Posts Tagged ‘power’

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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