Posts Tagged ‘mazda mx-5 miata’

Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll]

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 3rd, 2014

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Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta by Pininfarina

Alfa giveth and Alfa taketh away. With apologies to Job (he has gone through a lot, after all), that’s how things are looking at the Italian automaker – whether it’s the promise of new products or its impending return to the North American market. But it’s especially true when it comes to new roadsters.

While Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil the 4C Spider at the Geneva Motor Show this week, reports are now suggesting that its other roadster project is being called into question. That project is a joint venture between Fiat and Mazda, which was set to produce a version of its next MX-5 Miata as an Alfa Romeo, and was even changing the design to accommodate Alfa’s requirements.

Now it appears, however, that the whole project in doubt. The problem seems to stem from Sergio Marchionne’s pronouncements that, as long as he’s in charge, there won’t be an Alfa Romeo built outside of Italy.

The principal poses some problems, but also leaves some windows open. For one, it could mean that the Alfa project would be postponed until after Marchionne retires, but that’s not expected to happen any time soon. For another, it could mean that the Alfa roadster would be developed by Mazda and based on its architecture, but assembled back in Italy – although the deal is said to call for Mazda to do the manufacturing. The prospect that our colleagues at at Automotive News Europe are betting on, however, is that Marchionne will switch its commitment to Mazda to another brand.

Eliminating Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia as possibilities, ANE figures the project could be transferred to either Fiat or the Abarth performance brand. Bertone’s Fiat Barchetta concept looked promising in 2007, and Abarth was long rumored to get its own roadster – and both manufacture outside of Italy as it is. But for that matter, we wonder why – with Fiat and Chrysler now under the same umbrella – it couldn’t be done instead as a Dodge or SRT. The Copperhead concept of 1997 and the Demon of 2008 did show some promise, after all. What do you think?

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Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda going back to oval grille with next MX-5 Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 18th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 test mule

The original Mazda MX-5 Miata was distinguished by an oval grille – a design trait that gradually evolved into the smiling cat face on the latest model. But Mazda, according to the latest intel, is planning on returning to that oval grille with the new model in the works.

The revised grille will cap a slightly longer form than models past, while still keeping weight down to a minimum. The stretched wheelbase was reportedly adopted in order to meet the requirements of Alfa Romeo, which is jointly developing the new platform together with Mazda for use on a new roadster of its own.

The new Miata is expected to adopt the 1.5-liter Skyactiv four found in the Mazda3, albeit returned to rev higher and deliver more power and torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic. The Alfa version, meanwhile, is expected to use a 1.4-liter turbo four with a dual-clutch transmission. Sources anticipate the new MX-5 to debut first, possibly at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show a little less than a year from now.

Mazda going back to oval grille with next MX-5 Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 11th, 2014

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Jay Leno's Garage: 25 Years of Miata

Ask a car enthusiast what the best driver’s car on the road is, and the Mazda MX-5 Miata is very likely to come up rather quickly. Unjustly saddled with a reputation as a “chick’s car,” the Miata has been, over its three generations, one of the finest driving instruments ever built – it’s light, agile and rear-wheel drive with direct, snappy steering, an engine that revels in being revved and a precise, smooth-shifting transmission. The fact that it’s ridiculously affordable and reliable is simply a bonus.

It should come as no surprise then, that a car with these traits has endured for 25 years, a milestone reached only by some of the most famous nameplates in the auto industry – Corvette, Mustang, F-150, SL, M3 and so on. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Jay Leno spent some time with the little roadster that could, while also chatting with two of the Mazda employees that were central to the MX-5′s arrival on the world’s automotive scene, Bob Hall and Tom Matano.

Take a look below for the latest video from Jay Leno’s Garage on the excellent Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Continue reading Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday

Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Feb 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Miata celebrates 25 years of rocking our worlds

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 10th, 2014

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1989 Mazda MX-5 Miata, front three-quarter view

For its birthday, it hasn’t been profiled on 60 Minutes or been to Jay Leno’s Garage, and it isn’t going on a retrospective tour of vintage racetracks or getting a special Spyder Zagato edition. That doesn’t mean we think any less of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the roadster with a simplicity that was as enjoyable as it was barely believable when it arrived in 1989. A quarter of a century and three generations later, the Miata remains the go-to roadster when you want easy, balanced and economical thrills.

It grew from a 116-horsepower speedster with a five-speed manual transmission and a curb weight of 2,116 pounds, to a 167-hp go-kart with a five-speed manual coming in at 2,480 pounds (in Sport guise). Along the way it’s picked up hundreds of awards, including 14 nods on Car and Driver’s “10Best” list, its most recent eight-year streak coming to an end last year, the Guinness Book of World Records title as “Best-Selling Two-Seater Sports Car” and innumerable trophies as weekend racer extraordinaire.

We’ll see the fourth generation at next year’s Chicago Auto Show, and we’re certain to hear more about its 25-year milestone this year. Until that happens, enjoy the images above and the gallery and press release below, as well as a just-announced special Mazda microsite.

Continue reading Mazda Miata celebrates 25 years of rocking our worlds

Mazda Miata celebrates 25 years of rocking our worlds originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Feb 2014 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazda MX-5 Miata headed for 2015 Chicago debut

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 17th, 2014

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20 Years of Mazda Miatas at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show

Twenty-six years after it was introduced at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the much anticipated fourth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata will meet the press at the 2015 Chicago show. A piece in Autocar refines some of the details on the larger, lighter Miata that a Mazda insider has said will be “our best-looking car ever.”

The company has relented on the quest for the metric tonne, the 1000-kilogram (2,200-pound) target too difficult to achieve in light of cost constraints. You can still expect it to lose a generous dollop of weight – Autocar says a curb weight of 1,100 kg (2,420 pounds) will still make it the lightest in its class. And Mazda will be stressing a fun driving experience through light weight and a modest amount of naturally-aspirated horsepower. Engine capacities of 1.5 and 2.0 liters are expected. Sounds familiar (and good), right?

The Miata’s interpretation of Kodo design will be veer from that found on the Mazda3 and Mazda6, with “very clean and simple” lines marking out “more muscular proportions” and elongated bodywork on a longer wheelbase. A stretched engine bay will make room for the current Skyactiv engine and perhaps the future Skyactiv 2 powerplants, initial reports suggesting there could be a 30-percent increase in fuel economy from the moment it arrives.

Two flavors of top-down operation will continue, those being the soft- and folding metal hardtop. That next iteration of the hardtop will lose weight and take up less space, making for a bigger bit of space in the trunk. The next Miata will go on sale in 2015, supposedly joined at some point by the Alfa Romeo brother it will share a platform with.

Next Mazda MX-5 Miata headed for 2015 Chicago debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Alfa Romeo’s version of Mazda MX-5 Miata to be costlier, offer own engines

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 4th, 2012

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Geneva 2010: Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta concept by Pininfarina - front three-quarter view

If this comes to pass, it shouldn’t be a surprise in the least, but What Car? is reporting that the Alfa Romeo version of the roadster it is co-developing with Mazda will be more expensive than the MX-5 Miata upon which it is based. Alfa’s market perception alone would seem to encourage that scenario, but it sounds like intentionally avoiding competition is also be at play, as Mazda’s CEO has told the magazine that “the two cars were unlikely to be priced or positioned to compete against each other.”

The Miata is predicted to bow as early as year (we’re hearing it will likely be later), the Alfa version in 2015. Although both are expected to be built at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan the roadsters will get engines from their respective parent companies. The MX-5 is speculated to get its motivation from a 1.3-liter, 200-horsepower four-cylinder. But if Alfa wanted to charge a little more for a MultiAir-engined, 300-horsepower production version of the Pininfarina-penned 2uettottanta concept showed off at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show… well, we’d have nothing bad to say about it.

Alfa Romeo’s version of Mazda MX-5 Miata to be costlier, offer own engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Sep 2012 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda debuts supercharged MX-5 Miata Yusho concept in Leipzig

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 4th, 2012

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Yusho Concept - white, front three-quarter view

Mazda has unveiled a pair of special MX-5 Miata models just for the 2012 Leipzig Motor Show, including a supercharged version of everyone’s favorite roadster. For the latter showcar, dubbed “Yusho,” Mazda has turned to our friends at Flyin’ Miata for a supercharger kit to boost the machine’s grunt to around 241 horsepower. As you may recall, that’s the same blower that powered our Targa Newfoundland racer. Mazda also threw in a new engine management system paired with a set of new fuel injectors and a free-flowing exhaust. The powerplant also benefits from beefier Cosworth pistons and connecting rods, while a sport clutch handles dumping all that power onto the six-speed manual gearbox.

A set of 4.10 gears in the rear differential also helps the Yusho sprint from corner to corner. With a set of Bilstein shocks, Eibach lowering springs and semi-slick Toyo tires, this is likely the most fun you can have with your top down. While the Yusho is merely a concept, Mazda is also debuting a limited-production special edition MX-5 Miata as well.

At Just 200 units, the Senshu MX-5 Roadster Coupe comes with a retractable hard top, sportline interior and a Bilstein sports suspension. Designers applied a unique racing stripe, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels give the machine a little more menace. Mazda will only produce 200 of the Senshu Miata models, and each one will cost European buyers €1,280 – about $1,600 USD – over the base price. Check out both press releasesfor yourself by scrolling down.

Continue reading Mazda debuts supercharged MX-5 Miata Yusho concept in Leipzig

Mazda debuts supercharged MX-5 Miata Yusho concept in Leipzig originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Jun 2012 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MotoMan at Targa Newfoundland, Part Two

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 9th, 2012

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MotoMan at Targa Newfoundland Part 2

The crew at MotoMan has rolled out the second episode of its Targa Newfoundland coverage. This time around, Brandon Fitch and I spend plenty of time talking with the guys about the challenges of Day One, how the Flyin’ Miata supercharged NC MX-5 Miata handles some of the more technical stages and joy of hauling ass through a subdivision. Meanwhile, team MotoMan gets a few valuable lessons on competition in targa from veterans of the race like Rob Pacione and learns a little about Newfoundland hospitality at the same time. As the week continues, competitors are forced to overcome a variety of challenges, from an entire engine swap in a Lotus to a water-logged 911.

Part Two gives us all a better idea of what it’s like to compete in Grand Touring, where the goal is to hit a specific time and speed, rather than simply beat a time like in Targa class. Both competitions are challenging in their own right, but we have to sympathize with MotoMan’s frustration at being forced to limp a Dodge Challenger 392 along at 40 miles per hour with an open road ahead of you. Scroll down to check it out for yourself.

Continue reading MotoMan at Targa Newfoundland, Part Two

MotoMan at Targa Newfoundland, Part Two originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 May 2012 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Twin-engined, sixteen-cylinder Mazda MX-5 Miata, anyone?

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 14th, 2012

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Mazda Miata V-16

As far as two-seaters go, they don’t get much farther apart than the Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Mazda is as cheap as the Bugatti is expensive, and the Veyron has as many turbochargers – and digits in its output figures – as the Miata has cylinders. But this homegrown example aims to bridge the gap.

Someone, it seems, has stretched out their Miata’s wheelbase and fitted a pair of eight-cylinder engines (which is essentially what powers the Bugatti) under the extended hood – or where the hood used to be, anyway. The result, as you can see from the brief clip after the jump, is rather rumblesome. Here’s hoping the next vid has a bit more action…

Continue reading Twin-engined, sixteen-cylinder Mazda MX-5 Miata, anyone?

Twin-engined, sixteen-cylinder Mazda MX-5 Miata, anyone? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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