Posts Tagged ‘a-friend-via’

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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Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 12th, 2014

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Mazda Miata History

Over the past 25 years and 3 model generations, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has shown that you don’t have to be the best to be a massive success. The little, Japanese roadster has never been the absolute peak of automotive performance, but it’s precise handling, good reliability and frugal running costs have helped make it a star. Autoblog recently tried to give you the experience of driving one on video, and now Xcar Films has made its own in an attempt to show what makes this droptop an icon.

As Xcar puts it, the Miata isn’t the world’s best sports car, but it is the world’s favorite. When they were originally designing the roadster, Mazda’s engineers took everything that made British droptops from the ’60s great, and junked all of the stuff that made them a terror to own. The result was a car that would start up everyday with no fuss and get drivers wherever they needed to go with a huge grin on their face.

The fourth-generation Miata is imminently on the way for its September 3 unveiling, and the very early rumors indicate that Mazda doesn’t plan to rock the boat too much with the latest one. It supposedly rides on a longer wheelbase and wider track but with the weight trimmed by over 200 pounds. Check out Xcar‘s video for a primer on MX-5 history and why the automotive world loves this little roadster.

Continue reading Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Are you the 2016 Mazda Miata?

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 11th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

Tech nerds are spoiled. Every year, there’s a new iPhone that arrives following months and months of breathless speculation and rumormongering. We car folk have a more difficult life, because vehicles with the iPhone’s cult-like devotion and following, while plentiful, only receive hefty updates after several years. Case in point, the Mazda MX-5.

There’s a new one coming, and much like the iPhone 6, it’ll arrive in just a few weeks. So, in lockstep with the tech folk, we’re anxiously biding our time and waiting with baited breath for the expected debut date of September 3. Also, like Apple fanboys, we’re clamoring over any hint or teaser as to what the next-gen Miata will bring, which is why we’re showing you the above image.

That is, allegedly, the new MX-5 hiding under the sheet. Auto Motor und Sport has the image, which according to World Car Fans was released by Mazda. Of course, we’ve reached out to the Zoom-Zoom brand for verification of its authenticity, and will be sure to update as soon as we hear back.

Until then, what can we see on this sheet-festooned roadster? Well, the wheel arches look suitably flared, while the traditional long-hood, short-deck look of the past three generations of Miatas soldiers on. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the track has been widened, while the wheelbase has also been stretched. The big news is that the new car should trim around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of body fat and that it will boast a perfect fifty-fifty weight distribution.

Of course, should we hear anything more, we’ll be sure to update you. Stay tuned.

Are you the 2016 Mazda Miata? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 30th, 2014

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Competitors in the small-car segment didn’t do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned “poor” grades.

Only one small car out of 12 tested earned a good grade in the latest round of crash-test results compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Mini Cooper Countryman received a “good” ranking on the organization’s small-front overlap test.

Its competitors in the small-car segment didn’t do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned “poor” grades, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Juke, the Mazda5 and the Fiat 500L, and two more earned marginal scores.

Introduced two years ago, the small front overlap test has been a difficult one for automakers to master, particularly so for small cars, which have less weight to absorb the forces of a car accident. So far, IIHS has tested 32 vehicles in the small-car segment and 13 have earned marginal or poor scores. On the flip side, 19 earned good or acceptable scores.

“Consumers trading the inherent safety of a larger vehicle for the convenience or fuel economy of a small car should focus their search on these vehicles with state-of-the-art safety designs,” said Joe Nolan, senior vice president for vehicle research at IIHS.

Continue reading Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]

Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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