Posts Tagged ‘a-friend-via’

Modded budget Mazda Miata takes on new Porsche Boxster in more challenges

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 24th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 vs. Porsche Boxster

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.

Continue reading Modded budget Mazda Miata takes on new Porsche Boxster in more challenges

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.

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Aussie Mazda MX-5 Miata specs leak suggests power loss

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 12th, 2014

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata - studio front three-quarter view

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata engine spy shotMazda’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.

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What you missed on 9.11.14

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 12th, 2014

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Daily U-Turn

Luca de MontezemoloOur favorite Ferraris of the Montezemolo Era

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.

Maserati GhibliDriving Maserati’s diesel-powered Ghibli

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.

Mazda MX-5 MiataMazda MX-5 Miata to ditch hardtop?

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.

Top Stories

What you missed on 9.11.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Miata ‘fathers’ Hall and Case offer a tour through the roadster’s history

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 10th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata history with Dean Case and Bob Hall

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.

Continue reading Mazda Miata ‘fathers’ Hall and Case offer a tour through the roadster’s history

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.

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Teen Miata enthusiast and friend of Autoblog passes away

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 9th, 2014

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19-year-old Thomas Jost with his prized Mazda Miata

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.

Continue reading Teen Miata enthusiast and friend of Autoblog passes away

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.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata first engine shot revealed

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 8th, 2014

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Clandestine engine photo of 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata prototype

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata - front three-quarter viewWe’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.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata first engine shot revealed originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Recap: Despite merger, Fiat and Chrysler will maintain local roots as stock offering looms

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 6th, 2014

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

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.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: Despite merger, Fiat and Chrysler will maintain local roots as stock offering looms

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.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has arrived

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 4th, 2014

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda MX-5 MiataLadies and gentlemen, meet the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. The highly anticipated fourth-generation (ND) model made its official debut in Monterey, CA this evening, and while details are slim (as in, we have practically none), there’s one big thing to talk about: less weight.

Yes, Mazda has confirmed that the new Miata sheds some 220 pounds over the model it replaces, and is “the most compact of any generation MX-5 so far.” For those keeping track, that means the new MX-5 should weigh in somewhere around 2,200 pounds.

Mazda’s Kodo design language is obvious here, with a seriously wide and low demeanor, and a mix of flowing lines and sharp angles. We don’t have any powertrain details to report as of this writing, but Mazda says the full suite of Skyactiv technologies are onboard, and the motto in creating this car was “Innovate in order to preserve.”

Click the image above to see the new MX-5 Miata in high resolution, click below for the press release, and stay tuned to this space for more details as they break.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has arrived

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has arrived originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Sep 2014 21:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Miata driver pulls off hilariously diabolical move in fender-to-fender racing

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 27th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Hand during race

Racing is all about finding the little advantages over competitors that allow you to get ahead. Sometimes those are legitimate means – like being able to take advantage of a better line through a corner – and other times drivers get a little more creative for a leg up over opponents. Sometimes things might even go a little too far. Case in point: just watch the opening of this Mazda MX-5 Cup race from Silverstone in the UK.

According to the YouTube description, we’re riding with James Rogers in this video, and he appears to be pretty talented behind the wheel. Rogers has a great start from fifth that has him in third within just a few corners. He starts stalking the top two drivers, who are already having a fantastic race themselves, but then we see that the person in second is clearly willing to do whatever it takes to win. Just watch the video, and you’ll see what we mean. Bravo (?) to that racer for some very quick, albeit fiendish, thinking.

Continue reading Miata driver pulls off hilariously diabolical move in fender-to-fender racing

Miata driver pulls off hilariously diabolical move in fender-to-fender racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazdaspeed2 supermini hot hatch under consideration

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 21st, 2014

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2016 Mazda2

Though the Ford Fiesta ST and Fiat 500 Abarth (and arguably the Mini Cooper S) may stand pretty much alone in the North American market, in overseas markets, supermini hot hatches are a big deal. Unfortunately, challengers like the Volkswagen Polo GTI, Seat Ibiza Cupra and Renault Clio RS 200 Turbo never make it to our showrooms, but word has it that there’s soon to be a new entry on the market.

That would be the Mazdaspeed2, which would be badged in certain markets as the Mazda2 MPS. Speaking with Australian site CarAdvice.com.au at the launch of the Mazda2 on which it would be based, the Japanese automaker’s global sales chief and the hatchback’s deputy product manager hinted that such a product is definitely being discussed, even if it hasn’t yet been approved.

This wouldn’t be the first time such a notion were entertained, as Mazda has shown numerous performance concepts based on the previous Mazda2/Demio over the years, but none have come to fruition.

If green-lit for production, the Mazdaspeed2 would likely pack a small turbocharged engine (potentially one being developed for the new MX-5 Miata) rather than a larger naturally aspirated one. Additional upgrades would also be in store, including larger rolling stock and brakes as well as upgraded aero and suspension components. Of course the question of whether the Mazdaspeed2 would make it to North American showrooms is another matter entirely, but let’s see if the Zoom-Zoom brand actually builds it first.

Mazdaspeed2 supermini hot hatch under consideration originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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