Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

2014 Mazda3 to shed hundreds of pounds; diesel, Mazdaspeed variants possible

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 1st, 2012

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2012 Mazda3 sedan, front 3/4 view

According to Car and Driver, the next-generation Mazda3 is set to undergo an extensive overhaul, similar to what the Japanese automaker has done with its larger Mazda6 sedan.

On the powertrain front, expect the still-new 155-horsepower 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder to carry over. But since the next Mazda3 will likely shed hundreds of pounds thanks to the company’s lighter Skyactiv-tuned platform (a good chunk of which will be shared with the CX-5), the 2.0-liter engine should return improved fuel economy and performance since there won’t be so much heft to cart around. Currently, the 2.0-liter Mazda3 returns up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

C/D also states that a diesel-powered version of the compact Mazda3 is under consideration, as is a new version of the turbocharged Mazdaspeed3.

Visually, expect the new Mazda3 to receive the full brunt of the automaker’s new Kodo styling language. That isn’t a bad thing, though – both the new CX-5 and Mazda6 are handsome vehicles, and we think the aggressive headlamps and upright grille will translate nicely to the smaller package. C/D has worked up a rendering of what the Mazda3 could look like in hatchback form with the new styling direction, so head over there to check it out.

2014 Mazda3 to shed hundreds of pounds; diesel, Mazdaspeed variants possible originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 01 Oct 2012 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Anti-Japan protests in China cause Honda, Mazda, Nissan to suspend production

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 17th, 2012

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Reuters is reporting That Honda, Mazda and Nissan have been forced to stop production in China after a series of anti-Japan protests erupted over a territorial dispute between the two countries. The stoppage will see a total of four Honda plants go dark for two days, thanks in part to the fact that local dealers have been under attack and can’t receive shipments. Mazda, meanwhile, plans to close its facility in Nanjing for a total of four days, starting on Tuesday. The report sites Luo Lei, the deputy secretary general of the China Automobile Dealers Association, as saying many dealerships have shut down after a few were vandalized. One dealership saw a Honda Civic set on fire in Shanghai.

Lei also said buyers are boycotting Japanese goods, especially cars, over safety concerns.

Honda and Mazda aren’t alone, either. Toyota and Panasonic both reported fire damage at their facilities, and one Toyota dealership was set ablaze as well. Protesters overturned cars and smashed windshields in some cities as well, as the September 18 anniversary of the Manchurian Incident approaches. The date marks the anniversary of Japan’s invasion into northeastern China in 1931.

Anti-Japan protests in China cause Honda, Mazda, Nissan to suspend production originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Sep 2012 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chris Harris capitulates on his hatred for the Mazda MX-5 Miata… sort of

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 11th, 2012

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Chris Harris Mazda MX-5

Chris Harris and the Mazda MX-5 Miata have a bit of a checkered past. The infamous auto writer once sank his teeth into the little Japanese convertible and didn’t stop until he drew blood, saying he was “completely ambivalent to the existence” of the machine, and that it drove “with all the precision of a boneless limb.” For reasons that don’t need enunciation, Harris has received plenty of flack over those comments. Now he’s taken the time to give the Miata another shot to see if he was misguided in his derision.

What’s the verdict? Harris says he may have been a little too hard on the Miata on the first go around. But that doesn’t mean he’s recanting his original point of view. He’s still not sold on the fact that the Mazda is a legitimate sports car. We would counter by saying that may be true for someone who parks a Ferrari 599 in his garage every night. The rest of us are happy to get our hands on anything that even remotely resembles a proper-handling machine. Check out the video below.

Continue reading Chris Harris capitulates on his hatred for the Mazda MX-5 Miata… sort of

Chris Harris capitulates on his hatred for the Mazda MX-5 Miata… sort of originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Sep 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Slow-selling Mazda2 may not be renewed for U.S.

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 29th, 2012

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Mazda2

As with its platform-mate, the Ford Fiesta, the Mazda2 hasn’t exactly made hay with the monthly sales numbers. Unlike it’s Ford relative, however, Mazda isn’t committed to sticking it out with the Mazda2 in the U.S. Ford has gone on record as saying it will remain committed to the Fiesta here, while a report in Automotive News claims the next-generation Mazda2, due around 2014, might skip our shores. The lack of momentum in the U.S. subcompact market is one of the causes, as is the Mazda2’s price: with an asking price of $14,530, it is only $670 less expensive than the four-door Mazda3.

The Japanese company is focusing on its volume models and on getting its Skyactiv technologies fully integrated throughout the line. We’ve now got a full look at the Mazda6, and AN suggest the 2.2-liter twin-turbo diesel with 170 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque could come to the U.S. after the sedan is launched here.

The next Mazda3 will be a showcase of lightweight and efficient Skyactiv tech, with 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter direct-injection engines on offer, a diesel and i-Eloop regenerative braking being considered. The lighter, more powerful MX-5 Miata is expected to be here in about two years time, and a rotary-powered sports car is still being worked on well behind the scenes.

Slow-selling Mazda2 may not be renewed for U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Aug 2012 09:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda6 finally breaks cover in Moscow

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 28th, 2012

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2014 Mazda6 - front three-quarter view

Mazda has made the unusual choice of selecting the Moscow Motor Show to unveil its all-new 2014 Mazda6. The mid-size sedan looks very sharp, and powered by the Japanese automaker’s latest line of Skyactiv engines, it ought to be efficient and solid to drive, as well.

Visually, the Mazda6 is the company’s latest expression of their Kodo (“Soul of Motion”) design language and draws heavily from the company’s well-received 2011 Takeri showcar. A widened, stretched version of Mazda’s five-point grille is employed and it’s perhaps the most attractive version of that design element to date. The grille is connected to the LED headlights via shiny bits, a design tactic reminiscent of the new BMW 3 Series.

According to chief designer Akira Tamatani, “We have created a design in which the wild and dynamic expressions of motion artistically realize a powerful presence.” The color seen here is called Soul Red, and was enveloped by Mazda to accentuate the shapes of the new 6.

Inside, the layout is a clean and straightforward one, which has become a hallmark of Mazda cabin design. The cabin is highlighted by a color-matched interior accent panel. A trained eye will even notice a rotary selector to control the navigation system,


UK gets Mazda MX-5 Miata Kuro special edition

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 27th, 2012

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2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Kuro edition - white - front three-quarter view

The word “kuro” means “black” in Japanese, and several special edition kuro models have made there way to the UK from Japanese automakers in the past few years: the Nissan Juke Kuro last year and the Mazda RX-8 Kuro in 2007. Mazda has gone back to black with the MX-5 Kuro, but unlike those other cars, this one is oddly available in Crystal White Pearlescent, as well as Velocity Red Mica and Brilliant Black.

It will come in either 124-horsepower, 1.8-liter soft top or 158-hp 2.0-liter Roadster Coupe forms (read: retractable hardtop). Sportiness is the brief, but while the softie gets a five-speed manual, the Roadster Coupe bags a six-speed manual, limited-slip differential and side airbags.

Upgraded spec for both variants throws in a new rear bumper with larger exhaust tips, “race car inspired exterior” graphics, 17-inch gunmetal wheels, along with Brilliant Black side mirrors, roof and trim. Inside, the black treatment is contrasted with stone-colored leather on the heated seats, as well as red stitching and alongside alloy pedals. Climate control will come standard.

Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 23rd, 2012

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2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata will have a sibling, but it won’t be a Mazda, it will be an Alfa Romeo. The Japanese automaker has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alfa parent Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on the MX-5 platform that is expected to see production in Mazda’s Hiroshima factory, with the Alfa version coming in 2015.

Pegged as “a successor to the MX-5,” the production date will push the next-gen Miata’s arrival back a bit. In 2010 it was predicted we’d see the new Miata this year, with its 2,200-pound weight target, 50/50 weight distribution and potential twin-backbone chassis structure. Obviously that isn’t happening.

Whenever the new model and its Alfa mate do come, each brand will get “differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive,” using in-house engines provided by their own brands.

The link-up is excellent news for Mazda, the small, independent company searching for just these kinds of “technology and product development alliances” to help rescue it from years of losses, and supporting CEO Takashi Yamanouchi’s assertion that it’s “partner or die.” The negotiations also include further cooperation between the two brands in Europe.

Fiat head Sergio Marchionne’s search for partnerships to provide scale is no secret, nor his desire to improve Fiat’s position in Asia, which Mazda might also be able to assist with. And the idea of a properly sporting Alfa would be welcome round the world; with the loss of the Brera GT and Brera Spider in 2010, the Alfa line is down to two hatchbacks and a long-in-the-tooth sedan, none of them particularly sporty. With the 8C Spider beyond most budgets and the 4C still living in the ether, it’s been almost 20 years since the then 33-year-old Alfa Spider represented (or was meant to, at least) the kind of purposeful, two-seater Alfa being announced here.

The final agreement should be finalized later this year, and you can scroll down to read the press release.

Continue reading Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata

Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 May 2012 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Watch a Mazda tackle the Wall of Death, live to tell the tale

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 3rd, 2012

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mazda2 stunt

We love crazy promotional videos with hair-raising stunts that seem to defy gravity, and this particular spot certainly checks all those boxes. Mazda has teamed up with The Demon Drome crew to determine if its Mazda2 can successfully whirl around a motor drome.

The motor drome is essentially a cylinder about 30 feet in diameter with wooden planks that are positioned at an impossible angle. Trained men and women have traditionally used motorcycles in these stunts, but the Japanese automaker evidently thought its tiny Mazda2 would be an ideal four-wheeled replacement.

We knew the Mazda2 was nimble, but this is pretty sweet. Hit the jump to watch the video for yourself… and try not to be alarmed by the demonic-sounding backwards talk.

Continue reading Watch a Mazda tackle the Wall of Death, live to tell the tale

Watch a Mazda tackle the Wall of Death, live to tell the tale originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Apr 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda takes the long and winding roadster to the British isles with MX-5 Venture Edition

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 23rd, 2012

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Mazda MX-5 Venture Edition

Go back half a century or so and nobody owned the concept of the little roadster quite like the British. These days it belongs to Mazda and its ubiquitous MX-5 Miata, but as if to pay homage, the Japanese automaker has launched a new special edition in the UK.

Called the MX-5 Venture Edition, it bundles a dozen or so additional features into one slick little package. Gunmetal-finish 17-inch alloys, fog lamps and chrome grille are all part and parcel, but the nicest touch is the Havana Brown leather trim inside, with alloy pedals and piano black trim. TomTom sat-nav with a 5.8-inch touch screen and full connectivity keep it current.

It’s available in special shades of black, white or grey, and buyers can choose between soft-top or retractable hard-top, but only 250 examples of the former and 550 of the latter will be made available exclusively in the UK. Check it out in the high-res image gallery and the press release after the jump.

Continue reading Mazda takes the long and winding roadster to the British isles with MX-5 Venture Edition

Mazda takes the long and winding roadster to the British isles with MX-5 Venture Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Feb 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Takeri concept wows Tokyo Big Sight

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 30th, 2011

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Mazda has just taken the wraps off of its new concept sedan, the Takeri, at its display stand here at the Tokyo Big Sight expo hall (honest, that’s what it’s called). The C/D-sized concept sedan furthers Mazda’s Kodo ‘Soul of Motion’ design language while hinting at the next Mazda6.

Predictably, the Takeri (derived from the Japanese word for “Male”) is equipped with a full slate of Skyactiv features, including Mazda’s new Skyactiv-D clean diesel – a version of which we recently fell in love with in the CX-5 crossover – and a new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system.

In person, The Takeri offers a very attractive shape, with traditional Mazda cues including a prominent hexagonal grille (we particularly like the subtle matte metal element that links the grille to the headlamps) and short overhangs. More importantly, the showcar appears to be a production-friendly shape if you discount items like the showcar mirrors, slightly oversized 20-inch wheels and raise the roofline by an inch or two. Given the Mazda6’s slow sales pace, a successor can’t get here soon enough.

For more details, check out our high-res image gallery or click on the jump to read the official press release.

Continue reading Mazda Takeri concept wows Tokyo Big Sight

Mazda Takeri concept wows Tokyo Big Sight originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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