Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

Mazda CX-3 crossover coming to LA

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 28th, 2014

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Mazda CX-3 Teaser Sketch for the LA Auto Show

The Mazda booth at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show will showcase some new crossovers. In addition to the refreshed CX-5 that we’re expecting, the Japanese automaker has announced plans to unveil its new CX-3 compact crossover.

According to Mazda, the brand’s entry into the compact CUV market will feature “the full range of SKYACTIV technology and KODO – Soul of Motion design.” We take that to mean lightweight chassis and body architectures along with fuel-sipping gasoline and, perhaps, diesel engines.

The CX-3 will have to take on a slew of upcoming competitors, including the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax and Jeep Renegade, and reports indicate it will share a platform with the Mazda2, which is just starting production in Mexico. We don’t yet know if it will be front-wheel drive only or if all-wheel drive will be optional. The CUV is also likely to share the Mazda2’s engine, which isn’t yet revealed for the North American market. Japan gets the 2 with either a 1.3-liter gasoline engine or a 1.5-liter diesel.

You’ll have to wait for LA before we know all the details, but in the meantime, feel free to peruse the press release below.

Continue reading Mazda CX-3 crossover coming to LA

Mazda CX-3 crossover coming to LA originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda mulling furniture, designer goods in bid to command higher prices

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 1st, 2014

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Mazda Kodo Chair

Brands like Porsche and Ferrari make a mint every year by selling branded lifestyle goods like shoes, hats and even wilder items. Bugatti takes things to the extremes with things like its $84,000 belt buckle. These products not only make their respective companies some extra money, but they reaffirm their high-end design aspirations to wealthy buyers. However, the next firm possibly dipping its toe into this upscale pool is a bit more mass-market – Mazda.

That’s right. The Japanese automaker best known among enthusiasts for its segment-defining Miata and rotary engines is considering its own line of luxury goods in the coming years called Mazda Design. The project is the brainchild of styling boss Ikuo Maeda, and according to Automotive News, he has backing from company CEO Masamichi Kogai. Although the green light isn’t quite on yet, Maeda is already brainstorming. “Not only furniture, but I’d like to build a Mazda Design brand. That’s my dream,” he said to Automotive News.

The possible project is just one aspect of Mazda’s move to become a near-premium brand. According to Automotive News, it wants to see higher transaction prices partially by offering more stylish design than its rivals. Launching a line of luxury goods is meant to communicate this new focus to customers.

The Mazda Design line was previewed with the Kodo Chair (pictured above) at last year’s Milan Design Week. Named after the brand’s current, swoopy styling language, the seat mixed metal and leather in a reclined position to conjure up something out of a futuristic racecar.

Still, the move could be a gamble. Bugatti, Porsche and Ferrari sell vehicles to a wealthy clientele for whom dropping a few grand on something frivolous doesn’t matter match. Mazda buyers might not have that luxury.

Mazda mulling furniture, designer goods in bid to command higher prices originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:44:00 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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2016 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos] [UPDATE]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 17th, 2014

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2015 Mazda2

Small cars may be big business, but the world’s automakers don’t seem to be in any particular rush to keep them fresh. The new Smart Fortwo unveiled yesterday replaces a model that’s already been around for seven years, one based on a structure dating back to the late ’90s. The new Opel Corsa revealed just last week replaces a model that had been around for eight years. And the Mazda2 has been on the market in its current form for seven years now, but not for much longer, because Mazda has finally revealed its successor.

Set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this October, the new Mazda2 follows the stylistic lead of this year’s Hazumi concept remarkably close, from the sharply creased front end right down to the wheel design – bringing the supermini hatchback in line with the KODO design language that characterizes its bigger siblings: the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.

Although details released thus far are rather limited, and power will vary from one market to another, engine options center around a 1.5-liter four in both gasoline and diesel versions, joining the manual and automatic transmissions and the chassis itself under Mazda’s Skyactiv technology umbrella. We wouldn’t expect the diesel version to make it across the Pacific (or across the border from the plant that will build it alongside a new Toyota hatch in Mexico), but rumors have surfaced of a potential rotary hybrid. The new 2 will also include the company’s MZD connectivity suite and i-Activsense safety technology.

Also sold as the Demio in certain regions (like the Japanese Domestic Market), the new Mazda2 represents a vital product for Mazda, which has sold over 2.4 million of them since the model line’s introduction 1996. Production has already begun at Mazda’s plant in Hofu near Hiroshima, Japan. Scope out the videos and press release below for a closer look.

UPDATE: We’ve updated this story with the US market press release, below, which confirms that the Mazda2 will be a 2016 model when it goes on sale here. A handful of new images have been added to the gallery above, as well.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos] [UPDATE]

2016 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:16:00 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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Honda, Nissan and Mazda recalling 3 million vehicles for airbag inflators [UPDATE]

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 23rd, 2014

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2001 Honda Civic

UPDATE: Honda, Mazda and Nissan have all issued statements about the airbag issue, which you can now find below. Interestingly, only Honda is actually using the word “recall” in its statement, with Nissan calling it a “field action” (like Chrysler), and Mazda referring to it as a “special service program.” Honda has also added various Accord, Pilot and Ridgeline models to the list, as well as Acura MDX, TL and CL. Mazda, meanwhile, has added certain Mazdaspeed6 and MPV vehicles to its list. We expect a full list of Nissan vehicles later today.

Three million more vehicles can be added to the worldwide tally to be repaired for the faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata. Honda, Nissan, and Mazda have all issued recalls to replace the bad part, including about 1.2 million of them in North America. NHTSA has been investigating all three companies, plus Chrysler and Toyota, for potentially affected vehicles.

Honda is recalling roughly 1.02 million Civic, CR-V, Odyssey and Element models In North America, built between April 2000 and October 2002. Mazda needs to repair 14,794 units of the RX-8 and Mazda6, and Nissan has 228,000 vehicles in North America to be fixed.

Chrysler is also starting what it calls a “regional field action” to replace the inflators in the 2006 Dodge Charger, according to a company spokesperson. The company says that it has not yet found the problem in any of its vehicles, but it’s being done “out of an abundance of caution.” The final number of Chargers affected will be announced later this week.

The faulty component was originally discovered in April 2013 when the four Japanese automakers recalled 3.4 million vehicles worldwide, and the situation reignited on June 11, 2014, when Toyota announced 844,277 vehicles in the United States needed to be fixed for the same problem. According to Automotive News, Honda reported that there have been two deaths and 41 ruptures in the US linked to the bad parts, and in NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation, it reported six other incidents of the issue occurring.

To prompt the recall, the inflators contain a potentially defective propellant that can cause them to explode when the airbag is meant to deploy. Not only does this affect the bag’s inflation, there is also the possibility of shrapnel from the part hitting occupants. According to Automotive News, the problems may stem from the propellant being exposed to moisture during storage.

Autoblog has reached to all three automakers and Takata for more detailed information on the affected models. We will update this story as we hear back from each of them. Scroll down to read the entire statement from Chrylser.

Continue reading Honda, Nissan and Mazda recalling 3 million vehicles for airbag inflators [UPDATE]

Honda, Nissan and Mazda recalling 3 million vehicles for airbag inflators [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Takashi Yamanouchi to retire as Mazda chairman

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 12th, 2014

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Takashi Yamanouchi

Takashi Yamanouchi has been with Mazda for a long time. He signed on with the Japanese automaker in April 1967 – one month after graduating from Keio University – and rose through the ranks over the years. By 1996 he was named to the company’s board of directors. In 2008 he was named president and CEO, an office he held until 2013, after which he handed over the day-to-day reins to Masamichi Kogai and took up the seat at the head of the board room to serve as the company’s chairman. But now, after 47 years working for Mazda, Yamanouchi-san is retiring at the age of 69.

During his tenure as CEO and then as chairman, Yamanouchi was credited with growing Mazda’s business despite unfavorable fluctuations in exchange rates, opening the company’s first plant in Mexico, and spearheading the development of Mazda’s Skyactiv technologies and Kodo design language.

In his place, current vice chairman Seita Kanai will take over as chairman. The changing of the guard will take place after the annual shareholders’ meeting on June 24.

Continue reading Takashi Yamanouchi to retire as Mazda chairman

Takashi Yamanouchi to retire as Mazda chairman originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 12 May 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda builds 4-millionth Mazda3

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 26th, 2014

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2014 Mazda3

To say that the Mazda3 is a vital product for Mazda would be one heck of an understatement. In fact, the model line accounts for about 30 percent of the manufacturer’s sales. Fortunately for Mazda, they’re selling well.

These days, the Japanese automaker is building the Mazda3 (known domestically as the Axela) in Japan, China, Thailand and, as of last month, in Mexico. The company’s expanded global production capacity has helped Mazda reach four million units of the Mazda3 sold around the world since the first model was introduced over ten and a half years ago.

Over the course of that decade since its introduction in June 2003, Mazda has gone through three generations of Mazda3, the newest model benefiting from the company’s Skyactiv technology and even encompassing a hybrid model in the Japanese Domestic Market.

Continue reading Mazda builds 4-millionth Mazda3

Mazda builds 4-millionth Mazda3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Feb 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumored Mazda CX-3 may not be for US

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 19th, 2014

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2014 Mazda CX-5

Mazda has used its Kodo design language to make some of the most attractive, affordable cars in the world right now, with the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 (pictured above), but it still lacks a crossover in the smaller class, which are becoming popular on the world market. It seems like a natural fit then, that the Japanese company would shrink its CUV design even smaller for a CX-3 to fill the gap. However, a rumor suggests that the compact might not make it to these shores.

The Mazda2-based crossover is due later this summer in Japan and is launching in Europe and emerging markets later, according to Automotive News citing a report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. The little CUV would cost between 1.5 million yen and 2.0 million yen ($14,700-$19,500) in Japan and be available with diesel and petrol engine options. However, the report made no mention of selling it in North America. There is a glimmer of a chance for the CX-3 here. Mazda is upgrading its Mexican factory to 230,000 annual unit capacity by 2016, which gives it the room to add the new vehicle.

While the midsize CUVs are hugely popular in the US, compacts like the Buick Encore are still a small portion of things. If Mazda could time the CX-3’s launch right here, it could take advantage of the lack of competition.

Rumored Mazda CX-3 may not be for US originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda Skyactiv Prototype looks ready for Daytona

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 17th, 2014

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2014 Mazda Skyactiv Prototype

With less than two weeks before the Mazda Skyactiv Prototype makes its race debut at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Japanese Zoom-Zoom brand brought its diesel-powered racer to the floor of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

The red prototype marks Mazda’s return to prototype racing, and will campaign the inaugural Tudor United SportsCar Championship using a 2.2-liter, SkyActiv-D diesel engine. With 451 horsepower on tap and 580 pound-feet of torque, the racer should stand up well against a field of gas-powered competitors.

Should the Skyactiv win Daytona, it’ll be a coup for Mazda. The racer is running an engine with over 50 percent of its parts drawn from the oft-delayed production Skyactiv-D. Head up top for our full gallery of images of the new Skyactiv Prototype. The 2014 Rolex 24 will be run from January 25 to 26.

2014 Mazda Skyactiv Prototype looks ready for Daytona originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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