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Archive for the ‘Mazda’ Category

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.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Could Bring AWD to the Mazda3 and Mazda6 in the U.S.

There’s a lot to like about the new Mazda6. It has a fresh look and a new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that has an output in the range of 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. All that power is sent to the two front wheels courtesy of a standard SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission. The setup is impressive, but if Mazda really wants to elevate the status of the 6, the next logical step would be to throw all-wheel drive into the mix.


2018 Mazda6 - image 748276
“Mazda discussed the possibility of the Mazda6 getting all-wheel-drive capability in response to the huge demand in the U.S. for all-wheel-drive variants”

Mazda North America Operations President and CEO Masahiro Moro discussed the possibility of the Mazda6 getting all-wheel-drive capability in response to the huge demand in the U.S. for all-wheel-drive variants. Moro indicated that the sedan’s current architecture isn’t compatible with an all-wheel-drive system. “We have a layout issue with the sedans, that’s why a four-wheel drive isn’t deployed on the Mazda3 and 6 so far,” he said.

Such is the case, though, when demand is high for a specific product, as it is with four-wheel drive models in the U.S. An automaker like Mazda has to find a way to see if it can accommodate that demand. It’s especially important for a car like the Mazda6, which the Japanese automaker has high hopes for in the American market. To his credit, Moro has already been proactive in figuring out ways to work around the current issues.
“Four-wheel drive becomes a premium queue for US consumers and obviously I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” he said.

Mazda is playing it as it should in this situation. It knows where the market is right now for the Mazda6 in the U.S. It also knows that the company’s current platform limitations rule out all-wheel drive variants for the current 2.5-liter Mazda6. But it’s this same limitation that’s pushing Mazda to look into all the possibilities that will help bring all-wheel-drive models of the Mazda6 to the U.S.

References

Mazda6


2018 Mazda6 - image 748265

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.

Mazda3


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639258

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.



Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon A Quick Look at how the Mazda6 Has Changed for 2018

Sometimes, in the smallest of updates can make a big difference for a car. The new Mazda6 is proof of that. It still looks like the same attractive sedan, but take a closer look at it, and you’ll notice a few subtle tweaks that give the sedan a more refined appearance. Part of the changes is tied to Mazda’s “Mature Elegance” styling, a design language that the automaker first unveiled in its Vision Coupe concept. The new Mazda6 receives some hints of the new aesthetic architecture. That’s on top of the car also receiving a more powerful turbocharged engine. It’s a new day for the new-and-improved Mazda6.

New Year; New Looks

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Let’s start with the exterior of the new Mazda6. Most of the changes are in the front of the sedan. It’s in this section that we see Mazda adopt a bigger front grille that’s similar to the one found on Mercedes-AMG models. The added prominence of the grille extends all the way to the outer edges of the headlamps, far longer than it used to be on the previous version of the model. Just below that is a new layout to the front bumper. The lamps on the old model are now gone, replaced by aggressive chrome strips and a more stylized bumper. The result is a more refined look to a sedan that was already attractive in our eyes. Two new color options are also part of the updates. They’re called Soul Red Chrystal and Machine Gray Metallic. They join an impressive palette of paint options that are being carried over from the previous model.

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There are more significant changes in the interior of the Mazda6 compared to the exterior. Mazda even said that only two pieces from the outgoing model were carried over to the updated version. The steering wheel is one of them, while a few small trim pieces count as the other. Beyond these, the 6’s interior gets a healthy dose of improvements. The dashboard now looks more stretched out. The lower half of it, in particular, stretches from one side to the other with no disturbances to it. That new design also plays into a much clearer center console is a lot cleaner. The center tunnel also looks more refined, thanks to the thick leather trim surrounding it. Speaking of which, the new Mazda6 also gets a bigger inventory of premium materials, including Nappa leather, Sen wood, and UltraSuede NU. It’s hard to make out in the photos, but these items are found on the doors, seats, and dashboard of the Signature trim models.

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As notable as the exterior and interior changes are, the biggest update to the new Mazda6 is found under its hood, specifically the 2.5-liter turbocharged SkyActiv engine that’s making its first appearance on the sedan’s engine lineup. This particular powertrain is notable because it’s the same engine that Mazda has in the CX-9 crossover. It produces 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and features the SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission as the standard gearbox. A six-speed manual transmission is available as an option, but its availability is limited to lower-trim versions of the Mazda6 that don’t use the 2.5-liter turbo mil.

References

Mazda 6


A Quick Look at how the Mazda6 Has Changed for 2018
- image 748259

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.


2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 578952

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda6.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mazda6 Makes a Good Thing Better

Los Angeles Auto Show saw the debut of a refreshed and enhanced version of the popular sedan Mazda6. With improved looks, technologies and features, the new 2018 Mazda6 is set to not only continue the success of its predecessor, but best it. And it seems to be well-equipped to do that. 

If you were expecting radical changes in the design of 2018 Mazda6 you are going to be disappointed. The visual upgrades are limited to nip and tuck stuff around the lights and some new trims. But these small modifications do give the 6 a nice fresh look for the new year and make it seem more grown up than before. The standard LED headlights now integrate fog lamps so the chrome strips on the bumpers can be purely ornamental. You get new 17- and 19-inch wheel designs, and Soul Red Crystal as well as Machine Gray Metallic paint jobs usually reserved for sportier models.

Old Mazda fans will be pleased with the design and quality of cabin in 2018 Mazda6. The main highlights include, depending on the model, Sen wood, Nappa leather and UltraSuede on the doors, seats and dashboard. There is also redesigned, more comfortable seats, and a host of tech features such as 360? View Monitor, reconfigurable 7.0-inch TFT gauge display, 8.0-inch MAZDA CONNECT infotainment display, full-speed Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and windshield-projected Active Driving Display head-up unit.







In terms of powertrain the new Mazda6 launches with two options. The first is a SKYACTIV-G 2.5 naturally aspirated engine with a six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. The second option for higher trim levels is a turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine which is pretty potent at 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Mazda6 benefits from Cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) standard G-Vectoring Control, a Mazda-exclusive technology that makes steering response more direct.

The post 2018 Mazda6 Makes a Good Thing Better appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mazda CX-5 Pricing and Options Announced

The popular compact crossover SUV that is the Mazda CX-5 arrives at dealerships nationwide in the beginning of December in 2018 guise with added features and a base price of $24,150 MSRP. The upgraded features and technology are set to make the CX-5 an even more enticing proposition to customers. 

Those customers are, quite frankly, spoiled for choice. There are a tone of crossovers out there to choose from in all shapes and forms. But only a handful of them offer the same desirable blend of style handling, features and affordability as the 2018 Mazda CX-5. The unique crossover has refreshing style and performance, enhanced in the new model with the addition of cylinder-deactivation technology for SKYACTIV-G 2.5 and safety and refinement updates at all trim levels.

As for the equipment, the new Mazda CX-5 gets standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-wrapped shift knob, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert standard across all models. The base model’s Sport i-ACTIVSENSE Package adds High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, rain-sensing windshield wipers and automatic on/off headlights. Below you find the pricing for each trim along with the cost of optional paint jobs.

2018 Mazda CX-5 MSRP

Front-Wheel Drive i-ACTIV All-Wheel Drive
CX-5 Sport $24,150 $25,450
· Sport i-ACTIVSENSE Package $625 $625
CX-5 Touring $26,215 $27,515
· Touring Preferred Package $1,200 $1,200
CX-5 Grand Touring $29,645 $30,945
· Grand Touring Premium Package $1,395 $1,395

Premium paint colors:

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

The post 2018 Mazda CX-5 Pricing and Options Announced appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda6

The Mazda6 is the Japanese brand’s mid-size flagship sedan, offering customers premium appointment inside the cabin and a somewhat sporty driving experience behind the wheel. Originally offered in 2002 as a replacement for the 616 and 626, the Mazda6 is now well into its third generation, which dropped in August of 2012 at the Moscow International Motor Show. Now it’s time for a substantial mid-cycle refresh, and Mazda just provided a preview of things to come for the forthcoming 2018 model year. Working off the concept of “Mature Elegance,” the new Mazda6 adds premium interior and exterior features, plus new safety technology, all of which helps to elevate the four-door to a more upscale position. However, the biggest news here is the inclusion of a new-for-the-model turbocharged powerplant, which will definitely add a considerable amount of zoom-zoom to the package.

That’s great news for the Mazda faithful – this is, after all, the brand’s flagship sedan, and more power is a most welcome boost to the car’s fun factor. A full reveal is scheduled for this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, but in the meantime, read on for what we know so far.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda6.

Exterior

  • Reshaped front fascia
  • New 3D grille and insert
  • Extra chrome detailing
  • Looks similar to the new Mazda CX-5 crossover

2018 Mazda6 - image 745323
“The grille insert for the central intake is new, with a 3D mesh design that breaks from the old model’s horizontal slat design”

For the moment, all we’ve got is a single teaser image of the new Mazda6’s front end, but right away, there are a few minor styling changes we can pick out. For starters, the grille insert for the central intake is new, with a 3D mesh design that breaks from the old model’s horizontal slat design. The headlights also look like they got a subtle reshape with slimmer housings, and now come underlined by chrome lines that start at the bottom lip of the grille.

The lower intake and fascia are also different, with a sharper shape for the former and fresh creases in the corner edges of the latter. The chrome detailing of the old model’s fog lights is now moved to the lower part of the bumper lip, which will most likely add some extra visual width to the vehicle.

Overall, the changes echo those seen in the new Mazda CX-5 crossover, and we think they pretty good on the sedan as well:


2017 Mazda CX-5 - image 695608
“The new Mazda CX-5 gets similar styling updates as the Mazda6.”

Indeed, Mazda has really been racking up the points when it comes to styling as of late, especially with concepts like the RX Vision, and more recently, the Kai.

And although we have yet to see the rear end, we’d expect the usual nip and tuck back there as well. Something like reshaped taillight housings and a shapely lower bumper should fit the bill nicely.

“Mazda has really been racking up the points when it comes to styling as of late, especially with its concepts.”

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that that Mazda offers the 6 in a wagon bodystyle overseas. We don’t think we’re alone in saying we’d love it if Mazda decided to bring the wagon version stateside, but so far, the probability of that happening is pretty low.

Interior

  • More high-end materials than before
  • Small changes to overall layout
  • Premium Japanese Sen Wood as optional trim
  • Latest safety technology included
  • Adaptive cruise control and around-view monitor

2018 Mazda6 - image 745322
“The updates do a good job in enhancing the car’s premium feel. One good example is the unique Japanese Sen Wood trim option.”

Like the exterior, the Mazda6’s interior gets a few tweaks here and there, but most of the layout is a carryover. Broad, horizontal surfaces dominate, with straight and smooth lines throughout.

Compared to the previous model, the new Mazda6 looks to get a new digital infotainment screen, which appears to stand taller and more upright than the previous screen. The midline and air vents were also changed, with a square shape for the vents and a solid unbroken form for the midline trimmed in shiny metal. Below the vents is another layer that looks to be covered in some kind of soft touch material, presumably Alcantara. The next level after that contains the HVAC controls, below which you’ll find the central tunnel, shifter, and a rotary knob.

We think it still looks good, and we’re glad Mazda didn’t change too much. However, the updates that are included do a good job in enhancing the car’s premium feel. For example, there’s now unique Japanese Sen Wood as a trim option, which Mazda says is used in traditional Japanese instruments and furniture. Looking at the provided press shot, we think that midline on either side of the air vents looks like it gets the new wood treatment.

Further exclusive premium trim will likely include high-end leather, aluminum, and similar stuff.

However, these days, you can only go so far with just premium materials. To really get those luxury points, you’ll also need to toss in some of the latest technology to boot.


2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 684539

Note: 2017 Mazda6 pictured here.

“To really get those luxury points, the 2018 Mazda6 comes with the brand’s suite of i-Activsense safety technology.”

As such, the 2018 Mazda6 comes with the brand’s suite of i-Activsense safety technology. Chief among these is Mazda’s Radar Cruise Control, which tosses in stop-and-go traffic management that will bring the vehicle to halt if the car ahead is stopped, then set off again all on its own.

That’s a good start, but we’re hoping for a full range of features for the new Mazda6 – automatic high beams, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and all the other stuff that comes as standard on high-end sedans should be considered fair game.

Finally, Mazda says a 360-degree view monitor was added as well, which is especially helpful when maneuvering through tight spaces.

Drivetrain

  • Base model gets naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Cylinder deactivation tech for the NA powerplant
  • 2.5-liter turbo now added to the lineup
  • Six-speed manual and automatic for gearbox options

2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 684554

Note: 2017 Mazda6 engine pictured here.

Nestled into the nose of the 2018 Mazda6 is the same naturally aspirated Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder as before. Peak output for the four is rated at 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque in the previous model year, and the 2018 iteration is expected to match those figures going forward. The same goes for the gearbox lineup, which includes either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, both of which route output to the front axle exclusively. Put your foot down, and expect to see 60 mph in roughly 7.6 seconds with both transmission options.

Mileage figures for the previous model year’s NA four-cylinder is rated at 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway for the manual, and 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway for the automatic. However, Mazda says the 2018 model now comes with new cylinder deactivation technology that will undoubtedly pad those figures substantially. We think more than 40 mpg on the highway for the auto gearbox is definitely within reach.

“The 2018 model now comes with new cylinder deactivation technology that will undoubtedly pad mpg figures. However, if you prefer driving fun over efficiency, the new turbocharged four-cylinder should fit the bill.”

That’s great for the eco-conscious, but what if you’re looking for a little extra zoom-zoom instead of efficiency, then Mazda has you covered there as well. Joining the all-atmosphere four-cylinder is a Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine option, which means yes, the Mazda6 finally gets a turbocharger. Plucked out of the nose of the most recent Mazda CX-9 crossover, this boosted four-banger features direct injection, and according to the manufacturer, torque levels that are “on par” with a 4.0-liter V-8. While the brand declined to give us exact specs, we do know that the turbo four in the CX-9 makes a substantial 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, which is a huge improvement over the old NA four. If the 2.5T finds its way into the Mazda6 without substantial tuning changes, we wouldn’t be surprised if that 0-to-60 mph time drops into the 5-second range.

“If the 2.5T finds its way into the Mazda6 without substantial tuning changes, we wouldn’t be surprised if that 0-to-60 mph time drops into the 5-second range.”

The big question on the minds of enthusiasts is whether or not Mazda will offer a MazdaSpeed6 iteration, with a six-speed manual transmission, bigger brakes, more aggressive exterior styling, sharper suspension tuning, and possibly even AWD. We’d love something like that…

Prices


2018 Mazda6 - image 745754

As of this writing, Mazda has yet to reveal full pricing information for the 2018 Mazda6. However, we wouldn’t expect any big changes for the base model’s price tag, which currently starts at $21,945. Higher trim levels obviously throw in additional equipment and require extra outlay, with the current mid-grade Touring starting at $24,195 and the top-trim Grand Touring going for $30,695. We’re excited to see where the 2.5-liter turbo will slot into the mix.

Competition

Toyota Camry


2018 Toyota Camry - image 700685

When it comes to Japanese commuter sedans, it doesn’t get much more ubiquitous than the Toyota Camry. Building on well-established reputation for offering great value and reliability, the Camry just saw a generational update for the 2018 model year, with big-time updates across the board. The exterior styling is far more interesting this time around, while the interior was equally redone with an attractive new design and tons of premium features. Engine options include a four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and even a hybrid.

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.

Honda Accord


2018 Honda Accord - image 735545

The Honda Accord also just got a generational changeover, and now enters its tenth production cycle for the 2018 model year. To keep it fresh, the H Badge added new Jewel headlights and glossy black trim pieces to the front end, plus lots of heavy creases leading to the rear. The interior layout feels fresh too, and gets tons of technology to keep passengers entertained. Making the go is a selection of four-cylinder powerplants, as well as a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Accord.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda6 - image 745323
“The real draw for 2018 has to be the new turbo engine.”

We’ll update this article when we get the full rundown of the 6’s specs, but so far, we like what we see. The exterior styling was already quite the head-turner, and this latest refresh looks to be the same. The interior also seems to be even more impressive, while the chassis and handling should remain surprisingly nimble for a mid-size four-door. But the real draw for 2018 has to be the new turbo engine. We can’t wait to get our hands on the figures, and we’re expecting some impressive stuff from the front-wheel-driver. Nice work there, Mazda.

The only thing that has us worried is the car’s price. The top trim is already kinda pricey, and tossing in the 2.5T might bump the 6 a little too high in the food chain. Granted, the features and premium interior do well to justify the outlay, but can the Mazda badge back that asking price for consumers? We’ll have to wait and see. Look for full details later in the month.

  • Leave it
    • Some competitors offer more features
    • Will pricing be too high with the new turbo engine?

References

Mazda6


2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 578922

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda6.



Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Gives Mazda the Shaft on Battery Technology

Despite the partnership between Toyota, Mazda, and Denso to develop structural technologies for electric cars, Toyota showed up at the Tokyo Auto Show with news that its new solid-state battery technology is a “game changer,” but that it would not share the new technology with its partner Mazda. Apparently, the two brands will still share a platform that can support either current Lithium-Ion batteries on the new solid-state units that Toyota has developed in-house and will keep in-house.

This news comes just a few months after the initial deal between Toyota and Mazda was announced that included an investment from both automakers to build a $1.6 billion plant in the U.S. to develop “electric vehicle technology.” A month later, Denso was added into the mix, and a new contract was signed. The new plant will reportedly be built in the south and employ 4,000 people that will have a hand in producing 300,000 vehicles annually. Essentially, the companies will be sharing factory space and pulling certain parts – now, apparently, EV platforms – that they can all use in their vehicles, something that should help both companies shed a little bit of production costs.

Of course, we haven’t heard a word from Mazda as to whether or not it was expecting to get Toyota’s battery tech as well, but there certainly could be some drama flying around if it was an expectation of the deal. On the other hand, the move should help keep the companies competitive and hopefully Mazda has something up its sleeve as well. At this point, both companies really need to step up their EV game as stricter emissions laws are forcing automakers to shift into delivering more and more EVs in the coming years and some countries are outright banning the ICE altogether. There’s no word as to when Mazda will put its first EV on the road, but Toyota plans to launch its first EVs (probably SUVs or Crossovers) in the first few years of the next decade. Exciting stuff to say the least.

References



Read more Mazda news.



Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Vision Coupe Concept

2017 Mazda Vision Concept

Mazda has had quite a few good years since 2012, introducing not only a very appealing design language but also a solid lineup of crossovers and SUVs. In addition, it came up with two wild Vision concepts, one that pays tribute to the Le Mans-winning 787B and one that previews a successor to the iconic RX-7 and a new-generation rotary engine. But it appears that the Japanese firm isn’t stopping here. At the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda unveiled the Vision Coupe, a sleek four-door that may become the company’s larger sedan yet.

Based on the RX-Vision design-wise, the Vision Coupe is unlike any other Mazda we’ve seen on the road. Not only larger than the Mazda 6, it also has a decidedly sporty attitude and a coupe-like roof that reminds of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the car that started this whole trend. And while there’s no official word on what Mazda will do with this concept, a full-size sedan is very likely in the future. With Mazda having offered such a model for only a few years in the 1980s and 1990s (remember the 929?), a full-size sedan would be a big deal for the Japanese automaker. But until we find out more about that, let’s take a closer look at Mazda’s most exciting sedan yet.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda Vision Coupe.

Exterior

  • Four-door coupe body style
  • Based on RX-Vision concept
  • Aggressive front fascia
  • Sleek roofline
  • Quad exhaust layout
  • Previews Mazda’s very own Mercedes CLS?

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740429
    “The Vision Coupe appears to be based on the sleek RX-Vision”
  • The fact that this four-door concept is called the Vision Coupe may seem a bit confusing, but it all goes away when you look at the car’s profile and notice the sleek roofline. And it’s actually not that weird since some automakers have already used similar descriptions. For instance, Mercedes-Benz lists both the CLS and CLA as coupes, despite having four-door layouts. Four-door coupes are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, not to mention that traditional sedans are becoming increasingly sportier by looks. So Mazda is basically trying to adapt to this trend, at least in the concept car world.

    Now talking about the “Vision” badge, it’s provides a strong connection to another Mazda concept, the RX-Vision from 2016. And it’s not just the name. A quick comparison reveals that the four-door is actually based on the RX-Vision, even though a lot of element have been toned down for a more production-friendly look. Some elements may vary, but these concepts have a lot in common.


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740425
    “When seen from the side, this concept looks like a four-door version of the RX-Vision”

    Up front, we can see the same long engine hood and pointy nose. The hood itself has similar creases toward the fenders, but the center section is more elegant and lacks the previous concept’s vents. The grille is actually almost identical in terms of shape and size, but that’s not surprising given that it is an important part of Mazda’s current design language. Even the bumper is similar, but with less aggressive vents and splitter. It’s the headlamps are significantly different. Although placed in similar carvings in the body, the have a simple round LED unit and miss the fancy strips seen on the RX-Vision.

    When seen from the side, this concept looks like a four-door version of the RX-Vision. The fenders and beltline are identical. The doors are obviously different since Mazda had to stick a pair in only a slightly longer wheelbase, but again, everything seems to be have been design on the same sheet of paper. Other features that stand out besides the extra rear door is the less aggressive side skirts and the chrome trim on the lower front door (the RX-Vision has on the upper front fender).


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740430
    “The rear features a heavily raked rear glass, a short decklid, and a quad-exhaust layout”

    The rear is of similar design too, with a heavily raked rear glass and a short decklid. The trunklid opening seems to the different and there’s no movable wing, but the arched edge of the decklid simulates a spoiler. The RX-Vision’s quad-taillight layout was replaced by a simpler pair of round units, but everything else is pretty much the same. Below, we can see a revised diffuser with four exhaust pipes for a sporty look.

    In many ways, the Vision Coupe reminds me a bit of the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 concept. It must be the long hood and the same of the nose, but otherwise I’m aware that they are very different cars. Still, we could say that the Vision Coupe is Mazda’s very own Maybach.


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740885

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740886

    As an interesting note, Mazda says that the Vision Coupe name pays homage to its “tradition of design elegance represented by coupe models like the Mazda R360, Mazda’s first passenger car, and the Mazda Luce Rotary, also known as the Mazda R130.” While there’s nothing wrong with looking back on designs from the past, I must point out that the R360 wasn’t exactly elegant. This 1960s kei car was small and bubbly, having a rather tall roof compared to the length and stance of the body. The Luce R130 built between 1969 and 1972, on the other hand, was quite the elegant, sporty coupe with an European twist to its design. See them both below and judge for yourself.

    Interior

    • Clean and simple interior layout
    • Premium features
    • Leather dash, seats, and door panels
    • Genuine wood veneer
    • Contrast stitching
    • Brushed aluminum trim

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740436
    “Despite the "Concept" badge, this four-door is actually as production-ready as they get”

    Mazda didn’t have anything to say about the Vision Coupe’s interior, but it did release a batch of photos. And despite the “Concept” badge, this four-door is actually as production-ready as they get. Sure, it’s a bit too fancy compared to existing Mazda production sedans, including the Mazda 6, but everything in this cabin is definitely doable.

    Due to the similarities of Vision Coupe and RX-Vision on the outside, I can’t help but compare the too on the inside as well. somewhat surprisingly, they’re pretty different. The dashboard, for instance, is a brand-new design. Whereas the RX-Vision has a smooth and simple passenger-side area, the Vision Coupe has a layered dash with a secondary display in addition to that in the center stack.


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740438
    “The cabin seems oriented toward businessmen or drivers in need of a fancier ride”

    The more sober looking instrument cluster and the round-bottom steering wheel are also hints that Mazda is aiming for a different public with this one. Whereas the RX-Vision is going for the RX-7 fanbase that loves sporty coupes, this one is oriented toward businessmen or drivers in need of a fancier ride. And the Vision Coupe is quite luxurious for a Mazda. Nearly every surface of the dashboard is draped in leather, while the door panels bring together two types of hide, one with contrast stitching, piano black trim and what appears to be authentic wood veneer.

    The seats and the steering wheel are also wrapped in leather, again with contrast stitching, while the center console combines it with more wood veneer. The attention to detail is also visible in the instrument cluster, which has premium-look gauges, while the steering wheel has a vintage inspired look with a leather center section and brushed aluminum. It’s by far the prettiest production-ready interior Mazda has created so far and I do hope upcoming cars will get something similar.

    Drivetrain

    • Likely to use familiar four-cylinder powerplants
    • Rotary engine?
    • Production model could get a hybrid

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740432
    “If it goes into production, the sedan will probably use the four-cylinder engines available in other models”

    There’s absolutely no word as to what lurks under the Vision Coupe’s long hood, but it deosn’t really matter since it’s just a concept car. I’m tempted to say that the four-door could share underpinnings with the RX-Vision based on the fact that they’re similar size- and design-wise, but it’s already official that the RX was showcased with a rotary engine in mind. So there is a possibility that Mazda may want to use its new-generation Wankel unit in just one model, at least for a couple of years.

    All told, if this sleek four-door goes into production, it will probably use the four-cylinder engines available in other models. A hybrid should also be on the table, but it’s way too early to discuss. And given that Mazda chose to not talk about the sedan’s drivetrain, it’s safe to assume that it was created to only showcase a new body style and an updated design language.

    Conclusion


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740427

    While it may not be as exciting as the RX-Vision — the hype over this concept is obvious since it previews a spiritual successor to the iconic RX-7 — the Vision Coupe deserves a lot of credit for being a novelty for the Japanese automaker. And I’m talking about side and market placement here, because the Vision Coupe seems to be larger than the Mazda 6, which technically makes it a full-size sedan. Mazda ignored this segment since day one — except for a few years in the late 1980s and early 1990s when it sold the 929 — so the Vision Coupe is spectacular in the sense that it points toward the company’s intentions to join the full-size market. It could also mean that Mazda may want to join the premium segment, but until the carmaker makes an official statement about it, I can only speculate. But it’s definitely a sign of things to come, be it a larger sedan or a new design language, and it’s all good news.

    • Leave it
      • Production plans unknown
      • No drivetrain or tech information

    References


    2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

    Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda RX-Vision Concept.


    2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo - image 600220

    Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo.


    2017 Nissan IMx - image 740404

    Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Mazda Kai

    2017 Mazda Kai Concept

    Welcome to the future! Well, we’re not there quite yet, but the Mazda Kai Concept is essentially a quick look into the crystal ball that exposes the future of Mazda vehicles. Unlike Mazda’s “Vision” concept at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, the Kai is something that Mazda could actually make some in the near future. It could even possibly represent the next-gen Mazda3 hatchback – a model that will be due for replacement in the next three to four years anyway. So, what does it bring to the table? Try stunning looks, aggressive lines, sleek curves, and the SkyActiv-X powertrain that’s expected to propel the Mazda brand into the next decade. Meanwhile, the interior gets a toned down look with accents in just the right places, a display screen that’s as wide as the day is long, and a cabin that emphasizes space as much as it does the car’s sporty prowess.

    So, will Mazda turn this into the next-gen Mazda3 Hatch? Well, it’s certainly too early to tell since the third-gen model was just revamped for the 2017 model year. So, by the time 2020 get here, we could see a production prototype of that bad boy tearing up the streets with the usual pre-production camo and cloud of mystery floating above it. But, until that happens, let’s take a closer look at this concept, talk some more about it, and speculate a bit about what it could become in the future.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda Kai Concept.

    Mazda Press Conference at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

    Exterior

    • Bubbly appearance
    • Aggressive front end
    • Sexy Roofline
    • Attractive rear end

    2017 Mazda Kai - image 740410
    “Violent, mean, aggressive, intense, rampant, raging, wild, and frenzied”

    Violent, mean, aggressive, intense, rampant, raging, wild, and frenzied – these words, among others, could all be used to describe the exterior design of the Mazda Kai Concept. The lines just seem to flow in a way that most automakers can seem to match. Take a look at the bottom of the A-pillars then look at how the hood line runs toward the nose, tilting in ever so slightly to make the hood narrower up front. Without a frame below, the hood and inner points of the fenders come together to create a bit of an overhang that shadows the chrome Mazda emblem positioned in the top-center of that recessed, black honeycomb grille. The design of the headlights, which appear to be LED units, flow seamlessly into the gloss black bezel that surrounds the sides and lower edge of the grille, coming to a point right in the center that matches that of the front fascia. Speaking of the fascia, notice how those long fenders seem to seamlessly blend in with the fascia? That’s what you call attractive from any angle.

    The fascia itself features those stout lines in the corners that are put in the place most manufacturers would have dumped some fake vents to keep up with the Jones’ while the air dam below runs nearly the full width of the fascia but maintains a low profile despite the overwhelming style of the car itself. Finally, the lip running across the bottom of the fascia is a hit that some down pressure is needed and gives us hope that this little four-door hatch could provide some decent performance More about that later, though.


    2017 Mazda Kai - image 740411
    “As you move along to the side, it becomes evident that Mazda took its time when it came to design”

    As you move along to the side, it becomes evident that Mazda took its time when it came to design and made it a point to put an emphasis and excessively tight clearance for not only the body panel but the doors as well. If this thing drove by you at 50 mph, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that it has doors. Of course, the lack of traditional door handles does help that a bit, as do those side view cameras. On the other hand, there are three features to the side profile that make this car so attractive. The first is those excessively long fenders that seem to run on forever. The second is the sheer smoothness of the side profile with its somewhat bubbly nature, while the third is the waistline that rides just north of parallel to the road and takes a sharp turn upward near the end of the rear doors. Down below the side skirts are accented by a small lip that curves upward just ahead of the rear wheel to create a little wingtip of sorts.

    Looking at the Kai concept from the rear end and you can actually notice (and absorb) the fact that this thing has some very flared wheel arches. They aren’t all that noticeable from the front or side view, but from the rear, they are so flared that they the car actually has a smooth but muscular appearance to it. Meanwhile, the bubbly appearance continues around back but is toned down a bit thanks to the dramatic cutout for the headlights that feature circular LEDs recessed into the body. The Mazda emblem sits all by its lonesome in the center of the hatch and the little lip just below it makes the rear hatch look a little wider than it really is. It should also be pointed out that the “rear fascia” is part of the body shell. Now, this does make for a cleaner look, no doubt, but it poses a problem should this model shift into production as it could lead to some expensive repair bills or even a total vehicle loss after even a minor rear-end collision.


    2017 Mazda Kai - image 740414
    “The rear hatch is actually a bit wider up top where the rear windscreen is, and that little overhang holds tight to the top of the rear hatch”

    Outside of this, the rear hatch is actually a bit wider up top where the rear windscreen is, and that little overhang holds tight to the top of the rear hatch. The bottom of the “fascia” gets a massive, flat-black insert with a black-hole-like opening along the bottom that runs almost the full width, being flanked but the circular exhaust outlet on each side. At the bottom, another lip is in place to level things out and tie the front and sides together in full harmony. The last thing I want to point out is the rood actually has two glass panels that for a T-top like-look, with the center portion of the roof getting two very sharp boy lines that provide some serious style if you happen to be looking down on this sexy little hatch.

    Interior

    • Leather interior
    • Red accents
    • Long digital display
    • Digital Controls

    2017 Mazda Kai - image 740409
    “There is a sporty appearance while the smooth, elegant lines provide a feeling of length and dominance”

    The interior of the Kai is just as intriguing as the exterior. There is a sporty appearance while the smooth, elegant lines provide a feeling of length and dominance. The seats sit far to the rear of the cabin, ultimately creating a legroom problem for those in the rear, but plenty of space for those up front. The dash has a two-tier look to it with a thin pad up top that overhangs along the full width of the dash with a longer overhang above the instrument cluster. The second tier sits lower and is widely smooth – a feature that helps the cabin feel wider than it really is. A long, thin screen sits between the upper dash bad and the lower, serving as a home for the infotainment system that looks to be more accessible to the passenger than the driver until you look at the center console and notice the circular touchback to the rear of the shifter.

    Sitting below the dash is the HVAC console that appears to include the vents and control. The HVAC controller itself is fully digital, however, there is one number in the corner closest to the driver. The center console sits high between the rear seats, something that gives the car a real sports car feel and is certainly rivaled only by the Kia Stinger at this point in time. The face of the center console is recessed a bit and is either black glass or very glossy plastic. The gear shifter sits about in the middle and looks to be a spring-loaded unit that allows for a slapstick-like driving experience. Red accents make up the walls above the console face and match those accents on the door trim panels. The seats are upholstered in the blackest of black.


    2017 Mazda Kai - image 740417
    “The view of the driver includes a three-gauge cluster that would be quite nice as a digital unit but appears to be analog in nature”

    The view of the driver includes a three-gauge cluster that would be quite nice as a digital unit but appears to be analog in nature. The steering column is short, much like the levels coming off the column while the steering wheel has thin spokes and a smaller central hub, giving the wheel a classic feel even with the chrome inserts and leather wrapping. The questions I’m left with are where do the side view cameras display their images and how much passenger and cargo room does this thing really have in the rear. The answer for the former is likely the rearview mirror, which could also be an all-digital unit and display a picture from the rear facing cabin out back. As for the passenger and cargo room, well, that’s like asking how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop: the world may never know.

    Drivetrain

    • SkyActiv-x Engine
    • 20-30 percent more efficient
    • 10-30 percent more torque
    • Up to 230 Horsepower
    • Could preview next-gen Mazda3 Hatch

    Mazda has a lot Planned for the Tokyo Motor Show - image 737439
    “Kai is powered by the new SkyActiv-X powerplant that will find its way into production cars as soon as the 2019 model year”

    Mazda didn’t say very much about either of the new concepts that it brought to Tokyo, but we know that the Kai is powered by the new SkyActiv-X powerplant that will find its way into production cars as soon as the 2019 model year, with the Mazda3 hatchback being the most likely candidate for its initial introduction. For now, very little is known about the SkyActiv-X, but we do know that it uses a spark-assisted compression ignition system. This works by using very high compression to combust the gasoline-air mixture inside each cylinder. It works the same way a diesel engine fires, however, gasoline requires much higher compression rates and, as such, doesn’t work quite as well at all engine loads and temperatures, which is why you need the spark plug for the occasional assist. The engine itself is a 2.0-liter four-banger and should be able to deliver some 200 horsepower or maybe a little more. According to Mazda, it can deliver 10 to 30 percent more torque than the current SkyActive engines in use today while being 20 to 30 percent more efficient.

    It really does sound promising, but test drives of vehicles fitted with pre-production versions yielded conditions such as spark knock – which was said by Mazda to be “normal” as well as some sluggishness at certain engine speeds like the engine was struggling to determine exactly when to use spark assist and when not to. Almost like it was experiencing a pre-ignition sort of situation. Of course, considering this engine is only good for so much horsepower, and there’s no telling what can actually be done to improve power, Mazda has to have a solution to offer even more power down the road. Well, this engine can be paired with a standard transmission or a hybrid unit so that more power could, in theory, be delivered with this engine with a little bit of electric help. On top of that, if the concept will work with four-cylinders it should work with six as well (Mazda hopes, anyway.) The biggest thing is, however, is that purchasing a car using this new type of engine is quite risky – it has no proven track record, no word for reliability, and good luck finding a mechanic that knows how to work on it, even at your local Mazda dealer in the first year or two the engine is in service.


    2017 Mazda Kai - image 740424
    “You can probably expect this concept to jump to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds or so, while top speed would probably be around 140 mph”

    On the plus side, if the technology does prove to be worthy of long-term production, it could help keep the internal combustion engine in play for a long time to come and will give Mazda time to bank up a little cash to do some more R&D on the electrification front – something it wants to push but claims to have limited funds for R&D. For now, you can probably expect this concept to jump to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds or so, in optimal running conditions, while top speed would probably be around 140 mph based solely on an educated guess that the engine will produce somewhere around 200 horsepower an 230 pound-feet of torque.

    Conclusion


    2017 Mazda Kai - image 740414

    When I first looked into Mazda today, the first thing I saw was the Vision Concept, and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed. I thought it looked a lot like the Mercedes-Maybach6 Concept with some different lines. Of course, it could also show Mazda’s intent to take the plunge into more luxurious territory, but we’ll leave that conversation for another day. In the end, I browsed past that Vision concept and took a good hard look at the Kai, and I said (Yes, I actually said it out loud to myself,) “that’s the future Mazda3 Hatchback right there. Whether or not it will be the fourth-gen model remains to be seen, as we’ve already seen prototypes on the road and they look nothing like this, but it could very well represent a future version of the car. We can at least hope anyway, right? For now, there’s not much else to say about this concept except that it has all the right credentials to become a production model so hopefully Mazda won’t leave this concept lost in time past. What do you guys think? Would you roll a hatchback like looks like this baby? Let us know in the comments section below.

    • Leave it
      • No details on SkyActive-X
      • Who knows when it’ll get to production
      • Little word from Mazda

    References

    Mazda3


    2019 Mazda3 - image 689583

    Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mazda3.


    2017 Nissan IMx - image 740404

    Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Mazda KAI and Vision Coupe Concepts Unveiled at TMS

    As promised, Mazda revealed a pair of new concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show with which they preview the new design direction they are taking. The Mazda KAI concept, a compact hatchback, and the Vision Coupe take the KODO philosophy to a new level of elegance and sophistication. 

    Mazda KAI is the more important of the two Tokyo concept. It would be what the next Mazda3 looks like. And, more importantly, it features the first application of SKYACTIV-X technologies. The new powertain and architecture promise greater efficiency than ever before without compromising on Mazda’s characteristic driving fun. The X utilizes Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition which is a first for petrol engines. The new engine paired with the grown-up and athletic design of the KAI make for one hugely intriguing hatchback we would like to see out in the market over the next few years.

    Mazda Vision Coupe, meanwhile, shows us the new version of KODO design language on a grander scale. It is all about flowing forms giving the impression of dynamism and movement. There is also some traces of tradition here, with cues borrowed from Mazda R360, Mazda’s first passenger car, and the Mazda Luce Rotary, also known as the Mazda R130. The car is a four-door coupe, so it could be an early look at the next Mazda6. The Vision also introduces new interior design features such as the concept of ma (literally “space”) from traditional Japanese architecture.

    Mazda’s 2017 Tokyo Motor Show lineup also includes the all-new Mazda CX-8, a three-row SUV forJapan, as well as the 2018 Mazda MX-5 and 2018 Mazda MX-5 RF.


















    The post Mazda KAI and Vision Coupe Concepts Unveiled at TMS appeared first on Motorward.

    PostHeaderIcon Care to get a Mazda MX-5 to go with Your Copy of Gran Turismo Sport?

    Gran Turismo Sport has officially gone live so expect a few busy weekends ahead over here at the TopSpeed office. For those who haven’t gotten their copies yet, it’s important to remember that you can buy the game in a number of bundle options, including a Limited Edition version here in the U.S. that adds a metal case, several Group B rally cars, a couple of unlocked prototype cars, and 1 million credits. That’s a pretty nice offer, but it’s nothing compared to the Gran Turismo Sport Super Bundle that’s being offered in Taiwan. That package not only comes with a Sony Bravia 4K HDR OLED TV and an assortment of other goodies, it also comes with a special edition Mazda MX-5 Miata that’s all dressed up in a Soul Red paint finish.

    That’s right. An actual MX-5 is included in the Super Bundle. It’s not exactly as insane as the Grid 2: Mono Edition that came with a BAC Mono dressed in a GRID 2 livery, but it’s certainly a big step up from the 1:43 scale Nissan GT-R Spec V that Gran Turismo 5 came in a few years ago. Should any of our friends in Taiwan avail of this bundle, they also stand to get a PlayStation 4 Pro, Playstation VR, a year of the PlayStation Plus online multiplayer service, a Thrustmaster T-GT steering wheel controller, and an Apiga AP1 racing seat just in case your couch doesn’t feel real enough. The downside to getting that treasure chest’s worth of goodies is that the Super Bundle doesn’t come cheap. The cost of one is just under $1.4 million NTD, which converts to around $46,000. Still interested?

    Continue after the jump to read the full story.

    Is the Gran Turismo Sport Super Bundle a good buy?


    Care to get a Mazda MX-5 to go with Your Copy of Gran Turismo Sport? - image 739262
    “The cost of one is just under $1.4 million NTD, which converts to around $46,000”

    I guess it depends on who you ask. If money’s not a problem, then it’s something that’s worth buying, if only for the fact that you’ll be able to say that you did. Unfortunately for us here in the U.S., the Super Bundle is not available in this market though that doesn’t mean that there’s no chance to actually get one. You just have to be creative in doing it.

    See, all the items included in the bundle are available in the US individually. Piece them all together, and you get a cost estimate of something like this:

    Item Price ($)
    Sony PlayStation 4 Pro $399.99
    Playstation VR $299.99
    Sony Bravia 65-inch 4K HDR OLED TV $3,999.99
    Thrustmaster T-GT steering wheel controller $149.99
    Apiga AP1 racing seat $389.99
    Mazda MX-5 Miata (M/T) with Soul Red paint finish $26,090

    Care to get a Mazda MX-5 to go with Your Copy of Gran Turismo Sport? - image 739263

    Do the math on those prices, and you’re looking at a total price of about $31,330. That’s about $14,700 less than what our Taiwanese friends will have to pay to buy the Super Bundle. I don’t know about any of you guys, but that’s what I call a better deal.

    Whatever bundle you get, Gran Turismo Sport should be packed with excitement

    Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter what bundle you get as long as you get Gran Turismo Sport. I understand the temptation of taking home an MX-5, but the game itself is the highlight here. The game itself is packed to the brim with cars (over 700 of ‘em!), race tracks, city circuits, and the best and newest in car racing video game technology.

    Don’t miss out on the game because it’s already shaping up to be one of the best ones in the franchise’s long and rich history.

    And again, if any of our friends in Taiwan get the Super Bundle, please let us know about it!

    References

    Mazda MX-5


    2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614586

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


    Finally! Gran Turismo Sport is Upon Us: Videos, Car Lists, and More!! - image 738663

    Read more Gran Turismo Sport news.

    PostHeaderIcon Mazda Releases “Decision Tree” For Miata Owners Asked To Lend Their Car

    We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s a buddy whose daily is in the shop for repairs. Maybe it’s a younger sibling who wants to impress a member of the opposite sex. Maybe it’s a significant other who just wants to see what the fuss is all about. Whoever happens to be asking it, it’s a question that can send a cold chill down the spine of any and all automotive enthusiasts: “Can I borrow your car?” Normal folks won’t get it, but if you frequent this website, you’ll understand. This shouldn’t be some off-hand, casual request, like asking for a stick of butter or to borrow your neighbor’s lawn mower. This is your car, the four-wheeled light of your life, the thing you daydream about, the hobby that eats up all your spare time and money, the machine that speaks to you in a language of squealing tires and popping upshifts. Luckily, Mazda gets it, as evidenced by this handy flowchart. Designed as a handy reference guide for Miata owners, we’d argue it’s applicable for anyone wise enough not to denigrate their ride by seeing it as merely some sort of transportation appliance.

    Of course, we wanna know – would you be comfortable loaning your car out? Under what conditions would you be willing to give up the keys? What car-lending fails (or wins) have you experienced in the past? Let us know in the comments!

    Mazda MX-5 – decision tree


    Mazda Releases “Decision Tree” For Miata Owners Asked To Lend Their Car - image 738537

    References

    Mazda MX-5


    2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614586

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

    PostHeaderIcon Mazda at Tokyo Motor Show 2017 – Two Important Concepts

    Mazda revealed the highlights of their lineup for the Tokyo Motor Show 2017, the home event where they usually outline the company’s strategy for the year ahead. And that’s what they are doing this year, with two concept cars which preview the next generation of products by Mazda and give us a taste of a new design language they are adapting. 

    That doesn’t mean the age of KODO is over and we will be treated to a new look from Mazda. Rather, the new design language is an evolution of KODO, one that is on the line with the company’s new theme “Celebrate Driving.” The design concept “will define the next generation of Mazda design, resulting in a more profound expression” of the current design. That should mean more sculpted parts and sharp angels, but the preview images show a more discreet look with lots of smooth surfaces.

    The second of the two concepts is what they refer to at this stage as the “product concept” and it’s a compact hatchback that shows off the new technologies we will be seeing in upcoming production models. It heralds a new generation of SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture, next-generation technologies that apply a human-centered design philosophy for optimal functionality, and is powered by the SKYACTIV-X which uses compression ignition technology.

    Tokyo Motor Show 2017 also marks the launch of Mazda CX-8 in Japan and the debut of a special edition Mazda Roadster (MX-5) Red Top featuring a dark cherry red canopy and auburn Nappa leather upholstery. That is something to look forward to.



    “In August, we announced our Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 long-term vision for technology development, setting out how Mazda hopes to use driving pleasure, the fundamental appeal of the automobile, to help solve issues facing people, the earth and society. The vision commits Mazda to make substantive cuts in CO2 emissions, and we believe the best way to achieve this is to reduce emissions under real-world conditions while offering a mix of combustion engines and electrification technologies in consideration of each region’s energy situation and energy mix,” said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. “Our stand this year marks the beginning of a new era for Mazda. We will showcase a concept model with the design and technologies that will define a whole new generation of Mazda cars. Among them is SKYACTIV-X, a gasoline engine that realizes a long-held dream of the global automotive industry.”

    The post Mazda at Tokyo Motor Show 2017 – Two Important Concepts appeared first on Motorward.

    PostHeaderIcon Mazda 767B

    The Mazda 767 was developed for the 1986 season…

    Mazda definitely lives up to the whole “zoom-zoom” branding thing its got going for it. With a variety of sports cars to its name, including the indispensable MX-5, plus a solid dose of fun instilled in just about every model it produces, this is the go-to manufacturer if you’re looking for an enjoyable experience behind the wheel. Per tradition, much of that driving engagement can be traced back to competition on the track, a place where Mazda boasts a long resume of experience and success. Looking over the list of Mazda’s accomplishments, one of the most impressive bullet points is an outright win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, something no other Japanese manufacturer can claim. Clinching that victory was the 787B, the culmination of years of trial and error. Featured here is the preceding 767B, one of the most important components to the development of Mazda’s Le Mans-winning 787. As an advanced prototype racer, the 767B was designed for competition in the IMSA-spec GTP class, where it saw a good deal of success.

    Introduced in 1988 by Mazdaspeed, the Japanese manufacturer’s performance division, the 767B replaced the outgoing 757 prototype racer, another GTP-class 24 Hours of Le Mans competitor. Not only does this otherworldly speed wedge look the part of a top-notch competitor, but with an innovative four-rotor engine providing motivation, it was also one of the best-sounding race cars ever made. If you love triangle-shaped engines, this is one of the all-time superstars.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda 767B.

    History And Background


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727904

    Mazda and the rotary engine go way, way back, all the way to the late ‘60s with the original Mazda Cosmo. Introduced at the height of the space race, the Cosmo mated out-there styling with a strange new engine designed by the German engineer Felix Wankel. For good or ill, Mazda has championed the powerplant configuration ever since.

    By 1970, Mazda was getting serious about taking the rotary racing, offering up the 10A R2 powerplant in the British-built Chevron B16. By the time ‘80s rolled around, Mazda had recruited the talents of English designer Nigel Stroud, who worked with Mazdaspeed to create the Mazda 757 for competition in the 1986 season of the IMSA race series. Two years later, Mazda replaced the 757 with the 767, upping the ante with a new engine and a whole lot more power.


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727923
    “In 1988, Mazda replaced the 757 with the 767, upping the ante with a new engine and a whole lot more power.”

    The 767’s first outing was at the Suzuka 500 KM race in April of 1988. Only one of the two 767’s entered managed to finish, although the racer that remained ended up with a seventh-place finish overall. Following the Suzuka race, the 767’s went to the Silverstone World Championship, managing a first-place finish in the GTP class and a 9th-place finish overall.

    Later that year, the 767’s went to the 24 Hours of Le Mans to complete alongside an older 757. Unfortunately, both finished towards the back with a 17th and 19th overall, even failing to overcome the older 757, which managed a 15th overall.


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727913
    “Heading into the 1989 season, Mazda equipped the 767 with a new side exhaust and addressed the car’s reliability issues, and thus, the 767B was born.”

    Heading into the 1989 season, Mazda equipped the 767 with a new side exhaust and addressed the car’s reliability issues, and thus, the 767B was born. Results for the Japanese automaker started to improve, including GTP-class wins at a variety of races. First tested in the IMSA 24 Hours of Daytona, the 767B finished 5th overall. Mazda once again went to the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, this time with a duo of 767B’s and a first-gen 767. The 767B’s managed 7th and 9th overall, while the 767 got 12th overall. Mazda followed it up with a 12th-place finish overall in the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship.

    In 1990, Mazda created the 767’s replacement, the 787. After a bit of teething issues, the 787 finally managed an outright win at Le Mans in 1991. The 787 was followed by the MXR-01 in the early ‘90s, which became the very last Mazda in sports car racing to date.

    These days, you can find the 767B racing at historic events like the Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Goodwood Festival of Speed, among other events, as well fetching upwards of seven-figures at public auction.

    Exterior


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727926
    “It’s purposeful yet graceful. No wonder we love Mazda’s design schemes.”

    Outside, the Mazda 767B looks like a traditional race car should. It’s impossibly low, impossibly wide, and curvaceously designed. The fenders jut high over the large, deep-dish, roller-pin shaped wheels and tires, flowing back into straight side panels and an enormous rear wing. The intakes are massive, gulping in atmosphere to feed the powertrain and keep it chilly. The cockpit is a single, center-mounted bubble, while side view mirrors are mounted on tall, slender composite stalks. Glorious noises are emitted just ahead of the rear wheels from a large-mouthed side exhaust.

    Further features include large aero tunnels in the side panels, a feature made possible by the inboard suspension set-up, plus a carbon fiber and Kevlar composite material for the exterior body panels.

    It’s all quite functional, but at the same time, it looks fantastic. It’s purposeful yet graceful. No wonder we love Mazda’s design schemes.

    Interior


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727917

    Sitting inside the all-business interior, the 767B’s control scheme looks like it was plucked from a spaceship. Drivers sit on the left-hand side of the cabin in a fixed-back bucket seat made from fiberglass, while a digital readout is mounted behind a detachable three-spoke steering wheel. Gear shifts are performed via a sequential shifter placed to the right of the driver. A variety of buttons and fuses adorn the dash, while a fire suppression system is mounted to the left of the driver. Carbon fiber and bare metal pervade throughout.

    Drivetrain


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727920
    “At full chat, the 767B makes as much 600 horsepower, far more than the outgoing model’s paltry 450 horsepower.”

    Providing the motivation in the 767B is a mid-mounted Wankel rotary engine, which was updated to offer both more output and more displacement. Dubbed the 13J, the powerplant is an evolution of the Type 13 rotary engine, with the preceding iteration being a three-rotor 13G. By comparison, the 13J is a 4-rotor design, with all four combustion chambers adding up up to about 2.6 liters of displacement. Converted into “normal” cylinder engine displacement, that comes to about 5.2-liters. Redline is set at a head-spinning 9,000 rpm.

    At full chat, the 767B makes as much 600 horsepower, far more than the outgoing model’s paltry 450 horsepower. Oh what a difference that extra rotor can make. Peak power hits 8,500 rpm, while peak twist (all 390 pound-feet of it) arrives at 7,000 rpm.

    Like the previous 767 model, the newer 767B uses a five-speed sequential transmission from Porsche, which was obviously modified specifically for the rotary application.

    Providing the go-juice is a 26.4-gallon fuel tank, the right spec for an endurance racer.

    Chassis And Handling


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727919
    “The inboard springs and dampers make room for those larger aero tunnels.”

    Under the sponsorship-laden composite exterior, the Mazda 767B utilizes a monocoque construction with aluminum skin over a honeycomb core. The chassis was modified over the preceding iteration to incorporate the longer, four-rotor engine.

    The suspension includes double wishbones at all four corners with inboard springs and dampers, which helps make room for those larger aero tunnels and downforce-making components. Maximum weight is set at 800 kg (1,764 pounds), with ballast mounted in the right spots for optimum weight distribution.

    Finally, the steering is a rack-and-pinion set-up, while Rays Volk stopper discs haul it down in the braking zones.

    Prices


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727905

    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727907

    Only three examples of the 767B were produced in 1989. If you would like to own one, they occasionally appear in auction, with one recent example selling at the Gooding & Co. event in Amelia Island for $1.75 million.

    Competition

    Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo

    While the 767B raged for glory, fellow Japanese manufacturer Nissan was also in the mix campaigning the ZX-Turbo in the IMSA championship. Running between 1985 and 1990, the GTP ZX-Turbo utilized a turbocharged VG30ET V-6 engine, the same powerplant Nissan equipped in the street-worthy 300ZX sports car. Nissan ended up clinching the constructor’s championship, after which the ZX-Turbo was replaced by the NPT-90.

    Porsche 962

    With a debut in 1984 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Porsche 962 was a hugely dominant force in the world of IMSA racing, clinching a staggering 21 constructor’s championships throughout its career. Power comes from a 3.0-liter Type 935 flat-six engine, and funny enough, a few road-going iterations of the racer were built in the ‘90s.

    Conclusion


    1989 Mazda 767B - image 727928

    There’s a lot to like about this racer. Superficially, it’s a rather pretty thing to look at, and it makes an absolutely breathtaking noise when unleashed. More concretely, it represents Mazda’s unwavering commitment to making the rotary engine configuration work at the highest levels of competition. It’s because of cars like the 767B that Mazda wants to bring the Wankel powerplant back to its production lineup, and for that, we’re grateful.

    • Leave it
      • Experienced a good deal of teething issues
      • Not the car that won at Le Mans

    References

    Mazda 787b


    1991 Mazda 787B - image 10239

    Read our full review on the Mazda 787.


    Petrolicious Profiles The Ferrari 250 LM: Video - image 736677

    Read more race car news.


    2018 Mazda CX-8 - image 731556

    Read more Mazda news.

    PostHeaderIcon Donut Media Takes A Hard Look At The Mazda RX-7: Video

    Arguably one of Mazda’s most important models ever, the RX-7 offered a unique combination of low weight, sexy good looks, impeccable handling, and a funky engine configuration. Indeed, from anime to Hollywood movies, this superstar of the zoom zoom has cemented a bona-fide cult following for itself, and enthusiasts across the globe have been busy scooping up examples to get a taste of that Japanese-bred Wankel goodness. And just in case you’re drawing a blank on any of this, we found this seven-and-a-half minute explainer on everything you need to know about the RX-7, courtesy of our friends at Donut Media.

    The video begins with a little background on the rotary engine, including the basics on how it works and where it came from. The video then dives into the model history, including the genesis of all things RX, the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110 from 1967. Other things of note include lots of the love for pop-up headlights, racing highlights, and quick scenes from an endless number of TV shows and Internet memes. All told, it’s a fun, relatively fast watch filled with info and loads of entertaining edits.

    PostHeaderIcon Mazda3

    The Mazda3 has been generating solid sales for the Japanese automaker ever since it was introduced in 2003, but it was the third-generation model, launched in 2013, that established the nameplate as a strong competitor in the compact market. Selling more units than ever, the third-gen car received a mild update in 2016, but Mazda is already working on the next-generation model. Not much is known about the fourth-generation version, but Mazda’s North American design director, Julien Montousse, has recently unveiled that its design will borrow styling cues from the gorgeous Mazda RX-Vision concept.

    Believed to preview the next-generation Mazda RX-7, the RX-Vision concept is also expected to inspire several vehicles in the company’s lineup in the future. The Mazda3 will become the first model to make use of the concept’s sporty lines and we just created a rendering of how the hatchback model may look like. The new Mazda3 won’t see the light of day until at least 2018, but having seen the company’s evolution in recent years, it’s not too difficult to predict what the next compact will bring to the table. As a result, we also put together a speculative review to go with our new rendering. Keep reading for all the info and make sure you stay tuned for updates.

    Updated 09/01/2017: The next-gen Mazda3 was caught testing for the first time and, as you can see from the stickers on the prototype, it will feature Mazda’s new Skyactiv-X engine technology!

    Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Mazda3.

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