Category Archives: Future/New Mazdas

Mazda Gives More Details On Its Future Rotary Engine

Mazda will pair a rotary range extender as an option to an electric drivetrain

It’s been six years since Mazda sold a rotary-powered car in the United States, and the Japanese automaker has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the engine technology since then. Now it seems Mazda is willing to apply the rev-happy Dorito motor to a new efficient solution: as a range extender in an electric car.
Martijn ten Brink, Vice President of Sales and Customer Service of Mazda Motor Europe, confirmed further details on the EV in an interview with Dutch AutoRAI (via Motor Authority).

As governments globally plan the regulatory phase out of fossil fuel-powered vehicles, Mazda is diving into electric drivetrains. “Under the name Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 we have outlined a complete future plan,” said Martijn in the interview. “An electric car has also been included in that plan.” Electric vehicles still come with the challenges of more limited range versus their gasoline and diesel counterparts, so Mazda will employ the rotary engine as a range extender for the new electric vehicle. “Optionally we supply the electric car with a range extender in the form of a wankel engine. This is mainly to take away any concerns from customers,” Martijn said.

An electric vehicle with a rotary range extender has been the worst-kept secret in the industry in recent months. Mazda North American president Masahiro Moro reiterated his desire for the engine’s return in January for both sports cars and cleaner options. “That could be a very environmentally friendly engine,” Moro said. “Or the rotary engine could be a generator to generate electricity. So we have a lot of opportunity for the rotary engine.” The latest report says the rotary will be used in conjunction with Mazda’s Small Car Platform, which underpins the Mazda2, CX-3, and Mazda3, with the new vehicle likely to take on a crossover form.

It’ll also be a small displacement, single-rotor engine, similar to the one used in the 2013 Mazda2 TPEV concept, probably measuring in at around 330 cc (0.33 liters).

Mazda Might Give the MX-5 Miata 26 More Horsepower For 2019

from RoadandTrack.oom

Regulatory documents suggest the 2019 MX-5 Miata will go from 155 horsepower to 181, a huge power increase for the lightweight sports car.

The Mazda MX-5 has been widely hailed as a return to the original formula: a great-handling, lightweight car. It’s also been criticized by some for only having 155 horsepower. Mazda has repeatedly stated that it will focus on making the car faster by cutting more weight, but a new VIN filing shows that the MX-5 might also get a significant horsepower bump for the 2019 model year.

A document filed with NHTSA on February 27th shows that the MX-5 will continue to offer the trim levels we’re familiar with and a 2.0-liter engine, but the power rating has changed from 155 horsepower to 181. This would constitute a power increase of 17 percent—the biggest jump for any version of the naturally-aspirated SkyActiv-G motor.

The horsepower increase is shown on Page 3 of the document, embedded here:

Naturally, we’re a bit skeptical that such a power increase is possible: currently, the most powerful version of the 2.0L SkyActiv-G produces 162 horsepower in some overseas versions of the Mazda3; the VIN document that references the assumed Miata power increase does not list any power adders such as a turbo or supercharger. Our first thought is that the MX-5 might be getting the SkyActiv-X engine which Mazda states will make in excess of 180 horsepower in 2.0-liter form, but Mazda has said in the past that the MX-5 would not get this innovative compression-ignition gasoline engine anytime soon.

This gap in deployment of the SkyActiv-X engine might actually explain the power bump. The MX-5 will be due for a refresh soon, and engineers might be working on squeezing out a bit more power if they plan to continue using the SkyActiv-G engine. Adding 26 horsepower to that engine will be no easy task: it will likely require changes to make the motor breathe easier while staying emissions compliant. The most common aftermarket upgrades to intake, exhaust, and computer only add about 12 horsepower to the current engine. There are a few tuning packages that bump the engine over the 180 horsepower mark, but they require extensive mods including new camshafts and intake manifolds.

Mazda has done similar upgrades to previous generations of engines, like the 2.0-liter MZR of the last-generation MX-5 which debuted at 136 horsepower in some models but was tuned to go as high as 167 horsepower in others. Mazda has stated it doesn’t plan to offer a turbo version of the current car, as it would require significant weight-adding drivetrain alterations that would deviate from the current car’s lightweight formula. This might be another reason for a breathed-on version of the current engine, as the jump to 181 horsepower would likely not require upgrades to the transmission, rear differential, or wheel bearings—the weight increase would be minimal.

We asked Mazda for comment on the document but their representative stated that they could not speculate on future products. While this is a common response for products that have not yet been revealed, it gives us some hope that the number in the document is not a mistake, since it was not immediately pointed out as such.

While most of us here at R&T believe that 155 horsepower is plenty for a car as light as the MX-5, we can all appreciate that this apparent power bump would make the Miata even more fun on the road and the track.

RX Vision Concept

from InsiderCarNews.com by Justin Cupler

When Mazda revealed its RX Vision concept, jaws across the automotive world dropped. This stunning concept embodied everything enthusiasts wanted in a new RX, sans the “concept” suffix. Recently, Mazda rightfully brought home the “Most Beautiful Concept of the Year” at the 31st Festival Automobile International for its work on this sleek, Wankel-powered rig. Though the RX was an undeniable beauty, this award was by no means automatic. It had to stand up to the likes of the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6, the Peugeot Fractal, and Porsche Mission E—none of which were deficient in terms of sexiness. In the end, however, the RX Vision designers’ tweaks to the KODO language were enough to bag the prize.

RX Vision ConceptThe big question now is whether Mazda will actually use this design in producing a road-going RX. In recent years, Mazda has been pretty good about avoiding useless concept cars, but this one seems more of a stretch for several reasons.

The first issue is that the RX will have to come with some form of rotary engine, or fans will revolt. This requirement leads me to the next issue; the rotary, while capable of big horsepower numbers from a small displacement, has always had three flaws: fuel economy, oil consumption, and lack of low-rev torque.

Since their inception, the Rotary engines were little more than a novelty, as they allowed for a nearly limitless rev band that gave engineers more freedom to extract serious horsepower from them. Horsepower is great for bragging rights, but torque has always been one of the Wankel’s shortcomings—the RX-8’s embarrassing 152 pound-feet at 5,500 is a key example of this—and the only way Mazda saw to fix it was turbo, which compounded the oil- and fuel-consumption issues (sigh). And don’t even get me started on the apex seal issues…

According to Mazda, it is continuing to tweak the Skyactiv-R rotary in the concept to make it friendly for production. Rumors have swirled about this engine, ranging from it being a generator for an electric powertrain to it being a diesel engine. Recently, the rumormill has rested on a report that Mazda engineers want the rotary to stand alone—no electrification—and run on diesel. Instead, the last reports claim that Mazda is looking to go back to turbocharging for the new engine.

Stay tuned for details.

RX Vision Concept

 

2016 Mazda CX-3 Crossover

by Ken Chester, Motor News Corporation

2016 MazdaCX-3 crossover The 2016 Mazda CX-3 was recently introduced. The new compact crossover SUV is the fifth model in Mazda’s line-up of new-generation vehicles that feature the full range of SKYACTIV Technology and KODO — Soul of Motion design. The CX-3 offers all the essentials people look for in a vehicle; a design of overwhelming quality and style, packaging developed solely with the customer’s ease-of-use in mind, and the responsive driving feel that Mazda strives for in every model.

In the all-new CX-3, the essence of KODO — the expression of life within a vehicle — has been evolved to produce a sharper form with an enhanced sense of speed. In the interior, meticulous attention to detail regarding the materials used has created a cabin environment of impressive sophistication and quality. In terms of driving performance, the CX-3 adopts the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies, carefully crafted to match human sensibilities. This realizes driving pleasure with faithful response as well as excellent environmental and safety performance.

The CX-3 is equipped with the automaker’s SKYACTIV-G 2.0L four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to the SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission. Providing drivers with a direct feel similar to that of a manual transmission, the automatic transmission also achieves excellent fuel economy while delivering smooth and powerful acceleration.

The available new-generation AWD system employs an active torque control coupling to achieve excellent drivability and vehicle stability. It employs a front wheel slip warning detection system, which employs sensor signals to accurately monitor the driver’s intentions and constantly changing driving conditions. In addition, the CX-3 uses a newly developed power take-off and rear differential that is compact and light in weight.

The CX-3 features the SKYACTIV-CHASSIS, which delivers reassuring confidence and greatly enhanced levels of comfort thanks to thoroughly revised suspension and steering functions. The chassis employs a lightweight torsion beam rear suspension system that features highly efficient packaging and dampers in the front and rear that optimize friction characteristics to deliver linear handling characteristics and ride comfort with a feeling of high quality. The steering system allows light and agile handling in the city, but feels stable on winding country roads and the highway.

The CX-3 also adopts Mazda’s SKYACTIV-BODY, which achieves high levels of performance in three seemingly contradictory areas: collision safety, weight reduction, and rigidity. Realizing an even simpler layout of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-BODY architecture, it combines effective positioning of high-tensile steel and optimized cross section shapes to produce a lightweight body that features high rigidity and a sense of positive damping characteristics.

Inside the passenger cabin, the interior gives a high-quality and sophisticated feel coordinated with the exterior design. Keen attention was paid to every detail, including the cohesiveness of the spatial designs and the quality of materials used.

The surrounding character line and relatively high beltline, along with the deeply sculpted three-dimensional form of the door trim, create a comforting sense of snugness and openness for the front seat space.

All information displays and control systems are positioned in accordance with a driver-oriented design based on Mazda’s Heads-up Cockpit concept. The soft material that covers the meter hood features a stitch-like finish on its front edge, producing an atmosphere of maturity.

Each individual part has been refined to provide the interior with a polished, high-quality feel. Examples includes the dark red accent color used on the door trim armrests and floor console kneepads, and the sharp form of the inner door handle bezels which look as if they were sculpted from solid metal. Fine piping carefully added where the different coordinated seat materials meet, such as the Parchment leather and off-black Lux Suede offering, produces a sophisticated environment.

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata

With the upgrades to the Mazda6 midsize sedan and Mazda3 compact hatchback and sedan complete, the time has come for an 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miataupdate to Mazda’s popular and iconic roadster, the MX-5 Miata. The reveal of the next-generation car is expected to come soon, according to a report from Britain’s Autocar, with the debut believed to be at next month’s Chicago Auto Show.

Mazda initially targeted an ambitious curb weight goal of 2200 lb for the next-generation car, but indications are the final curb weight will come in closer to 2400 lb, a weight savings of between 150-200 lb compared to today’s car. Due to affordability considerations, the body is believed to be primarily steel, but with strategic lightening of specific components to keep weight low.

Initial reports suggested a turbocharged engine for the new Miata, but it now looks like naturally-aspirated I-4 engines of 1.5 liters and 2.0 liters will be offered in various markets. As with past Miata models, the focus will be more on balanced performance and andling rather than outright power.

The next-generation Mazda Miata is expected to be slightly longer than today’s car for a roomier interior, as well as making space for the Skyactiv engines, which have a long and bulky exhaust manifold design to enable their high fuel efficiency. Efficiency gains are expected to be in the neighborhood of 30 percent, which would translate to roughly 27 mpg city and 36-37 mpg highway, over the current Miata’s 21/28 figures.

The popular power retractable hardtop will continue on the new model, with a new design that preserves more trunk space. A canvas-top will still be offered.

Mazda RX-7 to Return in 2016?

Only thing needed now is an official production green light.

It appears as if the on -again, off-again rumors regarding a potential new Mazda RX-7 have been settled. According to a new report from Autocar, Mazda will bring back its legendary rotary-powered two-seater in 2016. Supposedly, it’ll be powered by an all-new 250 horsepower rotary and will be based on a version of the same platform that’ll underpin the upcoming new MX-5, itself due to arrive in 2015.

At the moment, the new RX-7’s exterior design hasn’t been fully locked down, but the man in charge of its styling, Ikuo Maeda, has a special bond to the RX-7: his father was head of Mazda design in the 1970s when the original RX-7 debuted. Autocar is also claiming the new rotary will be a naturally aspirated unit, and won’t incorporate any use of hybrid assistance. More than likely, the new engine will have a 1.2-liter capacity. Mazda execs have still yet to officially green light producti2016 RX-7on, as the business case numbers are still being worked out. Fortunately, rotary development and exterior/interior design is still ongoing

The New Mazda MX-5

New Mazda MX-5

Even Mazda, which has enjoyed such incredible success in the roadster market, isn’t resting on its laurels. The new fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 is currently being developed in conjunction with Alfa Romeo so that the two companies can share the initial investment and boost profits. The project will also spawn a new Alfa Spider – but there are no signs that the MX-5’s winning formula will be diluted in any way.

As our exclusive image shows, the styling falls into line with the current Mazda model range thanks to the large, shield-shaped grille and hawk-eye headlights, as well as bodywork that swoops tightly around the rear-wheel-drive chassis beneath.

Besides the basic steel structure, the Mazda MX-5 won’t share very much with the Alfa. The new MX-5 will be powered by unique 1.3 and 1.5-litre turbocharged engines with just enough performance to let the chassis’ talents shine through. With high-strength steels used throughout, engineers are aiming to strip at least 100kg from the current MX-5’s kerbweight, with 1,050kg the target figure. And a sub-£20,000 price tag will help the car retain its reputation for value.

Mazda and Fiat to Co-produce New Roadster

Alpha MX-5 Concept Fiat and Mazda have officially inked the deal which will retool the MX-5 (aka the Miata) as Alfa Romeo’s next open-top sports car, expected to hit showrooms in 2015. The agreement was first mooted back in May 2012, and will see the as-yet-unnamed Alfa Romeo droptop eventually go on sale globally; meanwhile, Mazda will also offer its own version of the car, the next-gen MX-5.

Although the two cars “will be based on the architecture” of Mazda’s new Miata model, there will be some key differences in what ends up on sale. Beyond the differentiated styling – unconfirmed, though we’re hoping Alfa Romeo doesn’t stray too far from the delectable 2010 concept by Pininfarina, shown here, although we wouldn’t argue with a convertible version of last year’s Disco Volante concept either – each marque will slot in their choice of engine.

Both versions will be produced at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in Japan, and feature rear-wheel drive and two seats. For the Japanese firm, it’s a chance to squeeze as much value as possible out of its new design and manufacturing investment, vital if the compact droptop is to be financially viable.

Alpha MX-5 Concept For Fiat, meanwhile, Alfa Romeo has been struggling for some time, and the deal means producing “a modern interpretation of the classic Alfa Romeo roadster” needn’t be quite so impractical. Initial plans to reintroduce the brand to the US market later this year have been delayed, however, with the Alfa Romeo 4C now not expected to debut in North America until sometime in 2014.

The 2015 Mazda MX-5 Sports Car Revealed

By Tim Pollard (artist’s impressions by Christian Schulte)

2015 MX-5  The Fiat Group’s revelation in May 2012 that it would co-develop the next Alfa Romeo Spider alongside the Mazda MX-5 got everyone at CAR, and its digital audience, salivating. Today we can bring you the latest artist’s impressions showing how this Japanese-Italian fusion could look on the road.

This is perhaps one of the most exciting prospects for years: a project marrying Italian design flair and Alfa Romeo style with the Japanese reliability and back-to-basics MX-5 purity. It could be a marriage made in heaven – we’ll know for sure when we see this duo in 2015.

This is an artist’s impression, remember. None of us yet know exactly how the sports car twins will look, but the rules of jigsaw identification mean we can have a good stab at how they’ll turn out.

The MX-5 hasn’t deviated much over the years from the original 1989 recipe, and our sources at Mazda suggest the same evolutionary style will continue, pepped up with the latest ‘Kodo’ design language seen on the new 6 family car. That means a pointier front face and exaggerated Mazda grille, but the essential footprint of the 2015 MX-5 won’t change much.

This suggests the Alfa Spider won’t be wildly different. The hard points of the architecture will be shared, but each brand will be allowed the freedom to graft on their own grilles and corporate jewellery. Let’s hope they’re allowed more flexibility than the identikit Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ twins.

While details remain scant on the Spider/MX-5 project, a few nuggets have been announced already in the formal statement.

‘The study calls for both Mazda and Fiat to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive,’ the companies have confirmed. ‘The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.

‘The project assumption is that both vehicles will be manufactured at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan, plant with production for Alfa Romeo envisaged starting in 2015.’

Engines in the new Alfa Romeo Spider

Each brand will stick with their own engines, and CAR understands the Spider will use the 1750TBi four-cylinder, tuned to produce more than 200bhp and mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch TCT transmission.

CAR understands the Italian roadster will stick with a folding soft-top, rather than use the MX-5’s folding hard top. Fingers crossed the rear-wheel drive purity of the Mazda comes as standard on the Alfa Romeo Spider.

Mazda Takeri Debut

Mazda Takeri Concept

Mazda Motor Corporation showcased the global premiere of the Mazda TAKERI next-generation midsize sedan concept car at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show. The show also saw the Japanese debut of the new CX-5 crossover SUV outfitted with the complete range of Mazda’s breakthrough SkyActiv technology, as well as other new technologies and production models.

The Mazda TAKERI takes advantage of Mazda’s new design language, “KODO – Soul of Motion,” to bring a new level of strength and allure to sedan styling. The TAKERI features SkyActiv technology, including the efficient and powerful new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine, to deliver dynamic performance and a comfortable ride. The combination of SkyActiv technology and other technology features, such as i-stop, Mazda’s idling stop system, and a new regenerative braking system, enable the Mazda TAKERI to achieve exceptional fuel economy.

The regenerative braking system efficiently converts kinetic energy to electricity during deceleration, stores it in capacitors, and then uses it to power the vehicle’s electric equipment, thereby reducing load on the engine and saving fuel. The regenerative braking system represents Step Two of Mazda’s Building Block Strategy. After renewing existing technologies, such as engines and bodies, Step One of the Building Block Strategy is idling stop technology (i-stop), Step Two is regenerative braking technology, and Step Three is electric drive technology (hybrid, etc.).