Posts Tagged ‘mazda6’

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.


Mazda CX-3 Debuts in LA w/ New CX-5 & Mazda6

Posted by Stephen On Friday, November 21st, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen… The 2014 LA Auto Show is finally here!

To kick off our coverage, we’re going to look at everything that Mazda has brought to arguably the largest remaining automotive event in 2014. As you continue reading, you’ll learn about Mazda’s all-new CX-3 compact crossover, their makeover for the 2016MY Mazda6 and their refresh for the CX-5.

Mazda CX-3 Compact Crossover

2016 Mazda CX-3

First up, we have Mazda’s entry into the compact crossover segment, otherwise known as the Nissan Juke bandwagon. Even though it’s a highly competitive class of vehicles, you can see here that the segment’s top dogs shouldn’t underestimate Mazda’s newest offering. Even without Mazda’s mechanical prowess, this is one sharp-looking crossover.

The Mazda CX-3 is built on the same platform as the award-winning Mazda2. They’ve expanded the hatchback’s body to match crossover proportions with an extra 21.5cm length and 5.5cm height. Meanwhile, the interior cabin bears closer resemblance to the 2, although the extra size keeps the CX-3 feeling like an SUV behind the wheel.

2016 Mazda CX-3 interior

The CX-3 will be offered in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Mazda hasn’t given us specific details about the available powertrains, but we do know that there’ll be a 2.0L petrol in the US and a 1.5L diesel in other markets.

For more information about the new Mazda CX-3, read Mazda’s official press release.

Mazda CX-5 Crossover

2015 Mazda CX-5

Shown alongside the all-new Mazda CX-3 is the new compact’s older brother – the 2016 Mazda CX-5. All in all, Mazda didn’t do a whole lot to this car… It’s a great SUV that really didn’t need much updating, and they certainly wouldn’t want to detract from the CX-3’s debut. Still, there are a few noteworthy changes:

Outside, the front grille has been tightened up, and Mazda says they’ve tried to enhance the eye-like look of the headlights to “heighten the car’s look of vitality.”

2016 Mazda CX-5 interior

Inside, the biggest change is a 10% improvement in NVH – noise, vibration and harshness – on rough roads. With new safety features like Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart Brake Support, drivers of the 2016 Mazda Cx-5 should feel more comfortable and more confident than ever before.

2016 Mazda6 Sedan

2016 Mazda6 Sedan

As one of the first cars to get fitted with Mazda’s Kodo design language, the sedan has had its current exterior mostly unchanged for the past three years. Thus, this update is mostly aesthetic. You can see that the grille has been updated with new chrome bars, restyled LED lamps both up front and in the back, a shark fin antenna, and two new colors to choose from (Titanium Flash Mica, Sonic Silver Metallic). Mazda also refinished the 19-inch aluminum twin-spoke alloys with a darker gunmetal tint.

Under the hood, Mazda has embraced their KISS mentality by offering just one 2.5L petrol powertrain option for the 2016 model year. It currently looks like the only state of tune offered will be at 184hp.

2016 Mazda6 Sedan interior

Inside, just like in the Mazda CX-5, Mazda quieted the 6’s interior by 10% on rough roads, and a full 25% on smoothly paved highways or city streets. The sedan also gets the same upgraded i-Activsense safety suite. Unlike the CX-5, though, the Mazda6 gets a new Electrical Parking Brake (EPB), making it the first car in Mazda’s lineup to receive such a feature.


Mazda6 Diesel Delayed Yet Again, But There’s a Silver Lining

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 19th, 2014

2014 Mazda6 Diesel Sedan

It’s been almost 2 years since the new Mazda6 was overhauled with its SkyActiv suite and award-winning Kodo design language. However, Mazda had hoped to launch a diesel-powered version of their sedan alongside the conventional Mazda6. There aren’t too many really well-received diesel sedans in the US, and Mazda thinks they can compete with Volkswagen’s Passat TDI Clean Diesel for a piece of the pie.

Unfortunately, the Mazda6’s diesel engine has been inexplicably delayed twice in 2013, then was given an “indefinite” launch date at the beginning of 2014.

After a certain amount of time it becomes hard to believe that Mazda is sincere about a diesel Mazda6 for NA, but a new report from TTAC sheds some light on what’s going on behind the scenes.

Apparently, Mazda has been stuck figuring out a way to offer a diesel engine that meets the strict and varied diesel emissions regulations of all 50 states, including California. The problem is that Mazda is trying to avoid the use of an after-treatment to reduce the engine’s emissions, but so far that’s been impossible to do.

Here’s a more detailed version of what happened:

The original diesel engine that Mazda was ready to launch a few months after the Mazda6’s launch wasn’t clean enough for the EPA. No problem – Mazda just re-tuned the engine in order to meet the emissions standards.

Simple enough, right?

Not quite. The cleaner engine gave up too much “Mazda-appropriate driving performance,” and the engine was deemed too weak to put in the sedan given consumer expectations.

So, after a year and a half of failed attempts, Mazda is back to the drawing board and reconsidering the use of an after-treatment emissions system. We’re not really sure what all the resistance was for anyways, since nearly every other diesel in the US uses a diesel exhaust fluid or some other after-treatment system.

If the Mazda6 diesel is successful, then the Japanese automaker will likely attempt to launch diesel versions of their other SkyActiv models too, such as the Mazda CX-5 or Mazda3… Maybe even the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

In the end, even though this may seem like just one more hold up in a long line of delays, we think this one is different. For starters, Mazda is no longer quoting “indefinite” as the launch date. The new report tells us to expect a SkyActiv-D Mazda6 in approximately one year’s time as a 2016 model year. Incidentally, this may coincide with a mid-cycle refresh that Japanese automaker is planning for the 6, at least if the folks over at Automotive News can be believed.


2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster Unveiled Today

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 5th, 2014

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata front

The day we’ve been looking forward to for nearly a year now has finally arrived. Mazda officially revealed the all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata, the fourth generation of their iconic Japanese roadster. Even though the car won’t go on sale until next year, Mazda has given us plenty of mouth-watering technical details to pique our interest. More importantly, they’ve given us pictures. Behold the next-generation Mazda Miata:

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata rear

You can see that the Japanese automaker has refined their signature Kodo design language for their iconic sports car, giving it “the presence of a living creature and a strong sense of vitality.” It definitely looks straighter and cleaner than what you might’ve expected given the curvaceous Mazda3 and Mazda6, but in a good way. Mazda had already told us to expect the new Miata to harken back to the roadster’s roots by reversing the ‘bigger equals better’ trend of recent generations. We have to say, they really pulled it off; the car looks simple, fast and fun.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster side

The specs tell us that the new Mazda MX-5 is 105mm shorter than the outgoing roadster, but it doesn’t look stubby or fat. That’s because the majority of the length was taken from the front and rear overhangs; the wheelbase is only 15mm shorter than the old model. Mazda said that they were trying to move away from the classic British roadster by making the Miata compact and low-riding with a sharp, minimalist design. In fact, the new MX-5 has the lowest center of gravity of any model in the car’s 25-year history.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata interior

To truly appreciate the engineering ingenuity that went into the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, you really have to get behind the wheel and feel the car’s agility for yourself. Just imagine – the new model is claimed to be 200lbs lighter than the outgoing model with a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. The weight reduction is largely thanks to the heavy dose of aluminum you’ll find in the all-new SkyActiv-Chassis.

Unfortunately, Mazda didn’t tell us too much about the engine. All we know is that the roadster will run on a “specially tuned SKYACTIV-G petrol engine and the first rear-wheel drive version of the SKYACTIV-Chassis.” If you do a bit of poking around, you’ll find that most rumors suggest the new MX-5 will run on a 2.0L direct-injection four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. A turbocharger is a possibility too.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Cutaway

Clearly there’s still a lot we don’t know about the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. For example, we don’t know pricing, trims, technology options or verified powertrain specs, and we don’t even have a definite arrival date. All we know is that it’ll be a 2016 model – which means it’ll go on sale in 2015 – and that we’ll definitely be hearing more about the next-gen roadster at a major auto show sometime before then, possibly in just a couple months.


Mazda Is Determined to Tease Us with the 2014 Mazda6

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Did you know that the last five days of the calendar year are by far the busiest days in your average dealership in the US? Even if you didn’t, Mazda certainly did and does… It is for this very reason that they have elected to begin displaying their highly anticipated 2014 Mazda6 in showrooms through the month of December. Even though the car can’t be test driven, much less sold until 2013, Mazda aims to excite potential buyers even more than they already have just by having the car out there, catching your eye and piquing your curiosity.

Now, obviously this is a very good marketing move for the Japanese automaker. Shoppers are in the showroom, money at the ready, and they see Mazda’s newest vehicle… But they can’t have it yet! All they have to do is wait a few extra days to get it. Sales are certain to start off with a bang as soon as the 2014 Mazda6 can be legally sold on January 2, 2013 (dealers are expressly prohibited from so much as turning on the vehicle for a customer prior to that date).

New 2014 Mazda 6

So, what’s the problem?

Well, Mazda officials have clearly stated that dealers across the US are still carrying an average of 7,000 of the outgoing 2013 Mazda6. Furthermore, the 2013 model has a base price that is just $155 cheaper than the new model year’s. In fact, the souped-up 2013 Grand Touring Mazda6 is actually more expensive than the same package for the 2014 Mazda6. Of course, I doubt you will hear very many complaints about the new Mazda6 being TOO affordable, but still, this means that dealers will have to do something drastic to sell the outgoing vehicles. So, those of you who don’t mind driving a very slightly outdated vehicle should hurry to take advantage of the undoubtedly sky-high incentives for the old Mazda6. The outgoing model will only be available for another couple of months.

If you’re not already familiar with the 2014 Mazda6, then you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, the 2014 version of Mazda’s flagship sedan is the first in its class to feature Mazda’s new SkyActiv technologies. Basically, this means that the car is more efficient and drives better. The 2014 Mazda6 boasts an impressive 27mpg in the city and 38mpg on the highway. The 2.5-liter four cylinder SkyActiv engine will have 184 horsepower and be capable of pairing with either a six speed manual or automatic transmission. These figures are better than or equal to all of the Mazda6’s competitors, and on top of that the car’s design looks great.

In case you are skeptical of what SkyActiv will mean for the 2014 Mazda6, all you have to do is turn your eye to the Mazda CX-5, which just earlier this month won the prestigious Japan Car of the Year Award on the back of the new technologies. The fact that the 2014 Mazda6 is so stylish, so efficient and extremely affordable makes the Japanese manufacturer’s move to begin showing off the car a little early very understandable. In fact, you could almost argue that they’re doing customers a favor!


Mazda Atenza / Mazda6 Photos Show Kodo Design Philosophy Running Strong

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The Paris Auto Show has seen a ton of exciting new concepts from leading Japanese car companies but one that has really stood out is the new Atenza / Mazda6 sedan and wagon models. (The Atenza is known outside Japan as the Mazda6).

Having just released an enormous photo gallery of the two versions, Mazda reiterated that their latest designs follow their corporations design philosophy of Kodo (soul of motion) to the purest element it’s been yet.

They sure aren’t kidding. The wing grille streams into each flowing line that carries the eye back over the coupe-like roofline. In fact, the roofline has been set towards the back of the car by 100mm which gives a surprisingly sporty look to the mid-size cars. The Mazda6 is certain to make a big hit in the European D-segment of the car market, a place where the company currently sells 6.2% of the total passenger cars already.

2013 Mazda Atenza Wagon Side View

A Roomier Atenza / Mazda6

Promising to provide more space in the cabin, Mazda gave the sedan a 2,830 mm wheelbase but in an odd move, made the wagon version of the Mazda6 only 2,750 mm. The wagon is also smaller, coming in at 4,800 mm total, 65 mm under the typical Mazda saloon (which is a standard size according to Mazda reps).

But even with that length difference, the wagon beats out the sedan in boot capacity as with the rear seats in place, the wagon is 522lt while the sedan only 489lt. Either way, both versions of the Mazda6 are constructed over a more rigid but lighter chassis that boasts a front strut and multi-link rear suspension. This should provide the agile yet comfortable ride as well as high-speed stability that the company is promising in both the Mazda6 sedan and wagon versions.

Zoom Zoom Engine Options

When the sales begin at the end of this year in Europe, drivers will be able to pick between two different versions of the Skyactiv Mazda: the three petrol and the two diesel power versions. The petrol Skyactiv-G comes with a 2.0 liter in both 143 horsepower (145PS) and 163 horsepower (165PS) options. If the buyer wishes for even more power in a petrol, they can also opt for a 2.5 liter that boasts a 189 horsepower (192PS) engine.

For those who prefer diesel, options are available as well with the Skyactiv-D 2.2 diesel coming in either a 147 horsepower (150PS) or 173 horsepower (175PS) variety.

The obvious attention to choices is part of a new Japanese automaker trend to provide variety to their customers, something which is partially responsible for their strong sales as of late. Mazda’s new line is looking to follow suit.

2013 Mazda Atenza Wagon Front

More Safety Options Standard in Europe

But what’s even more intriguing is that while the European models will have features like radar cruise control, automatic braking for low and high speed collision and lane departure warning systems, the power options will shrink when the cars are released in North America in early 2013.

Offering only the sedan Mazda6 with the Skyactiv-G gasoline 2.5-liter 189 horsepower engine, Mazda seems to know that Americans want more power. And with the promise of a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine possibly in the works later on in the line, it looks like Mazda really have their fingers on the pulse of each geographical market.