Posts Tagged ‘mazda’

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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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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Are you the 2016 Mazda Miata?

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 11th, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

Tech nerds are spoiled. Every year, there’s a new iPhone that arrives following months and months of breathless speculation and rumormongering. We car folk have a more difficult life, because vehicles with the iPhone’s cult-like devotion and following, while plentiful, only receive hefty updates after several years. Case in point, the Mazda MX-5.

There’s a new one coming, and much like the iPhone 6, it’ll arrive in just a few weeks. So, in lockstep with the tech folk, we’re anxiously biding our time and waiting with baited breath for the expected debut date of September 3. Also, like Apple fanboys, we’re clamoring over any hint or teaser as to what the next-gen Miata will bring, which is why we’re showing you the above image.

That is, allegedly, the new MX-5 hiding under the sheet. Auto Motor und Sport has the image, which according to World Car Fans was released by Mazda. Of course, we’ve reached out to the Zoom-Zoom brand for verification of its authenticity, and will be sure to update as soon as we hear back.

Until then, what can we see on this sheet-festooned roadster? Well, the wheel arches look suitably flared, while the traditional long-hood, short-deck look of the past three generations of Miatas soldiers on. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the track has been widened, while the wheelbase has also been stretched. The big news is that the new car should trim around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of body fat and that it will boast a perfect fifty-fifty weight distribution.

Of course, should we hear anything more, we’ll be sure to update you. Stay tuned.

Are you the 2016 Mazda Miata? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 30th, 2014

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Competitors in the small-car segment didn’t do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned “poor” grades.

Only one small car out of 12 tested earned a good grade in the latest round of crash-test results compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Mini Cooper Countryman received a “good” ranking on the organization’s small-front overlap test.

Its competitors in the small-car segment didn’t do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned “poor” grades, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Juke, the Mazda5 and the Fiat 500L, and two more earned marginal scores.

Introduced two years ago, the small front overlap test has been a difficult one for automakers to master, particularly so for small cars, which have less weight to absorb the forces of a car accident. So far, IIHS has tested 32 vehicles in the small-car segment and 13 have earned marginal or poor scores. On the flip side, 19 earned good or acceptable scores.

“Consumers trading the inherent safety of a larger vehicle for the convenience or fuel economy of a small car should focus their search on these vehicles with state-of-the-art safety designs,” said Joe Nolan, senior vice president for vehicle research at IIHS.

Continue reading Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]

Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 29th, 2014

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Chances are good that you, loyal Autoblog reader, have long since chosen to follow us on Twitter and ‘like’ us on Facebook. (If you haven’t, feel free to take a second and do so right now.) Anyway, if you’re one of our social media posse, you might have already heard that we’re smack dab in the middle of Miata Month. We’ve gotten Mazda to loan us a couple of MX-5 Miatas, allowing us to say a protracted, tear-filled goodbye to the current generation (NC) of the beloved roadster, just before it exits stage right and ushers in the next generation.

You’ll see a few more Miata Month items here on Autoblog after we’ve said our final farewell, but we absolutely wanted to make sure we created some great video evidence of our month, as well. Right down below, then, in its unfiltered-audio splendor, is the Autoblog Unplugged version of the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT. Your author had a pretty great time wringing out the roadster for the creation of our short vid, and we really hope you dig listening along.

Continue reading We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month

We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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44 Miatas engaged to spell happiness from above

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 17th, 2014

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Marry Me? spelled out in Miatas

We’ve seen all manner of ways to propose marriage, from the usual candlelit dinner to the Jumbotron at the big game. A friend of ours recently proposed with his a barbershop quartet singing backup. But this has to be a new one – and one that automotive enthusiasts would probably find even more touching than a sky-writing biplane.

A member of the Miata.net forum recently asked other MX-5 enthusiasts to help him pop the big question to his bride-to-be. He got 31 Miatas together and needed just four more, but after appealing to his fellow roadster fans, over 40 turned up in the parking lot at the local high school.

The groom-to-be runs an aerial photography business and used an unmanned drone which his girlfriend thought would be shooting some local real estate properties when it flew over the parking lot and captured the image you see above with 44 little roadsters spelling out “Marry Me?” The answer, in case you were wondering, was a resounding “Yes!” How could she not, after all, when those Mazda convertibles are just so darn adorable? Now they’ll just need to figure out what they’ll be driving to the chapel on the big day.

44 Miatas engaged to spell happiness from above originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda may recall up to 1M vehicles for airbag issue, following Toyota’s lead

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 16th, 2014

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2001 Honda Civic

It seems Toyota won’t be the only one recalling the faulty Takata airbag inflators for long. Honda insiders in Japan claim that the company is getting close to announcing its own worldwide campaign that would begin before the end of June.

Unnamed sources close to Honda in Japan tell Automotive News that the company is pursuing an internal investigation into possibly affected models and is working with Takata to gather more information. They claim that it could involve even more than the 1.14 million cars worldwide that the automaker covered under the first recall for the problem in April 2013, including 561,000 vehicles in the US.

Toyota jumpstarted this process last week when it recalled over 2 million cars worldwide, including 844,277 in the US. Soon after, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began a preliminary evaluation into the issue following six reported incidents, and started assembling data about potentially affected models from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Chrysler. NHTSA also began investigating Takata itself.

The safety hazard comes into play because it’s possible that the inflators contain an improper propellant that could cause it to burst in an accident. Not only does this affect airbag deployment, in some cases the shrapnel hits occupants too. So far, all six reported incidents to NHTSA have occurred in high humidity areas like Florida and Puerto Rico.

Autoblog reached out to Honda for confirmation of the report and was sent the following statement by email: “Honda is aware that the NHTSA has initiated a Preliminary Evaluation involving a variety of manufacturers with models equipped with airbag modules supplied by Takata. Honda will cooperate with the NHTSA through the investigation process and will continue our own internal review of the available information.”

Honda may recall up to 1M vehicles for airbag issue, following Toyota’s lead originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Five automakers now being investigated by NHTSA for airbag woes

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 12th, 2014

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Germany Japan Automotive Supplier

It appears that Toyota’s renotification to owners of recalled vehicles from last year is just the tip of the iceberg for what could potentially be a much larger industry-wide recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening a preliminary evaluation investigation into roughly 1.1 million vehicles from Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota and parts supplier Takata regarding faulty airbag inflators in several models.

NHTSA has received six reports – three directly, two from Takata and one from Toyota – of vehicles with ruptured airbag inflators from 2002-2006, which resulted in three injuries. So far, all six incidents have occurred in high humidity areas like Florida and Puerto Rico. According to Toyota’s latest recall announcement, the inflators may have an improper propellant that could cause it to rupture in a crash and the bag to deploy abnormally.

This new investigation follows a previous recall from April 2013 of about 3.4 million vehicles worldwide for the airbag inflators from Takata. As Autoblog reported, Toyota jumpstarted the new situation when it found that the original list of serial numbers for the faulty part was incomplete and discovered more cars in need of replacement. Honda and Nissan told us that they were investigating whether further models would need called in again as well. Mazda told Autoblog: “Regarding the current Takata situation, we’re working closely with NHTSA and investigating the situation, but nothing else to report at this time.” Chrysler Group responded to us with the statement: “Chrysler Group engineers are conducting the appropriate analysis. The Company will cooperate fully with the National Highway Traffic Administration.”

According to The Detroit News, the previous Takata inflator recall possibly stemmed from a manufacturing defect at the company’s Washington state factory. The parts also could have been exposed to moisture at its facility in Mexico.

At this time, NHTSA’s investigation is still in the early stages. It’s still determining from the automakers and supplier how widespread the problem is and what models are involved. Scroll down to read the entire preliminary evaluation report.

Continue reading Five automakers now being investigated by NHTSA for airbag woes

Five automakers now being investigated by NHTSA for airbag woes originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata sells out in 10 minutes

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 21st, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition

Looking to buy one of the limited-edition 25th Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata roadsters? Well, you’re too late. According to Mazda, all 100 examples of the darling two-seater have sold out – and it only took 10 minutes.

On Tuesday, Mazda opened its pre-order site for the limited-run Miata, and had intended to keep the site running until May 31, or until 250 customers were registered, whichever came first. Just 10 minutes later, 250 people had signed up. Now, Mazda will contact those folks, and the first 100 that are verified will be given the opportunity to pre-order the unique MX-5. “Upon verification of purchase intent and transmission selection, the customer’s information will then be forwarded to the dealership of their choosing to finalize the transaction,” Mazda said in a press release.

The 2015 MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition models will arrive at dealers this summer, retailing for $32,205 with the six-speed manual, or $32,655 for those desiring the automatic transmission. Based on the PRHT (Power Retractable Hard Top) model, the limited-edition Miata adds Bilstein shocks, a Soul Red metallic paint job (the same found on the gorgeous Mazda6) with a contrasting black roof, gunmetal wheels and an off-white leather interior. Special badging will be found inside the car, and buyers will also be treated to a custom-crafted Tourneau watch and a display winder box.

Not lucky enough to get your hands on one of the 25th Anniversary roadsters? If our vast experience with the Miata is any indication, we trust that you’ll enjoy the regular model just as much. Scroll down for Mazda’s official announcement.

Continue reading 25th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata sells out in 10 minutes

25th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata sells out in 10 minutes originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 May 2014 08:45:00 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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