Posts Tagged ‘sports’

MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 24th, 2014

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Motorweek 1993 Sports Car Test

Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the ’70s and ’80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it’s priceless.

Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1, MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars’ performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today – over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it’s amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though. In most of these models, having two airbags is touted as a big deal. Scroll down to watch a Throwback Thursday blast from the past about some of the ’90s best sports cars.

Continue reading MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A decade later, here are 4 cars we miss and 5 we’re happy are gone [UPDATE]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 23rd, 2014

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Mazda RX-8

Automotive anniversaries are often big news. Last year, the Chevrolet Corvette turned 60 and the Porsche 911 hit 50. This year, the spritely Mazda MX-5 Miata turns 25. The iconic Ford Mustang just turned the big Five-Oh, too.

But what about lesser anniversaries? Think about it: there are plenty of cars with birthdays that slide under the radar every year. And some automotive endeavors don’t even last long enough to warrant a proper milestone celebration.

To that end, we’re taking a look back to 2004 – just 10 years ago – to see what vehicles would be celebrating a decade of life, assuming they were still alive today. Do note, for this list, we’ve only included vehicles that launched for the 2004 model year, not calendar year.

Have a look below to see both iconic and easily forgettable cars that would be celebrating 10 fruitful years in 2014… if they were still alive.

Continue reading A decade later, here are 4 cars we miss and 5 we’re happy are gone [UPDATE]

A decade later, here are 4 cars we miss and 5 we’re happy are gone [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A decade later, here are 4 cars we miss and 5 we’re happy are gone

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 8th, 2014

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Mazda RX-8

Automotive anniversaries are often big news. Last year, both the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911 turned 50. This year, the spritely Mazda MX-5 Miata turns 25. And next year, the iconic Ford Mustang turns the big Five-Oh, too.

But what about lesser anniversaries? Think about it: there are plenty of cars with birthdays that slide under the radar every year. And some automotive endeavors don’t even last long enough to warrant a proper milestone celebration.

To that end, we’re taking a look back to 2004 – just 10 years ago – to see what vehicles would be celebrating a decade of life, assuming they were still alive today. Do note, for this list, we’ve only included vehicles that launched for the 2004 model year, not calendar year.

Have a look below to see both iconic and easily forgettable cars that would be celebrating 10 fruitful years in 2014 … if they were still alive.

Continue reading A decade later, here are 4 cars we miss and 5 we’re happy are gone

A decade later, here are 4 cars we miss and 5 we’re happy are gone originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:30:00 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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Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 11th, 2014

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Jay Leno's Garage: 25 Years of Miata

Ask a car enthusiast what the best driver’s car on the road is, and the Mazda MX-5 Miata is very likely to come up rather quickly. Unjustly saddled with a reputation as a “chick’s car,” the Miata has been, over its three generations, one of the finest driving instruments ever built – it’s light, agile and rear-wheel drive with direct, snappy steering, an engine that revels in being revved and a precise, smooth-shifting transmission. The fact that it’s ridiculously affordable and reliable is simply a bonus.

It should come as no surprise then, that a car with these traits has endured for 25 years, a milestone reached only by some of the most famous nameplates in the auto industry – Corvette, Mustang, F-150, SL, M3 and so on. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Jay Leno spent some time with the little roadster that could, while also chatting with two of the Mazda employees that were central to the MX-5’s arrival on the world’s automotive scene, Bob Hall and Tom Matano.

Take a look below for the latest video from Jay Leno’s Garage on the excellent Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Continue reading Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday

Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Feb 2014 20:00:00 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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Next Mazdaspeed3 could go naturally aspirated?

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 12th, 2013

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Mazdaspeed3 rendering

The new Mazda3 is a stunner, both aesthetically and from a driving perspective. As with all good things, though, there’s always room for improvement. That’s where the wizards from Mazdaspeed come in. Mazda’s in-house tuner has been tweaking and turbocharging the five-door Mazda3 since 2007, with impressive results.

We’ve shown you renderings of what the third-generation Mazdaspeed3 could look like, and for the most part your response was quite positive. Now, AutoExpress has come out with details of just what might be under that long hood. According to our friends across the pond, the new Mazda3 MPS (that’s what the Speed3 is called in Her Majesty’s auto industry) will be arriving with a new, high-revving, naturally aspirated engine. Wait, what?

Yes, if the rumors are to be believed, the next Mazdaspeed3 will ditch its turbocharger. According to an anonymous engineer, the new MS3 will arrive in December (this is for the UK market, mind you) with a 200-horsepower, naturally aspirated engine. The 2.0-liter mill is based on the Skyactiv engine in the new 3, and should be capable of a sub-seven-second run to 62 miles per hour.

Now, we strongly encourage you to take these rumors with a grain of salt. There are a lot of things that don’t add up here. With 200 horsepower, the new Speed3 would be down over 50 horsepower on the original model. It’d also be easily outgunned by the competition from Ford, Subaru, and Volkswagen. And what about torque? The only way we can see a 200-horsepower Mazdaspeed3 working is if it weight is dramatically reduced. Considering weight savings is a tenet of Mazda’s Skyactiv philosophy, that seems like a possibility.

We’re still a long way from the new Mazdaspeed3’s debut, and a lot can change between now and then. What do you think – does a Mazdaspeed3 work without a turbo? Would you buy one with the more powerful alternatives available? Let us know in the comments.

Next Mazdaspeed3 could go naturally aspirated? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Jul 2013 17:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazdaspeed3 could look this good

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 28th, 2013

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Mazdaspeed3 rendering

Mazda showed off its brand-new 2014 Mazda3 at an event in New York City earlier this week, and we have to say, at first blush, we’re pretty impressed. It looks fantastic – like a smaller, hatch’d version of the already sleek Mazda6 sedan that went on sale earlier this year. And with a 200-pound weight reduction, efficient Skyactiv gasoline engines underhood and Mazda’s usual focus on driving dynamics above all, we’re willing to bet that the new Three will be a pretty decent steer.

Of course, being enthusiasts, we’re already setting our sights on the next-generation Mazdaspeed3, rendered here by artist Theo Chin. To our eyes, it’s not a very imaginative transformation, but is likely a spot-on rendering for what the next car will look like. And it’s really, really hot.

While Mazda hasn’t exactly confirmed that the new Speed3 will be coming, sources within the automaker have indicated that a third-generation version of the MS3 is under development. Thing is, the Japanese automaker wants to give the standard Mazda3 some time to grow in the market, so we might not see the new Speed3 until something like 2016, with a possible diesel version to arrive before then.

The big unknown, however, is what will power the new Speed3. Of course, we’re big fans of the DISI 2.3-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder that’s currently used, producing 263 horsepower, but Mazda could certainly be developing something new. A turbo-four setup is a given, and power will likely fall closer to 275 hp for the new car. Bring it on.

Next Mazdaspeed3 could look this good originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Jun 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bauer Catfish is a Miata-based trackstar in the making [w/videos]

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 25th, 2013

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Mazda Miata-based Bauer Catfish trackday racer - front three-quarter view while racing

We’re not trying to make a joke here. The creation you see above really is called the Bauer Catfish, and while the name is about as attractive as your average bottom feeder, the car itself is built on a sexy notion. Take the mechanical bits of one 1990-2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata, add in a tube chassis for as little weight as possible, complete with some custom body work and go forth. Bauer says the finished product weighs in at just 1,550 pounds, and the company will be happy to pull the stock four-cylinder to drop in a healthy General Motors LS V8.

The pre-production prototype shown above competed in last year’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill, finished the race and earned a spot on the podium in the “anything goes for sports racers” ESR class. Very cool.

If you’re looking for a dedicated track car, it may not get any better than this for the money. Expect to pay around $13,900 depending on options, plus the cost of your donor Miata. That’s a good sight cheaper than a used Chevy Corvette Z06 and likely to be quite a bit more fun. After you’re done watching it in action in the brief videos below, check it out over at Bauer Ltd.

Continue reading Bauer Catfish is a Miata-based trackstar in the making [w/videos]

Bauer Catfish is a Miata-based trackstar in the making [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scion FR-S pitted against oldtimers RX-8 and S2000

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 8th, 2013

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Scion FR-S vs Mazda RX-8 vs Honda S2000

There are very few vehicles available today that compare directly with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins. A case could be made for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and possibly even six-cylinder versions of American coupes like the Ford Mustang. Pretty much everything else is either too expensive or is powered by the wrong set of wheels.

The boys from EverydayDriver on YouTube decided the only fair way to judge the inherent qualities of the Toyobaru twins was to pit them against two standard-bearers of years past: The Honda S2000 and Mazda RX-8. Neither of these cars is an exact matchup, with the Honda boasting a convertible top and the RX-8 offering more practicality via a rear seat and two reverse-opening doors for easier access. What they do offer, however, are similar performance stats and proven reputations for excellent handling.

None of this talk answers the real question, though: Which one wins the comparison test? Scroll down to watch the video, and be prepared for something of a surprise conclusion.

Continue reading Scion FR-S pitted against oldtimers RX-8 and S2000

Scion FR-S pitted against oldtimers RX-8 and S2000 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 May 2013 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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