Archive for February, 2014
Last week, Mazda officially teased its Geneva-bound Hazumi concept, showing little more than an aggressive headlamp design. But now, thanks to the magic of the Internet, another rendering of the Hazumi has appeared on the web, and, well, it’s totes adorbs.
In Mazda’s original release from last week, we were told that the name “Hazumi” means “spring up” or “bound” in Japanese, and is “particularly well-suited to a small car that appears to be bursting with energy.” And now that we’re getting a nearly full glimpse of the thing, we absolutely have to agree. The company’s Kodo design language offers aggressive style in a cute little shape, and the usual raft of concept car-spec treatments (no mirrors, huge wheels, etc.) make it look even more comical and delightful.
Indeed, the Hazumi is understood to preview the next Mazda2 subcompact, and if this concept car points the way forward for Mazda’s tiniest hatch, consider us totally geeked. Mazda is also set to debut its new 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine at the Geneva Motor Show next week, and while the company hasn’t confirmed if that powerplant will make its way into the next Mazda2, it sure makes sense, at least overseas. Stay tuned.
To say that the Mazda3 is a vital product for Mazda would be one heck of an understatement. In fact, the model line accounts for about 30 percent of the manufacturer’s sales. Fortunately for Mazda, they’re selling well.
These days, the Japanese automaker is building the Mazda3 (known domestically as the Axela) in Japan, China, Thailand and, as of last month, in Mexico. The company’s expanded global production capacity has helped Mazda reach four million units of the Mazda3 sold around the world since the first model was introduced over ten and a half years ago.
Over the course of that decade since its introduction in June 2003, Mazda has gone through three generations of Mazda3, the newest model benefiting from the company’s Skyactiv technology and even encompassing a hybrid model in the Japanese Domestic Market.
Looks like Mazda’s big Geneva Motor Show debut is actually something quite small. Teased here, the Hazumi concept “points the way to the future” for the brand’s subcompact offering, the Mazda2. Details are slim as of this writing, but from what we can see in the image above, the Hazumi will use the same Kodo design language found on the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5. We’re big fans of this styling direction, so we fully expect the concept to be quite an attractive little number.
Hazumi means “bound” or “spring up” in Japanese, with Mazda saying this nomenclature is “particularly well-suited to a small car that appears to be bursting with energy.” In other words, say goodbye to the friendly faced Mazda2 we’ve enjoyed since it launched in the United States in 2010. Instead, prepare for something decidedly more assertive, hopefully improving upon the already-great driving dynamics of the current subcompact. If we’re honest, we can’t wait.
Mazda will also use the Geneva show to debut its new small-displacement, 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine. The automaker hasn’t confirmed that this new fuel-efficient powerplant will be part of the Hazumi concept package, but considering the two are debuting alongside each other, it would seem to make sense. As for whether or not this engine could come stateside when the next Mazda2 launches, we’re not holding our breath for that, especially considering the company’s current woes with US-spec diesel engines.
Scroll down for Mazda’s official release about its Geneva happenings, and click the image above to see a high-res version of the Hazumi teaser.
Mazda has used its Kodo design language to make some of the most attractive, affordable cars in the world right now, with the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 (pictured above), but it still lacks a crossover in the smaller class, which are becoming popular on the world market. It seems like a natural fit then, that the Japanese company would shrink its CUV design even smaller for a CX-3 to fill the gap. However, a rumor suggests that the compact might not make it to these shores.
The Mazda2-based crossover is due later this summer in Japan and is launching in Europe and emerging markets later, according to Automotive News citing a report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. The little CUV would cost between 1.5 million yen and 2.0 million yen ($14,700-$19,500) in Japan and be available with diesel and petrol engine options. However, the report made no mention of selling it in North America. There is a glimmer of a chance for the CX-3 here. Mazda is upgrading its Mexican factory to 230,000 annual unit capacity by 2016, which gives it the room to add the new vehicle.
While the midsize CUVs are hugely popular in the US, compacts like the Buick Encore are still a small portion of things. If Mazda could time the CX-3’s launch right here, it could take advantage of the lack of competition.
The original Mazda MX-5 Miata was distinguished by an oval grille – a design trait that gradually evolved into the smiling cat face on the latest model. But Mazda, according to the latest intel, is planning on returning to that oval grille with the new model in the works.
The revised grille will cap a slightly longer form than models past, while still keeping weight down to a minimum. The stretched wheelbase was reportedly adopted in order to meet the requirements of Alfa Romeo, which is jointly developing the new platform together with Mazda for use on a new roadster of its own.
The new Miata is expected to adopt the 1.5-liter Skyactiv four found in the Mazda3, albeit returned to rev higher and deliver more power and torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic. The Alfa version, meanwhile, is expected to use a 1.4-liter turbo four with a dual-clutch transmission. Sources anticipate the new MX-5 to debut first, possibly at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show a little less than a year from now.
Mazda going back to oval grille with next MX-5 Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 62,000, 2010-2011 Mazda CX-9 models over brake problems. The government safety watchdog says it has received seven complaints of an observed loss of power braking power to stop the crossover, according to the The Detroit News.
The NHTSA complaints say that the problem causes a hard pedal, increased braking effort and reduced braking effectiveness. Some complaints allege that they hear a hissing noise during braking similar to the sound of air leaving the tires. No injuries or crashes have been reported.
“As always, we are fully cooperating with NHTSA on their investigation. We cannot comment further at this time,” said Mazda spokesperson Tamara Mlynarczyk to The Detroit News.
Should it get to that point, this would not be the first recall for the CX-9. The 2010 CX-9 was recalled due to faulty seat heaters. It also recalled about 31,000, 2007-2009 trucks for a fault in the power driver’s seat. NHTSA also investigated (but didn’t recall) the 2008 CX-9 for loss of braking effectiveness after a high number of warranty claims affected approximately 37,000 crossovers. Mazda found that there was a possible manufacturing defect with the brake master cylinder that might have caused it. We will watch the investigation and keep you updated if it develops into a recall.
Feds investigating 2010-11 Mazda CX-9 CUVs over braking issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Feb 2014 09:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.