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Archive for the ‘Mazda’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ouch: Mazda Doesn’t Benchmark Against BMW Anymore Because the Toyota Camry Handles Better

A Mazda engineer has admitted that the Japanese automaker used BMWs as benchmarks in the development of its models. That’s no longer the case, though, because Mazda has turned to another model to use for benchmarking purpose. That model is the Toyota Camry, a car that has had its own history of ignominious handling capabilities. But the script has recently flipped. In Mazda’s mind, BMWs are no longer the “Ultimate Driving Machines” that they used to be.


2001 - 2003 BMW M3 E46 - image 30920
“BMW was famous for developing cars that were engaging, driver-focused, and fun to drive.”

As hard as it is to believe, there is a semblance of truth to what the Mazda engineer said to Autoguide. BMW was famous for developing cars that were engaging, driver-focused, and fun to drive. The BMW M3 E46 fit that bill. So did the M5 E39 and, most recently, the 1 Series M Coupe. But the script has flipped on BMW in recent years. The German automaker still produces awesome cars that drive incredible — the M2 is a good example — but it’s missed more than it’s hit in this department.

Other automakers like Mazda discover this first-hand because BMWs were often used as benchmarks in the development of its models. With today’s crop of Bimmers not living up to its “Ultimate Driving Machine” reputation, Mazda turned its sights on a car that has overcome its own flawed driving and handling reputation: the Camry.


2018 Toyota Camry - image 702373
“There’s no denying that today’s Camry is leaps and bounds better than its recent iterations”

To be fair, the new Camry is still not the best-driving car in the world. It may not even be the best-driving car in its segment because the current Honda Accord has won over its share of new fans. But there’s no denying that today’s Camry is leaps and bounds better than its recent iterations. Apparently, it’s improved enough for Mazda to start using it as its benchmark. The Camry’s improvement also speaks to how concerned Mazda is at the moment. “If the Camry sold so well before when it was so boring to drive, they now actually have a good handling car on their hands,” the engineer told Autoguide.

They say that nothing is ever certain in a business as actively evolving as the auto industry. Turns out, that also holds true for automakers who use their rivals’ models for benchmarking purposes. For those who never thought they’d see the day that a Toyota Camry would supplant BMWs as a benchmark model, well, in Mazda’s world, that day has come.

References


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

Toyota Camry


2018 Toyota Camry - image 703838

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.

PostHeaderIcon Wallpaper of the Day: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It might be small, but it’s sporty and quick too!

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Desktop Wallpaper


Wallpaper of the Day: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata - image 614524

2016 Mazda Miata Mobile Wallpaper


Wallpaper of the Day: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata - image 614525

Check out our full review on the 2016 Mazda Miata or pick out some more of your favorites from the gallery below 😉

PostHeaderIcon Mazda6 Tourer

Mazda introduced the 6 nameplate in 2002 as a replacement for the highly successful Mazda 626. Offered as a near-premium mid-size four-door model, the 6 is now considered Mazda’s flagship model. Three generations have arrived since the 6 first hit the scene, the latest of which showed in 2012. Back in November, Mazda brought out a refreshed iteration at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS), dropping cover on a tweaked exterior style, a newly updated interior, fresh technology and equipment, and even a new turbocharged engine package. Suffice to say, we thought the whole thing looked great, so much so that we gave it a spot on our Best In Show list for the 2017 LAAS. Given the extensive updates seen for the 2018 model year, you could consider this latest iteration as the 3.5-gen vehicle. Now, the 6’s more practical Tourer wagon body style looks set to receive the same good stuff when it arrives in Switzerland with a debut at the 88th Annual Geneva International Motor Show.

All told, the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer should look and feel more premium than before, just like the latest sedan version that appeared in Southern California. Full details are still forthcoming, but for now, read on for the lowdown on what we know, plus a splash of speculation along the way.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer.

Mazda6 Tourer Exterior

  • Latest Kodo design language
  • Mazda Kai and Mazda Coupe concepts used for inspiration
  • LED lighting
  • Larger grille with metal mesh insert
  • Massively flared front fenders
  • Should offer standard 17-inch wheels, optional 19’s
  • More aerodynamic than before

Mazda6 Tourer - image 765687
“The Tourer once again employs Mazda's Kodo design language to great effect, refining the old model's styling bits without overdoing it.”

When it comes to the aesthetics, the Mazda6 is one good-looking car. Based on concepts like the Mazda Coupe and Mazda Kai, both of which will head to Geneva alongside the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, this wagon once again employs Mazda’s Kodo design language to great effect. The 2018 model year refines the old model’s styling bits, and although the overall look doesn’t change a whole lot, we aren’t complaining – we think it looks great, and we think there’s a definite upscale vibe to it. Thankfully, it’s also not nearly as stuffy as the numerous European sedans found elsewhere on the Geneva show floor. Rather, its got its own curvaceous Japanese styling to it, and that’s a big plus in our book.

Let’s check out the details, starting in front where we once again find impressively flared wheel arches that add a ton of visual beefiness to the front end. The new model also comes with a larger front grille, which is set in an elliptical shape and fitted with a metal mesh insert. Despite its size, we think the grille looks quite good, and its definitely an improvement on the old model’s horizontal slats. The headlights also look longer and leaner than before, pulled back into fenders in a taut, slim shape. LEDs are used for the lighting element, while chrome detailing adds icing on the cake.


2018 Mazda6 - image 749686
“The headlights also look longer and leaner than before, pulled back into fenders in a taut, slim shape”

The long, flared fenders in front lead into a profile that’s punctuated by a variety of angles and character lines, both above and below. The window line dives down towards the front end, adding a bit of visual rake and enhancing the visual weight of the plus-sized rear end. In terms of wheel sizing, we
expect Mazda to offer 19-inch wheels like on the U.S.-spec sedan, while standard sizing will be set at 17 inches. A few new paint options would also be nice.

In back, expect slimmer taillights and further shiny trim detailing. Dual exhaust tips would also be a nice complement to the elegant, yet sporty aesthetic.

Further more, Mazda says the new look is now more aero-efficient than before, although the automaker declines to go into detail. Look for official specs next month.

Mazda6 Tourer Interior

  • New interior layout focuses on horizontal lines
  • Lots of premium touches throughout
  • Fresh safety and driver assist tech
  • Nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear bench folded
  • Fingers crossed for optional Japanese Sen wood trim

Mazda6 Tourer - image 765686
“The look is characterized by broad horizontal surfaces and long unbroken shapes. New switch gear was added to the center console, and there's an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash.”

Step inside the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, and you’ll find a cabin look and layout that’s identical to the sedan (plus a good deal more cargo room in the rear, of course). Mazda says that the sedan gets an “all-new” interior where “only the steering wheel and small trim pieces [are] carried over from its predecessor,” and that looks to be the case in the Tourer model as well.

The look is characterized by broad horizontal surfaces and long unbroken shapes. New switch gear was added to the center console, with a slick, simplified button layout for the climate control system, above which you’ll find an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash. An optional 7.0-inch TFT screen can be had for the gauge cluster. The soft touch materials look great, and continue from the dash into the door panels. We’re expecting Nappa leather for the upholstery and optional Japanese Sen wood for the dash. There’s also new seats in front, which Mazda says are more supportive and more comfortable this time around.


2018 Mazda6 - image 749662
“New switch gear was added to the center console, with a slick, simplified button layout for the climate control system, above which you'll find an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash”

As a complement to the upscale layout and top-shelf materials, Mazda says the new 6 gets reduced levels of NVH (or noise, vibration, and harshness) inside the cabin, which is obviously critical to attaining that upscale vibe Mazda is shooting for. Further complements include a broader range of i-Activsense safety features, such as 360-degree monitor with a top-down view, and intelligent speed assist.

Finally, the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer looks to keep its decent rear cargo room, which is currently rated at 522 liters (18.4 cubic feet) with the rear bench up, and expands out to 1,664 liters (58.8 cubic feet) with the bench folded down.

Mazda6 Tourer Drivetrain

Engine lineup likely to include 2.2-liter diesel and 2.0-liter gas

Six-speed automatic and six-speed manual on the table

FWD as standard, AWD optional


2018 Mazda6 - image 748257
“Mazda has yet to divulge a whole lot in terms of the powertrain spec for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, but we expect the brand to offer a slight refresh on the 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gas options”

Mazda has yet to divulge a whole lot in terms of the powertrain spec for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, but we expect the brand to offer a slight refresh on the 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gas options. Current output levels vary between the trim levels, with the diesel making either 150 horsepower or 175 horsepower. Meanwhile, the gas engine makes 165 horsepower. A few extra ponies and mpg at the pump should do well to keep it sprightly for 2018.

It’s possible Mazda will also include the new 2.5-liter turbo ’four that we just got in the 6 sedan here in the States, which offers up 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. However, if we’re honest, it’s not likely. Sorry, speed lovers. But here’s to hoping.

Unfortunately, the 6 definitely won’t get Mazda’s next-generation Skyactiv-X compression ignition petrol engine technology either, but the Zoom-Zoom brand will bring it to display in Geneva all the same. Mazda calls it Spark Controlled Compression Ignition, or SCCI, and it’s a world-first for a passenger car. Basically, the compression ignition design works similarly to a diesel, but it burns gasoline. It also manages to combine the benefits of both gas and diesel powerplants, with features like solid high-end power, a sharp throttle response, cleaner emissions, and high fuel efficiency. It’s innovative and pretty cool too, especially when you consider most of the industry is heading towards smaller engine sizing and forced induction to find the extra efficiency. Look for the Skyactiv-X compression ignition tech on the forthcoming 2019 Mazda3.

Moving on, we expect the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer to once again offer customers either a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed automatic, depending on the trim level and engine picked. Once again, we have to applaud Mazda for sticking to its guns, as rather than adopting a rubber-banding continuously variable transmission like most other makes, it’s going with a more traditional gearbox. Front-wheel drive will come as standard, while AWD will be an available option.

Mazda6 Tourer Chassis And Handling

  • More refined and more responsive too
  • Tweaked suspension geometry
  • Definitely one of the most fun-to-drive in segment

2018 Mazda6 - image 749685

Note: 2018 Mazda6 Sedan (U.S.-spec) pictured here.

Heading into the 2018 model year, the Mazda6 Tourer looks to receive “enhanced driving dynamics,” with fresh suspension tuning that simultaneously finds greater handling benefits when attacking a corner, and more comfort when cruising.

To that end, we expect the Tourer to once again get the same updates as the U.S.-spec sedan. For example, the reduced noise, vibration, and harshness will no doubt come courtesy of the 6’s stiffer chassis and body, while the handling and ride refinements will be partly thanks to a new steering rack mounting and tweaked suspension geometry. Finally, G-Vectoring Control will once again be used for greater grip levels coming off a corner.

Mazda6 Tourer Pricing


2018 Mazda6 - image 749683

Note: 2018 Mazda6 Sedan (U.S.-spec) pictured here.

While exact pricing for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer has yet to be released, we fully expect the bottom line to stay close to current figures. For reference, the 2017 Mazda6 Tourer starts at £23,795 in the U.K.

Look for more updated details right here in this review when the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer makes its appearance at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show in March, where it’ll strut its stuff alongside the Euro-spec Mazda6 Saloon, the Mazda Coupe concept, and the Mazda Kai concept.

Mazda6 Tourer Competition

Volkswagen Passat Estate


2015 Volkswagen Passat - image 558767

If you like the idea of a sleek, spacious, and well-appointed wagon model, but care less about the performance side of things, then the Volkswagen Passat Estate might be just the right fit. Outside, you get the eternally refined styling VW is known for across its lineup, while the interior comes equipped with a flat-bottom steering wheel, a digital screen in the gauge pod (full digital gauges are optional), and a 6.5-inch screen in the dash. Materials include some top-tier picks in the higher trims, while rear cargo room is rated at a Mazda-beating 650 liters (23 cubic feet) with the rear bench up. Engine options include a range of diesel and gas options. Although we expect the Mazda to be far more interesting to drive, the VW makes a sensible case for itself all the same.

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat.

Ford Mondeo Estate


2013 Ford Mondeo - image 471732

Another solid choice in this segment comes from the Blue Oval with the Ford Mondeo Estate. Although it appears to be a bit more brutish, the styling works well all the same, and it’s very much in line with the rest of Ford’s lineup and styling cues. Inside, there’s a decent amount of cargo room, rated at 500 liters (17.7 cubic feet) with the seats up, while optional AWD helps it grip in less than ideal conditions. Engine options include a 1.5-liter diesel, a 2.0-liter diesel, and a 2.0-liter gas engine as well. It’s a nice middle-of-the-road choice, if that’s what you’re after.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Mondeo.

Conclusion


Mazda6 Tourer - image 765687

Given the fact you’re reading these words on TopSpeed, it should come as no surprise that we like this quick-and-fun little wagon. While some competitors offer a less expensive proposition, and still others offer a more luxurious interior, the Mazda6 also manages to mix in a good deal of driver engagement and fun, and to us, that matters a lot.

We’re still waiting for all the details to drop, so make sure to check back here next month when they do. Until then, all we gotta say is – we sure do wish Mazda sold the Tourer here in the U.S.!

  • Leave it
    • * More comfortable and more luxurious alternatives out there
    • * New engine tech still a year or more away
    • * No wagons for the U.S.!

References

Mazda 6


2018 Mazda6 - image 748259

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.


2017 Mazda Kai - image 740971

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda Kai.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon New Mazda6 Tourer Heading To The Geneva Auto Show!

Mazda just introduced the refreshed Mazda6 sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, and with its unveiling, the brand also dropped a long list of updates and upgrades. Long story short, we like what we see. In fact, we like it so much, we decided to give it a spot on our Best In Show list. Now, Mazda is giving us a look at the refreshed wagon Tourer model, which is headed to this year’s Geneva Motor Show sporting several of the sedan’s various updates.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


New Mazda6 Tourer Heading To The Geneva Auto Show! - image 765687
“The changes are so significant, you could call the latest model year the 3.5 generation.”

Mazda first introduced the 6 back in 2002 as a replacement for the 626, and since then, we’ve seen three generations make their appearance. The latest was introduced in 2012, which makes this new refresh more or less a mid-cycle update. However, the changes are so significant, you could call the latest model year the 3.5 generation.

Let’s start outside, where the 6 gains several changes to the exterior styling. The looks is sleek and mean, falling in line with Mazda’s Kodo design language, something that we’re pretty big fans of. In front is a large elliptical front grille, which comes with a metal mesh grille insert that looks great on the front end. There’s also plenty of chrome details and LED headlights to boot.

While you probably won’t confuse the 6 with a European luxury car any time soon, the updates still manage to enhance the car’s sense of “premiumness,” a characteristic emphasized even further by what’s waiting inside the cabin.

Step into the interior of the new 6, and you’ll find a brand-new design sporting a horizontal layout. Long lines are laid left to right in unbroken shapes, cleaning up the look while simultaneously enhancing the car’s spacious feel. There’s new switchgear in the center console that looks like it was plucked from Audi, plus new seats that are more comfortable and supportive than before.


New Mazda6 Tourer Heading To The Geneva Auto Show! - image 765686
“Long lines are laid left to right in unbroken shapes, cleaning up the look while simultaneously enhancing the car's spacious feel.”

There’s also new infotainment technology as wielded by an 8.0-inch touchscreen mounted high on the dash. Buyers are offered an optional 7.0-inch TFT screen in the gauge cluster, while the i-Activsense safety feature suite adds convenience and driver assistance tech to the package, including stuff like a 360-degree top-down camera.

We’re also looking forward to seeing what Mazda’s got in terms of the 6’s updated powertrains. Details on the Tourer’s engine lineup are still unannounced, but it’s expected the wagon will offer a freshened 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gas engine. It’s also possible Mazda will toss in the new turbocharged 2.5-liter that we’re so lucky to get here in the U.S., a mill that produces 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

Cog swaps come courtesy of a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed automatic for those who prefer just two pedals to work. Standard spec routes all output to the front wheels exclusively, while extra grip can be had with the optional AWD system. There’s also new suspension bits and suspension tuning for higher levels of comfort and handling prowess.

In addition to the new 6 Tourer, Mazda will also be bringing its latest concept cars to the show, which includes the stunning Vision Coupe and exciting Kai, both of which
provided inspiration for the exterior styling on the new 6.

All we can say is – bring the wagon over here, Mazda!

Look for further updates when the Geneva Motor Show kicks off next month.

References

Mazda 6


2018 Mazda6 - image 748259

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Gets an Update For The 2018MY

Two years after unveiling the Mazda MX-5 RF at the 2016 New York Auto Show, Mazda is giving the raunchy sports car a new update ahead of its 2018MY release. The updates are subtle, but with a car like the MX-5 RF, even the smallest of changes can go a long way in giving the sports car a fresh perspective in the eyes of prospective customers.


Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Gets an Update For The 2018MY - image 766790
“Each of these trims has something new to offer, including the addition of keyless entry and heated cloth sports seats in the Club trims.”

For the 2018MY, the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF will feature four trim levels: Club, Club with Brembo/BBS Package, Grand Touring, and Grand Touring with Auburn Nappa later. Each of these trims has something new to offer, including the addition of keyless entry and heated cloth sports seats in the Club trims.

Should you decide to get manual transmission version of the MX-5 RF Club, you’ll receive a sports car that comes with front air dam and rear spoiler extensions, black side mirror caps, and rear seat stitching, all while sitting on a set of 17-inch dark alloy wheels. Throw in the Brembo/BBS Package and you get also get a palette of color options, a rear bumper skirt, body sill extensions, black leather seats with heating functions, and extra wheel options.


Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Gets an Update For The 2018MY - image 766776
“The updates are impressive, but if you really want to make the most out of your MX-5 RF purchase, the range-topping Grand Touring trim with the Auburn Nappa leather interior is the way to go”

The Club and Grand Touring trim options also share a few standard equipment. The LED headlights, for example, are standard. So is the leather steering wheel. Both trims also get a gear shifter knob, an infotainment system with a seven-inch display, Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio with a four-month trial subscription, and a Bose premium sound system.

The updates are impressive, but if you really want to make the most out of your MX-5 RF purchase, the range-topping Grand Touring trim with the Auburn Nappa leather interior is the way to go. The premium leather goes well with the available color options for the sports car, as well as the heated leather seats. Tech and safety items like automatic climate control, navigation system, adaptive automatic headlights with high-beam control, rain-sensing wipers, and the Lane Departure Warning System all come standard on the MX-5 RF Grand Touring.

Unfortunately, the changes, or at least the good ones, end there. There are no updates to the car’s engine, which means that all versions of the 2018 MX-5 RF will still get the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque.


Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Gets an Update For The 2018MY - image 766782
“For 2018 models of the MX-5 RF, pricing now starts at $31,910 for the six-speed manual version.”

The updates also come with the expected price increase. No surprises there. For 2018 models of the MX-5 RF, pricing now starts at $31,910 for the six-speed manual version. That’s $355 more than the base price ($31,555) of the 2017 model. Opt for the one with the automatic and you’ll need to tack on an extra $600 for the trouble. Meanwhile, the Grand Touring trim now starts at $32,750, an increase of $130 from its 2017MY price.

MX-5 Soft Top 6MT MX-5 Soft Top 6AT MX-5 RF 6MT MX-5 6AT
MX-5 Sport $25,295 $26,645 N/A N/A
MX-5 Club $29,155 $29,755 $31,910 $32,510
MX-5 Club
with Brembo/BBS Package
$32,925 N/A $35,680 N/A
MX-5 Club
Brembo/BBS/ Recaro Package
$33,625 N/A N/A N/A
MX-5 Grand Touring $30,195 $31,270 $32,750 $33,825
MX-5 Grand Touring
with Auburn Nappa Leather
$30,495 $31,570 $33,050 $34,125

Premium paint colors:

Soul Red Crystal $595
Machine Gray Metallic $300
Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200

References

Mazda MX-5


2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Unveiled - image 670218

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Mazda6 Tourer (Wagon) Confirmed for Geneva Debut

Mazda announced their 2018 Geneva Motor Show lineup today, and the star of the booth appears to be the Mazda6. Geneva will see the European debut of the new and upgraded Mazda6 sedan, plus the world premiere of 2019 Mazda6 Tourer, the station wagon version. They are also bringing along a couple of recent concepts. 

2019 Mazda6 Tourer is a remarkable car as it makes as already amazing car even better. What we have here is a practical and affordable family car with the sportiness, handling, and quality inherent in all Mazda products. Just about the only thing that might prevent a shopper of station wagons from buying this car is the design. And by that we don’t mean the design is bad. It is just not everyone’s cup of tea. Now, Mazda has done a lot to tone down their ultra-exuberant design of this past few years. But their cars are still very unique in their classes, which is both good and bad.

Along with the 2019 Mazda6 Tourer we will see at Geneva Motor Show the Mazda VISION COUPE and Mazda KAI, two brilliant concepts which we have already looked at thoroughly. Perhaps more fascinating that these is the showcase of Mazda’s revolutionary SKYACTIV-X next-generation petrol engine. It features an innovative combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI). This is what gives the diesel engines their frugality, and now Mazda has brought it to petrol engines as well.

The post 2019 Mazda6 Tourer (Wagon) Confirmed for Geneva Debut appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Thinks its Skyactiv-3 Engines Will Rival EVs on the Economy Front

Mazda is diligently working to save the internal combustion engine from a slow death brought on by electric vehicles. The independent Japanese automaker has been perfecting the ICE for decades with its Skyactiv line, including the Skyactiv-G and new Skyactiv-X. The latter is particularly interesting as it combines the strong points of both a gasoline- and diesel-powered engine without either of their weak points. Skyactiv-X is set to arrive in showrooms sometime in the next year. Nevertheless, the automaker isn’t resting on its laurels.

Mazda is already looking at the next project – Skyactiv-3. It’s a new gasoline engine designed to increase thermal efficiency by roughly 27 percent, making the engine 57 percent thermally efficient. That’s far better than even the most effacement engines out there. By comparison, Toyota’s new 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder is said to have a thermal efficiency of 40 percent. Mazda says the Skyactive-3’s efficiency means it will achieve well-to-wheel emissions similar to an EV.

What’s well-to-wheel emissions? It’s the overall CO2 emissions emitted from the time oil leaves the well to the time it propels a vehicle. This includes the mining and processing of crude oil.

There is still much work to be done on the Skyactiv-3 powertrain, of course. Mazda is just now launching its gasoline compression-ignition engine, Skyactiv-X, to market, so it will be at least several years before the third-generation of Skyactiv engines are ready for the road.


References


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven

Mazda has always been an interesting automaker. Its combination of sportiness and affordability has given the car-buying public a good value for their dollar. Vehicles like the MX-5 Miata quickly come to mind. But the Miata isn’t Mazda’s only major success story. In fact, the Mazda3 has proven extremely successful since its introduction in 2004 thanks to is sedan and hatchback versions offering a fun-to-drive character with a reasonable sticker price. Now in its third generation, the 3 continues to offer those same attributes, but with an added level of refinement and class.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door equipped with the range-topping Grand Touring trim to see how Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” attitude was holding up. Happily, I can report the little car is a blast to drive and is impressively practical. See how the details shake out below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring.

Exterior

  • Mazda’s Kodo design language is sexy and swoopy
  • Upscale curb appeal
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Passive entry on front doors and hatch

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763127
“The Mazda3 5-Door has a distinctive appearance”

The Mazda3 5-Door has a distinctive appearance. Its sloped hood, sloping rear roofline, and curvy beltline that rises and falls nearly the entire length of the car gives it a very swoopy and stylish stance. Mix that with the large six-sided grille, projector-style LED headlights, chrome accents, and handsome 18-inch wheels, and the Mazda3 5-Door comes off as an execution of attention to detail.

Speaking of those LED headlights, the Grand Touring trim makes them adaptive, turning with the steering wheel to light the curves ahead. LED daytime running lights are also present, giving the 3 a sophisticated, though now common, accent.


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763131
“The rear hatch can be opened just by grabbing the electronic handle.”

Getting into the car is simple thanks to keyless enter. Small rubber buttons on the front door handles must be pushed to lock and unlock. They work well but don’t offer the most satisfying sense of touch. The rear hatch can be opened just by grabbing the electronic handle.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (inches) 106.3
Length (inches)
w/License Plate Holder
180.3
Width (inches) w/o Body Side Protector 70.7
Height, unladen (inches) 57.3
Track front/rear (inches) 61.2/61.4
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,098

Interior

  • Beautiful two-tone interior
  • Heated leather seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 7.0-inch Infotainment system with navigation
  • Nine-speaker Bose sound system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • 20.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind second row
  • 47.1 cubic feet of cargo with second row folded

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763110
“While the Mazda3 5-Door’s exterior is pleasing to look at, it’s the interior that proves more attractive”

While the Mazda3 5-Door’s exterior is pleasing to look at, it’s the interior that proves more attractive. My tester came with white leather seats contrasted by the black dashboard, door panels, and carpet. Aluminum accents are seen on the vents, steering wheel, door handles, and on most of the controls in the center console. The brightwork and white leather work excellently at making the cabin feel light and airy.

The inviting cabin also proved comfortable. Front seat occupants have three-way heated seats, dual-zone climate controls, and the driver gets a heated steering wheel and a six-way powered seat. The steering column is infinitely adjustable, making anyone able to find a comfortable driving position.

Rear seat passengers enjoy a decent amount of legroom and headroom. A folding center armrest makes longer trips more pleasurable and offers a place for drinks. Sadly, the rear seat comfort is compromised by the lack of HVAC vents. Front seat folks will have to share the air.


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763112
“Naturally, being a hatchback, the Mazda3 5-Door offers plenty of space for cargo.”

Naturally, being a hatchback, the Mazda3 5-Door offers plenty of space for cargo. Behind the second row, the car boasts 20.2 cubic feet of room. The 60/40-split bench folds (mostly) flat and increases cargo space to 47.1 cubic feet of room. That’s plenty for a quick run to IKEA.

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring doesn’t skimp on technology, either. The 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Mazda Connect is standard, even on the base trim. While it is a touch screen, the rotary knob controller and shortcut buttons are incredibly intuitive and easy to use. It makes quick work of selecting different menu features, and I found myself using it more than the touchscreen. The only exception was Apple CarPlay, which thrives on touch controls. The nine-speaker Bose audio system proved nice to listen to.

The Mazda’s gauges are simplistic yet informative. The tach is mounted front and center, with speed relegated to a small digital screen. A head-up display also shows the speed, along with the posted speed limit read from traffic signs. Yep, the Grand Touring trim boasts traffic sign recognition. I will say the font of the ancillary gauges looks dated. The LCD screens are a green hue away from looking like an alarm clock.

Aside from its very few quirks, the Mazda3’s interior proved perfectly comfortable and an easy place to spend time. It back seat is plenty big for my six-year-old and her booster seat, too.


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763117

Interior Dimensions

Headroom, front/rear without Moonroof (inches) 38.6/37.6
Headroom, front/rear with Moonroof (inches) 37.6/37.5
Leg Room, front/rear (inches) 42.2/35.8
Shoulder Room, front/rear (inches) 57.2/54.4
Hip Room, front/rear (inches) 55.5/53.5
EPA Passenger Volume (cubic feet) 96.4
EPA Cargo Volume (cubic feet) 20.2
EPA Cargo Volume with rear seats down, (cubic feet) 47.1
EPA Total Volume (cubic feet) 116.6

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter SkyActive four-cylinder standard on Sport trim
  • 2.5-liter SkyActive I-4 standard on Touring & Grand Touring
  • 2.5-liter makes 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet
  • Six-speed manual transmission standard
  • Six-speed automatic is optional
  • Front-wheel drive
  • EPA rated at 26 city / 35 hwy / 30 combined

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763096
“The base Sport trim comes with a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder while the Touring and Grand Touring get more power thanks to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder”

Part of Mazda’s appeal is its SkyActiv engine technology. Without forced induction, the engines produce far more kick than their on-paper stats suggest while providing decent fuel economy.

The base Sport trim comes with a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder while the Touring and Grand Touring get more power thanks to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This little engine makes a respectable 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque while getting an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. Credit is due to the direct fuel injection and Atkinson combustion cycle. The engine is also light thanks to an aluminum block and cylinder head. A six-speed manual comes standard, but my tester had the six-speed automatic.

Thanks to the 2.5-liter’s torque peaking at only 3,250 rpm, the car feels rather quick. The sprint to 60 mph happens in 7.0 seconds, and its top speed is an impressive 132 mph. Much of the 3’s performance can be attributed to its light curb weight of only 3,100 pounds.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Type-SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC
Horsepower 184 HP @ 5,700 RPM
Torque 185 @ 3,250 RPM
Transmission SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual
Optional Trans SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic
Fuel economy 25 / 34 / 29 (Manual trans)
Fuel economy 26 / 35 / 30 (Automatic trans)
Top Speed 130 mph

Safety


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763123

The Mazda3 5-Door, especially in the Grand Touring trim, offers a bevy of active and passive safety systems. Mazda calls it the i-ACTIVESENSE. Combined with the Premium Package on the Grand Touring, it adds adaptive headlights, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Standard safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and smart city brake support (which stops the car automatically between two and 18 mph if the driver doesn’t).

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door is rated a 5-Star vehicle by the IIHS.

Behind the Wheel


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763119
“The Mazda3 might be a front-wheel-drive hatchback, but it offers a very composed and refined on-road experience”

The Mazda3 might be a front-wheel-drive hatchback, but it offers a very composed and refined on-road experience. It’s no Cadillac, but the ride is smooth, and the cabin is mostly free of wind or road noise. As mentioned, the engine feels more powerful than its on-paper stats suggest. Dumping the throttle is met with quick revs and matching movement. The six-speed automatic shifts quickly enough that manually shifting isn’t necessary. And while manual mode is offered via paddle shifters and the +/- on the shifter, slowish responses dull any extra good feelings manual control should bring.

The Mazda3 comes with a Sport mode, too. This greatly increases the car’s fun-to-drive factor. Mostly it boils down to an edgier throttle response and the transmission holding gears longer. Sadly, Sport Mode doesn’t help the transmission’s delayed responses to manual shifts. Don’t get me wrong, though; the response should feel perfectly fine for those not jaded by quick-shifting gearboxes in high-performance supercars. (Testing vehicles is a rough life, you know.)

Pricing


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763126

The Mazda3 5-Door starts at $19,345. Three trim levels are offered, starting with the Sport, Touring, and the Grand Touring. My Grand Touring tester with the automatic transmission carries a base price of $24,945. Both the Touring and Grand Touring come standard with the 2.5-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder.

My tester came with several stand-alone options. They add cost, but also add convenience and style. These items include the $75 cargo mat, the $300 Soul Red Paint, the $100 rear bumper guard, the $125 scuff plates and door sill trim plates.

The biggest cost-adder is the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package. It’s money well spent, however, as it adds GPS navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front lighting, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, auto-dim rearview mirror with HomeLink, a heated steering wheel, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

Add in the $875 destination fee, and the total price comes to $28,020.

Sport MT SKYACTIV-G 2.0L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $19,345
Sport AT Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $20,395
Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $20,840
Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $21,890
Grand Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $23,895
Grand Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $24,945

The Competition

Volkswagen Golf


2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven - image 751678

The Volkswagen Golf is getting a fresh look for 2018, but we won’t get the new look until 2019. The current model is still a good vehicle that offers room for five, foldable rear seats, and a maximum of 52.7 cubic feet. Behind the second row, the Golf boasts 22.8 cubic feet. Both figures are more than the Mazda3 5-Door. While the little German might have the cargo-carrying advantage, the Mazda is certainly more sculpted on the outside and offers an arguably more refined interior. It also lacks several of the Mazda’s active safety features.

The Golf comes powered by 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, but those averse to three pedals can get the six-speed automatic. Fuel economy is decent, with the Golf earning an EPA estimation of 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined with the automatic.

Prices for the VW start at $19,895 for the S trim. Only one other trim is available – the Wolfsburg – which starts at $22,415. Getting the automatic pushes the price north by $1,100

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf

Honda Civic Hatchback


2017 Honda Civic Hatchback - image 689347

The venerable Honda Civic Hatchback recently underwent a complete generational change, bringing with it some major updates. The new exterior is racy and aggressive, which looks pretty good on the big-dog Type R version. The interior is equally sporty, even without the high-performance trims. Users will likely complain about the missing volume knob on the radio, however. The touch-sensitive slider does take some getting used to. The interior offers a respectable amount of room, though. Five people easily fit, along with 25.7 cubic feet of stuff behind the second row. Fold the seats down, and the Civic Hatch offers 46.7 cubic feet of room.

Honda powers the Civic Hatch two engine options: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder worth 158 horsepower and a more lovable 1.5-liter turbo-four with 174 to 180 horsepower, depending on the trim. Of course, there’s the Type R with its 2.0-liter turbo-four worth an impressive 306 horsepower, too, but that isn’t quite in this category. The same can be said for the Volkswagen Golf R.

A six-speed manual is the standard gearbox here, while a CVT is an option. Power only runs to the front wheels.

Prices for the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback start at $20,050 for the base LX trim. The most expensive non-Type R Civic Hatchback is the Sport Touring Trim. It costs $28,650.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback

Conclusion


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763131

The Mazda3 5-Door is an interesting car. It combines a sexy aesthetic with a rewarding driving experienced protected by some advanced active safety tech and finished off with an affordable price tag. Of course, adding the Grand Touring trim and several optional extras makes the price edge closer to $30,000, the total package feels worth it.

That’s especially true when compared to today’s expensive crossovers that offer little advantages over a traditional hatchback or wagon. Who really needs that extra ground clearance anyway? Unless you live up north and routinely drive through snow banks or down rutted roads, a crossover’s extra potential is never tapped.

The Mazda3 5-Door offers a better driving experience than a crossover at a lower price, boasts a respectable amount of cargo room, and rewards its owner with 30 mpg combined on regular gasoline. What’s not to love?

  • Leave it
    • * Passive entry buttons
    • * Gets somewhat pricy with options

References

Mazda3


The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury - image 757890

Price Check: Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring vs the Competition


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763135

The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs

The Mazda3 has been around since 2003, but the current version debuted for the 2014 model year. Thankfully, Mazda hasn’t let it trudge through the last four years unchanged. Small updates each year have kept it fresh. The same is true for the 2018 model year, which is exactly why I wanted to test the latest version. Parked in my driveway is a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring coated in Soul Red Metallic and equipped with the six-speed automatic and the well-equipped Premium Package.

Like before, the Grand Touring trim is the highest of the Mazda3 range, and when combined with the Premium Package, offers some pretty nice features, creature comforts, and a strikingly classy ambiance for well under $30,000. But before I dive into my subjective thoughts and impressions, I wanted to cover the objective stats and specs of this Japanese hatchback.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757897

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door is a compact hatchback with a small footprint. With a total length of 180 inches, the 3 will fit just about anywhere. Yet, thanks to its wheelbase of 106.3 inches and track of 61 inches, it has a stable ride at highway speeds and around corners. Best of all, the car is pretty light at only 3,098 pounds. That means its 184-horsepower four-cylinder has less to move. It also helps with fuel economy, too.

Wheelbase (inches) 106.3
Length (inches)
w/License Plate Holder
180.3
Width (inches) w/o Body Side Protector 70.7
Height, unladen (inches) 57.3
Track front/rear (inches) 61.2/61.4
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,098

Interior Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757919

As compact as the Mazda3’s exterior is, its interior is impressively spacious. Front occupants have a good amount of room, with 42.2 inches of legroom and 38.6 inches of headroom. And despite the car’s track being only 61 inches wide, the front occupants enjoy 57.2 inches of shoulder room.

Rear passengers have a bit less room, though, measuring 35.8 inches in legroom, 37.6 inches of headroom, and 54.4 inches of shoulder room. Still, the back seat is just fine for kids and will easily accommodate two adults on anything shorter than a road trip.

The 5-Door’s advantage is cargo room. There are 20.2 cubic-feet of cargo room behind the second row and 47.1 cubic feet of room with the 60/40-split bench folded flat.

Headroom, front/rear without Moonroof (inches) 38.6/37.6
Headroom, front/rear with Moonroof (inches) 37.6/37.5
Leg Room, front/rear (inches) 42.2/35.8
Shoulder Room, front/rear (inches) 57.2/54.4
Hip Room, front/rear (inches) 55.5/53.5
EPA Passenger Volume (cubic feet) 96.4
EPA Cargo Volume (cubic feet) 20.2
EPA Cargo Volume with rear seats down, (cubic feet) 47.1
EPA Total Volume (cubic feet) 116.6

Drivetrain Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757901

While the Mazda3 comes standard with a 2.0-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder, the Touring and Grand Touring trims come with the more powerful 2.5-liter SkyActive four. The engine makes 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 pound-feet of torque at only 3,250 rpm. A silky smooth six-speed manual comes standard, but the optional six-speed automatic transmission is available.

The sprint to 60 mph takes only 6.8 seconds, and its top speed is listed at 130 mph. Fuel economy is slightly more impressive, though not class-leading. The EPA estimates the Mazda3 5-Door with the automatic at 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. Staying with the manual transmission reduces each figure my one mpg.

Engine Type-SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC
Horsepower 184 HP @ 5,700 RPM
Torque 185 @ 3,250 RPM
Transmission SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual
Optional Trans SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic
Fuel economy 25 / 34 / 29 (Manual trans)
Fuel economy 26 / 35 / 30 (Automatic trans)
Top Speed 130 mph

Pricing Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757894

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door starts at $19,345. Comparatively speaking, that’s a reasonable price. The Volkswagen Golf starts at $20,715, the Honda Civic Hatchback starts at $19,730, the Hyundai Elantra GT starts at $20,235, and the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback starts at $22,195.

My Grand Touring tester with the automatic transmission carries a base price of $24,945. Several á la carte options add cost, but also add convenience and style. These items include the $75 cargo mat, the $300 Soul Red Paint, the $100 rear bumper guard, the $125 scuff plates and door sill trim plates, and the big one – the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package.

The Premium Equipment Package adds navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front lighting, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, auto-dim rearview mirror with HomeLink, a heated steering wheel, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Needless to say, that $1,600 is well spent.

Sport MT SKYACTIV-G 2.0L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $19,345
Sport AT Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $20,395
Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $20,840
Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $21,890
Grand Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $23,895
Grand Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $24,945

References

Mazda3


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757890

The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury

Mazda has made a name for itself by offering affordable cars and crossovers with high-class styling and impressively put-together interiors. I’m reminded of that thanks to the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring parked in my driveway this week. It’s fitted with just about every bell a whistle Mazda offers, which is just about everything you’d want in a sub-$30,000 hatchback.

As for the interior quality, the Grand Touring trim includes some rather soft leather seats with three-way heating and a heated steering wheel. The door panels and center console enjoy the same soft leather, making elbows happy. What isn’t leather is made from high-quality plastics. Piano black plastic surrounds the gearshift and door panel switches, while the dash, steering wheel, and infotainment controls are made from a low-sheen, soft touch material. A few metal accents are scattered through the cabin for a nice touch.

The Grand Touring trim, especially when combined with the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package, brings a ton if active and passive safety items, too. My tester has Adaptive Front lighting that follows the steering angle, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beams, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and lane keep assist. The Mazda3 will even stop itself in low-speed traffic situations thanks to the Smart Brake Support.

But the Mazda3 is more than just a nice interior, safety systems, and a sculpted body. The driving experience feels more high end than its price would suggest. The steering is nicely weighted and the 2.5-liter SkyActiv’s 184 horsepower feels more like 200, especially in sport mode. The six-speed automatic transmission is well sorted and makes the most of the engine’s 185 pound-feet of torque. Holistically, the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring offers tons of amenities with a price that’s well placed in its class.

As for cost, The Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring starts at $24,945. My tester stickers at $28,020, which includes several options and the $875 destination fee.

We will be covering the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring this week, so post your questions and we’ll answer them.

References

Mazda3


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Update: Toyota and Mazda To Build $1.6B Plant in Alabama

Mazda and Toyota just announced that Huntsville, Alabama, has been selected as the location for a new auto manufacturing plant. The two Japanese companies are pooling their resources to build the facility, investing some $1.6 billion with the aim of producing 300,000 units annually.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Update: Toyota and Mazda To Build $1.6B Plant in Alabama - image 757006
“The joint-venture manufacturing plant will split its 300,000-unit annual capacity evenly between Mazda and Toyota models. Toyota will produce the Corolla, while Mazda will produce an as-of-yet unannounced crossover.”

Back in August, Toyota and Mazda announced a partnership to co-develop electric vehicle technology for consumer cars. Now, the two Japanese automakers are once again joining forces, this time to bolster their production power. The joint-venture manufacturing plant will represent investments totaling $1.6 billion split evenly between Mazda and Toyota, with the 300,000-unit annual capacity also split evenly between Mazda and Toyota models. Toyota will produce the Corolla, while Mazda will produce an as-of-yet unannounced crossover.

Mazda President and CEO Masamichi Kogai, as well as Toyota President Akio Toyoda, announced the news today alongside Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

“With this announcement, our world changes overnight,” said Mayor Battle. “Mazda and Toyota, two of the world’s most innovative automakers, have created a legacy project that will provide jobs for decades to come for Huntsville and Alabama.

This will be the eleventh manufacturing facility Toyota owns in the U.S., arriving as a continuation of the company’s goals to invest $10 billion in U.S. manufacturing over the next five years. Toyota’s facilities are spread across 10 U.S. states, including Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Indiana. The southern U.S. states are seen as particularly favorable for automakers, as they generally provide a solid transportation infrastructure, anti-union policies, and less regulation. Daimler and Honda also operate plants in Alabama.

No doubt, this announcement will prompt a victory tweet or two from Donald Trump, and lend credence to the the President’s campaign promise to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

The new plant will open in 2021.

References


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon Father Of The Mazda Rotary, Kenichi Yamamoto, Passes Away at 95

On December 20th, Kenichi Yamamoto, a true icon in the world of Japanese automobiles, passed away at his home in Japan. He was 95 years old. Yamamoto is often credited as the driving force behind the creation of such incredible Mazdas as the Cosmo, the RX-2, the RX-3, the RX-4, the RX-7, and the 787B race car, earning him the nickname “Father of the Mazda Rotary.”

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Father Of The Mazda Rotary, Kenichi Yamamoto, Passes Away at 95 - image 754801
“Kenichi Yamamoto was both an engineer and president at Mazda, and played a large role in bringing the rotary engine to production vehicles”

Kenichi Yamamoto was both an engineer and president at Mazda, and played a large role in bringing the rotary engine to production vehicles. His family announced his death to Japanese media on Christmas day.

Born in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1922, Yamamoto and his family subsequently moved to Hiroshima City. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1944, later landing a job with the Kawanishi Aircraft Company. In 1945, Yamamoto was recruited into the Japanese Navy just before the war’s end.

Afterwards, he returned to his hometown of Hiroshima, which had been utterly devastated by the atomic bomb. His sister had been killed, but his mother had survived and required Yamamoto’s care. As Japan struggled to recover from the war, Yamamoto looked for work, eventually finding a position with Toyo Kogyo, the parent company to Mazda at the time. There, he worked to piece together differentials and transmissions for three-wheeled trucks, but was never really given the opportunity to put his engineering skills to work.


Father Of The Mazda Rotary, Kenichi Yamamoto, Passes Away at 95 - image 754800
“Yamamoto worked diligently, even checking the tolerances of the various parts be assembled against blueprints he happened to find while working. The extra effort got him noticed, and the company brass promoted him”

However, Yamamoto worked diligently, even checking the tolerances of the various parts be assembled against blueprints he happened to find while working, essentially becoming his own quality control expert. The extra effort got him noticed, and the company brass promoted him to the engineering department where, at the age of 25, he designed Mazda’s first OHV engine.

In 1959, Yamamoto became deputy manager of Engine and Vehicle Design, and oversaw the brand’s first passenger car, the R360. Later, he became part of the “47 Ronin,” an elite group of engineers selected to run the company’s Rotary Engine Division. His work with the 47 Ronin culminated in the release of the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S in 1967, the company’s first rotary passenger car, and its first sports car to boot.


Father Of The Mazda Rotary, Kenichi Yamamoto, Passes Away at 95 - image 754804
“Yamamoto later became one of the “47 Ronin,” an elite group of engineers selected to run the company's Rotary Engine Division. His work there culminated in the release of the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S in 1967.”

Yamamoto later helped to develop the rotary platform to become more efficient under revised air quality control standards, and even wrote an entire engineering book delving into the intricacies of the triangle-shaped engine. He became Mazda’s president in 1984, and held a position as chairman until 1992.

In addition to the Cosmo and RX line of vehicles, Yamamoto also helped to develop the 787B, noteworthy as the first (and thus far, only) Japanese car to take top honors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


2005 Mazda RX-8 - image 25627
“At the launch of the RX-8, Yamamoto wrote of the “techno-romanticist spirit,” a fusion of romance and technology that helped birth a laundry list of iconic rotary-powered machines under his unwavering creative energy”

Yamamoto was inducted into the Japanese Automotive Hall of Fame in 2007, recognizing his incredible contributions to Mazda and the industry as a whole.

At the launch of Mazda’s last rotary-powered car, the RX-8, Yamamoto wrote of the “techno-romanticist spirit,” a fusion of romance and technology that helped birth a laundry list of iconic rotary-powered machines under his unwavering creative energy. It’s this spirit that we hope lives on well into the future.

References

Mazda Cosmo


Father Of The Mazda Rotary, Kenichi Yamamoto, Passes Away at 95 - image 754806

Read our full review on the 1967-1972 Mazda Cosmo.

Mazda RX-7


2001 Mazda RX7 - image 25587

Read our full review on the 2001 Mazda RX-7.

Mazda 787B


1991 Mazda 787B - image 10239

Read our full review on the 1991 Mazda 787B.

Mazda RX-8


2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 - image 312501

Read our full review on the 2011 Mazda RX-8.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color

The current Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t old. In fact, it just debuted for the 2016 model year. Well, Mazda isn’t letting the icon age without change. The retractable fastback option came in 2017, and now for 2018, the standard MX-5 gets a few key updates.

New body and top colors bring fresh life while new interior leather options come to the range-topping Grand Touring trim. Mazda’s design team wasn’t the only ones to work their magic. The engineers retuned the rear suspension and power steering, likely matching the changes given to the Miata RF in 2017.

Owners of the performance-minded Club model can now get the Brembo/BBS Package, which comes with several items including – you guessed it – Brembo brakes and BBS wheels. The Club also now has upgraded 17-inch wheels, a better Bose sound system, and heated cloth seats for those chilly nighttime drives with the top down. And last but not least, the base Sport model now comes standard with the Mazda Connect infotainment system with the 7.0-inch display.

Continue reading for more information.

Color Updates


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614551
“The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal”

Mazda isn’t changing the Miata’s sheet metal, but rather giving customers more choices in paint color and soft top color. The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal. That sweet Machine Gray Metallic found on the Miata RF can now be had on the convertible, too. Color options for the tops now include that beautiful Dark Cherry. Subjectively, the Dark Cherry looks amazing when paired with the Machine Gray body color.

Inside, Mazda is has expanded the availability of the Nappa leather seats in the Auburn color to the Grand Touring. Before, only the Launch Edition came with that interior combination.

The MX-5 Club trim now has the option of heated cloth seats with red contrast stitching. Club models that opt for the Brembo/BBS Package also come standard with heated black leather seats. Those wanting more of a track-ready machine can get Recaro sport seats with the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package.

Of course, Mazda won’t just give you these new body colors or offer the Auburn Nappa leather for free. Here is how the prices break down:

Option Cost
Auburn Nappa Leather $300
Soul Red Crystal $595
Machine Gray Metallic $300
Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200

Brembo/BBS Package


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753895
“The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty”

A returning option for the 2018 MX-5 Club is the Brembo/BBS Package. As the name suggests, this is a big brake package with BBS wheels. The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty, though Mazda did not mention any better braking performance or a size increase in the brakes themselves. Those BBS wheels are multi-spoke, gunmetal gray 17-inch alloys. Like before, the Brembo/BBS Package adds exterior aerodynamic features like side sill extensions and a rear bumper skirt.

New to the 2018 MX-5 is the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package. Heated Recaro sport seats replace the heated leather seats that come with the standard Brembo/BBS Package. Those who frequently track their MX-5 should find the seats more appropriate for the task.

On-Sale Date


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753894

The updated 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata will begin arriving in showrooms January 2018.
Prices start at $25,295, which is a $380 increase over the 2017 model.

6-Speed Manual Transmission 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
MX-5 Sport $25,295 $26,645
MX-5 Club $29,155 $29,755
• Club Brembo/BBS Package (6MT Only) $3,770
• Club Brembo/BBS RECARO Package (6MT Only) $4,470
MX-5 Grand Touring $30,195 $31,270

References

Mazda MX-5


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614529

Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda MX-5.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color

The current Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t old. In fact, it just debuted for the 2016 model year. Well, Mazda isn’t letting the icon age without change. The retractable fastback option came in 2017, and now for 2018, the standard MX-5 gets a few key updates.

New body and top colors bring fresh life while new interior leather options come to the range-topping Grand Touring trim. Mazda’s design team wasn’t the only ones to work their magic. The engineers retuned the rear suspension and power steering, likely matching the changes given to the Miata RF in 2017.

Owners of the performance-minded Club model can now get the Brembo/BBS Package, which comes with several items including – you guessed it – Brembo brakes and BBS wheels. The Club also now has upgraded 17-inch wheels, a better Bose sound system, and heated cloth seats for those chilly nighttime drives with the top down. And last but not least, the base Sport model now comes standard with the Mazda Connect infotainment system with the 7.0-inch display.

Continue reading for more information.

Color Updates


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614551
“The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal”

Mazda isn’t changing the Miata’s sheet metal, but rather giving customers more choices in paint color and soft top color. The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal. That sweet Machine Gray Metallic found on the Miata RF can now be had on the convertible, too. Color options for the tops now include that beautiful Dark Cherry. Subjectively, the Dark Cherry looks amazing when paired with the Machine Gray body color.

Inside, Mazda is has expanded the availability of the Nappa leather seats in the Auburn color to the Grand Touring. Before, only the Launch Edition came with that interior combination.

The MX-5 Club trim now has the option of heated cloth seats with red contrast stitching. Club models that opt for the Brembo/BBS Package also come standard with heated black leather seats. Those wanting more of a track-ready machine can get Recaro sport seats with the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package.

Of course, Mazda won’t just give you these new body colors or offer the Auburn Nappa leather for free. Here is how the prices break down:

Option Cost
Auburn Nappa Leather $300
Soul Red Crystal $595
Machine Gray Metallic $300
Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200

Brembo/BBS Package


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753895
“The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty”

A returning option for the 2018 MX-5 Club is the Brembo/BBS Package. As the name suggests, this is a big brake package with BBS wheels. The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty, though Mazda did not mention any better braking performance or a size increase in the brakes themselves. Those BBS wheels are multi-spoke, gunmetal gray 17-inch alloys. Like before, the Brembo/BBS Package adds exterior aerodynamic features like side sill extensions and a rear bumper skirt.

New to the 2018 MX-5 is the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package. Heated Recaro sport seats replace the heated leather seats that come with the standard Brembo/BBS Package. Those who frequently track their MX-5 should find the seats more appropriate for the task.

On-Sale Date


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753894

The updated 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata will begin arriving in showrooms January 2018.
Prices start at $25,295, which is a $380 increase over the 2017 model.

6-Speed Manual Transmission 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
MX-5 Sport $25,295 $26,645
MX-5 Club $29,155 $29,755
• Club Brembo/BBS Package (6MT Only) $3,770
• Club Brembo/BBS RECARO Package (6MT Only) $4,470
MX-5 Grand Touring $30,195 $31,270

References

Mazda MX-5


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614529

Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda MX-5.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata – Pricing and Specs

Before they shut down for the holidays Mazda North American Operations decided to announce the specs and details of the upgraded 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata so you can spend your Christmas dreaming about it. You won’t have to wait too long though, as the 2018 Miata goes on sale in early January, priced from $25,295.

As for the new stuff the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with, customers can choose between a new Dark Cherry or Black soft top, Auburn-colored interior and Nappa leather seating. These, formerly special edition items for the Launch version, can now be ordered for Grand Touring model. Changes are not just cosmetic, as the new Miata also gets re-tuned rear suspension and power steering for better handling.

Those wanting more tech gadgetry in their car will be glad to know 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with a standard MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system with 7-inch full-color touchscreen display, multi-function Commander and HD Radio connectivity, plus Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry. The base Sport trim ($25,295) also boasts LED lights, cloth bucket seats, leather-wrapped shift knob and handbrake, Bluetooth phone pairing and audio streaming, dual cupholders and one USB port.

Equipment list for other trim levels are as follows:

MX-5 Club ($29,155) introduces newly heated cloth seats with red stitching, and it also comes standard with 17-inch dark gunmetal aluminum alloy wheels, a BOSE® 9-speaker Premium audio system, including driver and passenger headrest speakers. MX-5 Club’s upgrades over MX-5 Sport include two USB ports and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Models equipped with the six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission feature Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential and a shock tower brace.

Available for MX-5 Club models is the Brembo/BBS Package ($3,770), which now includes heated, black leather-trimmed seats, replacing the standard cloth seats. The features aerodynamic side still extensions, a rear bumper skirt, forged 17-inch BBS wheels and front Brembo brakes that provide greater heat tolerances in heavy braking. The new model year also ushers in the new Brembo/BBS RECARO Package ($4,470) that builds on the Brembo/BBS Package and substitutes the leather-trimmed seats for heated, RECARO sport seats.

MX-5 Grand Touring ($30,195) comes standard with heated, leather-trimmed seats, automatic climate control, automatic on/off headlights, High Beam Control with Adaptive Front-lighting System, Lane Departure Warning, auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation, rain-sensing windshield wipers and additional sound absorption material in its cloth headliner, among a much longer list of creature-comfort features.

The post 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata – Pricing and Specs appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport Limited Edition for UK

Feast your eyes on what is perhaps the ultimate version of the lovely MX-5, at least before you go aftermarket. The new Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport is a limited edition of just 300 units for the United Kingdom. It boasts not just special exterior and interior appointments, but also the best engine Mazda has to offer for this car. 

And it starts at £25,595. There is a lot of value packed in the Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport, beginning with the 2.0 liter SKYACTIV-G which produces 160 horsepower. The power is complemented with a limited slip differential, Bilstein dampers and a strut brace. So to drive, the Z-Sport is significantly sharper than its non-Z brethren. The new 17 inch BBS wheels also help with this.

The black rims are part of the exclusive appearance package for the Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport. Other highlights include deep cherry red fabric hood and Machine Grey Metallic paint. Put together, they give the little sports car remarkably good looks and plenty of attitude. As for the interior, the 25 grand buys you some really good features such as Stone Leather seats and Radiant Ebony Mica paint, brushed aluminium dash inserts, alloy pedals and coordinated stitching on the steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake. Each car also comes with a numbered plaque.






Commenting on the launch of the new MX-5 Z-Sport, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director Mazda Motors UK said, “the MX-5’s new cherry coloured roof was shown for the first time in public at the recent Tokyo Motor Show where it received a very positive reception. I’m delighted that we can bring it to UK MX-5 buyers as part of the exciting Z-Sport limited edition model.” Adding, “We’ve had a long tradition of producing distinctive limited edition MX-5s that allow customers to drive a sports car with stand-out looks and enhanced equipment, and the new Z-Sport is one of the best yet. The stunning combination of the cherry red roof and Machine Grey Metallic paint make this one of the most exclusive looking MX-5s we’ve ever offered and I’m sure it will be a very popular choice when it arrives in dealerships next March.”

The post Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport Limited Edition for UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon BBR Mazda MX-5 ND Stage 1 Turbo Upgrade Offers 210 bhp

Lack of big power is one of the characteristics of the Mazda MX-5 sports car. It’s deliberate, so as to make you work the engine and gearbox and find the intrinsic joy there is in that. But some people prefer more get up and go and for them British tuner BBR has a new turbo upgrade package that breathes more life into the MX-5’s tiny little heart. 

BBR Mazda MX-5 ND Stage 1 turbocharger upgrade for the 1498cc SKYACTIV-G engine ups the power to 210 bhp which is a staggering 81 bhp more the standard. It also bumps the torque 197 lb.ft of torque (86lb.ft more than stock). The col thing about this upgrade is that the real torque still kicks in at fairly high rpm (above 3,000 rpm, peaking at 4,100 rpm). So you still get to rev the nuts of that motor and wring it out through the snappy gearbox.

The key aspect of BBR Mazda MX-5 ND turbo upgrade is the tuner’s exclusive TSX28-67R twin-scroll turbocharger. It comes with bespoke casing,  front-mounted air to air intercooler,  a high-flow K&N induction system and BBR’s renowned Starchip / EcuTek RaceRom ECU software package, which includes revised fuel, ignition and boost calibration. The turbo boot in stage 1 treatment is set at 7 psi.

BBR Mazda MX-5 ND Stage 1 turbo package is priced at £4995.00 including installation.

“BBR’s early development work proved Mazda has done a great job with the 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine, so power gains beyond remapping without forced induction and considerable effort are likely to be negligible,” explains BBR GTi Ltd Managing Director, Neil McKay.

The post BBR Mazda MX-5 ND Stage 1 Turbo Upgrade Offers 210 bhp appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RX-7

After many years of rumors, Mazda has finally confirmed that the beloved RX-7 will get a successor by the end of the decade. The confirmation came at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where the Japanese brand unveiled the RX-VISION, a front-engined, RWD concept that sports an aggressive interpretation of Mazda’s KODO design language. What’s more, the company also confirmed it will have a new-generation rotary engine under the hood.

Mazda didn’t say when the production car will arrive in showrooms, but it seems that the next-gen RX-7’s development depends on how fast the engineers can come up with a reliable and fuel-efficient Wankel powerplant. More details should become available in 2016, but until that happens, we created a rendering of the production vehicle, as well as a speculative review about what the next-gen RX-7 might bring to the table.

Update 12/07/2017: Mazda has been caught testing the next-gen Wankel engine. Unfortunately, it was being testing in an older RX-8 shell instead of a full-body prototype of the next-gen RX-7, but it’ll do for now. The good news is that it is practically confirmation that a next-gen RX is, indeed, on the way. Check out our spy shots section below to see the RX-8 prototype with the next-gen Wankel and to hear what we know.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Mazda RX-7.

Wankel Testing Session – 12/7/2017


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751672

2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751675

As you can see from the images here, this prototype is all Mazda RX-8 but what lurks under the metal is where things really get interesting. Word has it that the engine lurking under that hood is a 1.6-liter, two-rotor, turbocharged engine that will deliver at least 400 horsepower. Let me say that again… 400 HORSEPOWER!!! There are also rumors that an electric motor could be thrown into the works, making the next-gen RX-7 a mild hybrid that’s good for some 450 horsepower – the kind of numbers that will have Porsche Cayman owners crying like little girls when they get beat by a Mazda. The weight of the next-gen RX-7 is expected to peg around 1,300 pounds or about 2,900 pounds, a figure that should make for a very agile and quick ride.

Expect the next-gen RX-7, which could very well be called the RX-9, to make its debut sometime closer to 2020. Even though we still have some time to wait, we’re willing to bet the Mazda has something special planned for 2019 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wankel Engine’s first debut by Felix Wankel and the 50th anniversary of the engines true job – powering the Mazda Cosmo II. So, expect there to be a concept or, at the very least, a full-body prototype of the RX-7 running around by then. Mazda won’t let that year go by unnoticed, that’s for sure.

Exterior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

As with most concept cars, the RX-VISION will go through some changes before it becomes a production vehicle. Our rendering depicts a slightly toned down version of the Tokyo study, equipped with several production-friendly features.

“Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn't likely to make it on the production car”

Our artist started off by giving the RX-VISION a taller roof. Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn’t likely to make it on the production car, as it would impact both head and shoulder room. Fortunately, the concept doesn’t seem to lose much of its sexy proportions with a taller roof, a less raked front windscreen, a visible B-pillar, and chrome window surrounds. Other changes to the car’s profile include production door handles, a slightly larger grille on the front fender, and new, multi-spoke wheels.

Up front, we expect the RX-7 to gain a revised grille and bumper and a new pair of headlamps. Although the overall shape and size of the production grille should remain similar, the unit will most likely receive a chrome surround and the horizontal slats seen on all current Mazdas. Below, the bumper side intakes are a bit larger in our rendering, while the splitter and the center section remained unchanged. The headlamps should get the most changes, as the concept’s slim units are far too exotic for a production vehicle. But, even though the lower section will most likely be based on Mazda’s current headlamp design, the upper, curved LED strip could find its way on the production car. Finally, we rounded out the production rendering with a standard hood and a Mazda emblem on the nose, while also removing the one in the grille.

Since the rear of the RX-VISION isn’t exactly wild, Mazda will probably retain most of the features on the production coupe. The RX-7, however, could get a revised tailgate, mildly redesigned taillights without the “floating” spoiler, and a different diffuser.

Interior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653162

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

Unlike many concept cars, the RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior that could go into production today. However, Mazda will most likely change a few things here and there, such as the instrument cluster, the door panels, and the center console. The latter is likely to receive the most revisions, as the RX-7 will receive a standard center stack with various buttons and knobs. An infotainment system and a large display should also be added, but it remains to be seen whether the screen will be mounted atop the dashboard — like seen in many modern Mazda vehicles — or incorporated into the center stack. Also look for a multi-function steering wheel and a more comprehensive instrument cluster behind it.

As far as the large amounts of leather and aluminum inserts seen in the concept go, expect them to be available on higher trims. Much like the MX-5, the RX-7 needs to be a bit more affordable than its competitors, which means that the entry-level model will feature less or no leather at all. Still, the cabin should look sporty and come in two-tone combos on the base version as well.

Drivetrain


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653165

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

“Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.”

The drivetrain is the RX-7’s biggest mystery so far, as Mazda has nothing to say about the engine aside from the fact that it will be a Wankel and called the SkyActiv-R. A company representative, however, hinted that it might use turbocharging and that the sports car will be aimed at the Porsche Cayman. Given the German coupe comes with at least 275 horsepower in base trim, the RX-7, which will be lighter than the Cayman at around 2,700 pounds, would need at least 250 horses to make an impact in this niche. Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.

Word has it Mazda is busy developing the new-generation rotary, aiming to achieve fuel economy and CO2 emission figures “at the same level for an equivalent standard petrol engine,” according to head of R&D Kiyoshi Fujiwara via Top Gear.

Prices

It’s definitely too early to talk about prices, but it’s safe to assume that the RX-7 will become Mazda’s most expensive product in the current lineup. The final sticker depends on many factors, but the sports car will most likely cost more than $35,000 in base trim.

The much anticipated debut is rumored to take place in May 2017, when the Mazda Cosmo — the company’s first rotary-powered vehicle — celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Competition

Toyota Supra


2019 Toyota Supra - image 710703

That battle between the Mazda RX-7 and the Toyota Supra is as iconic as Chevy vs. Ford. Both were low-slung, take-no-shit, rear-wheel-drive monsters that begged to be tuned to the max. At first, it seemed like the new RX-7 would go unopposed by its Toyota-bred rival, but the Supra is about ready to make its debut once Toyota (and BMW, since it was built in partnership between the two brands,) finalize the specs. We expect to see the new Supra debut within the next year boasting a range of engine options that include four-cylinder engines offered up by BMW – a realistic expectation considering the shared platform. However, the rumor mill also has it that a six-cylinder hybrid drivetrain is also on the books, and if that’s the case, it’s a good thing considering the RX-7 is looking at 400 to 450 ponies depending on hybridization. Pricing for the new Supra is still way up in the air, but expect it to run somewhere around $40,000 in base form as more than $50,000 in higher-performance trims. Either way, it could still prove to be more expensive than its Mazda rival.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.

Porsche 718 Cayman


2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185

The Porsche Cayman would never have been considered a competitor with the old RX-7, considering there was such a huge difference in power (the old RX-7 rocket out just 255 horsepower in 1995.) However, the new RX-7 (or maybe RX-9) is slated to have anywhere between 400 and 450 horsepower from that new Wankel engine. That puts it well above the base 718 Cayman, and even higher than the Cayman S and Cayman GTS. The base model comes with 300 horsepower on tap and can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.9 seconds. The Cayman S pushes 350 ponies, enough to drop that sprint time down to 4.4 seconds. Move up to the GTS that goes on sale for the 2018 model year, and you’re looking at 365 ponies from a 2.5-liter flat-four. Zilch to 60 mph comes in 3.9 seconds with this baby, which is right around the 3.8 – 4.0-second sprint we’re expecting from the new RX-7 in base form. There’s no word on the RX-7’s price yet, for obvious reasons, but you can step into a new base Cayman for $55,300 or a Cayman S for $67,000. The GTS, which will more accurately compete with the new RX-7? It comes in at $79,800, well above the base price we’re expecting for the new RX-7. Take that Porsche fanboys!

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654566

It’s obviously way too early to draw a proper conclusion here, as we know nothing about the drivetrain, performance, pricing, and design of the upcoming RX-7. Judging by how important this nameplate is to Mazda, and looking at the concept car that previews its revival, the next-gen sports car is exciting to say the least. Granted, the big news here is that the new RX-7 will get a rotary engine, but this could go either way. Development will likely take more than a year, and I have a feeling that the RX-7 will see at least one delay because of that. Also, with Wankel powerplants not exactly successful in the past, drivers will probably be a bit skeptical at first, at least until the new unit proves to be reliable and efficient.

  • Leave it
    • Not yet confirmed for production
    • Launch date unknown
    • Rotary engine still under development

References

Mazda RX-8


2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 - image 340913

Read our full review on the 2011 Mazda RX-8


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

History


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 340899

The Mazda RX-7 was introduced in 1978 as replacement for the Savanna RX-7. The sports car joined the company’s lineup as the second vehicle to feature a Wankel rotary engine, being sold alongside the Cosmo luxury coupe. Initially powered by a 1.1-liter unit, the first-generation RX-7 received a larger, 1.3-liter engine rated at 133 horsepower later in its life. In 1983, two years before the second-gen model was introduced, a turbo version of the 1.1-liter delivered as much as 163 ponies. A redesigned model followed in 1986. The 1.1-liter engine was dropped, while the 1.3-liter version received a turbocharger of its own. Power ranged between 146 and 202 horsepower, although the latter was only offered between 1989 and 1991. 1992 marked the introduction of the third-generation model and a hefty update to the already proven 13B rotary engine. Output now began from 252 horsepower and went up to 276 in the third-generation’s final years. The RX-7 was axed in 2002, as Mazda was working on the RX-8.

Launched in 2003, the RX-8 was motivated by the same 1.3-liter, Wankel rotary engine as its predecessor. In the first-generation model, output ranged from 189 to 247 horsepower, and the engine mated to either a six-speed manual, a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic depending on the market. Designed as a rear-wheel-drive, four-door coupe, the RX-8 became famous due to its rear-hinged, freestyle rear door.

The second-generation model was introduced in 2009 with mild updates. The revised iteration lasted on the market only until 2012, when Mazda put an end to the RX legacy. Although the RX-8 had a remarkable platform underneath its body, the coupe’s engine suffered from excessive oil consumption and poor mileage. Hopefully, that will change with Mazda’s next-generation of rotary units.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RX-7

After many years of rumors, Mazda has finally confirmed that the beloved RX-7 will get a successor by the end of the decade. The confirmation came at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where the Japanese brand unveiled the RX-VISION, a front-engined, RWD concept that sports an aggressive interpretation of Mazda’s KODO design language. What’s more, the company also confirmed it will have a new-generation rotary engine under the hood.

Mazda didn’t say when the production car will arrive in showrooms, but it seems that the next-gen RX-7’s development depends on how fast the engineers can come up with a reliable and fuel-efficient Wankel powerplant. More details should become available in 2016, but until that happens, we created a rendering of the production vehicle, as well as a speculative review about what the next-gen RX-7 might bring to the table.

Update 12/07/2017: Mazda has been caught testing the next-gen Wankel engine. Unfortunately, it was being testing in an older RX-8 shell instead of a full-body prototype of the next-gen RX-7, but it’ll do for now. The good news is that it is practically confirmation that a next-gen RX is, indeed, on the way. Check out our spy shots section below to see the RX-8 prototype with the next-gen Wankel and to hear what we know.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Mazda RX-7.

Wankel Testing Session – 12/7/2017


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751672

2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751675

As you can see from the images here, this prototype is all Mazda RX-8 but what lurks under the metal is where things really get interesting. Word has it that the engine lurking under that hood is a 1.6-liter, two-rotor, turbocharged engine that will deliver at least 400 horsepower. Let me say that again… 400 HORSEPOWER!!! There are also rumors that an electric motor could be thrown into the works, making the next-gen RX-7 a mild hybrid that’s good for some 450 horsepower – the kind of numbers that will have Porsche Cayman owners crying like little girls when they get beat by a Mazda. The weight of the next-gen RX-7 is expected to peg around 1,300 pounds or about 2,900 pounds, a figure that should make for a very agile and quick ride.

Expect the next-gen RX-7, which could very well be called the RX-9, to make its debut sometime closer to 2020. Even though we still have some time to wait, we’re willing to bet the Mazda has something special planned for 2019 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wankel Engine’s first debut by Felix Wankel and the 50th anniversary of the engines true job – powering the Mazda Cosmo II. So, expect there to be a concept or, at the very least, a full-body prototype of the RX-7 running around by then. Mazda won’t let that year go by unnoticed, that’s for sure.

Exterior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

As with most concept cars, the RX-VISION will go through some changes before it becomes a production vehicle. Our rendering depicts a slightly toned down version of the Tokyo study, equipped with several production-friendly features.

“Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn't likely to make it on the production car”

Our artist started off by giving the RX-VISION a taller roof. Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn’t likely to make it on the production car, as it would impact both head and shoulder room. Fortunately, the concept doesn’t seem to lose much of its sexy proportions with a taller roof, a less raked front windscreen, a visible B-pillar, and chrome window surrounds. Other changes to the car’s profile include production door handles, a slightly larger grille on the front fender, and new, multi-spoke wheels.

Up front, we expect the RX-7 to gain a revised grille and bumper and a new pair of headlamps. Although the overall shape and size of the production grille should remain similar, the unit will most likely receive a chrome surround and the horizontal slats seen on all current Mazdas. Below, the bumper side intakes are a bit larger in our rendering, while the splitter and the center section remained unchanged. The headlamps should get the most changes, as the concept’s slim units are far too exotic for a production vehicle. But, even though the lower section will most likely be based on Mazda’s current headlamp design, the upper, curved LED strip could find its way on the production car. Finally, we rounded out the production rendering with a standard hood and a Mazda emblem on the nose, while also removing the one in the grille.

Since the rear of the RX-VISION isn’t exactly wild, Mazda will probably retain most of the features on the production coupe. The RX-7, however, could get a revised tailgate, mildly redesigned taillights without the “floating” spoiler, and a different diffuser.

Interior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653162

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

Unlike many concept cars, the RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior that could go into production today. However, Mazda will most likely change a few things here and there, such as the instrument cluster, the door panels, and the center console. The latter is likely to receive the most revisions, as the RX-7 will receive a standard center stack with various buttons and knobs. An infotainment system and a large display should also be added, but it remains to be seen whether the screen will be mounted atop the dashboard — like seen in many modern Mazda vehicles — or incorporated into the center stack. Also look for a multi-function steering wheel and a more comprehensive instrument cluster behind it.

As far as the large amounts of leather and aluminum inserts seen in the concept go, expect them to be available on higher trims. Much like the MX-5, the RX-7 needs to be a bit more affordable than its competitors, which means that the entry-level model will feature less or no leather at all. Still, the cabin should look sporty and come in two-tone combos on the base version as well.

Drivetrain


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653165

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

“Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.”

The drivetrain is the RX-7’s biggest mystery so far, as Mazda has nothing to say about the engine aside from the fact that it will be a Wankel and called the SkyActiv-R. A company representative, however, hinted that it might use turbocharging and that the sports car will be aimed at the Porsche Cayman. Given the German coupe comes with at least 275 horsepower in base trim, the RX-7, which will be lighter than the Cayman at around 2,700 pounds, would need at least 250 horses to make an impact in this niche. Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.

Word has it Mazda is busy developing the new-generation rotary, aiming to achieve fuel economy and CO2 emission figures “at the same level for an equivalent standard petrol engine,” according to head of R&D Kiyoshi Fujiwara via Top Gear.

Prices

It’s definitely too early to talk about prices, but it’s safe to assume that the RX-7 will become Mazda’s most expensive product in the current lineup. The final sticker depends on many factors, but the sports car will most likely cost more than $35,000 in base trim.

The much anticipated debut is rumored to take place in May 2017, when the Mazda Cosmo — the company’s first rotary-powered vehicle — celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Competition

Toyota Supra


2019 Toyota Supra - image 710703

That battle between the Mazda RX-7 and the Toyota Supra is as iconic as Chevy vs. Ford. Both were low-slung, take-no-shit, rear-wheel-drive monsters that begged to be tuned to the max. At first, it seemed like the new RX-7 would go unopposed by its Toyota-bred rival, but the Supra is about ready to make its debut once Toyota (and BMW, since it was built in partnership between the two brands,) finalize the specs. We expect to see the new Supra debut within the next year boasting a range of engine options that include four-cylinder engines offered up by BMW – a realistic expectation considering the shared platform. However, the rumor mill also has it that a six-cylinder hybrid drivetrain is also on the books, and if that’s the case, it’s a good thing considering the RX-7 is looking at 400 to 450 ponies depending on hybridization. Pricing for the new Supra is still way up in the air, but expect it to run somewhere around $40,000 in base form as more than $50,000 in higher-performance trims. Either way, it could still prove to be more expensive than its Mazda rival.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.

Porsche 718 Cayman


2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185

The Porsche Cayman would never have been considered a competitor with the old RX-7, considering there was such a huge difference in power (the old RX-7 rocket out just 255 horsepower in 1995.) However, the new RX-7 (or maybe RX-9) is slated to have anywhere between 400 and 450 horsepower from that new Wankel engine. That puts it well above the base 718 Cayman, and even higher than the Cayman S and Cayman GTS. The base model comes with 300 horsepower on tap and can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.9 seconds. The Cayman S pushes 350 ponies, enough to drop that sprint time down to 4.4 seconds. Move up to the GTS that goes on sale for the 2018 model year, and you’re looking at 365 ponies from a 2.5-liter flat-four. Zilch to 60 mph comes in 3.9 seconds with this baby, which is right around the 3.8 – 4.0-second sprint we’re expecting from the new RX-7 in base form. There’s no word on the RX-7’s price yet, for obvious reasons, but you can step into a new base Cayman for $55,300 or a Cayman S for $67,000. The GTS, which will more accurately compete with the new RX-7? It comes in at $79,800, well above the base price we’re expecting for the new RX-7. Take that Porsche fanboys!

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654566

It’s obviously way too early to draw a proper conclusion here, as we know nothing about the drivetrain, performance, pricing, and design of the upcoming RX-7. Judging by how important this nameplate is to Mazda, and looking at the concept car that previews its revival, the next-gen sports car is exciting to say the least. Granted, the big news here is that the new RX-7 will get a rotary engine, but this could go either way. Development will likely take more than a year, and I have a feeling that the RX-7 will see at least one delay because of that. Also, with Wankel powerplants not exactly successful in the past, drivers will probably be a bit skeptical at first, at least until the new unit proves to be reliable and efficient.

  • Leave it
    • Not yet confirmed for production
    • Launch date unknown
    • Rotary engine still under development

References

Mazda RX-8


2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 - image 340913

Read our full review on the 2011 Mazda RX-8


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

History


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 340899

The Mazda RX-7 was introduced in 1978 as replacement for the Savanna RX-7. The sports car joined the company’s lineup as the second vehicle to feature a Wankel rotary engine, being sold alongside the Cosmo luxury coupe. Initially powered by a 1.1-liter unit, the first-generation RX-7 received a larger, 1.3-liter engine rated at 133 horsepower later in its life. In 1983, two years before the second-gen model was introduced, a turbo version of the 1.1-liter delivered as much as 163 ponies. A redesigned model followed in 1986. The 1.1-liter engine was dropped, while the 1.3-liter version received a turbocharger of its own. Power ranged between 146 and 202 horsepower, although the latter was only offered between 1989 and 1991. 1992 marked the introduction of the third-generation model and a hefty update to the already proven 13B rotary engine. Output now began from 252 horsepower and went up to 276 in the third-generation’s final years. The RX-7 was axed in 2002, as Mazda was working on the RX-8.

Launched in 2003, the RX-8 was motivated by the same 1.3-liter, Wankel rotary engine as its predecessor. In the first-generation model, output ranged from 189 to 247 horsepower, and the engine mated to either a six-speed manual, a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic depending on the market. Designed as a rear-wheel-drive, four-door coupe, the RX-8 became famous due to its rear-hinged, freestyle rear door.

The second-generation model was introduced in 2009 with mild updates. The revised iteration lasted on the market only until 2012, when Mazda put an end to the RX legacy. Although the RX-8 had a remarkable platform underneath its body, the coupe’s engine suffered from excessive oil consumption and poor mileage. Hopefully, that will change with Mazda’s next-generation of rotary units.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RX-7

After many years of rumors, Mazda has finally confirmed that the beloved RX-7 will get a successor by the end of the decade. The confirmation came at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where the Japanese brand unveiled the RX-VISION, a front-engined, RWD concept that sports an aggressive interpretation of Mazda’s KODO design language. What’s more, the company also confirmed it will have a new-generation rotary engine under the hood.

Mazda didn’t say when the production car will arrive in showrooms, but it seems that the next-gen RX-7’s development depends on how fast the engineers can come up with a reliable and fuel-efficient Wankel powerplant. More details should become available in 2016, but until that happens, we created a rendering of the production vehicle, as well as a speculative review about what the next-gen RX-7 might bring to the table.

Update 12/07/2017: Mazda has been caught testing the next-gen Wankel engine. Unfortunately, it was being testing in an older RX-8 shell instead of a full-body prototype of the next-gen RX-7, but it’ll do for now. The good news is that it is practically confirmation that a next-gen RX is, indeed, on the way. Check out our spy shots section below to see the RX-8 prototype with the next-gen Wankel and to hear what we know.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Mazda RX-7.

Wankel Testing Session – 12/7/2017


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751672

2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751675

As you can see from the images here, this prototype is all Mazda RX-8 but what lurks under the metal is where things really get interesting. Word has it that the engine lurking under that hood is a 1.6-liter, two-rotor, turbocharged engine that will deliver at least 400 horsepower. Let me say that again… 400 HORSEPOWER!!! There are also rumors that an electric motor could be thrown into the works, making the next-gen RX-7 a mild hybrid that’s good for some 450 horsepower – the kind of numbers that will have Porsche Cayman owners crying like little girls when they get beat by a Mazda. The weight of the next-gen RX-7 is expected to peg around 1,300 pounds or about 2,900 pounds, a figure that should make for a very agile and quick ride.

Expect the next-gen RX-7, which could very well be called the RX-9, to make its debut sometime closer to 2020. Even though we still have some time to wait, we’re willing to bet the Mazda has something special planned for 2019 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wankel Engine’s first debut by Felix Wankel and the 50th anniversary of the engines true job – powering the Mazda Cosmo II. So, expect there to be a concept or, at the very least, a full-body prototype of the RX-7 running around by then. Mazda won’t let that year go by unnoticed, that’s for sure.

Exterior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

As with most concept cars, the RX-VISION will go through some changes before it becomes a production vehicle. Our rendering depicts a slightly toned down version of the Tokyo study, equipped with several production-friendly features.

“Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn't likely to make it on the production car”

Our artist started off by giving the RX-VISION a taller roof. Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn’t likely to make it on the production car, as it would impact both head and shoulder room. Fortunately, the concept doesn’t seem to lose much of its sexy proportions with a taller roof, a less raked front windscreen, a visible B-pillar, and chrome window surrounds. Other changes to the car’s profile include production door handles, a slightly larger grille on the front fender, and new, multi-spoke wheels.

Up front, we expect the RX-7 to gain a revised grille and bumper and a new pair of headlamps. Although the overall shape and size of the production grille should remain similar, the unit will most likely receive a chrome surround and the horizontal slats seen on all current Mazdas. Below, the bumper side intakes are a bit larger in our rendering, while the splitter and the center section remained unchanged. The headlamps should get the most changes, as the concept’s slim units are far too exotic for a production vehicle. But, even though the lower section will most likely be based on Mazda’s current headlamp design, the upper, curved LED strip could find its way on the production car. Finally, we rounded out the production rendering with a standard hood and a Mazda emblem on the nose, while also removing the one in the grille.

Since the rear of the RX-VISION isn’t exactly wild, Mazda will probably retain most of the features on the production coupe. The RX-7, however, could get a revised tailgate, mildly redesigned taillights without the “floating” spoiler, and a different diffuser.

Interior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653162

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

Unlike many concept cars, the RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior that could go into production today. However, Mazda will most likely change a few things here and there, such as the instrument cluster, the door panels, and the center console. The latter is likely to receive the most revisions, as the RX-7 will receive a standard center stack with various buttons and knobs. An infotainment system and a large display should also be added, but it remains to be seen whether the screen will be mounted atop the dashboard — like seen in many modern Mazda vehicles — or incorporated into the center stack. Also look for a multi-function steering wheel and a more comprehensive instrument cluster behind it.

As far as the large amounts of leather and aluminum inserts seen in the concept go, expect them to be available on higher trims. Much like the MX-5, the RX-7 needs to be a bit more affordable than its competitors, which means that the entry-level model will feature less or no leather at all. Still, the cabin should look sporty and come in two-tone combos on the base version as well.

Drivetrain


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653165

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

“Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.”

The drivetrain is the RX-7’s biggest mystery so far, as Mazda has nothing to say about the engine aside from the fact that it will be a Wankel and called the SkyActiv-R. A company representative, however, hinted that it might use turbocharging and that the sports car will be aimed at the Porsche Cayman. Given the German coupe comes with at least 275 horsepower in base trim, the RX-7, which will be lighter than the Cayman at around 2,700 pounds, would need at least 250 horses to make an impact in this niche. Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.

Word has it Mazda is busy developing the new-generation rotary, aiming to achieve fuel economy and CO2 emission figures “at the same level for an equivalent standard petrol engine,” according to head of R&D Kiyoshi Fujiwara via Top Gear.

Prices

It’s definitely too early to talk about prices, but it’s safe to assume that the RX-7 will become Mazda’s most expensive product in the current lineup. The final sticker depends on many factors, but the sports car will most likely cost more than $35,000 in base trim.

The much anticipated debut is rumored to take place in May 2017, when the Mazda Cosmo — the company’s first rotary-powered vehicle — celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Competition

Toyota Supra


2019 Toyota Supra - image 710703

That battle between the Mazda RX-7 and the Toyota Supra is as iconic as Chevy vs. Ford. Both were low-slung, take-no-shit, rear-wheel-drive monsters that begged to be tuned to the max. At first, it seemed like the new RX-7 would go unopposed by its Toyota-bred rival, but the Supra is about ready to make its debut once Toyota (and BMW, since it was built in partnership between the two brands,) finalize the specs. We expect to see the new Supra debut within the next year boasting a range of engine options that include four-cylinder engines offered up by BMW – a realistic expectation considering the shared platform. However, the rumor mill also has it that a six-cylinder hybrid drivetrain is also on the books, and if that’s the case, it’s a good thing considering the RX-7 is looking at 400 to 450 ponies depending on hybridization. Pricing for the new Supra is still way up in the air, but expect it to run somewhere around $40,000 in base form as more than $50,000 in higher-performance trims. Either way, it could still prove to be more expensive than its Mazda rival.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.

Porsche 718 Cayman


2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185

The Porsche Cayman would never have been considered a competitor with the old RX-7, considering there was such a huge difference in power (the old RX-7 rocket out just 255 horsepower in 1995.) However, the new RX-7 (or maybe RX-9) is slated to have anywhere between 400 and 450 horsepower from that new Wankel engine. That puts it well above the base 718 Cayman, and even higher than the Cayman S and Cayman GTS. The base model comes with 300 horsepower on tap and can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.9 seconds. The Cayman S pushes 350 ponies, enough to drop that sprint time down to 4.4 seconds. Move up to the GTS that goes on sale for the 2018 model year, and you’re looking at 365 ponies from a 2.5-liter flat-four. Zilch to 60 mph comes in 3.9 seconds with this baby, which is right around the 3.8 – 4.0-second sprint we’re expecting from the new RX-7 in base form. There’s no word on the RX-7’s price yet, for obvious reasons, but you can step into a new base Cayman for $55,300 or a Cayman S for $67,000. The GTS, which will more accurately compete with the new RX-7? It comes in at $79,800, well above the base price we’re expecting for the new RX-7. Take that Porsche fanboys!

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654566

It’s obviously way too early to draw a proper conclusion here, as we know nothing about the drivetrain, performance, pricing, and design of the upcoming RX-7. Judging by how important this nameplate is to Mazda, and looking at the concept car that previews its revival, the next-gen sports car is exciting to say the least. Granted, the big news here is that the new RX-7 will get a rotary engine, but this could go either way. Development will likely take more than a year, and I have a feeling that the RX-7 will see at least one delay because of that. Also, with Wankel powerplants not exactly successful in the past, drivers will probably be a bit skeptical at first, at least until the new unit proves to be reliable and efficient.

  • Leave it
    • Not yet confirmed for production
    • Launch date unknown
    • Rotary engine still under development

References

Mazda RX-8


2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 - image 340913

Read our full review on the 2011 Mazda RX-8


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

History


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 340899

The Mazda RX-7 was introduced in 1978 as replacement for the Savanna RX-7. The sports car joined the company’s lineup as the second vehicle to feature a Wankel rotary engine, being sold alongside the Cosmo luxury coupe. Initially powered by a 1.1-liter unit, the first-generation RX-7 received a larger, 1.3-liter engine rated at 133 horsepower later in its life. In 1983, two years before the second-gen model was introduced, a turbo version of the 1.1-liter delivered as much as 163 ponies. A redesigned model followed in 1986. The 1.1-liter engine was dropped, while the 1.3-liter version received a turbocharger of its own. Power ranged between 146 and 202 horsepower, although the latter was only offered between 1989 and 1991. 1992 marked the introduction of the third-generation model and a hefty update to the already proven 13B rotary engine. Output now began from 252 horsepower and went up to 276 in the third-generation’s final years. The RX-7 was axed in 2002, as Mazda was working on the RX-8.

Launched in 2003, the RX-8 was motivated by the same 1.3-liter, Wankel rotary engine as its predecessor. In the first-generation model, output ranged from 189 to 247 horsepower, and the engine mated to either a six-speed manual, a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic depending on the market. Designed as a rear-wheel-drive, four-door coupe, the RX-8 became famous due to its rear-hinged, freestyle rear door.

The second-generation model was introduced in 2009 with mild updates. The revised iteration lasted on the market only until 2012, when Mazda put an end to the RX legacy. Although the RX-8 had a remarkable platform underneath its body, the coupe’s engine suffered from excessive oil consumption and poor mileage. Hopefully, that will change with Mazda’s next-generation of rotary units.

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