Posts Tagged ‘power’

Aussie Mazda MX-5 Miata specs leak suggests power loss

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 12th, 2014

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata - studio front three-quarter view

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata engine spy shotMazda’s 2016 MX-5 Miata reveal didn’t include much in the way of specifications, but the car’s debut seems to have blown the lid off of the rumormill, with the latest word out of Australia including fresh claims of curb weight and engine output.

Before delving into the findings from Motoring.com, we’re going to take a moment to find a few grains of salt. It’s not that we don’t trust the Oz publication, it’s just that we wouldn’t be surprised to learn their car’s specifications will vary from that of our eventual North American car.

Of course, we don’t expect the footprint of the new ND model to itself to differ much – it will still be the most compact Miata ever – overall length is expected to check in at just over 154 inches – that’s about 1.4 inches shorter than the original NA Miata and over 4 inches shorter than today’s NC generation, yet it’ll ride atop a longer wheelbase and be slightly wider while sitting lower to the ground.

Motoring.com sources indicate that a 1.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder will nestle low in the ND’s engine bay, with a rating of just 96 kW – that’s 129 horsepower, a 13-percent drop in power over the Aussie-spec 2.0-liter four in the current Miata. Torque figures were apparently not disclosed by their source, but the publication expects the torque figure to come in above the 144 Nm (106 pound-feet) of the top-spec 1.5-liter four in the forthcoming Mazda2.

Countering that apparent shortfall is the car’s hotly anticipated drop in weight. The ADM MX-5 is said to weigh 1,020 kilograms – that’s just under 2,250 pounds – meaning Mazda would make good on its claimed 100-kg (220-pound) diet for the car. To put that number in perspective, ponder that a US-spec 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C has a curb weight of 2,465 pounds. True, it’s about 3 inches longer, but it’s also a car with a carbon-fiber tub, aluminum subframes, fiberglass skin and a deep-discount interior. Credit the Miata’s shrinking footprint, an increased use of aluminum and a by-the-gram approach to engineering. Some back-of-the-envelope calculations reveals that’s close to a 20-percent weight drop, which should go a long way toward compensating for the loss in power.

We’ve previously heard rumors of the Miata having a Skyactiv engine displacing anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 liters, with the smart money seemingly being on Mazda’s 2.0-liter engine seen in its Mazda3 compact. Despite the power drop, this 1.5-liter four could well provide enough motivation even for North American buyers, but we still wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2.0 fitted to our cars.

Mazda has confirmed that the 2016 MX-5 Miata will make its auto show debut at the Paris Motor Show early next month… will it also take the opportunity to attach some more specifications to the next generation of its iconic roadster? Here’s hoping. In the meantime, we’ve reached out to Mazda for clarification on these alleged specs and will get back to you if we learn more.

Aussie Mazda MX-5 Miata specs leak suggests power loss originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 9.11.14

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 12th, 2014

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Daily U-Turn

Luca de MontezemoloOur favorite Ferraris of the Montezemolo Era

Big news at Ferrari: CEO Luca di Montezemolo is officially stepping down. In his wake, he leaves quite a legacy, and thus, the Autoblog editors have been reminiscing about our favorite Prancing Horse models from Montezemolo’s tenure. Of course, what started as a simple discussion turned into an all out battle, but you can read our staff’s five favorite Ferraris from the ’90s and ’00s, here.

Maserati GhibliDriving Maserati’s diesel-powered Ghibli

Slowly but surely, automakers are warming up to the idea of diesel engines in sports car applications. We’ve seen products from Porsche, BMW, and Audi all burning hot oil, and the latest darling comes from Maserati, with its diesel-powered Ghibli sedan. This one isn’t headed Stateside anytime soon, but European Editor Noah Joseph took it for a spin to see how a diesel powerplant affects the already-good Ghibli. Read his notes, here.

Mazda MX-5 MiataMazda MX-5 Miata to ditch hardtop?

Say it ain’t so! Could Mazda be ditching the power folding hardtop with its fourth-generation MX-5 Miata? There’s plenty of evidence that suggests this could be the case, but there’s also a solid argument for the hardtop to live on. Read all about it in our report, and of course, let us know your thoughts on this matter, as well.

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What you missed on 9.11.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:32:00 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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Mercedes, Infiniti, Lexus rank tops with mystery shoppers

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 11th, 2013

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If you want the best experience possible when buying a new car, then you’d better head down to your local Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, or Lexus showroom. According a mystery shopper study conducted by the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, those three luxury brands ranked highest among the 33 makes surveyed. The highest scoring mainstream brands included GMC, Hyundai, Kia, and Ford.

The study asked 5,203 mystery shoppers about the tactics used by salespeople during their most recent automotive purchases, and found a few interesting parallels along the way. For example, dealers at Infiniti, Land Rover, and Smart leaned heavily on vehicle walk-arounds with potential customers, while Jaguar, Volvo, and Audi were quick to point out exclusive features.

This study contrasts with a similar study conducted by JD Power in 2012. Its Sales Satisfaction Survey listed Mini as the top scorer, while Pied Piper’s mystery shoppers ranked the BMW-owned brand below the industry average. Lexus scored highly on both surveys, as did Infiniti and GMC.

Not all brands fared well with the mystery shoppers. Lincoln, Chrysler, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Scion all finished well below the industry average. According to an analysis on Automotive News, the lower scoring brands suffered from a lack of product and dealers that would push potential customers away from their desired brands. Scroll down for the official press release.

Continue reading Mercedes, Infiniti, Lexus rank tops with mystery shoppers

Mercedes, Infiniti, Lexus rank tops with mystery shoppers originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Jul 2013 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda6 i Sport

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 1st, 2013

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2014 Mazda6

In an automotive landscape dominated by platform sharing, technology exchange and any number of other cross-fertilization/cost-saving/amortization exercises, it’s actually pretty rare that we get to drive a new car that is as “all-new” as this, the 2014 Mazda6. With brand-spanking new Skyactiv architecture throughout – engine, transmission, body and chassis all included – this 6 represents a new era of flexible production and cutting edge running gear for the happily lithe car company.

Our own Jonathon Ramsey did a cracking job of running the Mazda6 through its First Drive paces a few months ago, and sufficiently impressed upon us just how good looking a car this is for the midsize sedan segment. Suffice it to say, now, then, that this is easily the most interesting (and quite possibly the most beautiful) midsize sedan in the segment today. However, as Mr. Ramsey reviewed a fully contented example of the 6 – one equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission – we took advantage of Mazda’s North American launch event of the car to suss out the base Mazda6 i Sport, complete with its six-speed Skyactiv manual gearbox. This may not shock you, but the stripper’s pretty good, too.

Driving Notes

  • We’ll get right down to the meat of it: The manual transmission is far better than the average do-it-yourself gearbox in this segment. Throws of the gearlever are light, short, and easy to put home with confidence. The clutch pedal, similarly, is very low-effort, but with a broad catch point that’s simple to operate in every driving situation we encountered. This isn’t a hewn-from-billet shifting experience, naturally, but it is a manual transmission that can be used with satisfaction in spirited driving, or mindlessly on the shopping run. The transmission is just perfectly suited to the power delivery of the smooth 2.5-liter motor, too.
  • The Sport trim car we tested had zero options – quite a rarity in the media fleet. Still, we found the cabin to be pretty accommodating and comfortable. The most noticeable interior bits on this base-level are the all-cloth seats and the old school head unit where the touchscreen display usually lives. The seats were fine – soft to the touch and seemingly resilient, with just a bit of gloss and texture to make them feel upscale without the cowhide. The head unit, meanwhile, while perfectly functional (and sure to be embraced by the Luddite set in our comments section), was both drab and old-fashioned looking. Naturally, the instrument panel was designed to accommodate a touchscreen – this is the 21st Century, after all – so its lack of one hampers the design. For one thing, the lack of color and brightness afforded by the display makes the dash look sort of dark and dreary by comparison.
  • So, just how inexpensive is the base model Mazda6 i Sport? The literal answer is $21,675 after the $795 destination fee has been added on. That’s pretty good, we thought. The relative answer is, of course, slightly more complicated. In a tooth-and-nail segment like this one, you’d expect pricing among the heavyweight players to be very close, and it is. Still, the new 6 is almost the class-leader. Comparing optionless, base-model MSRPs, plus destination charges, we find this: Toyota Camry is $23,030, Nissan Altima is $22,550, Honda Accord is $22,470 and Ford Fusion is $22,245. Volkswagen’s most basic Passat is just $21,640 though – about a night at the movies with your wife (not the kids) cheaper than the Mazda.
  • Mazda is in zero danger of loosing its ballyhooed Zoom-Zoom appeal with this 6 – the handling experience is impressive. While we were perhaps a bit less bullish about the car’s nimbleness on our test drive through some very hilly, winding Texas Hill Country roads than when cruising through the French countryside (again, see our First Drive), we still found the thing to be pretty tossable. Reactions to steering inputs, especially, were impressively fast for a car this big and long. The steering experience itself was a bit weightless, with not enough of a transition from on-lock to off-lock feeling of heft, but still very accurate and easy to modulate in a quick corner. Suspension response was admirable, too, on fast switchbacks. For all of that, the cruising ride didn’t suffer, though road and tire noise on the freeway was higher than we’d like.
  • Mazda will doubtlessly sell a lot of examples of this new Mazda6 based on its stunning sheetmetal and high levels of content in the middle/upper trims. Good to know that the base car is still pretty sweet then; and still a pleasantly differentiated product in a segment filled with one-upmanship.

2014 Mazda6 i Sport originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Feb 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda reveals 2012 CX-5 softroader ahead of Frankfurt

Published by admin on August 23rd, 2011

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2012 Mazda CX-5

Mazda has finally given us all a peek at the company’s all-new 2012 CX-5 small crossover ahead of its debut at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The high-riding five door is draped in the automaker’s new “Kodo” design language and relies on a host of SkyActiv engine and transmission options. European buyers will be able to choose between a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a 2.2-liter diesel powerplant, both with lofty 14:1 compression ratios. Each engine will be available in Standard Power and High Power iterations, and the high compression ratio helps return improved efficiency.

So far, details are scarce on exactly what kind of transmission options will be available at launch, though whispers kicking around the web have indicated that a six-speed manual gearbox is likely, as well as an available six-speed automatic. Expect to see serious engineering advances in both transmissions designed to serve up increased fuel economy.

Mazda says that the company’s Kodo design language stands for “Soul of motion.” Whatever it means, we think it’s a huge improvement over the Joker-smile faces of the outgoing Nagare era. The Mazda CX-5 is set to debut in Frankfurt on September 13, and the CUV is confirmed for sale in the North American market. Check out the gallery above and Hit the jump for the press release.

Continue reading Mazda reveals 2012 CX-5 softroader ahead of Frankfurt

Mazda reveals 2012 CX-5 softroader ahead of Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Aug 2011 09:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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