Posts Tagged ‘convertibles’

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 in motion for the first time

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 6th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

By now, you’ve already poured over the details (however few there may be) and images of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. For us enthusiasts, it’s arguably the most important new car debut of the year, and for Mazda, it marks the 25th anniversary of its iconic roadster – something that’s being celebrated all weekend long out in Monterey, CA.

Our resident Miata owner, Chris Paukert, is out in sunny California and just passed along this video, showing all four generations of the MX-5 in motion (slowly), on the road at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This is the first time the 2016 MX-5 has been shown driving under its own power, and it will join a wealth of other roadsters as Mazda attempts to break the world record for most Miatas in one place at one time.

Have a look at the emailed-from-an-iPhone-quality video above, and then take a moment to read Paukert’s own notes from the ND Miata’s live showing earlier this week, here.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata in motion for the first time

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata in motion for the first time originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 05 Sep 2014 19:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 9.4.14

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 5th, 2014

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Daily U-Turn

Mazda MX-5 Miata2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Up close and personal

We sent resident Miata-owner Chris Paukert to the unveiling of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 in Monterey, CA. In addition to drooling over the new hotness, Paukert took several notes about the car’s design and execution, and we’ve compiled them here for your perusal. What does our Miata Man have to say about the ND model? Have a look, here.

Dinan BMW M5Driving the 2014 Dinan S1 BMW M5

So often, tuner cars don’t feel quite as wholly complete and well-executed as the vehicles built by the automakers themselves. But that isn’t the case with Dinan, and recently, senior editor Steven Ewing had the chance to sample a 675-horsepower version of the BMW M5 sedan in California. Has Dinan built a better Bimmer? Read our quick spin to find out.

Mazda MX-5 MiataOfficial 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata details

In case you couldn’t tell, yesterday will pretty much go down in as Miata Day 2014. And while Paukert’s dissection of the new car is a plenty good read, we enthusiasts are, of course, pouring over Mazda’s official images and information, even if there isn’t much to go on right now. Have a look at more Miata goodness, here.

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What you missed on 9.4.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:31:00 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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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata reveal livestream is here and now

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 4th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata reveal

Let’s not understate the significance and difficulty of what’s been accomplished here. In this ever-connected, constantly surveilled modern auto industry, Mazda has pulled a coup – it’s kept a new vehicle under wraps. Yes, we’ve seen hacked up and camouflaged mules and maybe a form under a sheet, but Mazda is about to reveal its next-generation MX-5 Miata, and the car – let alone its specifications – hasn’t been leaked anywhere yet. Not via clandestine camera phone snapshot, not by patent drawing, not by leaked ad copy, not even by diecast model. Believe us, we’ve looked.

And this isn’t just some humdrum crossover or workaday compact, it’s the Miata, the world’s most popular roadster, apple of the enthusiast community’s eye and seeming center of gravity for the Japanese automaker. For those who are genuinely excited about cars – about motoring – this is an impressive feat. If anything, Mazda’s radio silence regarding the fourth-generation ND Miata has only served to heighten our anticipation for a model that probably won’t reach showrooms for another year.

So, what’s true and what’s false among all the rumors? Will the already lightweight Miata really shed hundreds of pounds? What exactly will live under hood and drive those rear wheels?

Let’s all tune in to the car’s live global reveal and find out. It’s being staged simultaneously in Monterey, CA, Tokyo and Barcelona. It starts at 6:00 PM Pacific (9:00 PM Eastern), and Autoblog will be on hand in the Golden State with all the pomp, circumstance, and Duran Duran that you can handle, ready to delivery further analysis and images. Check back with us later this evening, and if you can’t wait that long, keep an eye on Twitter – follow @therealautoblog for the very latest out of Monterey.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata reveal livestream is here and now

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata reveal livestream is here and now originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Sep 2014 20:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata to spawn coupe, Mazda6 to get quick successive updates

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 28th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Test Car

Despite the PRHT’s availability, some are still yearning for a proper fixed-head coupe.

We are just days away from the official unveiling of the next-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata on September 3, and it’s fair to say that the mouths of enthusiasts are watering in anticipation for the latest version of this iconic roadster. Hard facts about the new droptop aren’t easy to find, and in the absence of further disclosure from Mazda officials, the rumormill is in full swing, including word that a long-awaited hardtop coupe model will figure into the new generation’s plans.

According to Automotive News, Mazda has a staggering number of updates planned for essentially its entire range in the coming years. The company’s strategy often amounts to a one-two punch with some updates coming one year and more following the next. It’s an interesting tactic that should keep the brand in the headlines with all of the changes.

In terms of the Miata, that tactic means going on sale sometime next summer as an all-new ragtop model that returns to its roots with a similar size and weight as the original (Autoblog sources indicate that there will be a substantial weight drop versus today’s NC Miata, but we don’t expect a return to NA or even necessarily NB featheriness). A 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder and six-speed manual should provide a decent jump in performance, too.

The vaguer news arises about a year later,when the publication’s sources say Mazda will bring out a MX-5 coupe with a fastback design. This isn’t to be confused with a power folding retractable hardtop option (PRHT) – the runaway success of the folding lid on the current generation means we expect a similar unit to be available when the new generation first goes on sale. Despite the PRHT’s availability, some buyers are still yearning for a proper fixed-head coupe bodystyle, and apparently Mazda may be listening. With the death of the RX-8, Mazda doesn’t have a hard top sports car in its lineup, and this would seem to be an easy way to get one.

Continue reading Mazda MX-5 Miata to spawn coupe, Mazda6 to get quick successive updates

Mazda MX-5 Miata to spawn coupe, Mazda6 to get quick successive updates originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:27:00 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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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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