Archive for December, 2011

Say ‘goodbye’ to these cars and trucks for the new year

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 23rd, 2011

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BMW X6 hybrid

As we prepare to flip our calendars from 2011 to 2012, it’s time to say goodbye to a handful of vehicles that are being sent to the Great Parking Lot In The Sky before the 2012 model year completely takes hold. And while we’re not exactly upset about having to bid farewell to things like the Mitsubishi Endeavor, Mazda Tribute or Chevrolet HHR, there are a few vehicles that we’re truly going to miss.

The Mazda RX-8, for example, has grown to be one of our favorite sports cars since its introduction in 2003. We love its lightweight construction, high-revving rotary engine and surprisingly functional suicide door design. It’s kind of like a Miata with a roof and rear seats. Speaking of the Miata, Tesla’s two-seat Roadster – the automaker’s first production vehicle – proved to us that open-top motoring can be thrilling even with a stack of batteries driving the wheels.

We’ll miss the Honda Element and its rugged, utilitarian nature. We’ll miss the Volvo V50 and its capacious cargo area made for Ikea runs. And we’ll really miss those large lords of luxury, the Cadillac DTS and Ford Crown Victoria. We’ve already said goodbye to the faithful but overripe Ford Ranger, and as ridiculous as the BMW X6 ActiveHybrid was, it was a shockingly good-to-drive electrified crossover.

There are plenty more models that won’t be making the journey to the 2012 model year, so have a look at the full list in our attached image gallery, then let us know which ones you’ll miss (if any) in the Comments.

Say ‘goodbye’ to these cars and trucks for the new year originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Dec 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Production and Sales Results for November 2011 (Flash Report)

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 22nd, 2011


Mazda previews driver-focused Tokyo Auto Salon showcars

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 22nd, 2011

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Customzied Mazda CX-5 at the Tokyo Auto Salon

While the Tokyo Motor Show is a stage for the world’s manufacturers to strut their production models, the Tokyo Auto Salon allows designers and engineers to stretch their legs with custom hardware. This year, Mazda is bringing 10 special models to the Tokyo Auto Salon, including a custom version of the recently-released CX-5.

The custom CX-5 wears special paint, a lowered ride height and unique wheels for a significantly sportier appearance. Likewise, the company’s Demio also receives a little attention, and visitors to the show can expect to see the Demio 13 Skyactiv Smart Stylish bow alongside the CX-5. The pint-sized hatch makes use of a few aero treatments including a front underspoiler, side skirts and rear underskirt.

The new Axela Skyactiv will also be on display, complete with a body kit of its own, along with a sharp-looking set of wheels. Visitors can take a closer look at a pair of custom Roadster models as well, including the Black Tuned version and a racing-spec version called the Jimba-Ittai, or Rider and Horse as one. We like the sound of that. Hit the jump to read the full press release.

Continue reading Mazda previews driver-focused Tokyo Auto Salon showcars

Mazda previews driver-focused Tokyo Auto Salon showcars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Dec 2011 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda to Display Mazda CX-5 at Tokyo Auto Salon 2012

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 21st, 2011


Mazda AZ-Wagon ‘XS Limited’ and ‘Custom Style XS Limited’ Special Editions Go on Sale in Japan

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 21st, 2011


Mazda planning EV for U.S. market by 2018

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 15th, 2011

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We don’t have a clue what 2018 has in store for us, but automakers’ product plans extend well into the future, giving us a glimpse of what may or may not come. Automotive News reports that Mazda is planning to offer an electric vehicle in the United States by 2018, in part to satisfy California’s zero-emissions vehicle requirements.

Mazda engineer Mitsuru Fujinaka reportedly told AN that the regulations make a U.S.-bound EV a near certainty, adding, “otherwise, we can’t sell in California.” And since California has the highest population of any state in the Union, we’re thinking Mazda doesn’t want to lose such a huge market. Of course, 2018 is more of a deadline than a target, so it’s possible that Mazda could offer an EV in the U.S. before then.

The U.S.-bound Mazda EV may be a long way away, but that doesn’t mean the automaker doesn’t already have electrification plans underway in its home country. In the spring, Mazda will begin leasing an all-electric version of the Demio (the Mazda2 in the U.S.), which offers a range of 124 miles and a top speed of 87 miles per hour. The Demio will be a lease-only affair with a planned monthly take rate in the three-digit territory. The Demio EV can fast charge in 30 minutes, and a full charge takes about eight hours.

Mazda planning EV for U.S. market by 2018 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 Dec 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ward’s releases annual 10 Best Engines list

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 9th, 2011

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2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 engine

It’s that time of year, folks. No, we’re not referring to the oodles of time spent shopping for the holidays, we’re talking about end-of-the-year lists. Kicking things off in the automotive spectrum is industry stalwart Ward’s Auto, which has just released its annual 10 Best Engines list.

Without further ado, here are the award-winners for 2012:

It comes as little surprise that seven of the ten engines on the list feature the most recent advance in power and efficiency, namely direct injection, or that a full half of them are boosted with the addition of either a supercharger or a turbocharger. Perhaps more surprising is that there’s only one hybrid powertrain on the list, and it’s from Infiniti, not Toyota or Lexus.

In fact, there isn’t a single engine from Honda or Toyota on 2011’s edition of the 10 Best Engines, nor are the 1.4-liter/111kW electric motor package in the Chevrolet Volt or 80kW AC motor in the Nissan Leaf anywhere to be found – both of which were on the list in 2010. Also missing? A diesel… any diesel – and there certainly are a few options from the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen from which to choose.

Though its neither direct-injected nor turbocharged, the Pentastar V6 from Chrysler is surely worthy of inclusion, if for no other reason than its single-handed ability to transform any vehicle it’s in from an also-ran to a competitive proposition.

We’ll also give a shout-out to Ford, which earned two spots on the list but could seemingly have garnered another for the excellent 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the F-150 pickup. Ward’s has plenty of commentary on why each engine was chosen, and you can read all about it right here. But first, have a look at each powerplant in our high-res image gallery.

Ward’s releases annual 10 Best Engines list originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Dec 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Car and Driver reveals its 2012 10Best cars [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 7th, 2011

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Each year, the scribes at Car and Driver go through every new vehicle on sale and pick the ten best cars available here in the United States. And while some major automotive awards are only shelled out to vehicles that are all-new or significantly updated for a certain model year, C/D‘s approach is to look at the full scope of cars currently on sale. After all, there are some cars that are simply perennial favorites, even if they haven’t changed year over year.

For 2012, the Chevrolet Volt and Hyundai Sonata have fallen off the list to make room for the Audi A6/A7 and Ford Focus. The other eight vehicles that round out the 10Best list have carried over from the 2011 winners, but we can’t say we’re surprised. These ten cars indeed represent some of the best vehicles on sale today.

The 2012 Car and Driver 10Best winners are:

Head over to Car and Driver to read the full 10Best roundup, and follow the jump to see a video of this year’s winning fleet, then check in to Comments to share your thoughts on C/D’s list.

Continue reading Car and Driver reveals its 2012 10Best cars [w/video]

Car and Driver reveals its 2012 10Best cars [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Dec 2011 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The art of threading the needle, as demonstrated by a Lotus Exige

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 7th, 2011

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lotus passes miata

Professional racing drivers are a different breed than the rest of us mere mortals. While fear – of dying, of killing or of simply making a fool of yourself – keeps most men and women from pressing their automobiles to the very limits of their capabilities, some people choose instead to embrace the fear, turn it into adrenaline and hit the track.

That includes Barton Mawer, who was chasing down a Lamborghini Gallardo for the overall lead in his Lotus Exige during Australia’s Island Magic Enduro 2011 race at Phillip Island. Only one problem: in his path were a pair of slower cars; a Porsche Boxster and the Mazda MX-5 of Team Chapman Racing.

What happened next is the things dreams are made of… or nightmares, depending on which seat you’re in.

See for yourself, from both points of view, in the videos pasted after the break.

Continue reading The art of threading the needle, as demonstrated by a Lotus Exige

The art of threading the needle, as demonstrated by a Lotus Exige originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Dec 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Mazda CX-5

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 7th, 2011

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The Most Functional Miata Money Can Buy

Now, before you furiously fire off angry comments about the absolute blasphemy of soiling the Miata’s good name in reference to a crossover, hear us out. Mazda has told us over and over again that everything it has learned from the Miata project has directly influenced its new products. Case in point: the Mazda2. It’s the least-powerful offering in its class, but we’ll go on record as saying that it’s the most entertaining B-segment car offered in the United States. The Mazda2’s success is built upon its superb steering, great manual gearbox and well-balanced suspension geometry – you know, just like the Miata.

So how does this philosophy play out on a much larger vehicle like the 2013 Mazda CX-5 – a new entry in an extremely competitive class filled with big names like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape? Does Mazda’s theory of Zoom-Zoom Above All work in a segment that largely values function over fun?

Just days after the its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mazda let us loose in some pre-production CX-5s along the sun-drenched roads of southern California. Here, on the twisty roads through the canyons, it’s easy to see what the CX-5 is all about.

Continue reading 2013 Mazda CX-5

2013 Mazda CX-5 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Dec 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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