Mazda to cease RX-8 production

May 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

According to recent reports, Mazda’s ageing RX-8 is preparing an exit from the American market after the 2011 model year. The rotary-powered sportscar is scheduled to do the same in Europe because of its inability to meet new Euro V emissions standards.

There are a number of issues that all manufacturers that have chosen to borrow the rotary engine design from Felix Wankel have had to deal with, but the most troublesome have been poor fuel efficiency, high exhaust emissions and excessive oil consumption. Now, these same long-running issues are set to kill off yet another rotary-powered model from Mazda.

It seems unlikely that Mazda will simply give up on rotary power but in terms of a replacement Mazda has not made any formal announcements. There has been much talk of a new RX-7 to take over but that would be unlikely until at least 2013. If that goes ahead the high-winding Wankel 1.3-litre RX-8 will likely be replaced by a two-seat coupe RX-7 instead of the RX-8’s unique almost-four-door, four-seat layout. The engine in the new RX-7 is expected to grow in size to 1.6-litres, to better help low-end torque while delivering even more top-end power. How exactly the new RX-7 will get around the emissions controls in Europe and America is, for now, a mystery. However, Mazda has championed the rotary engine for so long, it will be determined to find a way.

Mazda signs deal to use Toyota hybrid tech

March 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

From 2013, Mazda will join Nissan in using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology on its new cars. Mazda has just signed a licensing agreement with the hybrid superpower that will see the smaller carmaker get a supply of hybrid hardware that should include transmissions, power electronics and battery packs.

The drive components will be mathced up with the new-generation, direct-injected Sky engines that Mazda showed at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. Mazda will build it’s first production hybrid vehicle starting in 2013 using the Toyota gear. The only previous Mazda hybrid was the Tribute, which was in essence a re-badged Ford Escape.

By comparison Nissan has now produced its own in-house hybrid system and will phase out its current Toyota hybrid system over the next few years.

Mazda MX-5 Matte and Black Special Edition

March 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Mazda MX-5 is one of the most neutral cars we’ve ever driven on a racetrack and now it’s become all stealthy in a matte black. It’s an odd mix of sinister blackness and a smiley face, but we’d still take one.
However, there’s nothing new in the mechanicals – you still get the same 2-litre engine pushing out around 167hp (125kW). And it doesn’t come with the girl. But, it does come (apparently) with some rhinestones, gems and crystals courtesy of design label LK by Laure Kczekotowska. We can’t even pronounce that, so we’re not sure how to ask to have them removed!
Check out the images by clicking below
Continue reading “Mazda MX-5 Matte and Black Special Edition” »

Mazda preps 20th Anniversary MX-5 for Geneva

February 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda’s MX-5 has moved a long way in the past two decades here in New Zealand. Once shunned as a hairdressers car, lacking in power and serious street cred, Mazda has turned it into a razor-sharp handling, mean machine. Now, to celebrate the MX-5’s 20th birthday, Mazda will unveil a special anniversary edition of its rear-wheel drive roadster at the Geneva Motor Show this March. Not so creatively named the MX-5 20th Anniversary Edition, the vehicle will have a limited production run of just 2,000 units and will only be available in Europe.

Based on the 1.8-litre model, the limited edition MX-5 comes with a unique exterior styling package that includes chrome grille, door handles and headlight fascia along with silver fog lamp surrounds, 17-inch alloy wheels and 20th Anniversary badging.

It’s to be produced in thre available exterior colors – True Red, Crystal White Pearl and, specific for this edition, a new Aurora Blue, with matching body-color painted interior trim.

A front suspension bracing bar and a scuff plate in stainless steel with its unique serial number (from 1 to 2000) round off the special treatment.

2010 Mazda6 facelift revealed

January 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has just announced that its facelifted version of the 2010 Mazda Atenza would go on sale immediately in Japan. The car will be officially introduced internationally at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show as the 2010 Mazda6.

The mid-size car comes in body shapes, a four-door sedan, five-door liftback, or five-door wagon.  Its “grinning” front end, including a new front bumper, brings the Mazda6 inline with the Mazda3 but the grinning front styling isn’t crazy happy like the 3, more mildly chuffed. More significant changes are at the back, where the car now sports a completely remodeled bumper, light clusters, and tailpipes. Inside, the car now has a single color interior instead of the contrasting tones in the 2009 model, giving the interior a more serious look.

Powerplant options include a new, more efficient petrol 2.0-liter DISI1 unit replacing the current 2.0 engine. Mazda’s MZR 1.8- and 2.5-liter petrol engines have also seen some tweaking.  The MZR-CD 2.2-liter turbo diesel, on offer ranging from 127 to 178 horsepower, has modifications to make it more efficient and clean.

Some new features include adaptive lighting, hill assist, and an adjusted chassis. The Mazda6 will get its international premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and will go on sale in international markets soon after.

Check out images of the updated Mazda6 in the gallery below.

All-new 2011 Mazda5 revealed

January 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has released initial information about its third generation 2011 Mazda5, ahead of the official debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Set to go on sale in Europe later this yearl, the redesigned 5 makes use of Mazda’s “Nagare Flow” design language and dual-sliding rear doors with seating for up to seven.

According to Hideki Matsuoka, Mazda5 Program Manager, “Our main goal with the all-new Mazda5, was to develop a new C-MAV (C-segment Multi Activity Vehicle) that combines the superior environmental performance these times demand with a new expression in stylish design.”

Under the bonnet, power comes from a new 2.0-liter DISI1 petrol engine that has been outfitted with an engine start/start system (called i-stop).

While official fuel economy ratings weren’t released there’s an approximate 15 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the older 2.0-liter petrol it replaces. The Mazda5 will also be available with a 1.8-litre petrol engine.

Futuristic Japanese cars

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Tokyo Auto Show displays some of Japan’s car concepts

Mazda MX-5 2009

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Celebrating its 20th birthday, this is the facelifted third generation of the MX-5 (Eunos)

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