Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid and CNG Concept shown in Japan

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 21st, 2013

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Mazda has received a tremendous amount of public and industry praise in the last few years, following up the successful introduction of its Skyactiv technology (powertrain and otherwise), with strong products like CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, the Mazda3. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda has taken yet another step forward with Skyactiv and the 3, showing the compact (called “Axela” in Japan) with an all-new compressed natural gas engine in the Skyactiv-CNG Concept.

The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid is fuel consumption estimated at something like 74 miles per gallon.

Mazda thinks that CNG-powered vehicles are due for an uptick in demand, and the company believes this new powertrain will add valuable breadth to the Mazda3 range. The CNG Concept is actually a duel-fuel vehicle, capable of running on either natural gas or gasoline. In fact, we’re told that the high compression ratio (14:1) inherent in Skyactiv-technology gasoline engines makes conversion to CNG particularly simple.

Perhaps more interesting is the unveiling of Mazda’s first-ever hybrid powertrain, aptly named Skyactiv-Hybrid. The new system, which is only slated for the Japanese market at this point, connects an electric motor to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, using it to assist at low engine speeds and under low-load conditions. The electric motor is supplied by a nickel-metal hydride battery of unstated capacity.

The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid in the Mazda3 is fuel consumption estimated at 3.2 liters per 1,000 kilometers on the lenient Japanese cycle, or something like 74 miles per gallon, and total system output of around 134 horsepower (136 PS).

You’ll find slightly more information about the Skyativ-Hybrid and the Skyativ-CNG Concept in the press release below.

Continue reading Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid and CNG Concept shown in Japan

Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid and CNG Concept shown in Japan originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Car and Driver releases 2014 10Best list, Miata’s 8-year run ends [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 21st, 2013

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2014 Car and Driver 10Best

Change! Unlike last year, in which Car and Driver’s 10Best list was populated with almost exactly the same vehicles as the year before – the only change between 2012 and 2013 was that the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins took the position previously occupied by the Cadillac CTS-V. By contrast, 2014 brings with it several notable additions and subtractions. But first, let’s look at what carries over from 2013 to ’14: the Audi A6/A7/S6/S7 family, the BMW 3 Series/4 Series family, the Honda Accord, Porsche Boxster/Cayman and Volkswagen Golf/GTI.

That’s a mighty fine list of machinery there, to be sure. But you may notice a few glaring omissions, most notably, in our eyes at least, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. For those keeping track, the little Japanese sports car had been on the list for eight consecutive years, ending in 2013, for a total of 14 appearances since hitting the market in 1989. Given the model’s age and the rest of this new 10 Best list, we don’t think Mazda will be too disappointed, however. Also missing is the Ford Focus/Focus ST and Mustang, which made it in 2013 in GT and Boss 302 guises. Finally, the Honda Fit falls off, along with the aforementioned FR-S and BRZ coupes.

So, fully half of last year’s 10Best cars were removed for 2014. Here are the new faces:

Want to know the reasoning behind what’s leftover and what’s brand new? Head on over to Car and Driver for the complete rundown, scroll down below for a video, and feel free to let us know what you think of the magazine’s 10Best Cars for 2014 in the Comments.

Continue reading Car and Driver releases 2014 10Best list, Miata’s 8-year run ends [w/video]

Car and Driver releases 2014 10Best list, Miata’s 8-year run ends [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda CEO predicts record US sales in next 2 years

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 19th, 2013

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Japan Mazda

The recently appointed CEO of Mazda is apparently quite the optimist, claiming that the Japanese brand, renowned for its Zoom-Zoom driving character (and more recently its sleek, refined designs and Skyactiv efficiency), is claiming the company will record its best-ever US sales within the next two years. According to a report from Automotive News, Masamichi Kogai expects Mazda to move 400,000 of its Kodo-styled vehicles in the increasingly competitive US market by March 2016, with the recently launched Mazda3 leading the charge. “It will impacted considerably by the trend of the U.S. industry. But… it’s my hope we achieve the record by that time,” Kogai tells AN.

The brand is currently targeting 300,000 units by the end of this fiscal year in March 2014. Given that production and sales of the Mazda3 (and consumer awareness of the 2014 Mazda6) is still picking up steam, it isn’t a stretch to imagine Mazda, which sold 240,000 vehicles from January to October of 2013, hitting its target.

Along with the overall increase in sales numbers, Kogai is expecting the independent brand to take an even larger slice of the US sales pie, claiming 2.5 percent US market share, improving from its current 1.9-percent foothold so far in 2013. “I think the upper limit may be 2.5 percent for the time being,” Kogai told AN, before pointing out, “We don’t want to use a lot of incentives. That is not the sales approach we aspire toward.”

Mazda CEO predicts record US sales in next 2 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Nov 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Mazda2 spotted in Japanese magazine

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 16th, 2013

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The styling changes at Mazda are proceeding at a fairly quick tempo. The CX-5 was unveiled, followed by a refreshed CX-9, the excellent Mazda6, and most recently a new Mazda3. This all happened over the course of less than two years, which in the auto industry is like a long week.

Now the Mazda2 is getting its revamp. Thanks to a magazine scan from Japan, we now have our first look at the new sub-compact, called the Demio, in its home market. Mazda’s familial front end has been fitted, and it doesn’t look quite as suited to the smaller car. Lacking the long-hood look of the Mazda3 and Mazda6, the new styling looks overly rounded, almost bulbous from our angle. It’s still attractive, but the shape is kind of off-putting compared to the chiseled faces of the 2′s big brothers. We’ll concede that the folded magazine page may have something to do with it, however.

The next-generation 2 should adhere to Mazda’s Skyactiv philosophy, which means we can expect a highly efficient four-cylinder engine, although it’s impossible to say if Mazda will do away with its smallest offering’s one-engine strategy. Considering the Mazda2 will be riding on a shortened version of the CX-5′s platform, we’d expect some degree of mechanical parts sharing, regardless of how much the larger platform needs trimmed. Perhaps a detuned version of the 2.0-liter, Skyactiv four-cylinder could be under the 2′s hood?

According to our poster, we’ll see the next Mazda2/Demio in the spring of 2014, likely as a 2015 model. That timing makes predicting which show it’ll be unveiled at difficult. New York, Beijing, and Geneva all fall in the spring months, and are three of the biggest shows on the planet. Our money is on New York or Beijing, which lack the supercar glitz found in Switzerland. We’ll have more before then.

2015 Mazda2 spotted in Japanese magazine originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More photos of the 2014 Mazda3 sedan

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 10th, 2013

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2014 Mazda3 sedan

Thanks to the folks at Top Gear Russia, we got an early glimpse of the 2014 Mazda3 sedan. Now, Mazda has released more images of its sleek new four-door, and if you like what the Japanese automaker has done with the five-door hatchback, you won’t find anything to complain about with the sedan.

Many would argue that the Mazda3 sedan looks like a scaled-down version of the new Mazda6, and in many cases, that’s true. But there are subtle details about the Mazda3 that we really like, starting with the larger grille that makes for a slightly more aggressive front end. On the profile, we like how the strong arching character lines that flow over the front and rear wheel wells intersect in the middle of the car and then taper off. At the rear, a short decklid rounds off a very clean design with taillamps that are indeed reminiscent of the larger Mazda6.

We can’t yet confirm powertrain details (or any other specifications, really), but we fully expect the same 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engines to carry over from the hatchback, as well as the six-speed automatic and manual transmissions.

We’ll have more to say about the 2014 Mazda3 in the very near future, but for now, take a glance through the gallery above to see the new sedan from all angles. Be sure to check out or new gallery of hatchback photos below, too.

More photos of the 2014 Mazda3 sedan originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 Jul 2013 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazdaspeed3 could look this good

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 28th, 2013

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Mazdaspeed3 rendering

Mazda showed off its brand-new 2014 Mazda3 at an event in New York City earlier this week, and we have to say, at first blush, we’re pretty impressed. It looks fantastic – like a smaller, hatch’d version of the already sleek Mazda6 sedan that went on sale earlier this year. And with a 200-pound weight reduction, efficient Skyactiv gasoline engines underhood and Mazda’s usual focus on driving dynamics above all, we’re willing to bet that the new Three will be a pretty decent steer.

Of course, being enthusiasts, we’re already setting our sights on the next-generation Mazdaspeed3, rendered here by artist Theo Chin. To our eyes, it’s not a very imaginative transformation, but is likely a spot-on rendering for what the next car will look like. And it’s really, really hot.

While Mazda hasn’t exactly confirmed that the new Speed3 will be coming, sources within the automaker have indicated that a third-generation version of the MS3 is under development. Thing is, the Japanese automaker wants to give the standard Mazda3 some time to grow in the market, so we might not see the new Speed3 until something like 2016, with a possible diesel version to arrive before then.

The big unknown, however, is what will power the new Speed3. Of course, we’re big fans of the DISI 2.3-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder that’s currently used, producing 263 horsepower, but Mazda could certainly be developing something new. A turbo-four setup is a given, and power will likely fall closer to 275 hp for the new car. Bring it on.

Next Mazdaspeed3 could look this good originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Jun 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda announces live-streaming vehicle intro on Xbox

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 19th, 2013

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XBox logo

In April, Mazda introduced a marketing campaign titled “Game Changers” to showcase how certain people have made significant impacts in their respective sports, and now it’s the Japanese automaker that is changing the game by creating an innovative way to launch a new product. Mazda is teaming up with Xbox to offer a first-of-its-kind live-streaming global debut of a new product. Mazda didn’t say which model will be debuted, but our guess is that it will be the next-generation Mazda3.

The actual reveal will take place at 9 pm on June 26 during a live concert from the band Metric in New York City, but there will be other live events preceding the concert in Melbourne, St. Petersburg, Istanbul and London. Mazda will be promoting the event on social media using the hashtag #GameChanger, and there is also a contest on Xbox where one winner will receive $2,500 to attend a music event of their choice. Scroll down for the full details of the contest and vehicle debut event.

Continue reading Mazda announces live-streaming vehicle intro on Xbox

Mazda announces live-streaming vehicle intro on Xbox originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 11th, 2013

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Most vehicle recalls that take place these days are a result of some problem that happens during the manufacturing process by the automaker, but as we see here, parts suppliers can also factor in to problematic safety issues. Automotive News is reporting that a total of 3.4 million vehicles produced by Japanese automakers between 2000 and 2004 are being recalled globally due to faulty airbags produced by an outside supplier, Takata Corp.

According to the report, vehicles from Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda are being recalled because of passenger front airbags that do not inflate properly. Globally, Toyota is said to be recalling around 1.73 million cars including 510,000 in the US composed of Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia and Tundra as well as the Lexus SC430 for the 2001 through 2003 model years; this is the second time this year the 2003 Corolla and Matrix have been recalled for an airbag problem. Honda is recalling 1.14 million models, Nissan another 480,000 and Mazda 45,463. The article says that Takata supplied faulty airbags to non-Japanese automakers, but it did not specify which ones.

Honda and Toyota have released information on their own websites about the recall, while Nissan and Mazda have not yet commented. Read official press releases from Honda and Toyota, below, and look for updates as we have word from the others.

Continue reading Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags

Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lexus, Mazda and Subaru top Consumer Reports Brand Report Cards

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 27th, 2013

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A revised methodology in devising its annual Car Brand Report Cards has seen Consumer Reports award Lexus its top overall ranking for 2013. For the first time ever, the institute broke out individual brands from their larger corporate umbrellas, meaning car makers like Lexus and Scion were judged independently from parent company Toyota. That strategy worked out well for Lexus, as the luxury brand earned a top report card score of 79 for the 2013 model year.

The institute has recommended every one of the Lexus models it has tested to date, and said that the company’s products won out thanks to “a foundation of plush and very reliable vehicles.”

Meanwhile, Mazda and Subaru tied for the second-highest scoring report cars, with scores of 76. Subaru earned praised for sporting models like the BRZ, which CR testers apparently had a lot of fun driving (naturally), while the Mazda products were lauded for their blend of practicality, sportiness and efficiency. Both of the Japanese brands offered good handling, fuel economy and versatility, said Consumer Reports.

The institute has recommended every one of the Lexus models it has tested to date.

Acura and Toyota rounded out the top five with twin scores of 74 points. A full eight out of the top ten best brands were Japanese companies, with Audi (eighth place) and Mercedes-Benz (tenth place) the only European companies with high-ranking scores. CR noted that those Euro brands were inconsistent this year, with Volkswagen losing ground and Mini doing the worst overall of the European brands, at 20 out of 26 overall.

Domestic automakers didn’t do particularly well, either. Cadillac was at the tops of the General Motors portfolio, but was still held back by just average reliability and no love at CR for “complicated CUE controls,” a complaint we’ve heard before. Ford and Lincoln were also dinged for their infotainment systems and reliability, as well as for EcoBoost engines that didn’t deliver on promised fuel economy ratings. Chrysler brands were the worst off, however, with just the Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 and Chrysler 300 V6 being recommended by the publication. Scroll down for the full list of Brand Report Card scores, as well as the Consumer Reports press release, or head over to CR’s website to read the full feature and find out the granular info behind each of the brands.

Continue reading Lexus, Mazda and Subaru top Consumer Reports Brand Report Cards

Lexus, Mazda and Subaru top Consumer Reports Brand Report Cards originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda to build small Toyota in Mexico for US consumption

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 9th, 2012

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Mazda2 - White - front three-quarter view

Mazda and Toyota have announced a partnership to produce a new vehicle for our market. Mazda will build a subcompact economy car for North America based on its own Mazda2 at its soon-to-be-finished facility in Mexico for sale under the Toyota banner. The plant will build around 50,000 units per year once production begins in during the summer of 2015, leaving a further 90,000-unit capacity for Mazda vehicles.

Toyota has invested a proportional amount of funds in the plant’s production equipment to offset the cost, and hopes to have a more competitive North American lineup as a result of the collaboration. Mazda, meanwhile gains the benefit of spreading production costs over a greater number of vehicles per year.

The move certainly makes sense as Japanese manufacturers look to send more manufacturing out of Japan in the face of the stronger yen. In addition, last year’s earthquake and tsunami disasters underscored the need for a production network capable of flexibly responding to localized disasters, leaving many Japanese automakers with production delays and thin supply.

Mazda, meanwhile, has increasingly sought outside assistance with its manufacturing and engineering efforts as it looks to turn a profit again. The company recently courted Italian automaker Fiat in a tie-up that will see Mazda develop the platform for the next-generation MX-5 Miata and an Alfa Romeo roadster. As for the new partnership, while Toyota isn’t saying what this subcompact model will be called, we have to wonder if it’s a next-generation Yaris. Last we heard, the subcompact was slated to be built in France and imported into the US. Check the brief press releases from both automakers below for more information.

Continue reading Mazda to build small Toyota in Mexico for US consumption

Mazda to build small Toyota in Mexico for US consumption originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Nov 2012 10:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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