Archive for June, 2012
By final, we mean the line that assembled Renesis engines for Mazda’s RX-8 sports car was idled, and there are currently no plans to restart its production. Mazda has a long-running history of building Wankel powerplants, and its production of the high-revving engine has seen a few stutters since Mazda put the first dual-rotor Wankel in a production car in 1967.
Of course, it’s always possible that Mazda finds a way to solve – or at least drastically improve – the failings of the Renesis: high fuel consumption and poor emissions. We’ve been hearing about the so-called 16X rotary for years, and we’d love to see it enter production at some point in the not-terribly-distant future.
For now, though, join us in remembering some of Mazda’s past rotary-powered machinery in the image galleries above and below. Even if the world never sees another production rotary, at least it’s been a good ride.
The word “kuro” means “black” in Japanese, and several special edition kuro models have made there way to the UK from Japanese automakers in the past few years: the Nissan Juke Kuro last year and the Mazda RX-8 Kuro in 2007. Mazda has gone back to black with the MX-5 Kuro, but unlike those other cars, this one is oddly available in Crystal White Pearlescent, as well as Velocity Red Mica and Brilliant Black.
It will come in either 124-horsepower, 1.8-liter soft top or 158-hp 2.0-liter Roadster Coupe forms (read: retractable hardtop). Sportiness is the brief, but while the softie gets a five-speed manual, the Roadster Coupe bags a six-speed manual, limited-slip differential and side airbags.
Upgraded spec for both variants throws in a new rear bumper with larger exhaust tips, “race car inspired exterior” graphics, 17-inch gunmetal wheels, along with Brilliant Black side mirrors, roof and trim. Inside, the black treatment is contrasted with stone-colored leather on the heated seats, as well as red stitching and alongside alloy pedals. Climate control will come standard.
Joining the AZ-Wagon, AZ-Offroad, Carol and delightfully named Scrum Wagon, Mazda has completed its micro-mini line-up with this, the Flairwagon. Underneath the badging this is actually a Suzuki Palette, a five-door, four-seater kei car introduced in Japan in 2008.
It appears Mazda has maintained most of the Palette’s option sheet, so depending on trim the Flairwagon is available with either a naturally aspirated or turbocharged 660-cc VVT engine, front-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive, keyless entry and pushbutton start, Hill Hold Control and Stop/Start, a cold storage glove box, folding rear seat, and a power sliding rear door on the left. The only transmission on offer will be a CVT.
That’s the top tier IS Limited Edition trim pictured above, and even it looks like it keeps its flair on the inside – which probably isn’t such a bad thing. Scroll down to read a press release with more info on it.
Does the idea of a Mazda MX-5 Miata with 205 horsepower – a useful bump over the stocker’s 167 ponies – sound like a good idea? How about one with an upgraded suspension, carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser and spoiler?
Still not good enough for you? Fine. Throw in a free-flowing exhaust with single center-mounted tailpipe, body-color roll hoops, sticky tires and a pair of Recaro seats. If we’re describing the Miata of your dreams, we suggest you tell Mazda how you feel – this exact machine, dubbed the MX-5 Miata GT Concept, will be on display at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it will make a run up the hill.
Mazda says it’s “seeking customer reaction” to the hotted-up sports car, which it says is inspired by its MX-5 GT race car. Mazda: We speak for all when we say, “If you build it, we will come.” Also on display at Goodwood will be the Mazda Takeri Concept and the company’s new CX-5 crossover.
See for yourself in the image gallery above and the press release below.
Mazda to debut MX-5 Miata GT Concept, looking for feedback originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Jun 2012 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The Grand AM GX class isn’t the only place where Mazda will be running its 2.2-liter turbocharged Skyactiv-D four-cylinder diesel next year: it will power the LMP2 contender fielded by Dempsey Racing, a team co-owned by actor Patrick Dempsey. Mazda will also provide the engine to other teams running in the class at Le Mans, in the American Le Mans Series and the World Endurance Championship.
Mazda raced the 24 Hours of Le Mans for 18 years before winning in 1991, then took its rotary-powered 787B out of the running. Mazda was been providing its four-cylinder MZR engines for the past decade for teams like OAK Racing Pescarolo, but ceased development on those in 2011. The Skyactiv-D will replace the MZR series, and along with the non-running Lola-built LMP2 chassis (pictured) showed off at this year’s Le Mans, is meant to mark Mazda’s full-bodied return Le Mans after 22 years.
The engines are being developed by Mazda in Japan and the U.S. as well as SpeedSource Engineering in Florida. Track testing should commence later this year, and it’s frankly good to see Mazda making such moves in spite of its financial battles. Scroll down for a press release with more details.
Mazda Skyactiv-D diesel to power Dempsey Racing LMP2 challenger at Le Mans originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Jun 2012 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.