poor” grades.

Only one small car out of 12 tested earned a good grade in the latest round of crash-test results compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Mini Cooper Countryman received a “good” ranking on the organization’s small-front overlap test.

Its competitors in the small-car segment didn’t do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned “poor” grades, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Juke, the Mazda5 and the Fiat 500L, and two more earned marginal scores.

Introduced two years ago, the small front overlap test has been a difficult one for automakers to master, particularly so for small cars, which have less weight to absorb the forces of a car accident. So far, IIHS has tested 32 vehicles in the small-car segment and 13 have earned marginal or poor scores. On the flip side, 19 earned good or acceptable scores.

“Consumers trading the inherent safety of a larger vehicle for the convenience or fuel economy of a small car should focus their search on these vehicles with state-of-the-art safety designs,” said Joe Nolan, senior vice president for vehicle research at IIHS.

Continue reading Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]

Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Production and Sales Results for June 2014 and for January through June 2014 (Flash Report)

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 30th, 2014

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We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 29th, 2014

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Chances are good that you, loyal Autoblog reader, have long since chosen to follow us on Twitter and ‘like’ us on Facebook. (If you haven’t, feel free to take a second and do so right now.) Anyway, if you’re one of our social media posse, you might have already heard that we’re smack dab in the middle of Miata Month. We’ve gotten Mazda to loan us a couple of MX-5 Miatas, allowing us to say a protracted, tear-filled goodbye to the current generation (NC) of the beloved roadster, just before it exits stage right and ushers in the next generation.

You’ll see a few more Miata Month items here on Autoblog after we’ve said our final farewell, but we absolutely wanted to make sure we created some great video evidence of our month, as well. Right down below, then, in its unfiltered-audio splendor, is the Autoblog Unplugged version of the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT. Your author had a pretty great time wringing out the roadster for the creation of our short vid, and we really hope you dig listening along.

Continue reading We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month

We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 25th, 2014

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Mazda RX-8 badge

Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.

As with the rest of the vehicles with these faulty inflators, it’s possible for the part to rupture when deploying the airbag and potentially spray shrapnel at the occupant. Mazda’s defect notice goes into a bit more detail than most about the problem saying: “some propellant wafers have been produced with an inadequate compaction force, or may have been exposed to uncontrolled moisture conditions (those wafers could have absorbed moisture beyond the allowable limits).”

This isn’t Mazda’s first difficulty with Takata-supplied airbags this year. The company was among the seven automakers that recalled vehicles in hot-weather states over the inflators. It also had to recently fix 42,000 Mazda6 vehicles in China over the issue.

Repairs of the Mazda6 and RX-8 are scheduled to start in August, and obviously there’s no charge to owners. Scroll down to read the recall announcement, or read the complete defect notice as a PDF, here.

Continue reading Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators

Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 24th, 2014

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Motorweek 1993 Sports Car Test

Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the ’70s and ’80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it’s priceless.

Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1, MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars’ performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today – over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it’s amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though. In most of these models, having two airbags is touted as a big deal. Scroll down to watch a Throwback Thursday blast from the past about some of the ’90s best sports cars.

Continue reading MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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