Posts Tagged ‘miata’

Will Mazda show the next Miata’s chassis in NY?

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 21st, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Spy Shot

Mazda is being very sneaky about what it is bringing to the New York Auto Show, and it might have something to do with the next-generation MX-5 Miata. Australian website Motoring.com.au spoke to a company insider who told the Aussie publication that at least the chassis for the roadster will debut in Manhattan. As the rumor goes, the show will act as a kickoff for the PR campaign for the new model.

We contacted Mazda USA PR Director Jeremy Barnes to find out more, and he would neither confirm nor deny the rumor. “Just because you read it on the Internet doesn’t mean you should repeat it,” he said to Autoblog. That’s not exactly an outright denial.

Supporting evidence that the new droptop might be appearing in the Big Apple includes Mazda’s plan to celebrate the model’s 25th anniversary at the show. It’s bringing 15 cars from the first three generations to display. “It will be absolutely worth attending the New York Auto Show if you’re a Miata fan,” Barnes said. That at least hints that there might be something he’s not telling us. Otherwise, it’s a lot of sizzle without any new steak.

The new MX-5′s platform has been developed as a joint venture between Alfa Romeo and Mazda. However, there is now a question whether Alfa is going to actually use the platform, because Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly refuses to build the cars outside of Italy. Thankfully, the wait won’t be very long to find out whether some portion of the new Miata is being unveiled, because the New York Auto Show opens on April 16.

Will Mazda show the next Miata’s chassis in NY? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Mar 2014 15:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Road & Track to take Miata on million-mile march

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 11th, 2014

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Road & Track Million-Mile Miata

Road & Track has taken on a Miata project. One hell of a project, if we’re honest. You see, the Miata in question, a 1989 example in Mariner Blue, isn’t a high-mileage Mazda that the publication intends to fix up, or make race-worthy, or try to flip or give away to a reader or something. No, it’s a rather typical well-used NA, with a hefty 325,000 miles on the clock to-date that the staff plans on driving until the six-digit odo reads all zeros again. One million miles or bust (or both, most likely).

Procured for the bargain-basement price of $1,600, complete with seat covers that “really do look like muppet pelts” (according to Zach Bowman) and a bondo-filled love tap on the nose, the NA Miata actually looks like just the sort of fun-machine that a real driving enthusiast would pick up to get some cheap thrills in. The R&T team already has some interesting plans for the Miata, including a potential run up Pikes Peak and loaning it out to readers (or perhaps your author…). Click through to read all about it.

Road & Track to take Miata on million-mile march originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 11 Jan 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to weigh a ton(ne), literally

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 27th, 2013

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Looking at recent spy shots of the fourth-generation Mazda Miata, it’s obvious this sporty little roadster will grow in size compared to the current model, but it’s also going on a diet. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Auto Motor und Sport sat down with Mazda executive Kiyoshi Fujiwara, who gave a little more insight into the Miata’s redesign.

Fujiwara said that they’re aiming for a curb weight of a tonne (metric ton), which is 1,000 kilograms or right around 2,200 pounds, for the next-generation Miata. This would make the roadster at least 300 pounds lighter than the current NC Miata, but still about 200 pounds heavier than the original NA.

There is no indication as to how Mazda will go about removing that much weight from the bigger car, but with as popular as the power retractable hard top (PHRT) model is on the current car, the new Miata may ditch this feature to lose its weight. Improving the power-to-weight ratio appears to be a key goal of the Mazda team, so we also wouldn’t be surprised to see a more powerful engine underneath the longer hood.

Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to weigh a ton(ne), literally originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Nov 2013 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Find of the Day: 1990 Mazda Miata with just 27 original miles

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 15th, 2013

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eBay Find of the Day: 1990 Mazda Miata with 27 miles is found in Arizona.

Some cars have low mileage, and others have close to no miles at all. This 1990 Mazda Miata, currently listed on eBay Motors and located in Kingman, Arizona, falls into the latter category with only 27 miles on the odometer, according to the seller. But we have to wonder: how did one of the best-driving, most influential sports cars of the past two decades sit without being driven for 24 years? Consider it the seller’s loss on this one.

The seller says he bought the car with 20 miles on it, and explains 6.9 miles were added when the car was towed home on a car dolly. It was never registered. Furthermore, the seller says the car didn’t come with a set of keys, so he had to have a set made. Though the paint is clean and shiny, the Miata didn’t escape minor cosmetic damage over the years, with scratches on the hood, the trunk and the factory hardtop that is included with the car. The front, right fender has a small dent as well, which can be seen in a picture. The seller says the car was stored in a building with windows, so the paint is faded a bit in some places. It’s missing its antenna and the battery, and the only non-original parts on the car are the windshield wipers. The clear-title car comes with all paperwork, according to the seller, but, besides the owners manual, he didn’t specify what other documentation would be included.

With bidding currently at $10,300 and the reserve not met, this Miata definitely isn’t the deal of the century, and we have to question where the value is in this one. The way we see it, it’s hard to justify the money if it can’t be driven as-is (come on, no battery?), has questionable history, isn’t rare and sat in storage for its whole existence. The “weather cracked” tires are probably just the first rubber parts on the car that need to be replaced before it can be driven, but at least the spark plugs were removed and the cylinders were filled with Marvel Mystery Oil prior to storage, which helps to prevent rust and corrosion from forming in the engine.

Overall, the Mazda is an exceptionally clean car with a few issues that prospective buyers should be aware of. It’s not for everyone, but for the right person, it could be the ultimate low-mileage Miata.

eBay Find of the Day: 1990 Mazda Miata with just 27 original miles originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Super20

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 3rd, 2012

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Super20

The car you see above is the Mazda MX-5 Miata Super20, and as far as we know, it’s the only one out on the road. Oh sure, people have been hotting-up Miatas since the little roadster’s birth some two decades ago, but this Super20 is a hand-crafted Mazda original, first seen at the 2010 SEMA Show and the brought back out for the 2011 expo wearing the color scheme seen here.

It’s very rare that we get to drive conceptual show cars outside of staged ride-and-drive events. Needless to say, when Mazda called and offered us a few days with its sweet little Super20 here in the Motor City, we immediately cleared our schedules.

Over the course of our week with the Super20, both Executive Editor Chris Paukert and I – Paukert being a second-generation (NB) Miata owner, for what it’s worth – were able to flog the little yellow racer. Would this prove to be our favorite Miata yet?

Driving Notes

  • First, let’s get one thing out of the way: It’s unclear exactly how much power is being produced by the supercharged 2.0-liter MZR engine. Mazda’s original press materials suggest somewhere around 250 horsepower for the Cosworth-supercharged mill – a full 83 hp more than the standard, naturally aspirated car. No torque specs were given, but it’s easy to feel the extra thrust of power in the lower end of the powerband.
  • “Despite having a lot more power, the engine is still working way too hard at highway speeds (a sensation amplified by the overly boomy aftermarket exhaust and lack of sound deadening). Time for a taller sixth gear,” Paukert notes.
  • Chris continues, “The ACT street clutch isn’t as friendly in terms of modulation as the stock unit, but it’s easy enough to get used to, and probably necessary considering the extra power the Cosworth supercharged MZR is kicking out.”
  • As for handling, having this extra grunt in the Super20 only proves how great the NC Miata’s chassis is. The Super20 had no issues putting power to the ground with poise, still being immensely forgiving all the while. “It’s enough to make one wish for an intermediate stability control setting with a broader degree of play,” Paukert notes.
  • This thing is a total attention-grabber, and not just because of the unique yellow-and-black color scheme. It’s lower, wider, and looks downright mean because of it. Wherever we took it, the Super20 garnered all sorts of attention from people of all ages (and both sexes).
  • We love the finger-pull door latches – paying a tribute to the ones used on the original NA Miata. A nice homage.
  • Interior is your standard Miata fare, albeit with some suede inserts in the seats. That said, we’d love some more supportive chairs here, as the stock seats don’t provide nearly enough lateral support, something we really noticed while flinging the supercharged Miata around.
  • Weight has been saved throughout the car’s interior, including the removal of the storage and roll bar compartment behind the front seats. A half-cage has been added, as well as a fixed hardtop. Notice how the fuel door release just sort of hangs outside of the center console.
  • We won’t fault the serious NVH issues of this car too much – it was designed to be a concept first and foremost, after all – but man, this thing is loud, and everything inside the car rattles. The fixed roof is no better for sound deadening than the normal soft top.
  • All in, the Super20 makes us wish for a proper stripped-out track day special edition. An all-new Miata is still probably at least two years away, so a more hardcore version would certainly be enough to keep enthusiasts entertained until then.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Super20 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Dec 2012 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata still brings a smile to our faces

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 28th, 2012

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2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata live on the show floor at the 2012 Paris Motor Show

Believe it or not, despite the fact that Mazda first unveiled its refreshed 2013 MX-5 Miata in July of this year, the 2012 Paris Motor Show in late September is the first time we’ve run across the iconic sports car in the metal. And so we wasted no time in filling our DSLRs with a full spate of images.

As you can see, while we eagerly await the still-not-that-close next-generation Miata, the current MX-5′s well-known smiley visage has been toned down for 2013, and that’s most definitely a good thing in our books. Besides that, Mazda claims to have “[enhanced] throttle response and brake return.” Sounds like a nice addition to what is already a winning package.

We suggest combing through the upgrades in our high-res image gallery above. And if you like what you see, Mazda officials tell Autoblog that your local dealer should be getting their 2013 MX-5 stock right about… now.

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata still brings a smile to our faces originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 13:00:00 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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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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Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to get Mini-like levels of customization

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 28th, 2012

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2013 Mazda MX-5 Roadster (aka Miata) - JDM

Much is expected of the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, primarily significant weight savings and a bit more power. The new roadster will be co-developed with Alfa Romeo as part of a joint-venture agreed upon last May. A report in What Car? suggests that that Mazda’s benefits won’t be limited to the hard bits, claiming that personalization possibilities for the new car will be “similar” to those of the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500. The stated aim is for additional customization is “to help a customer’s relationship with the car,” but on a more basic level, they are popular within the segment. And depending on how Mazda structures pricing, it can fatten up the profit margin significantly.

The date of arrival is predicted to be 2015, and What Car? says the coming roadster should be around 220 pounds lighter than the current model, weighing in at 2,200 pounds. True, that isn’t the 700-pound drop engineers were aiming for, but it’s not small beer on such a tiny car. Power is said to come from a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower which would represent a 33-horsepower bump over the 2012 to propel a lighter, stiffer car. Sign us up.

Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to get Mini-like levels of customization originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Aug 2012 11:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 22nd, 2012

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Mazda MX-5 Miata GT4 racecar from Jota Sport

Mazda has just revealed the latest iteration of its MX-5 Miata GT4 race car, and it promises to be the meanest one you’ll ever meet.

Mazda has Jota Sport building the GT4 using carbon fiber doors, splitter rear diffuser and wing with an FIA-spec roll cage inside. Under the hood crouches a turbocharged 2.0-liter MZR cranking out 320 horsepower. In a car that only weighs only 2,200 pounds, every horse is pulling less than seven pounds each. A six-speed sequential shift gearbox is standard equipment. A separate cooling system for the differential and gearbox keeps things less heated and adjustable traction control helps keep the car between the lines. Mazda says the car will be fully homologated for GT4 racing.

“The car is an easy car to race and would even suit track day enthusiasts. We are still developing the car, but we are now at a point that we can offer this car to customers safe in the knowledge that it is going to be a front runner in any GT4 field,” says Sam Hignett, Managing Director of Jota Group.

All that fast won’t come cheap. The monster Miata starts at $197k with options like soft touch control panel, lithium power pack, endurance exhaust and four-way adjustable dampers taking the price up and up. Despite the daunting price, the Miata still works out as pretty affordable by turnkey GT4 standards.

Check out the full press release below for more details.

Continue reading This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like

This is what a $200,000 Mazda Miata looks like originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Aug 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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