Archive for the ‘Mazda Blogs’ Category
With all of the hype and anticipation surrounding the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Japanese brand was able to sneak another driver-oriented model into its lineup. The company’s spec page for the 2015 Mazda3 hatchback and sedan have been updated to list the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder as finally being available with a six-speed manual transmission, in addition to the previous six-speed automatic. The automaker had promised the row-your-own gearbox with the bigger engine back when it first announced the new Mazda3, but it waited a model year to actually put the combo on sale.
According to Mazda’s specs, the manual gearbox trims 40 pounds off of a hatchback or 54 pounds off of a sedan in s Touring and s Grand Touring trims. However, shedding that weight doesn’t necessarily boost fuel economy. The six-speed hatch is rated at 26 miles per gallon city and 35 mpg highway, compared to 27/37 for the automatic. The manual sedan is rated at 25/37 city/highway mpg, versus 28/39 with the auto. Buyers can save a little money by opting for the manual, though. Regardless of body style, it’s about $1,050 cheaper than the automatic. There are two, other minor 2015 model year changes, as well. The Mazda Connect infotainment system and rear camera are now standard on the i Touring model, and all buyers can get Mazda Connect upgraded to include navigation for $399.95 from dealers, if they don’t already have nav.
Autoblog reached out to Mazda and learned that the 2.5L 6MT models started hitting dealers in August. The 2.5 wasn’t initially available with the stick because, “We had to prioritize engineering resources and the 2.5L 6MT was not a high priority combination. Globally, smaller engines are preferred in terms of sales,” a Mazda spokesperson explained via email. The automaker also notes that Austrailia will probably be the only other market outside of North America to get the six-speed gearbox with the larger engine.
2015 Mazda3 finally pairs 6-speed manual with larger engine originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Mazda’s 2016 MX-5 Miata reveal didn’t include much in the way of specifications, but the car’s debut seems to have blown the lid off of the rumormill, with the latest word out of Australia including fresh claims of curb weight and engine output.
Before delving into the findings from Motoring.com, we’re going to take a moment to find a few grains of salt. It’s not that we don’t trust the Oz publication, it’s just that we wouldn’t be surprised to learn their car’s specifications will vary from that of our eventual North American car.
Of course, we don’t expect the footprint of the new ND model to itself to differ much – it will still be the most compact Miata ever – overall length is expected to check in at just over 154 inches – that’s about 1.4 inches shorter than the original NA Miata and over 4 inches shorter than today’s NC generation, yet it’ll ride atop a longer wheelbase and be slightly wider while sitting lower to the ground.
Motoring.com sources indicate that a 1.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder will nestle low in the ND’s engine bay, with a rating of just 96 kW – that’s 129 horsepower, a 13-percent drop in power over the Aussie-spec 2.0-liter four in the current Miata. Torque figures were apparently not disclosed by their source, but the publication expects the torque figure to come in above the 144 Nm (106 pound-feet) of the top-spec 1.5-liter four in the forthcoming Mazda2.
Countering that apparent shortfall is the car’s hotly anticipated drop in weight. The ADM MX-5 is said to weigh 1,020 kilograms – that’s just under 2,250 pounds – meaning Mazda would make good on its claimed 100-kg (220-pound) diet for the car. To put that number in perspective, ponder that a US-spec 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C has a curb weight of 2,465 pounds. True, it’s about 3 inches longer, but it’s also a car with a carbon-fiber tub, aluminum subframes, fiberglass skin and a deep-discount interior. Credit the Miata’s shrinking footprint, an increased use of aluminum and a by-the-gram approach to engineering. Some back-of-the-envelope calculations reveals that’s close to a 20-percent weight drop, which should go a long way toward compensating for the loss in power.
We’ve previously heard rumors of the Miata having a Skyactiv engine displacing anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 liters, with the smart money seemingly being on Mazda’s 2.0-liter engine seen in its Mazda3 compact. Despite the power drop, this 1.5-liter four could well provide enough motivation even for North American buyers, but we still wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2.0 fitted to our cars.
Mazda has confirmed that the 2016 MX-5 Miata will make its auto show debut at the Paris Motor Show early next month… will it also take the opportunity to attach some more specifications to the next generation of its iconic roadster? Here’s hoping. In the meantime, we’ve reached out to Mazda for clarification on these alleged specs and will get back to you if we learn more.
Aussie Mazda MX-5 Miata specs leak suggests power loss originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Big news at Ferrari: CEO Luca di Montezemolo is officially stepping down. In his wake, he leaves quite a legacy, and thus, the Autoblog editors have been reminiscing about our favorite Prancing Horse models from Montezemolo’s tenure. Of course, what started as a simple discussion turned into an all out battle, but you can read our staff’s five favorite Ferraris from the ’90s and ’00s, here.
Slowly but surely, automakers are warming up to the idea of diesel engines in sports car applications. We’ve seen products from Porsche, BMW, and Audi all burning hot oil, and the latest darling comes from Maserati, with its diesel-powered Ghibli sedan. This one isn’t headed Stateside anytime soon, but European Editor Noah Joseph took it for a spin to see how a diesel powerplant affects the already-good Ghibli. Read his notes, here.
Say it ain’t so! Could Mazda be ditching the power folding hardtop with its fourth-generation MX-5 Miata? There’s plenty of evidence that suggests this could be the case, but there’s also a solid argument for the hardtop to live on. Read all about it in our report, and of course, let us know your thoughts on this matter, as well.
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The original Mazda Miata broke onto the automotive scene in 1989 and was a huge success. However, the convertible’s genesis goes all the way back to the early ’80s. Bob Hall and Dean Case were among the inside men of the program on the US side, and they were on hand at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the recent MX-5 event there to tell some of their stories about the project’s beginning.
Hall was on the Miata project from very early on, and one of his most fascinating stories is how the convertible got its shape. The droptop wasn’t necessarily going to be a rear-wheel drive roadster. There were both front-wheel-drive coupe and mid-engine concepts being considered. In fact, the classic look of the NA generation was the least favorite of the three at the sketch stage.
Hall comes off as a jokester hiding a genius mind. He has a fountain of information in his head about what a Miata should be, but it all comes down to “less is more.” However, he admits that it’s easy to conceive that idea, but it’s much harder to actually execute it well.
If you’re interested in the inside stories of automotive history, this is a video to check out.
Mazda Miata ‘fathers’ Hall and Case offer a tour through the roadster’s history originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
When Thomas’ illness made it impossible for him to drive, he relied on friends to do it for him.
Attending the reveal of the 2016 MX-5 Miata and the subsequent 25th anniversary celebration at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca confirmed that the little roadster maintains broad appeal, one not limited to the elderly or a certain gender as detractors might have you believe. In fact, the assembled crowd was surprisingly youthful, particularly amongst the club racer set and tuners. But one young Miata owner and superfan unfortunately wasn’t in attendance – Thomas Jost, 19, was busy fighting for his life in a Maryland hospital.
Sadly, it was a years-long battle he lost on Saturday afternoon.
Thomas, a Cleveland, OH-area teen, was at Maryland’s National Institutes of Health for treatment as part of his ongoing battle with a rare auto-immune disease known as Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis – the same genetic affliction that led to his mother’s death when Thomas was four years old. Experimental treatments related to CMC would eventually weaken his immune system, making him susceptible to a virus that led to his passing.
Thomas was a diehard MX-5 fan. I know this because my son, Nate, counted Thomas among his best friends. Thomas’ Mariner-Blue 1991 NA MX-5 was his first car, and my son describes him as “obsessed” with everything about his self-described “Smurfin’ Miata.” With the help of family and friends including my son, he not only customized the suspension, wheels and stereo on his Mazda, he eventually executed an automatic to manual transmission swap in his garage. He was also a member of the Autoblog community, often stealing away bits of time to read this website during his classes in high school. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Ohio Miata Owner’s Association.
Teen Miata enthusiast and friend of Autoblog passes away originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
We’ve dug deep for just about every scrap of 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata info available out of the car’s California reveal celebration, but powertrain particulars have been especially hard to come by. While we still don’t have engine specifications, the folks over at Autoweek have scored a nice scoop – the first underhood photos of one of the display cars.
In the image above, the ND-generation Miata is clearly shown to be powered by a Skyactiv inline four-cylinder, as expected, but its displacement remains unclear. The engine is most likely either the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine offered in low-end Mazda3 and CX-5 models or the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G found in those same vehicles’ upper trims. In those iterations, the 2.0-liter generates 155 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque, while the larger-displacement engine nets out at 184 hp and 185 lb-ft. There is no sign of a turbocharger, a feature rumored to be fitted to at least one test mule. There has also been previous rumors of a 1.5-liter Skyactiv engine, possibly for overseas markets.
The 2.0-liter strikes us as the most likely scenario, particularly as Mazda has worked diligently to save every gram in the new car, dropping a pledged 100 kilograms (220 pounds) over the current model, even while adding content. It’s entirely possible that the alleged turbo car was, in fact, a mule for the Miata’s Alfa Romeo sister car, which is expected to have a wholly different powertrain. Or it could simply be a second engine option for an eventual Mazdaspeed variant, perhaps.
Autoweek also notes that the battery is located in the very front of the engine compartment, as opposed to in the trunk like the NA and NB Miata. The new car’s passenger compartment has been pushed back in the chassis and weight distribution near 50:50 has been pledged, so it likely wasn’t necessary to put the battery in the back where it would eat up precious cargo space and require the added weight of longer leads. According to AW’s report, packaging is extremely tight, with prominent coil-on-plug fixtures up top and a four-point strut tower brace vying for eyeball time.
The publication goes on to speculate that the MX-5 could have output figures lurking somewhere between Mazda’s existing 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter engines, possibly with new heads and revised airflow. That makes sense to us, as we’d expect the ND to make a similar horsepower figure to the current car, if only to stave off criticism from spec-sheet bench racers.
We’ve had few days to digest the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata since the roadster was first revealed on Wednesday evening when we offered you our first impressions. Since that time, we’ve gone back and looked at the car a number of times in person here in California, and we’ve even seen it briefly run under its own power (okay, it was more of a saunter). What we didn’t get the chance to do at the reveal, however, was sit inside the car. We’ve since been able to remedy that, and while we haven’t been allowed to drive the new roadster, we do have some initial in-car impressions to share with you.
- First, the location and feel of the major controls is quite excellent. The three-spoke steering wheel is an MX-5 specific item – it’s not shared with any other Mazda. That’s vital, because others would likely be too big in diameter or have the wrong rim thickness. The wheel’s redundant controls seem to be well laid out and the airbag boss is very small. The column tilts, but unfortunately and somewhat inexplicably, it still doesn’t telescope.
- Pedals are well-spaced, and the six-speed manual has the same short throws and positive engagement that we’ve come to know and love.
- The more supportive seats are positioned closer to the floor of the car, and the slightly wider passenger cell itself seems to be set a bit further back in the wheelbase than the NC.
- Legroom feels roughly analogous to the NC, mirroring what we’ve been told. Headroom is said to be about the same as the exiting car as well, but without being able to put up the soft top, that’s hard to assess.
- We haven’t measured it, but it looks like the new car has a longer dash-to-axle ratio, too. Combine all that with a lower hood, lower ride height and a slightly faster windshield rake, and you’ve got the recipe for a racier feel from behind the wheel.
- Speaking of the view out, the front fenders are more pronounced, giving an evocative view out of the windshield and providing a clearer idea of where the front wheels are placed in corners.
Chrysler will still be largely run out of its headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, and Fiat will be based in Turin, Italy.
Americans and Italians worried that two of their nation’s industrial icons – Chrysler and Fiat – are merging into a British/Dutch corporation with a blurred identity can rest a bit easier, even as an initial public stock offering looms as early as October. Chrysler will still be run mostly out of its headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, and Fiat will be based in Turin, Italy.
“Operationally, day-to-day operations will sit where they sit today,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said during an earnings announcement earlier this summer.
The company will be incorporated in the Netherlands for tax purposes, and the board will meet in London, where unspecified parts of the firm’s “decision-making process” will take place.
“Operationally, London will hold nothing, other than the decision-making process of FCA, meetings of the group executive council and some of the senior leaders will be residing there,” Marchionne said. Specifically, Richard Palmer, FCA’s chief financial officer and a native of Bath, England, will move to London.
Still, Marchionne stressed the company’s move to London is more than symbolic, even if some functions are still unclear.
“It’s a pretty permanent rooting of the organization in London in order to make sure that the machine runs,” he said.
Weekly Recap: Despite merger, Fiat and Chrysler will maintain local roots as stock offering looms originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 06 Sep 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.