Posts Tagged ‘a-friend-via’

Will the Mazda2 be offered as a PHEV with a rotary engine range extender?

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 10th, 2014

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Mazda2 RE Plug-in hybrid

Every few months, it seems a rumor crops up about plans from Mazda to revive the rotary engine. Last November, its CEO said the only way another one could happen is if the project was profitable, and then a month later the automaker showed off the Mazda2 RE Range Extender with a 330cc Wankel engine mounted in the rear. Now, Australian auto site Motoring reports that the PHEV may actually make production in the next-gen Mazda2 sometime after it’s initial launch.

Martin Benders, managing director of Mazda in Australia, spoke to Motoring about the company’s future with hybrids and basically reiterated what the CEO said last year. The Japanese automaker only plans to offer electrified powertrains in places where they can sell in sufficient numbers to be profitable, like Japan.

Mazda has been playing with the rotary range-extender idea for years. In the RE prototype, the engine was exclusively used to charge the lithium-ion batteries when they were running low, and a 100-horsepower electric motor provided all of the propulsion. It gave the little hatch an estimated range of about 250 miles. The company reportedly took inspiration from its Skyactiv engines to make the Wankel have lower friction and a lighter weight.

The next-generation Mazda2 is rumored to debut during the Paris Motor Show wearing Mazda’s Kodo design language. While the hybrid supposedly won’t be part of the initial launch lineup, the internal combustion powertrain lineup will consist of gas and diesel versions of Mazda’s 1.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder. However, the new diesel version is not likely to be available in the US.

Will the Mazda2 be offered as a PHEV with a rotary engine range extender? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to be revealed on September 3 [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 3rd, 2014

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata test mule

Now in its 25th year and on the market in its current form since 2005, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been due for replacement for some time now. A mid-life facelift helped things along some in 2008, but the moment that roadster enthusiasts have been anxiously awaiting is almost upon us.

Mazda has now confirmed that the 2016 MX-5 will be officially unveiled on September 3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca just ahead of the “Miatas at Mazda Raceway” event, where the Japanese automaker will also display “an array of heritage, concept and motorsports MX-5s,” just as it did alongside the upcoming new roadster’s Skyactiv chassis at the New York Auto Show.

Not to leave the European and Asian markets out of the fun, Mazda will simultaneously unveil the new Miata in Spain and Japan as well. But in the meantime you can view the teaser video and press release below to keep that excitement drummed up.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to be revealed on September 3 [w/video]

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to be revealed on September 3 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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44 Miatas engaged to spell happiness from above

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 17th, 2014

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Marry Me? spelled out in Miatas

We’ve seen all manner of ways to propose marriage, from the usual candlelit dinner to the Jumbotron at the big game. A friend of ours recently proposed with his a barbershop quartet singing backup. But this has to be a new one – and one that automotive enthusiasts would probably find even more touching than a sky-writing biplane.

A member of the Miata.net forum recently asked other MX-5 enthusiasts to help him pop the big question to his bride-to-be. He got 31 Miatas together and needed just four more, but after appealing to his fellow roadster fans, over 40 turned up in the parking lot at the local high school.

The groom-to-be runs an aerial photography business and used an unmanned drone which his girlfriend thought would be shooting some local real estate properties when it flew over the parking lot and captured the image you see above with 44 little roadsters spelling out “Marry Me?” The answer, in case you were wondering, was a resounding “Yes!” How could she not, after all, when those Mazda convertibles are just so darn adorable? Now they’ll just need to figure out what they’ll be driving to the chapel on the big day.

44 Miatas engaged to spell happiness from above originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda may recall up to 1M vehicles for airbag issue, following Toyota’s lead

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 16th, 2014

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2001 Honda Civic

It seems Toyota won’t be the only one recalling the faulty Takata airbag inflators for long. Honda insiders in Japan claim that the company is getting close to announcing its own worldwide campaign that would begin before the end of June.

Unnamed sources close to Honda in Japan tell Automotive News that the company is pursuing an internal investigation into possibly affected models and is working with Takata to gather more information. They claim that it could involve even more than the 1.14 million cars worldwide that the automaker covered under the first recall for the problem in April 2013, including 561,000 vehicles in the US.

Toyota jumpstarted this process last week when it recalled over 2 million cars worldwide, including 844,277 in the US. Soon after, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began a preliminary evaluation into the issue following six reported incidents, and started assembling data about potentially affected models from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Chrysler. NHTSA also began investigating Takata itself.

The safety hazard comes into play because it’s possible that the inflators contain an improper propellant that could cause it to burst in an accident. Not only does this affect airbag deployment, in some cases the shrapnel hits occupants too. So far, all six reported incidents to NHTSA have occurred in high humidity areas like Florida and Puerto Rico.

Autoblog reached out to Honda for confirmation of the report and was sent the following statement by email: “Honda is aware that the NHTSA has initiated a Preliminary Evaluation involving a variety of manufacturers with models equipped with airbag modules supplied by Takata. Honda will cooperate with the NHTSA through the investigation process and will continue our own internal review of the available information.”

Honda may recall up to 1M vehicles for airbag issue, following Toyota’s lead originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Huet Brothers working on new Miata-based retro coupe

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 15th, 2014

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Huet Brothers Coupe

Does the name Huet ring a bell? The Dutch brothers started out doing classic car tours in Europe before they started designed and building their own retro sports cars. The first was called the Huet Brothers Special. It was based on an old Triumph TR6 and surfaced back in 2009. But a few years later they started showing designs for a new coupe that called for a straight-six engine under a long bonnet with a fastback roofline, and started taking orders. Over the past two and a half years we didn’t see anything materialize out of the Huet Brothers’ plans, but word out of the Netherlands has it that the design is back on the table.

According to the Autovisie section of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Tino and Paul Huet were planning on building their coupe on the base of the MX-5 Miata. But now that Mazda is preparing to launch an all-new model, the Huets have decided to wait until next year and build their dream car on the new Skyactiv roadster chassis.

Rather than trying to shoehorn in a bigger engine (or the subsequent diesel model that was set to follow), the Huets are reportedly prepared to stick with Mazda’s four-pot, offering it in stock form and various states of upgraded tune.

That would make the HB Coupe the third model – alongside Mazda’s own and whatever Fiat decides to do with its end of the bargain – to use the same underpinnings. That is, assuming the Huet Brothers can get the orders it needs to restart development production. So far they say they’ve got 21 orders on the books, but need 40 to get started.

Huet Brothers working on new Miata-based retro coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 May 2014 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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China’s FAW now building all three Mazda6 generations

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 14th, 2014

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2014 Mazda6

The Chinese auto market is one of the most interesting in the world to look at. Its automakers appear to still be figuring things out and remain open to experimentation. For example, at this moment, you can buy new copies of all three generations of the Mazda6 from showrooms there.

Mazda joint-venture partner FAW recently introduced the latest generation to China as the Mazda6 Atenza, according to Just Auto. Yet buyers still have the option of getting the previous generation as well, which is sold as the Mazda6 Ruiyi. Obviously, that isn’t too remarkable – companies in the US have briefly sold two generations of the same nameplate simultaneously for brief points in the past, and the practice is much more common in developing markets. However, Chinese consumers still have the third choice, too – the first-generation model that dates back to the early 2000s, is still on offer, known simply as Mazda6.

While it would be hard to imagine selling three generations of the same models at once in the US, the idea is an interesting one. We enjoyed our long-term test of the latest generation, and the previous models weren’t bad cars either, so provided there’s a healthy difference in pricing and marketplace confusion is limited by differing names, we can see it working. If nothing else, it’s a fascinating illustration of how broad China’s developing auto market really is.

China’s FAW now building all three Mazda6 generations originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 13 May 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazda CX-9 to launch by 2016, could get turbo-four

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 1st, 2014

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2013 Mazda CX-9

Mazda has a lot going on these days, what with launching the new Mazda6 and Mazda3, with the new Mazda2 just around the corner. We know the new Miata is also on the way, and after that it looks like the next vehicle in its lineup due for an overhaul is the CX-9 crossover, due to launch by 2016. The move makes sense because the CUV is growing long in the tooth. It was first introduced in 2007 and was refreshed twice since then.

The next-generation CX-9 will move away from Ford-derived components like the V6 in the current model and will likely use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. However, a final decision hasn’t been made yet. “If I ask Mr. Hitomi, our top guy of powertrains at Mazda, he believes the downsizing turbo solution costs more. But real downsizing means six-cylinder to four-cylinder turbo could make sense from a cost point of view,” said Mazda’s global marketing boss Masahiro Moro to CarAdvice at the New York Auto Show. The executive said a hybrid powertrain option would be unlikely, but markets outside the US could get a diesel, as well.

Moro also tipped his hand at future Mazda model plans. He hints that the Japanese automaker is considering building a luxury vehicle with a six-cylinder engine. “It’s too early, we don’t have a car yet. But we are collecting advice as to V6 or straight-six,” he said to CarAdvice. We’ll definitely be watching.

Next Mazda CX-9 to launch by 2016, could get turbo-four originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 May 2014 11:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda reports highest profits in its 94-year history

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 26th, 2014

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2015 Mazda3

We may only be a third of the way through 2014, but for Japanese companies, March 31 marked the end of fiscal 2014, and it was a banner financial year for Mazda’s global operations. The Japanese independent saw its highest global operating profits in its nearly 100-year history. Its global operating profits were up a huge 238 percent. Yes, a 238 percent increase over 2012 to 1.36 billion euros ($1.88 billion), eclipsing the brand’s previous best year, 2008, by 12 percent. Net earnings, revenue and global sales volume also saw increases over the last fiscal year.

What’s most impressive, though, is where Mazda saw improvement. The notoriously rough European market was rather kind to the Zoom-Zoom brand, where sales increased 25 percent to 163,000 units. That figure was bolstered by a 35-percent sales increase in Great Britain and a 20-percent jump in Germany, Europe’s two largest markets. Japanese sales, meanwhile, were up a respectable 13 percent, to 244,000 units. In China, Mazda saw a 12 percent bump.

Notice we aren’t talking about North American sales? That’s because Mazda only saw a moderate, five-percent gain in the New World, with sales climbing to 391,000 units in the US, Canada and Mexico. This is particularly disappointing considering Mazda has launched three critically acclaimed products (CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, Mazda3) for the North American market over the past two fiscal years. Still, it isn’t a particular reason to be concerned, as IHS industry analyst Stephanie Brinley notes. “Five percent isn’t terrible,” Brinley told Autoblog, saying that Mazda should see a bump in 2014 as the Mazda3 picks up steam.

While Mazda may have hoped its five-percent gain in North America was a bit higher, it shows solid progress on company CEO Masamichi Kogai and his promise to raise US sales to 400,000 units.

Continue reading Mazda reports highest profits in its 94-year history

Mazda reports highest profits in its 94-year history originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Apr 2014 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 18th, 2014

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2004 Mazda Tribute

The Mazda Tribute is being hit with a similar recall as its platform-mate the Ford Escape underwent a few weeks ago. Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tributes from model years 2001 to 2004. On the trucks, the subframe can rust from road salt, potentially causing the lower control arm to detach. If this happens, a loss of steering control could occur.

Mazda is adding a reinforcement crossbrace for added strength on the affected models. The recall covers Tributes currently registered in or originally sold in 20 northern states and Washington, DC, where road salt is used.

The reinforcement braces aren’t available yet to do the repair. Mazda will send a letter in May to owners of affected vehicles that will inform them of the problem, and a second letter telling them when the parts will be ready. Scroll down to read the full recall press release.

Continue reading Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue

Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda reveals 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata alongside next-gen chassis

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 17th, 2014

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2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition

Ford may be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mustang this week, but it’s not the only automaker with a sports car icon to fete at this year’s New York Auto Show. Mazda is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 Miata with an array of 15 classic models. It’s also showing off the chassis for the next MX-5, and unveiling a special 25th Anniversary Edition.

Next-gen Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv chassisThe special edition is based on the retractable hardtop model with either manual or automatic transmission, Bilstein shocks, a metallic red paint job with contrasting black roof and an off-white leather interior. Naturally, special badging can be found inside and out to set it apart from the record 940,000 other MX-5s sold to date, and just 100 examples will find their way to US buyers.

Along with the two-tone special, Mazda is also showing off the new Skyactiv chassis and engine that’ll underpin and power the upcoming next-generation MX-5 (as well as an as-yet-to-be-determined Fiat Group roadster if the two parties can work out their differences). With a lower center of gravity that’s also closer to the middle of the car, the new chassis promises even better balance and a good couple hundred pounds of weight savings over the outgoing model. Check it all out in the press releases below.

Continue reading Mazda reveals 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata alongside next-gen chassis

Mazda reveals 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata alongside next-gen chassis originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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