Posts Tagged ‘mazda mx-5 miata’

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata firsthand impressions and notebook scribblings

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 4th, 2014

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata - front three-quarter live reveal image

In a temporarily repurposed airport hanger in Monterey, CA, the world caught its first glimpse of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata tonight, and I was fortunate enough to attend in person along with my fellow auto media colleagues, Mazda execs, a couple hundred Miata devotees and, oddly, a fair number of Duran Duran fans. The klieg lights have dimmed, Simon Le Bon is no longer ringing in my ears, and I’m left to ponder what I’ve seen. I’ve scavenged my notes – and my Twitter feed – to give you some details and brief thoughts.

Fair Warning: I can’t claim to be completely impartial (I own a second-generation NB and consider the Miata franchise to be one of but a few sacrosanct franchises in modern motoring), but I will share my honest first impressions of the new car, both good and bad.

Here are my notes:

  • 2,200 pounds. That’s roughly what this car will weigh if we can take Mazda at its word that it has managed to cut over 100 kilos – 220 pounds – versus today’s NC Miata. Given that this car will almost certainly be safer, stiffer, better equipped and more refined, that’s incredibly impressive engineering. In fact, that’s lighter than an NB generation car.
  • First Impression: The new car looks incredibly compact yet sinuous, with tightly snubbed overhangs what designer Derek Jenkins called an “impossibly low” hoodline – impressive in this day and age of pedestrian crash regulations. Largely free of adornments, I think this is a shape that will age well.
  • While still looking like a proper MX-5, this ND trades some of its predecessors’ occasionally cartoonish and friendly rounded lines in favor of something more aggressive.
  • Piercing stare from those small, lightweight LED headlamps contrasts with its large lower air intake.
  • Profile is clean with almost zero character lines but nice barrel to the doors and fenders, with prominent J-kick to doorline retained and better rear-drive proportions thanks to a more harmonious door line/rear wheel relationship. Fender-resident side lenses are a nice design detail that add visual thrust.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata firsthand impressions and notebook scribblings

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata firsthand impressions and notebook scribblings originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 02:30:00 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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Will the new Mazda Miata be available with multiple engines?

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 1st, 2014

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Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 spy shot

At this point, the countdown until the launch of the all-new, fourth-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata can be measured in hours until its September 3 unveiling as easily as it can in days. With the debut of such a highly anticipated model so close, the rumors about the new sports car are starting to boil over.

We recently heard that the new Miata would likely get a 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder with a six-speed manual, plus a decent drop in weight compared to the current gen. There’s even the rumored possibility of a fastback coupe version sometime in the future.

Now, Australia’s GoAuto is adding another dollop of speculation into the mix with the claim that there could be “potentially more engine options,” according to Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders to the website. The more potent option would still be the 2.0-liter Skyactiv with a power bump from its current 167 hp to closer to 200 ponies. The other possible powerplant option would be a 1.5-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder taken from the upcoming Mazda2 replacement. This version would also ditch some of the MX-5’s more premium features to cut the weight and the price slightly.

“Lightweight rear-wheel drive sportscar offering great value is what we want to return to,” said Mazda Australia senior public relations manager Steve Maciver to GoAuto. While such a tiny engine might sound dubious, remember that the original NA Miata performs admirably with just a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The potential small-displacement MX-5 might not make it to the US – we’d be a bit surprised if it did, to be honest – but it could still be quite an engaging driver. Besides, it’s worth noting that earlier rumors had a 1.5-liter mill pegged as a possibility for the ND Miata.

Will the new Mazda Miata be available with multiple engines? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:00:00 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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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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