If you are reading this then I think it might be safe to assume that like me, you are passionate about cars, a “gearhead” as most would say. If that’s true then you probably know what its like to try to explain your passion to a non-gearhead. They find it hard to understand how someone can be fixated on what they think is just a machine. They might even think you’re a bit crazy.
The truth is only a gearhead can really understand another gearhead. That sentiment is captured in a beautifully poignant way in the film piece below by Steve Ketner (presented by Clash Production) called “A Best Friend’s Story”. Despite being only two minutes long we learn chapters about when a man’s passion for cars began, and how he defines his relationship with his beloved Mazda MX-5.
This year at the LA Auto Show Mazda was all about the new 2014 Mazda6 sedan. Yes, we finally got to see the production Mazda6 in the flesh, on American soil! What started off as the Takeri concept is now a full-on production car and it is freaking beautiful! Say what you want about Mazda but they sure do know how to pull emotion out of you through their designs.
Looking at the Mazda6 just made me want to jump in and drive the wheels off it! What was more impressive was the announcement that the new Mazda6 will have Mazda’s new SKYACTIV-D diesel engine! Ever since Mazda announced their new SKYACTIV technology, we have been waiting for the first Diesel engine to show up and it looks like we are finally getting it! Unfortunately no performance numbers on the SKYACTIV-D have been released yet but I think its safe to say we can expect a bucket-full of torque. I will have more on the 2014 Mazda6 soon in its own post.
Mazda also brought out the MX-5 Club edition and it is amaz-ome! (thats amazing and awesome). The Club edition is something of a send-off for this generation MX-5 and it is certainly a proper way to say goodbye. It has everything that makes the MX-5 awesome but wrapped in a cool black/red color way and special edition badging. I really, really want one of these and at only $27,000 it isn’t a bad buy at all. Still out of my current price range but still a great deal!
Besides the 2014 Mazda6 and the MX-5 Club Mazda showed off their full line and even had their new SKYACTIV-D turbocharged race engine on display (nice touch) and a simulator that puts participants on a hot lap around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I didn’t get on it myself but it looked like a ton of fun!
For all the pictures from the 2012 LA Auto Show Mazda Exhibit check out our Facebook gallery. Also if you want to see Mazda’s LA Auto Show press conference scroll below and watch!
For Mazda the LA Auto Show is all about the “6″. Not only is the 2014 Mazda6 making its North American debut, Mazda has also announced that the new 6 will offically go racing next year (2013) in the new GRAND-AM “GX” class with an all new turbo charged “Skyactiv-D” (the D is for Diesel) race engine. The race versions of the Mazda6 will be built by Speedsource and will essentially be taking the place of the discontinued RX-8 in the GRAND-AM series. The Mazda6 race car is set to make its debut at the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona in January, 2013. This will mark the first time a diesel engine of any kind was run at the 24 hour race.
Despite the new Mazda6′s recent reveal, Speedsource has been working on its engine for a very long time with Mazda but the engineers had to wait for the production car to be officially announced before they could spill the beans on the new power plant. After hours of testing the engineers are confident that the new Skyactiv-D race engine will be up to the grueling task of a 24 hour endurance race. One of the more interesting notes about the engine is that it is not a purpose built racing block. The engine that will be in the Mazda6 race car is built off a production Skyactiv-D road car block!
Rumor has it that there will be four Mazda6 Skyactiv-D race cars in total at the race next year. One will be fielded by Speedsource and the other three will be customer teams. As of now those teams and their drivers are unknown.
I really want to see this car up close but for now the rendering will have to do. Click the thumbnail below for a larger version.
ALL-NEW SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL WILL POWER LATEST MAZDA RACECAR
November 29, 2012 (LOS ANGELES, Calif) Mazda North American Operations today announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that the racing version of the 2014 Mazda6 will make its motorsports debut at the Rolex 24 endurance race on January 26-27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Mazda6 racecar will be powered by a Mazda SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine and is being developed for the new GRAND-AM GX class. This will be the first time a diesel-powered vehicle of any type has ever raced at the Rolex 24. Mazda will be seeking their 24th class win in the American endurance classic, having most recently won in 2008 and 2010.
John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations noted that: “We have been eager to announce this car for months, but had to wait until the production car was revealed. The SpeedSource engineering team, working with the Mazda engineers, have been flat out for months on engine development. We’re happy to report that the engine is meeting the performance targets for both power and endurance. That means 400+ hp for over 50 hours, with an engine that includes a very long list of production Mazda parts. This is not a pure race engine; it is a production block SKYACTIV-D. We’re excited about having our newest engine powering our newest car.”
About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports & MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. Mazda cars compete in over a dozen professional classes in the U.S.
Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
The Mazdaspeed3 was a revelation for many reasons. It was one of the first cars in its class and of its type to come from an OEM with just about everything needed to have fun on and off a race track. There is plenty of power, but room for practical crap like food and kids and stuff. The one weakness in the Mazdaspeed3′s armor is that it is FWD so it has a few of the downsides that come with that set up; namely understeer. Mazda did their best to remedy the problem but there is always room for improvement. That is where COBB Tuning comes in with their anti-sway bar kit. This kit improves rigidity, turn-in, and reduces understeer in the corners. This kit is a must if you have a first gen Mazdaspeed3 and you enjoy your track days.
Last Saturday morning I decided to once again torture myself for you by waking up earlier than time itself to make the trek to Mazda North American HQ in Irvine, CA for the weekly Cars & Coffee meet. OK, so maybe I did not wake up quite as early as I should have but it was still early! I still managed to get there with enough time to snap some shots of the nicer cars at the show and there were some nice rides indeed. A Ferrari Enzo made an appearance as well as few Audi R8′s and a nice Lamborghini that I will show you in depth later. For now you can check out a few pics below and then head to our Facebook gallery to see the full set.
I remember the first time I heard a three-rotor RX-7 engine. I thought it was the greatest sound in the world. Then, I heard a four-rotor engine; first Mad Mike’s then the Legendary BMI Racing four-rotor and I knew that four-rotors was the tip top of the mechanically melodic mountain. However, on the horizon is an even higher plateau! Pulse Performance Race Engineering out of New Zealand (The shop that currently works on Mad Mikes cars) has successfully built a six-rotor Mazda-based engine! Yes, SIX! I am not sure if this has ever been done before, but as far as I know it is the first.
The crew recently released video of the engine coming to life and sure enough it starts and runs. Although you wont hear any redline-bouncing revs in the video, the fact that they could get something like that to start and run is amazing! Performance numbers have not been disclosed, nor has the time it took the team to build it or how they pulled it off. As to why, well if you need to ask why then I am going to have to ask you to leave this website and never come back! One does not need a reason to give birth to six-rotors of pure awesome!
Could we see ths engine under the hood of Mad Mike’s next car? I certainly hope so! For now, scroll down and watch the six-delta beast come to life.
When you have a Turbo car, whether it came that way or not one of the most important things needed to maintain performance is stable temperatures. Especially for the “charge air” or air being forced into your intake manifold by that lovely little metal snail we call a turbocharger. This problem is usually solved by an intercooler but, in cases such as the current gen Mazdaspeed3 the stock solution is not always the most efficient. I was happy when Mazda finally added a hood-scoop to feed the top mounted intercooler on the ‘speed3 but the stock unit is still pretty small and so is that opening in the hood.
COBB Tuning has solved this problem by producing a Mazdaspeed3 front mount intercooler solution with a much bigger core than stock; and thanks to the trademark “smile” front bumper on the Mazdaspeed3, the entire COBB intercooler’s surface area will be bathed in cool air from the outside. COBB also took great care to make sure that their intercooler will live in harmony with all of the car’s stock components while having good fitment. The kit comes with all the necessary brackets to bolt right on, and no cutting to the front bumper is needed at all. According to COBB the only surgery needed to accommodate their intercooler is some slight trimming to the under-tray.
The kit is a bit pricy at just over $1,000 but COBB always makes high quality stuff so in this case getting what you pay for is a really good thing.
Soon after Audi made history this weekend by achieving the first 24 Hours Of LeMans victory with a hybrid race car, Mazda has announced that they will take their knew “Skyactiv-D” race engine to next year’s LeMans race with Dempsey Racing’s LMP2 class program. The Skyactiv-D race engine is the result of a partnership between Mazdaspeed Motorsports and SpeedSource racing. When all was said and done SpeedSource started with a stock Skyactive-D 2.2 liter engine block and turned it into a dual-staged turbo’d beast. Although I am not sure of the performance numbers I am sure this engine is more than capable of hanging with the big dogs in the class. I personally can’t wait to see Mazda run in the prototype class at LeMans again!
MAZDA ANNOUNCES SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL ENGINE FOR 2013 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
- DEMPSEY RACING PLANNING TO BE FIRST CUSTOMER FOR NEW ENGINE –
June 16, 2012 (LE MANS, FRANCE) Mazda Motorsports today announced that it will sell racing versions of its new SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL engines to teams competing in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class of racing’s greatest endurance challenge – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Le Mans engine program will make its debut at the 2013 running of the race. Mazda was the first – and to this day, remains the only – Asian manufacturer to score an overall win at the race, in 1991.
“This reopens our love affair with Le Mans,” said Jay Amestoy, Vice President of Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “In 1991 we made history, winning with rotary technology. Now we’re looking to return to the winner’s circle with what we believe will be the most advanced and cleanest production-based powerplant the sport has ever seen. We’ll do it in current Mazda style, with engines being available for sale to European and U.S. customers competing in the LMP2 class for both the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).”
The engines are being developed jointly by Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda North American Operations and SpeedSource Race Engineering. Dyno testing has already begun and on-track testing begins in late 2012.
The engines will be stock-block Mazda SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel four-cylinder, dual-stage turbocharged powerplants. According to John Doonan, MNAO’s Director of Mazda Motorsports, “will deliver outstanding performance and fuel economy coupled with the kind of quality, durability and reliability needed to produce great street cars and win endurance races.”
Mr. Masahiro Moro, Executive Officer in charge of global sales and marketing of Mazda Motor Corporation, made the following comment: “Mazda has fostered the culture of ‘never stop challenging.’ And it was this spirit that drove us through 18 consecutive years of racing at Le Mans, until we finally triumphed in 1991. In fact, it is this same spirit that laid the foundation for the portfolio of SKYACTIV Technologies. This was realized thanks to a number of technological breakthroughs. I am pleased that we will be supporting our private customers who are taking up the Le Mans challenge by supplying race engines as a customer-program based on our SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL.”
DEMPSEY RACING PLANNING TO BE FIRST SKYACTIV-D CUSTOMER
Planning and preparations continue for Dempsey Racing to become the first LMP2 customer for the Mazda SKYACTIV-D racing powerplant. Dempsey Racing is co-owned by racer/actor Patrick Dempsey.
Dempsey Racing has been racing Mazda RX-8s in the GRAND-AM GT class since 2007 with their highlight being a podium finish at the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team has steadily improved their on-track performance since their arrival in the series, and was a key contributor to Mazda winning the 2010 GRAND-AM GT Manufacturers Championship. With support from several partners such as VISITFLORIDA.com, Dempsey Racing expanded their operation this year to include a team running in the American Le Mans Series, and is competing in both the Prototype Challenge (LMPC) and Prototype 2 (LMP2) classes as they prepare for their Le Mans effort. In fact both team owner Dempsey and co-driver Joe Foster are currently testing their LMP2 car in Virginia as the rest of the sports car world focuses on the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend.
Patrick Dempsey and his business partner/co-driver Joe Foster have both competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as drivers in the GT category, and are eager to return in 2013, this time in the LMP2 class and with Mazda SKYACTIV-D clean diesel-power.
Patrick Dempsey comments “Our long-term partnership with Mazda has been fantastic, and we look forward to mutual success as we prepare for 2013. We are focused on that preparation which is why we are currently testing our LMP2 car here in the US in preparation for the next ALMS event. Our team and partners are excited to be associated with SKYACTIV-D technology and the cutting-edge green technology it represents.”
About Mazda & MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. In 2006 Mazda established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks. In 2010 this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy. Key to Mazda’s success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
MAZDASPEED Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
If there is one thing that the guys at Turn 10 Studios strived for when making Forza Motorsport4 was authenticity. The team flew all over the world to visit race tracks and scan real live versions of all the cars you can play in the game. They also do extensive sound recording for each car to make sure that the exhaust note is just right. Generally speaking getting a car for sound recording is not very hard for them. They can rent or borrow just about any street car they need for recording. However they ran into a bit of a problem when they decided they wanted to put the legendary Mazda 787B 4-rotor LeMans winner in the game. It’s engine is so rare that the only way to get a recording was to go through Mazda and get one of the original race cars.
Getting Mazda to bring out one of the original cars is a feat in and of itself. However, that turned out to be only half the battle. Once the team got a 787B in their possession they realized that the 4-rotor’s wail was so powerful that it exceeded the limits of what their highly specialized audio equipment could capture! How did they manage? Check out the video below to find out.
Just this morning BMI Racing famous for building the only 4-rotor Mazda RX-8 announced that they have decided to end their program with Mazda and run a Ford Mustang equipped with a Ford Racing Coyote 5.0 engine and whipple supercharger in 2012. While this was a tough decision for them to make they decided that switching to a Ford chassis would be in the best interest for their team going forward. Part of their decision was based on the fact that Mazda officially ended production of the RX-8 last year and have yet to announce if and when a replacement is coming. Couple that with the fact that drifting seems to be heading down the path of the V8s anyway and a Ford Mustang seems like a much more promising prospect.
You might be wondering if you are going to see the new BMI Racing Ford Mustang at Formula Drift Long Beach in April. Well shortly after this news went public I paid a visit to the BMI Racing team to see their progress with the Mustang and find out more about their plans. BMI Racing’s own Sarah Burgess will drive the Mustang and confirmed that they will campaign the car in the XDC Series. According to Sarah based on where the team is at right now and their short term goals it “makes more sense” for them to run the XDC Series for now. Although that is not to say that Formula Drift is not in the future for them.
As for the RX-8, well you Mazda heads will be sad to hear that for the most part the famous rotary is in pieces. A few parts (like their bullet-proof NASCAR 4-speed transmission) have found new homes on the Mustang. While I am sad to see the demise of the world’s only 4-rotor RX-8 I am happy to see the team moving forward and wish them luck with their new track weapon in the XDC!
BMI Racing Switches to Ford, Drifts a Mustang in 2012
Torrance, CA. – Through much deliberation between Adam and Sarah Burgess and correspondence to a variety of their sponsors, BMI Racing has made the decision to retire the RX8 Turbo 4 Rotor and will no longer be racing with Mazda. In 2012, BMI Racing will have Sarah Burgess piloting a new Ford Mustang with the 5.0L Coyote Engine, and a 2.9L Whipple Supercharger.
While it was a tough choice to leave Mazda, BMI Racing feels that it has been the right decision at the right time. With the announcement from Mazda Japan to cut production of the RX8 and also feedback from many of our sponsors wanting to be involved with a current model domestic car, the switch to Ford was the right move.
BMI Racing would like to introduce their newest sponsors that have come on board including Ford Racing, Whipple Superchargers, Ignite Racing Fuels, SPEC Clutch, FordRacingParts123.com, Weld Racing, Wiseco Pistons, K1 Technologies, Ferrea Valves, Johnson High Tech Performance Oil Pumps, Aeromotive Fuel Pumps, ESS Eyewear, OS Giken, Apexi, KRC Power Steering, Diversified Machine Inc, and Torco Oils and also mention sponsors that have been with us from the start Fragola Performance Systems, FK Rods, Gunk.com, Odyssey Batteries, Racepak, Powermasters, and Davies Craig Electric Water Pumps
Sarah and Adam would like to thank the fans that have supported them with the Mazda – “if it wasn’t for the words of encouragement and support we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
BMI Racing would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jim Jordan, Manager, Alternative Marketing; Dean Case, Mazda Communications; Steve Sanders, Manager, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development; and John Doonan, Director of Motorsports; for their support and guidance while we have been a part of the Mazda family, Sven from NRS Rotorsports, and Jeff McCall from Rotary Power USA.