Archive for August, 2012

This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 22nd, 2012

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Mazda MX-5 Miata GT4 racecar from Jota Sport

Mazda has just revealed the latest iteration of its MX-5 Miata GT4 race car, and it promises to be the meanest one you’ll ever meet.

Mazda has Jota Sport building the GT4 using carbon fiber doors, splitter rear diffuser and wing with an FIA-spec roll cage inside. Under the hood crouches a turbocharged 2.0-liter MZR cranking out 320 horsepower. In a car that only weighs only 2,200 pounds, every horse is pulling less than seven pounds each. A six-speed sequential shift gearbox is standard equipment. A separate cooling system for the differential and gearbox keeps things less heated and adjustable traction control helps keep the car between the lines. Mazda says the car will be fully homologated for GT4 racing.

“The car is an easy car to race and would even suit track day enthusiasts. We are still developing the car, but we are now at a point that we can offer this car to customers safe in the knowledge that it is going to be a front runner in any GT4 field,” says Sam Hignett, Managing Director of Jota Group.

All that fast won’t come cheap. The monster Miata starts at $197k with options like soft touch control panel, lithium power pack, endurance exhaust and four-way adjustable dampers taking the price up and up. Despite the daunting price, the Miata still works out as pretty affordable by turnkey GT4 standards.

Check out the full press release below for more details.

Continue reading This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like

This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Aug 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster vs. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 22nd, 2012

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Veteran And Rookie Roadsters Face Off In Droptop Doubleheader

Like an aging ballplayer, the Mazda is starting to look a little gray around the temples – a bit vulnerable.

We’ve been eying this fight for a long time. Since the reborn Mini first burst on the scene in 2002, really. Oh, the Mini Cooper Convertible has been around since 2005, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to compare them. What with all that physical and visual weight from the Mini’s nearly useless rear seats, it just didn’t seem like a fair fight. The classically proportioned rear-drive Mazda MX-5 Miata against a front-drive droptop with a pair of roll hoops awkwardly stationed behind the second row of seats, Tour de France-sized blind spots and a windshield header so far away from the driver as to be oddly distant – not to mention streetlight blocking? No, the Mini Convertible wasn’t the answer we were looking for.

And neither, as it turns out, have been all the other suitors the industry has concocted over the Miata’s considerable lifespan. Everything from General Motors’ Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky twins to the Aussie-built Mercury Capri, Toyota MR2 Spyder and Honda Del Sol has tried to crack Miata’s iron grip on the affordable and fun basic roadster crown, and all have collapsed rather miserably. The Miata has been around for nearly a quarter century, and it’s cornered the affordable convertible market for both new enthusiasts and golden oldies looking for a British sports car that doesn’t leak and bears no trace of Lucas electrics. To borrow shamelessly from Terence Mann of Field Of Dreams (say it in your best James Earl Jones bellow):

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been the Miata. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. The sports car market has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But the Miata has marked the time.”

But now, like an aging ballplayer, the Mazda is starting to look a little gray around the temples – a bit vulnerable. Despite a steady stream of small tweaks and tugs and a parade of special editions, this third-generation NC Miata has been on the market since 2005. Since that time, Mini has effectively released its second generation of ragtop Coopers with this new-for-2012 Mini Roadster, and it poses a more serious threat to the Miata than even we realized.

Continue reading 2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster vs. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition

2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster vs. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This is what 4,500 hp worth of V8 Miatas looks like

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 11th, 2012

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2012 Flyin Miata Summer Camp V8 Conversion

A strange thing happened at this year’s Flyin’ Miata Summer Camp. The crew hosts a day of seminars covering everything from new products to a timing belt how-to, and this year, a total of 11 V8 conversions showed up in the same room. There are many ways to pull over 400 horsepower from a Mazda Miata, but few are more entertaining than plopping a honkin’ American V8 behind the headlights.

The shop routinely plays host to Keith Tanner’s delicious Targa Miata as well as the company’s NB development mule, Elvis, and his NC sister, Betty, but with six customer cars with FM V8 conversions on hand plus two homebrew specials hanging about, the total hit an all-time high.

No one’s throwing out any specific numbers, but estimates put the final horsepower figure at around 4,500 ponies. For perspective, you’d need to amass around 27 stock NC models to crest the same number. Cue the mad-scientist laughter.

This year marked the 15th Flyin’ Miata Summer camp, and fans of the brand trekked from as far as Maine and Florida for five days of on-track shenanigans, group drives and seminars by the FM staff. Check it out below as well as a full gallery from the shindig.

Continue reading This is what 4,500 hp worth of V8 Miatas looks like

This is what 4,500 hp worth of V8 Miatas looks like originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 11 Aug 2012 12:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Flyin’ Miata gets the documentary treatment

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 11th, 2012

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Flyin Miata at Targa Newfoundland

It’s been nearly a year since Flyin’ Miata took two cars to the Targa Newfoundland. As you may recall, I got to tag along and do my best to get the supercharged Grand Touring entry as lost as possible. While we were there, one very dedicated film crew followed us from stage to stage, thereby documenting our various triumphs and defeats for a feature-length film. Packed with lots of in-stage footage, interviews with crew as well as fans of both Flyin’ Miata and the Targa Newfoundland, the show finds itself on footing with the likes of Truth in 24 and From Dust to Glory.

I spend a bit of time on screen trying to explain what it’s like to drown under a league of time-speed-distance calculations, but don’t let that be a deterrent. The movie does a stellar job of conveying exactly what it’s like to compete in one of the most unique motorsports endeavors on the planet. You can check out the preview for Racing the Rock below or head over to Flyin’ Miata to purchase your DVD copy. Keep an eye out for it to show up on iTunes and BluRay later down the line.

Continue reading Flyin’ Miata gets the documentary treatment

Flyin’ Miata gets the documentary treatment originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Aug 2012 18:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda6 wagon rolls up on video

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 6th, 2012

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Mazda taped the ceremony commemorating production of the 2014 Mazda6 at its Hofu No. 2 plant in Japan, and now we have it. There are a few dark glimpses of the Euro-spec Mazda6 wagon as a couple of them roll out and do loops for the factory workers, but the cameras don’t spend a lot of time on the car. A more well-lit demonstration will likely be seen at the Moscow Motor Show later this month.

The 14-minute video is in Japanese, so once you’re finished watching the car you can enjoy the executive speeches, and it ends with a cheer by the workers. Check it out below.

Continue reading 2014 Mazda6 wagon rolls up on video

2014 Mazda6 wagon rolls up on video originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First official Mazda6 wagon pic revealed as plant comes online

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 2nd, 2012

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2013 Mazda6 production commencement ceremony

Mazda has officially kicked off production of the 2014 Mazda6 at its Hofu No. 2 plant in Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture. The car in the photo above is a European-spec Mazda6 wagon, equipped with the automaker’s 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline inline-four, and it’s the first undisguised look we have at the rakish estate.

The 2014 Mazda6 will be seen for the first time at the Moscow Motor Show in August, and the rest of the world will get their first glimpse at market-specific models during September’s Paris Motor Show festivities. The third-generation Mazda6 will go on sale in Europe and Japan before the end of the year, while North American cars will start hitting dealerships sometime in early 2013.

Mazda plans to produce approximately 120,000 units of the Mazda6 annually at Hofu. 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of Mazda6 production there, with the original car (the official 626 replacement) first rolling off the line in 2002.

To review, Mazda will also offer the new mid-sizer with its Skyactiv-D diesel engine in other markets (and possibly the U.S.), and the car will be the first to use the automaker’s new i-ELOOP regenerative braking technology. We’ll have all the official details later this month.

Continue reading First official Mazda6 wagon pic revealed as plant comes online

First official Mazda6 wagon pic revealed as plant comes online originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Aug 2012 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Production of All-New Mazda6 Begins at Hofu Plant

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 2nd, 2012


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