Archive for August, 2012

Mazda working on range-extended, rotary-powered vehicle

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 30th, 2012

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The Moscow Motor Show may be hotter than we previously though. Right on the heels of the debut of the next Mazda6, the Japanese automaker has revealed that it will continue to develop rotary engines and is also working on a range-extended vehicle.

When word came that the RX-8 would drive off to the big salvage yard in the sky, it was feared that it would spell the end for the stupendously high-revving mill, but Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi stated that the company will “continue to explore ways to improve the fuel efficiency and capabilities of the rotary engine so it can be the primary source of power again.” That sounds very promising, coming form Yamanouchi, who said that interest in the rotary motivated his decision to come work for the automaker in 1967.

Part of the equation to maximize the potential of the rotary is to incorporate range-extending technology. Sure, Mazda’s rotary engines loves to play with its RPMs in the stratosphere, the company knows this mill is most efficient at about 2000 rpm. Starting and stopping require a good amount of energy to change the momentum of the Reuleaux triangle-shaped rotor. Range extenders would keep the rotor spinning at that ideal 2000 rpm while idling.

Rotary fans will hopefully rejoice at the idea of the Wankel mill continuing on for some time. Anyone worried about the engine’s fate will appreciate word that as long as Yamanouchi works for Mazda, research into the uses of the rotary will continue.

Mazda working on range-extended, rotary-powered vehicle originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Aug 2012 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda6 performance and coupe models mooted, all-wheel drive under consideration too

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 30th, 2012

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2014 Mazda6 - front three-quarter view

AutoExpress reports Mazda is already looking at ways to give the company’s 2014 Mazda6 a little more heat. The company isn’t throwing out too many details at the moment beyond saying executives are looking at the possibility of creating a spiritual successor to the Mazdaspeed6. While speaking with the publication, Hiroshi Kajiyama, program manager for the Mazda6, admits a performance version has lots of potential, and that such a machine would be helpful for the brand. If a hotter four-door hits the market, it will likely be lighter than its common sibling with around 100 fewer pounds to lug around. It may also bow with a turbocharged version of the currently-available diesel mill.

Meanwhile, Autocar reports the new Mazda6 may spawn a two-door variant as well. Akira Tamatani, Mazda chief designer, said he would love to make such a vehicle, though no solid decision has been made one way or the other. What else does Mazda have planned for its newest model? Developers are sweating over the possible addition of an all-wheel drive system to help the machine better compete in foul-weather markets.

Mazda6 performance and coupe models mooted, all-wheel drive under consideration too originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Aug 2012 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda6 gets Kinksy in debut vid

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 29th, 2012

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2014 Mazda6 with cellists on a salt flat

Mazda has the very elegant notion that you’ll want to be with the 2014 Mazda6 all day and all of the night: a two-minute piece highlighting the Kodo design and Skyactiv technologies underneath the new sedan puts the Mazda6 on a salt plain with two cellists riffing the hit by The Kinks.

There’s rolling footage to show you how “the wild and dynamic expressions of motion artistically realize a powerful presence” in that seriously Soul Red body. We should get more info on what other expression it intends to bring our way when we see it at the Paris Motor Show. For now, you can enjoy it and the original version of “All Day and All of the Night” in the videos below.

Continue reading 2014 Mazda6 gets Kinksy in debut vid

2014 Mazda6 gets Kinksy in debut vid originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Aug 2012 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Slow-selling Mazda2 may not be renewed for U.S.

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 29th, 2012

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Mazda2

As with its platform-mate, the Ford Fiesta, the Mazda2 hasn’t exactly made hay with the monthly sales numbers. Unlike it’s Ford relative, however, Mazda isn’t committed to sticking it out with the Mazda2 in the U.S. Ford has gone on record as saying it will remain committed to the Fiesta here, while a report in Automotive News claims the next-generation Mazda2, due around 2014, might skip our shores. The lack of momentum in the U.S. subcompact market is one of the causes, as is the Mazda2′s price: with an asking price of $14,530, it is only $670 less expensive than the four-door Mazda3.

The Japanese company is focusing on its volume models and on getting its Skyactiv technologies fully integrated throughout the line. We’ve now got a full look at the Mazda6, and AN suggest the 2.2-liter twin-turbo diesel with 170 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque could come to the U.S. after the sedan is launched here.

The next Mazda3 will be a showcase of lightweight and efficient Skyactiv tech, with 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter direct-injection engines on offer, a diesel and i-Eloop regenerative braking being considered. The lighter, more powerful MX-5 Miata is expected to be here in about two years time, and a rotary-powered sports car is still being worked on well behind the scenes.

Slow-selling Mazda2 may not be renewed for U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Aug 2012 09:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Production and Sales Results for July 2012 (Flash Report)

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 29th, 2012


Mazda Publishes Mazda Sustainability Report 2012 and Annual Report 2012

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 29th, 2012


2014 Mazda6 finally breaks cover in Moscow

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 28th, 2012

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2014 Mazda6 - front three-quarter view

Mazda has made the unusual choice of selecting the Moscow Motor Show to unveil its all-new 2014 Mazda6. The mid-size sedan looks very sharp, and powered by the Japanese automaker’s latest line of Skyactiv engines, it ought to be efficient and solid to drive, as well.

Visually, the Mazda6 is the company’s latest expression of their Kodo (“Soul of Motion”) design language and draws heavily from the company’s well-received 2011 Takeri showcar. A widened, stretched version of Mazda’s five-point grille is employed and it’s perhaps the most attractive version of that design element to date. The grille is connected to the LED headlights via shiny bits, a design tactic reminiscent of the new BMW 3 Series.

According to chief designer Akira Tamatani, “We have created a design in which the wild and dynamic expressions of motion artistically realize a powerful presence.” The color seen here is called Soul Red, and was enveloped by Mazda to accentuate the shapes of the new 6.

Inside, the layout is a clean and straightforward one, which has become a hallmark of Mazda cabin design. The cabin is highlighted by a color-matched interior accent panel. A trained eye will even notice a rotary selector to control the navigation system,


Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to get Mini-like levels of customization

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 28th, 2012

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2013 Mazda MX-5 Roadster (aka Miata) - JDM

Much is expected of the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, primarily significant weight savings and a bit more power. The new roadster will be co-developed with Alfa Romeo as part of a joint-venture agreed upon last May. A report in What Car? suggests that that Mazda’s benefits won’t be limited to the hard bits, claiming that personalization possibilities for the new car will be “similar” to those of the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500. The stated aim is for additional customization is “to help a customer’s relationship with the car,” but on a more basic level, they are popular within the segment. And depending on how Mazda structures pricing, it can fatten up the profit margin significantly.

The date of arrival is predicted to be 2015, and What Car? says the coming roadster should be around 220 pounds lighter than the current model, weighing in at 2,200 pounds. True, that isn’t the 700-pound drop engineers were aiming for, but it’s not small beer on such a tiny car. Power is said to come from a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower which would represent a 33-horsepower bump over the 2012 to propel a lighter, stiffer car. Sign us up.

Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to get Mini-like levels of customization originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Aug 2012 11:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda ceases production in U.S. as last sedan rolls off line in Flat Rock

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 26th, 2012

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Mazda6 US production kickoff, 2008

The photo above was taken July 23, 2008 at the production kickoff for the Mazda6 at the AutoAlliance International plant, jointly owned by Mazda and Ford, in Flat Rock, Michigan. And as of this week, though neither company made a big deal about it, the AutoAlliance facility stopped building the Mazda6, ending Mazda production in the United States.

Although Ford takes total practical control of AutoAlliance International, the two companies will maintain their 50-50 stake in the plant for now while Ford invests $550 million in the facility to gear up for 2013 Fusion production.

The plant has built some well-known nameplates, including the Probe, Cougar and Mustang. The success of the joint venture led to the opening of an AutoAlliance Thailand plant in Rayong, modeled on its Flat Rock forebear. Mazda’s manufacturing departure from the U.S. will see 2014 Mazda6 production return to Japan; the automaker’s North American production relocates to Salamanca, Mexico in early 2013.

Mazda ceases production in U.S. as last sedan rolls off line in Flat Rock originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 26 Aug 2012 14:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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These cars are headed to the Great Crusher In The Sky

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 24th, 2012

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Maybach 62 - two tone paint - front three-quarter view

It happens every year. We bid adieu to some cars and trucks that will be missed, and say good riddance to others wondering how they stayed around so long. Whether they’re being killed off for slow sales or due to a new product coming along to replace them, the list of vehicles being discontinued after 2012 is surprisingly long and diverse.

CNN Money has compiled a list of departing vehicles, to which we’ve added a few more of our own. In the slow sales column, cars like the Lexus HS 250h, Mercedes-Benz R-Class and the full Maybach lineup appear, while the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda CX-7 and Hyundai Veracruz are all having their gaps filled with more modern and more fuel-efficient alternatives. Obvious exceptions to the rule include models that still sell in decent numbers like the Jeep Liberty and the Chrysler Town & Country (which will eventually be replaced by a crossover-like vehicle).

Check out our gallery of discontinued cars above, then scroll down for more information.

Continue reading These cars are headed to the Great Crusher In The Sky

These cars are headed to the Great Crusher In The Sky originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 24 Aug 2012 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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