Posts Tagged ‘miata’

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata first in-car observations

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 7th, 2014

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Driver's area, 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata reveal car

We’ve had few days to digest the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata since the roadster was first revealed on Wednesday evening when we offered you our first impressions. Since that time, we’ve gone back and looked at the car a number of times in person here in California, and we’ve even seen it briefly run under its own power (okay, it was more of a saunter). What we didn’t get the chance to do at the reveal, however, was sit inside the car. We’ve since been able to remedy that, and while we haven’t been allowed to drive the new roadster, we do have some initial in-car impressions to share with you.

  • First, the location and feel of the major controls is quite excellent. The three-spoke steering wheel is an MX-5 specific item – it’s not shared with any other Mazda. That’s vital, because others would likely be too big in diameter or have the wrong rim thickness. The wheel’s redundant controls seem to be well laid out and the airbag boss is very small. The column tilts, but unfortunately and somewhat inexplicably, it still doesn’t telescope.
  • Pedals are well-spaced, and the six-speed manual has the same short throws and positive engagement that we’ve come to know and love.
  • The more supportive seats are positioned closer to the floor of the car, and the slightly wider passenger cell itself seems to be set a bit further back in the wheelbase than the NC.
  • Legroom feels roughly analogous to the NC, mirroring what we’ve been told. Headroom is said to be about the same as the exiting car as well, but without being able to put up the soft top, that’s hard to assess.
  • We haven’t measured it, but it looks like the new car has a longer dash-to-axle ratio, too. Combine all that with a lower hood, lower ride height and a slightly faster windshield rake, and you’ve got the recipe for a racier feel from behind the wheel.
  • Speaking of the view out, the front fenders are more pronounced, giving an evocative view out of the windshield and providing a clearer idea of where the front wheels are placed in corners.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata first in-car observations

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata first in-car observations originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 07 Sep 2014 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 12th, 2014

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Mazda Miata History

Over the past 25 years and 3 model generations, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has shown that you don’t have to be the best to be a massive success. The little, Japanese roadster has never been the absolute peak of automotive performance, but it’s precise handling, good reliability and frugal running costs have helped make it a star. Autoblog recently tried to give you the experience of driving one on video, and now Xcar Films has made its own in an attempt to show what makes this droptop an icon.

As Xcar puts it, the Miata isn’t the world’s best sports car, but it is the world’s favorite. When they were originally designing the roadster, Mazda’s engineers took everything that made British droptops from the ’60s great, and junked all of the stuff that made them a terror to own. The result was a car that would start up everyday with no fuss and get drivers wherever they needed to go with a huge grin on their face.

The fourth-generation Miata is imminently on the way for its September 3 unveiling, and the very early rumors indicate that Mazda doesn’t plan to rock the boat too much with the latest one. It supposedly rides on a longer wheelbase and wider track but with the weight trimmed by over 200 pounds. Check out Xcar‘s video for a primer on MX-5 history and why the automotive world loves this little roadster.

Continue reading Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great

Xcar tries to figure out what makes the Miata so great originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:00:00 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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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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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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