Posts Tagged ‘mazda cx-5’

Mazda’s i-Active AWD System Beats Subaru and Honda

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Mazda has made some pretty big claims about their i-Active AWD system. They claim that their all-wheel-drive system is better than both Honda’s and Subaru’s. Pretty ballsy, right?

To prove his claim, Mazda got a test facility ready, complete with snow from a recent Colorado blizzard. Dave Coleman is a development engineer for Mazda USA and he has this to say about the system.

“The goal for Mazda i-Active AWD system is to preserve the precise, intuitive feeling you expect from Mazda, even on low grip surfaces.”

He goes on to claim that the system should function “seamlessly, with no input from the driver.” Furthermore, the driver should not experience any impact on fuel economy. Really? More wheels driven, more friction in the system and surely worse economy. After all, you cannot change the laws of physics, Jim.

Coleman says that the system is more predictive rather than reactive. He says that the goal of the system is to eliminate some of the traditional disadvantages of an on-demand all-wheel-drive system. The system tries to predict and anticipate slippage and activate the system before it happens.

The carmaker is going head-to-head with its CX-5 against a Subaru Forrester and a Honda CR-V – all three of them sitting in the same weight class. Mazda is quite confident that their all-wheel-drive system will significantly outperform both Honda and Subaru.

Although it is a specially prepared test facility, it is being run on genuine snow – something that can’t be rigged. The real deal, just as nature serves it up every year.

Mazda’s i-Active system works with hundreds of pieces of information coming in from hundreds of sensors mounted all over the vehicle. This is what helps the system be more predictive instead of reactive. The vehicle’s electronic system is an information powerhouse that the vehicle relies on to activate the all-wheel-drive system.

“Think about it: your vehicle reads the outside temperature, and knows that your windscreen wipers are on and how fast they are traveling, it can read incline, steering effort versus angle, individual wheel speed, accelerator pedal position, brake fluid pressure and steering angle.”

Well, it’s doing more than just reading information. It’s processing the information at lightning speed. For instance, if the outside temperature is reading -10°, the vehicle automatically expects that there will be ice on the road that creates a slippery surface.

The Mazda system has an active torque coupling that is electronically activated, it permitting it to respond instantly at any speed.

Mazda set this up because both Mazda and Subaru both agree that the reason buyers pay extra for the all-wheel-drive feature is for safety and security. But Mazda is out to prove that buyers don’t have to choose between and all-wheel-drive and fuel economy or price. Everything is minimized – from the weight of the vehicle to friction losses. Mazda confidently says that they have the lightest AWD system on the market.

So, light weight and instant on-demand grip. That’s really what these Boulevard SUVs really need — not a rugged full-time system fit for crossing the Sahara. So perhaps Mazda really has hit the sweet spot here.


Mazda Shows Off Seven Aftermarket Models Before Tokyo Salon

Posted by Stephen On Sunday, December 21st, 2014

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Track Edition

We’ve had a lot of teasers come in over the past few weeks for the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, which is just a few weeks away in early January. However, on the other side of the world will be a not-quite-as-hyped automotive event of a slightly different nature. It’s the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon – different from the Tokyo Motor Show – where automakers will show off aftermarket tuned versions of their normal lineup. Today, Mazda has given us a preview of seven tuned-up cars they’ll show off next month.

For starters, Mazda plans to show off the recently announced track addition of the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata (top). This is the car that goes hand-in-hand with last month’s announcement of a new Global Cup that Mazda will begin hosting next year at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California. Mazda hadn’t given us any tech. specs with the initial announcement, so we hope they’ll enlighten us when the car breaks ground next month in Tokyo.

Tuned 2015 Mazda CX-3

Equally as exciting is the tuned up version of the new Mazda CX-3, seen above. You’ll notice that the aftermarket CX-3 rides a little bit lower than the all-new model we saw last month in Los Angeles. As for the kit itself, Mazda has added some really slick black rims, and a rather NISMO-looking bodykit if we do say so ourselves.

Tuned 2015 Mazda Demio Racing Concept

That NISMO-inspired theme continues with the Demio Racing Concept (aka. the Mazda2, above-top) and the hatchback version of the Mazda3 (aka. the Mazda Axela, not shown). Both cars get the minimalistic black, white and red treatment with new sideskirts and spoilers. Just imagine a slightly longer version of the Demio shown here, and that’s exactly what the Mazda3 hatch looks like.

Aftermarket 2015 Mazda 3 Axela Sedan

Things take a more vibrant direction with the sedan version of the Mazda3, shown above. The alloy rims fitted to the aftermarket Axela sedan are much more rugged, and the overall design is stouter than that of the hatchback. It feels somehow fuller, especially with the decals Mazda’s added along the side of the car… Black accents running just above the sideskirts, and a subtler gray streak that perfectly accents the feline body lines of the extra sporty 3.

Tuned 2015 Mazda Atenza

However, that extra sporty, track-ready theme isn’t the only look Mazda will go for at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon. The 2015 Mazda Atenza, what we know as the Mazda6, was previewed for us above with a classier and more refined body kit. The exterior is a pearlescent onyx black with sleek and chrome accents, with thin twin-spoke black alloys that blend perfectly into the body.

Tuned 2015 Mazda CX-5

The 2015 Mazda CX-5, which was already getting the refresh treatment for the new year, is also shown for us in that premium-feeling onyx black. What we particularly like about the SUV kit is the grille – notice in the image above how the lines are slightly thicker and more spread out than in any of the other models. That’s a design trick that’s very fitting for the larger car’s figure, and the new alloy rims showcase a similar design style.

2015 Mazda Tokyo Auto Salon

Of course, it’s perfectly possible that Mazda will bring three aftermarket versions of each of the seven models to the Tokyo Salon – one for each fo the color-schemes shown here. One of the preview images, seen above, shows the Demio Racing Concept in all three colors, so if we’re lucky, we’ll see 21 actual Mazdas on stage when doors open next month.