Archive for the ‘News and Events’ Category
People tend to get very set in their ways when it comes to the pronunciation of words. Just look at the endless debates over whether or not to say the final ‘e’ in Porsche (which you should in terms of correct German enunciation). Or the argument about whether to follow the British convention and give the ‘u’ in Jaguar a special delivery or to say the ‘ua’ diphthong as more of a ‘w’ sound, as usually happens in the US.
This short video doesn’t answer either of those automotive questions, but it does allow a native Japanese speaker to demonstrate the accepted pronunciations for several, major automakers from the country. One benefit is that it clears up the occasional debate over whether Nissan should be said with a long or short ‘i’ sound. Also, listen closely to how the female host says Mazda as Matsuda, the way it’s actually said in the language. Even if this doesn’t change the way you enunciate these brands, at least now you know the accurate way in Japanese.
Ever wonder how to really pronounce Japanese automaker names? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Earlier this month, our friends across the pond at Auto Express released the first in a two-video series that would see them try and build up a second-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata that could best a standard Porsche Boxster around the track. While that first video detailed the mods to the MX-5 – a supercharger, some suspension upgrades and a new set of super-sticky rubber being chief among them – and set baseline lap times for the stock car, today, we have the results of the 5,000-pound ($8,200) upgrade job.
Of course, we aren’t going to spoil those for you. You’ll need to watch the full video, which recaps the upgrades before digging into a comparison of both straight-line-speed differences between the 2.7-liter Porsche Boxster and blown Miata, as well as their behavior and lap times on the track.
Take a look and let us know what you think in Comments.
Modded budget Mazda Miata takes on new Porsche Boxster in more challenges originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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.