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2013 Mazda CX-5 debuts in L.A.

Mazda CX-5

This week during the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Japanese automaker Mazda has brought the new CX-5 compact SUV model that we first saw back in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car will go head-to-head with rival models like the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape, but it will also face the competition coming from the VW Tiguan, Toyota RAV4 and my personal favorite, the Kia Sportage.

Mazda CX-5

This would have to be the very first model released by Mazda to fully encompass the automaker’s SKYACTIVE TECHNOLOGY, which consists of various powertrains and chassis architecture that have been designed in order to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, while at the same time providing the car with a sporty drive.

Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 will be available in the United States in the first part of 2012 with a 2.0-liter gasoline SKYACTIV-G engine that develops 155 hp @ 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 150 lb.-ft @ 4,000 rpm. Customers will be able to choose from two transmissions: the 6-speed manual SKYACTIV-MT and the 6-speed automatic SKYACTIV-Drive.

Mazda CX-5

According to Mazda, the new CX-5 model in the FWD configuration and the manual gearbox is able to return 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, while the FWD version with the automatic transmission can do 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. As for the AWD version of the CX-5, this will be available exclusively with the automatic gearbox and it will manage to do 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Mazda CX-5

Source: Mazda

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Mazda Says Goodbye To RX-8 With Spirit R Special Edition

Mazda RX-8 Spirit R Special Edition

We already told you that Mazda has decided to pull the plug on its RX-8 model but the car will become history only after the automaker will sell all of the 1,000 units of this Spirit R Special Edition which is available exclusively in Japan. The four-door coupe, and one of my favorite cars ever made, will be put to sleep due to stricter CO2 emissions and fuel economy regulations.

Mazda RX-8 Spirit R Special Edition

This special edition of Mazda’s rotary-engined sports car will be available for sale starting with November 24th and it wears its name after the final edition of the model it replaced, the RX-7. Clients will be able to choose from two versions of the car, one based on the Type RS that comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox and another one based on the Type E model which has a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda RX-8 Spirit R Special Edition

Some of the goodies that the customers will get include Recaro sport bucket seats, red brake calipers, piano black transmission tunnel trim, 19-inch bronze alloy wheels, leather surfaces with red stitching and a bunch of badges. The brakes will be bigger while the suspension system will be sports-tuned.

These are going to be the only two variants of the RX-8 available until the production ends on June 12th, 2012. After that, we’ll have to wait until Mazda launches the successor of this model which will most likely be called the RX-9.

Source: Mazda via ZerCustoms

2012 Mazda3 Gets Price Reduction

2012 Mazda3

The 2012MY Mazda3 has arrived in the United States and wants to grab the attention of the customers with its performance-oriented, fuel-efficient technologies branded under the “Skyactiv” designation. The car is available in a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback configuration and has a base price of $15,200, without taking into consideration the $795 destination charge.

2012 Mazda3

The entry-level Mazda3 i SV sedan comes with a MZR 2.0-liter engine that develops 148 hp and is mated to a manual gearbox. If you want more features, you can choose the i Sport sedan that costs from $16,845 and can be ordered with a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

2012 Mazda3

If you want those Skyactiv technologies, you will have to get the Mazda3 i Touring or the Grand Touring variant which comes with the company’s newly developed SKYACTIV 2.0-liter gasoline power unit that develops 155 hp and has a peak torque of 148 lb.-ft.

2012 Mazda3

According to the Japanese automaker, this new engine delivers 5% more HP than the MZR 2.0-liter unit and also 10% more torque. In addition, it comes with 21% improved fuel economy and 15% more low- to mid-range torque. It has an EPA rating of 40 mpg on the highway.

2012 Mazda3

The Mazda3 i Touring sedan we’ve mentioned will set you back at least $18,450 while the i Touring hatchback costs from $18,950 and does 39 mpg on the highway. If you opt for the sedan Mazda3 i Grand Touring, you’ll have to pay $22,300 while the 5-door hatchback carries a retail price of $22,800.

2012 Mazda3

Both the Touring models can be ordered with the newly developed SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission as well as the 6-speed automatic one which also is part of the SKYACTIV technologies. For the latter you’ll have to pay an additional $850.

2012 Mazda3

Source: Mazda via Carscoop

Japan-only Mazda Special Edition Black Tuned Roadster Announced

JDM Mazda Special Edtion Black Tuned Roadster

The Japanese automaker Mazda has revealed at the beginning of this week a special edition variant of its Roadster model (the MX-5 as the rest of the world knows it) that is based on the JDM RS RHT and VS RHT model grades. It comes with 17-inch Gun Metallic alloys, Brilliant Black folding hard top and bespoke interior contrasting black leather with sand colored stitching.

Clients will be able to choose from one of the following body colors: Crystal White Pearl Mica, Velocity Red Mica and the one in this picture, called Green Metallic.

The Mazda Special Edition Black Tuned Roadster will be motivated by a 2.0-liter DOHC power unit which as standard will be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. For more money, customers will be able to order it with an optional 6-speed automatic transmission.

Source: Mazda via WCF

Mazda CX-5 Revealed At Frankfurt Motor Show

Mazda CX-5

This week in Frankfurt, Mazda brought the all-new CX-5 compact crossover that promises to be a worthy adversary for the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. The Japanese automaker mentioned that this model is the first of the many that will follow which will adopt the company’s KODO design philosophy and the SKYACTIV technologies.

Mazda CX-5

The car measures 4,540 mm long, 1,840 mm wide and it is 1,670 mm tall, but although these dimensions fall in the compact category, the CX-5 still manages to offer 997 mm of rear legroom, which is the best in this class. They’ve did this by creating a wheelbase which measures 2,700 mm. It comes with 40/20/40 split independent rear seats so you get plenty of practicality.

Mazda CX-5

Set to go on sale at first in Europe, customers will have the possibility to order it in either a 2WD or a 4WD configuration and it will be motivated by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine or a 2.2-liter diesel. The first one develops 165 hp and has a peak torque of 154 lb.-ft (210 Nm), while the diesel will be offered with a two-stage turbocharger, the first one has 150 hp and 280 lb.-ft (380 Nm) while the more powerful will provide 175 hp and 309 lb.-ft (420 Nm).

Mazda CX-5

The North American version will probably be launched towards the end of this year and it will reach Mazda’s dealerships in the beginning of 2012. Once it will get there, the CX-5 will feature a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine, followed by a diesel engine.

Source: Mazda via Carscoop

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Official Mazda MX-5 Details Revealed

Mazda MX-5 (Rendering)

According to some sources at Mazda, the next generation of the popular MX-5 will still be faithful to its roots, although the rest of the models in the company’s lineup have gone upmarket. The car will be motivated by a 1.5-liter turbocharged power unit that will benefit from the automaker’s Skyactiv technology that allows higher compression ratios and it will offer more torque and efficiency.

The Japanese car maker is also analyzing the possibility to build both electric and rotary engines for future versions of the new MX-5. The car will be a lot lighter in comparison to the current model and it will benefit from high-tech materials to lower the curb weight. Engineers will be using carbonfibre-reinforced plastic that you will find in the “i” models that BMW is working on.

The engineers from Mazda are also taking into consideration whether they should adopt the new fully electric power steering system for the new generation but they have their concerns because they think that not many sporty car buyers will appreciate this.

Source: Mazda via What Car

R.I.P. – Mazda RX-8

2011 Mazda RX-8

An end of an era for the Japanese automaker Mazda as this week they’ve announced that they will cease the production of the RX-8 model which means that the rotary engine will be put to sleep as well. Two factors have lead to this situation: sales have plummeted and the global emission standards have become tougher.
According to the journalists from Automotive News, the dealers in the United States have 300 units left, or at least they had them at the beginning of the month.

2011 Mazda RX-8

2011 Mazda RX-8

As a reminder, the Mazda RX-8 is, or better said was, the only rotary-powered vehicle on sale. The base price for the car was $27,590 and was powered by a twin-rotor 1.3-liter engine with 232 hp. The 2011MY is fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox and manages to return 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, according to EPA’s rating.

2011 Mazda RX-8

At the beginning of this month, the company stated that in July they’ve sold only 65 units, in comparison to the same period of last year when they’ve delivered 94 cars, which translates into a 31% decrease of sales. Until July, Mazda sold 544 units, as opposed to the 687 cars delivered in 2010. The best year for the car was back in 2004 when they’ve managed to sell 23,690 units. Last year, the Mazda RX-8 was withdrawn from the European market.

Source: Mazda via Inside Line

Special Edition Mazda2 And MX-5 Announced

Mazda2 Black

The Japanese automaker will roll out pretty soon a new set of limited editions models, this time for the Mazda2 and the MX-5. The first one is based on the 1.3-liter (83 hp) Tamura version and comes with a black vinyl roof, front fog lights, privacy glass, 16-inch matt black alloy wheels and a rear bumper sports trim. In addition, inside it features air conditioning, a Bluetooth hands-free kit, bespoke floor mats and electric windows for the rear doors. Only 618 units will go to United Kingdom and the base price is 12,395 for the model with the True Red finish while the other colors available (green and white) will cost from 12,815 pounds.

Mazda MX-5 Sport Black

As far as the MX-5 Sport Black is concerned, Mazda says that they took their inspiration for this limited edition model from the MX-5 GT racer and is based on the Sport Tech Roadster Coupe model that comes with a 2.0-liter engine that churns 160 hp which is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. It is offered with a Brilliant Black retractable hardtop and is available in three body colors: Velocity Red, Crystal White and Spirited Green, the same colors available for the aforementioned Mazda2.

Mazda MX-5 Sport Black

This special MX-5 rides on gunmetal alloys that measure 15 inches and it has an interior wrapped around in black leather, bespoke floor mats, along with a piano black steering wheel and deco panel. It has the same goodies as the Sport Tech, like a Bose audio system, air conditioning, front fog lights, cruise control and a Bluetooth hands-free kit.

The Japanese automaker said that 500 units of this special MX-5 will go to United Kingdom and the on-the-road price is going to be 22,995 pounds, which is 360 pounds more in comparison to the standard Sport Tech variant.

Source: Mazda via Autocar.co.uk

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Honda And Mazda Suspend US Orders For Their Japan-made Cars

2011 Honda Insight Hybrid

At the end of last week the automaker Mazda announced that they will suspend all orders coming from the United States for the models built in Japan. This decision has been made only a couple of days after the factories reopened. Jay Amestoy, the company’s American spokesman said that this decision will affect shipment of cars that were due to arrive stateside in May. He also mentioned that the company hasn’t established a specific date when the activity will resume its normal course.

Mazda USA imports almost all its range from Japan, except for the U.S.-built 6 and Tribute models. The cars that are made in Japan are the 2, 3, 5, MX-5 (Miata), RX-8, CX7 and the CX9. As a reminder, the automaker halted all operations at its Hofu and Hiroshima factories from March 14th through March 21st.

Starting from today, the factories will shut down again and the company stated that its United States sales will not be affected since its American subsidiary has enough cars in stock. Last year, Mazda imported 83% of the cars that were sold in the US.

Another Japanese car manufacturer, Honda, has decided to suspend US dealer orders for the vehicles imported from Japan, including the Civic Hybrid, CR-Z, Insight, CR-V, Fit, along with the Acura RL and TSX models.

As far as Nissan is concerned, they said that they will make only 50% of the cars planned for May, and the other 50% will be delivered once all the factories are up and running at full capacity.

Mitsubishi and Toyota have not suspended dealer orders.

Source: Carscoop

Preview – Mazda Minagi Concept

Mazda Minagi Concept

Mazda has recently published full details of the Minagi Concept which will make its first appearance in March at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. This interesting concept will most likely be a preview of an upcoming compact crossover and at the same time it is Mazda’s latest iteration of the “Kodo” Soul of Motion design idea. The first car that had this styling was the 2010 Shinari Concept and now it is available in the shape of a crossover which looks quite nice.

This Minagi crossover benefits from Mazda’s upcoming powertrain, chassis design and vehicle body which means that it will have a SKYACTIV power unit, a SKYACTIV gearbox and a SKYACTIV-body and chassis that according to Mazda are able to combine weight reduction with ample safety features.

Mazda Minagi Concept

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mazda will be presenting this Minagi Concept if we think about the fact that the Tribute model is long overdue and needs either a serious facelift or an entirely new model.

When Mazda will be launching a new crossover it will most likely be called CX-5 and will have to resist in front of some serious competitors like the Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Tiguan or the soon-to-be-released BMW X1. It is very possible that the crossover will have a partial all-wheel drive system in order to improve fuel efficiency.

Mazda RX7 Vs Kawasaki ZX10


This video isn’t only for drift fans. Regardless of what you think about drifting, it is fun to watch the Mazda RX7 being piloted on full opposite lock. The question is: can you do the same thing with a motorcycle? The answer is simple: YES – according to Nick Brocha, a rider for Icon Motorsports.

The team is popular for providing gear for fanatics of two-wheel transportation, but at the same time they sponsor a couple of skilled bikers. One of those drivers is Nick Brocha who in this video pits his customized Kawasaki ZX10 against Jim Guthrie, the man behind the wheel of this Mazda RX-7, a drift machine equipped with a Corvette engine.

Add to all this a couple of cameras including one that is attached to an R/C car, a nice location for the battle and you’ve got all the necessary ingredients for an entertaining video, like the ones made in Forza 3, but this time only with cars.

I must say that I’m not a big fan of motorcycles but every time I see someone doing something like this with a motorcycle, I have to admit that they can be very cool, if driven by someone with a lot of experience, like Nick Brocha.

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Top 10 Releases In 2010 Part 1

Without any doubt, 2010 was a good idea for the automotive market, with many important new releases and significant updates of cars already launched. Making a top 10 of the most important cars of the year can be a little subjective, but many of you will agree at least with half of them and others are free to suggest other cars that they consider to be worth introducing in our top, either by making it longer or by replacing other models. Without further ado, here are the 10 most important car releases of the year:

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Back for its 6th generation in 2010, the Golf GTI is a little bit more powerful and larger, but keeping the same spirit as the original variant which was launched back in 1976, a car that brought a new term to the automotive market – hot hatch. Why did it make our top? Simple, it is a relatively affordable car, offering a lot of practicality while at the same time it is very fun to drive, powered by a 200 hp turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine which is not only smooth, but also quite responsive. The engine can be linked to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual. The base price for the Golf GTI is $24,189. Fuel economy is 21-24 mpg city / 31-32 mpg, according to EPA raitings.

Porsche Boxster / Cayman

Porsche Boxster

Porsche Cayman

With the new models, the power went up by 10 hp for the Boxster and 20 hp for the Cayman, while the “S” siblings got extra 15 / 25 hp. Both offer some of the best driving pleasures in a car, making them even more rewarding than the much expensive and iconic 911 model. Both cars are really fun to drive with the manual gearbox and if you don’t want to do the entire job yourself, for extra money you could get the dual-clutch PDK transmission. Not only they are fast, but at the same time they provide a high level of luxury inside the cockpit, offering plenty of cargo rooms for two people thanks to the two trunks available.  The base price for the Boxster is $48,550 while the Cayman can be acquired at a starting price of $62,450. The engines can be linked to either a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission or a standard 6-speed gearbox. Fuel economy is 19-20 mpg city / 26 – 29 mpg highway.

Mazda 3 / Speed3

Mazda 3

For the new version, the Mazda 3 model is powered by a 148 hp engine while the “s” variant is equipped with a 167 hp power unit. Both versions don’t look like the rest of the so-called “econoboxes” and feature high quality materials, good ride feeling and solid chassis control. Let’s not forget about the Mazdaspeed 3 which is equipped with a powerful 263 hp engine. Similar to the BMW 3-Series, the Mazda 3 has a bundle of features in all of the trim levels available, making it a very balanced car. The basic price for the standard version is $16,045 while the “s” goes for $19,790. If you want the extra muscle under the hood, the Mazdaspeed 3 will set you back $23,945. The available transmissions are the 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual and the 5-speed automatic with manumatic shifting. According to EPA, the Mazda 3 will do 18-25 mpg city / 25-33 highway.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda Miata

Yes we know that this is another Mazda, but the car was too good to not be included in our top 10. The Miata is probably the most popular model from Mazda and although it has only a 167 hp power unit (158 hp with the automatic gearbox), it is one of the most fun to drive sports car in the world. What makes it so great? It is very easy to drive, the gear changes are done in an instant and the steering is borderline perfect. We almost forgot the affordable selling price which starts from only $23,560. It still is affordable (a little above the $30k mark) if we add the optional features like the power-retractable hardtop or the leather seats. The transmissions available for the Miata include the 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual and the 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting. According to the EPA ratings, the car will do 21-22 mpg city / 28 mpg highway.

Cadillac CTS / CTS-V

Cadillac CTS

Finally, something made in the US of A. The Caddy benefits from an exquisite interior that looks and feels expensive and the cabin room is far more spacious in comparison to other cars that are priced in the same category. From the outside, the CTS looks great, managing to mix comfort, driving dynamics and refinement in a very exciting way. New to the lineup is the Sport Wagon offered with a 304 hp V6 3.-6 liter. If this isn’t enough, you might as well go for the CTS-V which is powered by a massive 556 hp supercharged engine, making it one of the best alternatives for the German cars. The entry-level engine is the 3.6-liter V6 DOHC 24-valve power unit that is capable of outputting 270 hp and 223 lb-ft. The base price for the CTS is $37,555 while the CTS-V can be yours for $62,845. The engines can be linked to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting. According to the EPA ratings, the car will do 12-18 mpg city / 18-27 mpg highway.

In the second part of the article we will be presenting the five remaining cars of our top 10: Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Accord, Honda Fit, Audi S4 and the BMW 3-Series / M3. Feel free to suggest other cars that you consider worth belonging to this top, there are no restrictions or conditions, but we do require enough reasons to determine us to include the car(s) into the list. If we receive a positive feedback, we will do a follow-up top of the best car releases in 2010.

Japanese financial group to become Mazda top shareholder

Bloomberg reports Tokyo based Sumitomo Financial Group will increase its stake in Mazda, replacing Ford as the top shareholder by the end of the year. Ford held a controlling stake of around 33% until two years ago when, forced by the financial crisis they sold around 20% and were left with about 11% which is currently valued at $515 million. According to Bloomberg, the Sumitomo Mitsui currently holds at least 2.9 percent in Mazda and the group’s chairman Masayuki Oku announced that, by the end of this year, his company will become the leading shareholder in Mazda.

According to a report from Nikkei English News, Ford has already reached agreements to reduce its holding by selling shares to Sumitomo Mitsui, Sumitomo Corp and suppliers of the Mazda. However, both Mazda and Ford denied the rumors about Ford changing its stake in the Japanese carmaker. “Ford’s ownership stake in Mazda remains unchanged,” Ford spokesman Mark Truby said last week. “Ford continues to have a close strategic relationship with Mazda, and we cooperate in areas of mutual benefit. We have no further comment on the speculation.”


Videos: Mazda Shinari and Kodo-styled Mazda3 get showcased

Mazda definitely impressed a lot of people last week when it showcased its newest concept, the Shinari. Set to pave the way for a new, more aggressive and angular design language, Kodo, the concept is set to be displayed at the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month.

Until then though, the Japanese company decided to present the Mazda Shinari in a new video, showcasing a virtual concept driving around city streets and other locations.

While seeing the Shinari in motion is quite a treat, another video has also been revealed, showcasing how the new Kodo design language might look on a compact hatchback like the Mazda3 or Mazda2. Needless to say, the result is very attractive.

Hit the jump to see the two videos revealed by Mazda.

Mazda Shinari concept debuts the new Kodo design language

Mazda definitely sparked a lot of reactions when its head designer, Laurens van den Acker, revealed the Nagare design language, which, so far, manifested in the very ‘happy’ grilles of the Mazda3 or Mazda6, and on concepts like the Furai, the Kazamai or the Kiyora.

Now, seeing as how van den Acker is no more, being replaced with Ikuo Maeda, a new design language was needed as an evolution of the love it or hate it Nagare.

Enter the new Mazda Shinari concept, which presents the Kodo (soul of motion, in translation) language. The liens are more aggressive, while the metallic accents are a bit more overstated.

Expect to see cues from the Shinari in all of the future models coming from the Japanese company, including, possibly, the revived Mazda RX-7. The concept will be showcased at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

What do you think about the Shinari and the Kodo language? Is Mazda on the right track? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.


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