Archive for April, 2012
The minds at Car and Driver recently took a moment to speak with Robert Davis, senior vice president of Mazda U.S. operations, about the automaker’s plans for the future. According to Davis, the rotary engine will continue to play a role in the company’s products moving forward, with engineers applying the lessons learned through the SkyActiv program to the powerplant. That means the next-generation rotary will likely feature reduced internal friction and lightweight internals in a quest to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy. But the engine may find applications outside of its traditional role.
Not only is Mazda pursuing a rotary engine to power a vehicle, Davis admits Mazda is also investigating ways to use the design in tandem with an electric motor, with the pistonless engine responsible for charging an extended-range EV’s batteries. Given the compact size and relatively low torque supplied by a rotary, this application would seem to hold promise. Of course, we’ve heard some of this before.
And what of a SkyActiv V6? Davis makes it clear there’s no room in the SkyActiv stable for a six-cylinder, saying that the company will focus on lighter platforms and forced-induction four-cylinder engines instead.
Mazda working on multiple rotary engines, has no plans for SkyActiv V6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 Apr 2012 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Ward’s AutoWorld is well known for its annual “10 Best Engines” list, but the trade publication has been compiling a second list for interiors for a few years now. Formerly known as the “Interior of the Year” competition, Ward’s rebranded the list last year, naming the coolest cockpits under the “10 Best Interiors” moniker.
This year’s winners are a relatively diverse lot, with hatchbacks, sedans and crossovers all making the list. While Ward’s lists them in alphabetical order rather than crowning a single winner, we’re choosing to present them with the lowest as-tested MSRP first:
- Hyundai Accent ($15,925)
- Chevrolet Sonic ($18,745)
- Dodge Dart ($21,485)
- Volkswagen Beetle ($25,195)
- Mazda CX-5 ($30,415)
- Hyundai Azera ($36,875)
- Chrysler 300 Luxury ($44,855)
- Range Rover Evoque ($49,745)
- Infiniti JX35 ($54,800)
- Audi A7 ($67,430)
The first thing we noticed then is that while fully half the models carrying base sticker prices under $25,000, Ward’s was clearly not testing the base models of any of these vehicles. The Chevy Sonic, for instance, starts nearly $5,000 below the price of the car Ward’s drove. Even so, that half of the cars on the list could be legitimately called “affordable” is impressive.
Ward’s says 40 vehicles qualified for the competition by having “new or significantly improved interiors,” and while 13 of those were luxury vehicles, they only made up half of the winners. Ward’s says it judged the interiors based on design, fit-and-finish, comfort, ergonomics, safety, material selection, overall value, aesthetics, and human-machine interface.
Check out all the award winners in our high-res image gallery above.
The gorgeous Mazda Takeri concept is making its U.S. debut at the New York Auto Show, and you’ll want to take another close look at it: it will “strongly influence” the 2014 Mazda6 that we’ll see at the Paris Motor Show later this year. The next Mazda6 will also follow the Mazda CX-5 in the company’s lineup of SkyActiv vehicles.
In spite of the 2014 model year, the 6 will go on sale during Q1 of 2013 and will feature the SkyActiv 2.0-liter gas engine that shifts through a six-speed auto or six-speed manual. Mazda says it is gunning to post class-leading fuel economy figures.
We will also be looking to see if it spawns a coupe, since the Takeri could make an equally beautiful two-door. If so, that isn’t expected to happen for at least a year after the sedan bows, but recent events at Mazda have made such long-distance predictions exceedingly difficult. Follow the jump for a press release with more info on the 2014 Mazda6.
We love crazy promotional videos with hair-raising stunts that seem to defy gravity, and this particular spot certainly checks all those boxes. Mazda has teamed up with The Demon Drome crew to determine if its Mazda2 can successfully whirl around a motor drome.
The motor drome is essentially a cylinder about 30 feet in diameter with wooden planks that are positioned at an impossible angle. Trained men and women have traditionally used motorcycles in these stunts, but the Japanese automaker evidently thought its tiny Mazda2 would be an ideal four-wheeled replacement.
We knew the Mazda2 was nimble, but this is pretty sweet. Hit the jump to watch the video for yourself… and try not to be alarmed by the demonic-sounding backwards talk.
Watch a Mazda tackle the Wall of Death, live to tell the tale originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Apr 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.