Hype: Kraftwerks Releases New Supercharger Kit For NC Mazda MX-5

Posted on 03.25.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Kraftwerks_MX5_NC_supercharger_kit

Mazda MX-5′s easily rank among the most fun cars to drive.  Their short wheelbase, suspension set up, and modest power all make up a perfect storm of driving pleasure.  Granted not everyone is won over by its cutesy looks but few can deny the mighty Miata is a formidable road car.  So, naturally people like us want to screw with that and make it faster and crazy.  This is where power adders come in.  Before it was popular to turbocharge Miatas, this was mostly because turbo kits were pretty damn cheap.  The only problem is that the kits were typically meant for the older model MX-5s.  Fortunately, Kraftwerks (a division of Skunk2) has released a new supercharger kit for the ’06-’13 MX-5 (“NC” chassis code).

The Kraftwerks supercharger kit will set you back about $5k but for good reason.  This kit provides more power than the old turbo kits did (will add 110hp to the wheels on 91 octane) and is safer for the engine than going the turbocharged route.  The engineers at Kraftwerks also took care to make sure that the kit bolts on as efficiently as possible.  Which means they made sure to take advantage of existing space so that there are no clearance issues and that the kit will not get in the way of any vital systems.  It also comes with everything you need to make it work at its best: fuel pump, bigger injectors, optional ECU tuning, and an intercooler with all the necessary piping.

There were 30 pre-orders available but it looks like those have sold out so if you want one of these kits you will probably have to wait a while but I think it would be well worth it!

[Source: Kraftwerks ]

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Hype: Mazda Launches Moving MX-5 Tribute Site To Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Posted on 02.10.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Mazda_MX-5_25thAnniversaryWebsite

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You (a car person) find yourself in a conversation with a friend or acquaintance who is not so much a car person and one way or another you end up on the subject of the MX-5 AKA Miata.  Your friend says the following “Miata? Isn’t that a girl’s car?” or something along those lines.  You then spend the next 30 minutes combating their disblief talking about how the MX-5 is a near perfect car loved by millions all around the world and is a preferred chassis among road racers everywhere.  Sounds all too familiar right?

Just about any car person has had this conversation.  Even if you don’t particularly like the MX-5 you still feel inclined to defend it because like it or not it represents the kind of purity that all of us who love to drive seek from our cars.  Its so hard for the uninitiated to believe that such a small diminutive vehicle can have such a loyal and fierce following.  Yet, it does and has for the last 25 years.  For 25 years the MX-5 has put smiles on faces, taken racers to a checkered flag, escorted drivers along beautiful roads, provided a better than average drive to work in the morning and an even better drive home in the afternoon.  Its difficult really to sum up the well deserved following and the reasons why that the MX-5 enjoys but to celebrate its 25th anniversary Mazda made a valiant attempt by launching a tribute microsite featuring the original MX-5 program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto talking about why Mazda developed the MX-5 in the first place and what their goals were.

If you like the MX-5 even a little bit then you really want to check this site out.  Besides Yamamoto-san telling the epic tale there is also an interactive timeline of all things MX-5!  There is more to come as well!

Visit the site here: http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/craftmanship/mx-5/mx-5_25th/

Press Release:

Mazda Launches Mazda MX-5 25th Anniversary Website

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation launched the Mazda MX-5 25th Anniversary website at 0:00 (Japan Standard Time) on Monday, February 10, 2014.

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the debut of the Mazda MX-5 (known as Roadster in Japan), the website aims to deepen the bond between Mazda and its customers all over the world and express gratitude for the support the model has received over the years. The website will be gradually updated to provide information on the past, present and future of the Mazda MX-5, including a look back over the model’s 25-year history, messages from the engineers behind its development, and event notices and reports.

During the 1960s and 1970s, numerous lightweight and fun-to-drive sports cars offered nimble handling and free-spirited open-air motoring. In the 1980s, Mazda decided to resurrect this spirit with a new roadster for the modern age. Using the latest engineering techniques of the time, Mazda developed the MX-5 and announced it at the Chicago Auto Show in February 1989 as a reminder that driving could still be fun despite ever-stricter safety and quality standards. Through a variety of product improvements and full-redesigns in 1998 and 2005, the body has been kept lightweight and weight distribution optimized in order to enhance driving, safety and environmental performance, while preserving the pure driving fun that is unique to a lightweight open-top sports car.

Total production volume of the Mazda MX-5 exceeded 920,000 units in December 2013, and the model continues to hold the Guinness World Record for the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car. To date the model has received more than 200 awards from around the world, including Car of the Year Japan 2005-2006.

Popular the world over and passionately adored by a zealous fan base, the Mazda MX-5 is a car that has truly made history. Inheriting the spirit that has remained unchanged since the first generation, the car will continue to offer drivers all around the globe a unique fun-to-drive experience well into the future.

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Racing Hype: Mazda Has First Public Test Of Their New Diesel TUDOR Protype Race Car

Posted on 01.06.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Mazda_TUDOR_Prototype_70Car_small

There are just 17 more days until the first race of the brand new TUDOR Series (in case you’re behind the TUDOR Series is pretty much the merger of the Rolex series and American LeMans) at the ROLEX 24 hour race in Daytona.  Recently the teams held their first public test at the “Roar Before 24″ event and Mazda grabbed the spotlight with the official reveal of their new SKYACTIV diesel powered prototype race car.  Mazda is actually bringing two factory-backed cars to the series with SpeedSource.  As such the same drive line up that SpeedSource fans are familiar with will be piloting the new diesel prototype cars.  Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long will drive the #70 car while Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez will drive the #07.

Mazda’s new car will definitely receive a baptism in fire as it has to go up against a full field of other prototype and GT cars alike in the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona race.  It will be tough going but a good way to see if the setup they’ve put together really works.  Speaking of set ups, Mazdaspeed has been kind enough to include a full spec sheet of the new prototype car in the press release below.  Fun fact: 51% of the SKYACTIV diesel engine in the prototype race car is the same as production SKYACTIV diesel engines in the current road car line up!  You can also see an HD resolution shot of the new race car by clicking the thumbnail below.

Mazda TUDOR Prototype-70

[Source: Mazdaspeed]

Press Release:

Mazda Ready to Roar at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Test

Mazda Announces Driver Line-up and Talks Specs 

 (DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — Mazda has long believed in promoting from within, including filling those rare ‘factory team’ driver slots.  Mazda Motorsports will field a pair of factory-backed SKYACTIV Technology-powered prototypes in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.  Behind the wheel will be the four drivers who delivered nine race wins and the 2013 Grand-Am GX Manufacturers Championship for Mazda.  Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long will share the #70 car while Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez will co-pilot the #07.  The team took their first public laps at the annual pre-season “Roar Before the 24” test at Daytona International Speedway yesterday.  The test concludes tomorrow with the season opening Rolex 24 Hour race on January 25-26.

“There is no shortage of great racing talent in America”, noted John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations.  “The decision for this year was relatively simple though as our 2013 line-up excelled both on and off the track.  Sylvain, Tom, Joel, and Tristan are all talented behind the wheel, but just as importantly, they act as a true team, supporting everyone at Mazda and SpeedSource.  Our objective is to demonstrate Mazda SKYACTIV Technology to both hardcore racing fans and the mainstream public.  With so many changes in 2014, including the new series itself, there will be a steep learning curve for everyone and we needed the best students in the sport.  We’ll announce our third drivers for the Rolex 24 at a later date, but rest assured they all fit the same mold of being team thinkers and both will have Mazda heritage in their blood.” 

As part of its challenger frame of mind, Mazda is the only car company racing in the TUDOR Championship with a diesel engine.  The SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel race engine is a true production-based engine and a carry-over from the development work done with the Mazda6 GX-class racing cars.  The engine is 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight.  Mazda chose this path as it is the most honest way to demonstrate the performance, quality, durability and reliability of Mazda powerplants.

2014 Mazda Prototype Specifications

Engine Displacement:                   2,191 cc (133.7 in3)

Bore x Stroke:                               86.0 mm x 94.3 mm (3.39 in x 3.71 in)

Engine Weight:                              143 kg (315 lbs)

Horsepower:                                 336 kW (450 bhp)

Torque:                                          786 Nm (580 lb-ft)

Max. Engine Speed:                     5,200 rpm

Engine Block:                                Production Mazda SKYACTIV (Aluminum)

Camshaft:                                     Dual Overhead

Valves:                                          Four Valves Per Cylinder

Cylinder Head:                              Production Mazda SKYACTIV (Aluminum)

Valve Train Components:             Production Mazda SKYACTIV

Pistons:                                         Mahle (Steel)

Connecting Rods:                         Carillo Forged Alloy (Steel)

Crankshaft:                                   Pankl Alloy (Steel)

ECU:                                             Bosch Motorsport MS 15.2

Intake Manifold:                            SpeedSource Race Engineering

Exhaust Manifold:                         SpeedSource Race Engineering

Turbo and Wastegate:                  Garrett Motorsports, air-to-air Intercooler, Tial wastegate

Fuel Injectors and Pump:              Bosch Motorsport

Fuel Rail:                                       Bosch Motorsport

Oiling System:                              SpeedSource Race Engineering

Cooling System:                           SpeedSource Race Engineering

Transmission:                                Xtrac 6-speed sequential with paddle shifters

Chassis:                                        Carbon-fiber monocoque coupe

Weight:                                          900 kgs (1984 lbs) – Without driver or fuel

Length:                                          4,634 mm (182.4 in)

Width:                                            1,990 mm (78.3 in)

Wheelbase:                                   2,890 mm (113.8 in)

Top speed:                                    Approximately 300 kph (186 mph) — in Daytona aero trim

Brakes:                                          AP carbon drilled discs

Suspension:                                  Independent double A-arms

Tires:                                             Continental Extreme Contact

                                                      Front:  320/650/R18

                                                      Rear:  325/710/R18

Wheels:                                         Motegi EVO 14 Technomesh, Forged Aluminum

Fuel:                                              Dynamic Fuels Renewable Diesel

Fuel Capacity:                               73 liters (19.3 gallons)

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  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 Motorsports 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.

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.

Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com.  Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsport), Twitter (@mazdaracing), and www.mazdamotorsports.com 

 

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SEMA 2013: Mazda Releases Mazda3 & Mazda6 SEMA Renderings & Nothing Else

Posted on 10.30.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Mazda 3 SEMA Concept_small

As I mentioned yesterday we are in the midst of the SEMA 2013 “preview season” and today I have an OEM preview from Mazda.  Looks like Mazda is bringing four cars to SEMA this year: 2 Mazda3′s and 2 Mazda6′s.  Recently Mazda released the renderings for their quartet but they didn’t disclose any other information.  Seriously, no press release or anything just pictures.  This leaves us to make guesses based off the pictures, which also don’t reveal very much except for the fact that one of the Mazda6′s will be powered by a diesel engine as indicated by the “CS6 Diesel” insignia on the side.

Mazda  6 SEMA Concept_1 Mazda 6 SEMA Concept_2 Mazda 3 SEMA Concept_3 Mazda 3 SEMA Concept_4

Lack of information aside all the concepts look pretty sweet but I am super curious as to what they are all about.  Looks like we will all have to wait until SEMA to find out!

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Hype: GARAGETUNED Mazda RX3 Shirt Is About That Bosozoku Life

Posted on 10.01.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

If you are in to Japanese cars and culture chances are you have heard the word “Bosozoku” at least once.  For those uninitiated out there Bosozoku started out as a term used for Japanese motorcycle gangs but over the years that culture slowly merged with the Japanese car culture resulting in crazy over-the-top super widebody vintage J cars.

One such example is seen on the GARAGETUNED shirt above featuring a Bosozoku style Mazda RX3 illustrated beautifully!  If you dig it you can pick it up at the iLoveRacing online store for 20 bucks!

[Source: iLoveRacing.com]

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Event Hype: Japanese Classic Car Show 2013 (Coverage)

Posted on 09.30.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Even though we may get older and our tastes change, we never really lose our soft spot for the cars that we loved growing up.  And if you’re my age some of those cars are now thought of as “classics”.  Its beautiful and sad all at the same time! But I digress… This past weekend was the annual Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) in the shadow of the Queen Mary here in Long Beach.  I have been going to this event off and on for the last few years this event has seen tremendous growth.  Heck, I got to the show less than an hour after it opened and the massive parking lot was nearly full!

I was astonished to see how many people showed up so early.  Although, really I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Its no secret that the JCCS is the country’s biggest gathering of vintage J-cars.  This event was proof that the rise of vintage JDM love is not just a fad.  In fact, this was the 9th year of the JCCS since its start which just shy of a pretty big milestone.  Only the legit events last as long as JCCS has.  Further evidence is the increasing participation of the OEMs in this show.  Yes, OEMs!  It started with Toyota but this year Mazda and Honda have joined in on the fun!

     

In fact, Honda brought out a few gems from their museum, including the original 1984 CR-X Mugen prototype test vehicle!  Mazda brought two of their 4 rotor LeMans race cars as well as a pair of 2014 Mazda3s.  Toyota provided plenty of vintage eye candy including a few 2000GT’s and mint condition Land Cruisers.  Maybe for the 10th anniversary Nissan will get involved?  There were plenty of privately owned classic Skylines on hand. Actually, there were plenty of privately owned beautiful classic cars on hand.  Rows and rows of mint condition gems that would make anyone with a pulse stop and look at least for a little while.

    

If at all possible, plan ahead of time and make the trip out to Long Beach for the 10th annual JCCS show!  If you love cars you will not be disappointed!  In the meantime, if you missed this year’s show we have a Facebook gallery of nearly 200 pictures to enjoy!

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Motorsports Hype: Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Race Car Is The First Diesel To Win At Indy Speedway

Posted on 07.29.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Before the weekend I told you that Mazda was making history by bringing the first diesel-fueled race car to the Indianapolis Motorspeedway in 62 years.  Well over the weekend Mazda officially made history by becoming the first diesel-fueled car to WIN an event at the Indy speedway!  Yes the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D race car took on all challengers in the GX class and came out on top!  Congrats to Mazda for making motorsports history, again!

Press Release:

The win was the fifth in a row for the all-new Mazda6, and moves it ahead of Porsche after eight of 12 races in the GX manufacturers championship race.  As has been the case all year long, it was a three car battle between Mazda and Porsche, with both brands leading at times.  Eventual winner Sylvain Tremblay took the lead with 47 laps remaining in the three hour race, and was never headed.

The Indy race also was the third and final round of the Grand-Am North America Endurance Championship, the first two rounds having been the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Sahlen’s Six Hour at Watkins Glen.  The SpeedSource Mazda won the team championship for the GX class.

This was only the second year that sports cars have been a featured race at the track most noted for the famed Indianapolis 500.  The track has had wide variety of powertrain configurations and technologies compete, but never before had a diesel engine won at Indy.  The most recent diesel to compete was the Cummins Engine Special, which won the pole for the Indy 500 in 1952. 

The SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine in the all-new Mazda6 is a true production-based engine.  The engine is 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight.  Mazda chose this path as it is the most honest way to demonstrate the quality, durability, and reliability of Mazda cars.

Quotes:

John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations: “We made  history today, both for Mazda and for SKYACTIV Clean Diesel Technology.  While this is our fifth win of the season, and fifth in a row, it is by far the biggest win to date.  To win at Indy is every racer’s dream, and that dream came true for Mazda  here today.  So many people at Mazda in the U.S. and Japan, working hand-in-hand with the amazing SpeedSource team, have never stopped making progress in this program.  We also are grateful for our partners at Castrol, ModSpace and VISIT FLORIDA, all of whom have  contributed to our success.”

Sylvain Tremblay, Owner/Driver/Engineer, SpeedSource Engineering: “We were just trying to stay out of the way of the DP cars, and ended up on the marbles and almost kissed the concrete, but ended up kissing the bricks.  It was not an easy day, but the team remained focused and we came through for the win.  To score the first ever win for a diesel at Indy, in our first year with the program, speaks volumes for Mazda and our team.”

Tom Long, Co-Driver #70 Mazda6: “The race with our SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 was certainly exciting, and the SpeedSource team worked so hard to persevere. It’s an incredible experience to share this first victory at Indy with Mazda and the entire team. The tradition of ‘kissing the bricks’ will be a memory I will never forget.”

2013 Grand-Am GX Point Standings after eight of 12 races:

Manufacturers:

1              Porsche                                                     267

2              Mazda                                                       265

Teams:

1      BGB Motorsports (Porsche #38)                    260     

2      SpeedSource (Mazda #00)                            252

3      SpeedSource (Mazda #70)                            250     

Drivers

1              Jim Norman (#38)                                    265     

2              Joel Miller (#00)                                        252

3              Tom Long/Sylvain Tremblay (#70)           250                 

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  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 Motorsports 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.

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.

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) Over the past four decades, Mazda has scored hundreds of race wins at tracks across the county, and around the world.  But until today, Mazda did not have a win at what is perhaps the most famous racetrack in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  That box has now been checked.  In the Grand-Am Brickyard Grand Prix, the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Edge Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel scored the GX class win.

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Hype News: Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Race Car Will Be First Diesel To Race At Indy In 62 Years

Posted on 07.25.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Mazda has been breaking molds in motorsports for a while now.  Ever since their win at LeMans with a 4-rotor powered prototype up until now with their new Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D (D is for “Diesel” duh..) race car.  This weekend the Grand-AM series will visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway and when Mazda’s new sedan race car makes its first hot lap it will have been the first Diesel powered car to do so at the brickyard in 62 years!

The last diesel-fueled race car to compete at the Indy Motorspeedway was the “Cummins Diesel Special” Indy car back in the 1952 Indy 500.  Back then it was probably just a crazy PR stunt, but today we know better.  We know that diesel race cars can be pretty flarkin’ fast!  That being said, I am sure Mazdaspeed Motorsports is after more than just headlines this weekend.  Lets see if their new diesel-wonder has what it takes to get the win.

Press Release:

MAZDA RETURNS DIESEL POWER TO THE BRICKYARD

– First Diesel to Compete at Indy since 1952 Cummins Indycar –

July 25, 2013 (INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana)   When the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel racecar hits the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week, it will be the first time in six decades that a diesel has competed at the most famous track in the world.  Historians will note that the last time a diesel competed at the speedway was in the 1952 Indianapolis 500, when the Cummins Diesel Special surprised the establishment with technology unknown to most racers at the time.  While there are no direct links between these two companies or their products, they share common goals in testing production technology in the harshest of environments. 

While most people correctly associate racing with fast cars, it is far more complex than just raw speed.  The best race cars have been optimized for efficiency in every conceivable area.   Decreasing weight, friction, and aero drag are also key elements to performance.  Less obvious to non-race fans is the fact that better fuel economy can mean the difference between winning and losing as fewer pit stops can often determine the winner in endurance races.  Blend all of these ingredients together and you have the Mazda SKYACTIV recipe for racing. 

Applying the same SKYACTIV methodology to both race cars and production cars, Mazda seeks the same ultimate goal – a satisfied customer.  Racer customers want just one thing – a winning race car.  Regular customers are far more demanding, wanting everything from superb driving dynamics, to great fuel mileage, and it must be wrapped in a good looking package at an affordable price. 

The all-new SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine in the all-new Mazda6 is a true production based engine.  The engine is 51% stock by parts count, and 63% stock by weight.  Mazda chose this path as it is the most honest way to demonstrate the quality, durability, and reliability of Mazda cars.

“This year has been one for the record books.  In January, our SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Mazda6 became the first diesel racecar to ever compete at Daytona.  In April, we became the first ever diesel to score a Grand-Am win at Road Atlanta.  Now, we are about to bring clean diesel to one of the most famous proving grounds in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Being students of motorsports heritage, it wasn’t lost on us that the last diesel to compete at Indy, a Cummins, made a strong impact in the 1950’s, hence our interest in looking at the state of the art from the past with our latest innovation,” noted John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations.

The Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Racecar Specs:

Chassis                  SpeedSource Tubular Spaceframe

Engine                    Mazda SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel

Configuration        Inline 4 Cylinder Turbo Diesel

Displacement        2.2L (2191cc)    Bore: 86.0 mm   Stroke: 94.3 mm

Power                      400 hp @ 5000 rpm – Grand-Am GX class target

Torque                    445 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm

Fuel System          Common Rail, Direct Injection

Turbochargers      Series Turbocharged

                                 Honeywell Turbo Technologies (Garrett) Turbochargers

                                 GTR3776R Low Pressure Stage

                                 GTR2560R High Pressure Stage

Transmission        EMCO 46P1 Transaxle

Clutch                     Quarter Master

Suspension           Double A-Arm Front and Rear

Dampers                Dynamics DSSV

Brakes                    Alcon

                                 Front: 355mm Disc, Monoblock 4-piston Caliper 

                                 Rear: 328mm Disc, 4-piston Caliper

Wheels                   BBS 1-piece Aluminum

Tires                        Continental Racing Slicks (GRAND-AM Spec Tire)

                                 Front: 285/645R18     Rear: 305/645R18

Weight                    1111 kg (2450 lb) — GX class minimum

Weight Bias           50:50

Dimensions           Length: 4935 mm (194.3 inches)

                                 Height: 1298 mm (51.1 inches)

                                 Width: 1880 mm (74.0 inches)

The 2013 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Grand-Am season to date:

Date            Race                                              Results        Notes  

Jan 26-27   Rolex 24 at Daytona                   DNF              World Debut

March 2       Circuit of the Americas               2nd                First finish / First lead laps

April 6          Barber Motorsports Park            2nd                First pole

April 20       Road Atlanta                                WIN (#00)     First win

June 1         Detroit                                           WIN (#00)     Second win

June 15      Mid-Ohio                                       WIN (#70)     Third win / First win for #70

June 30      Watkins Glen Six Hours             WIN (#00)     First endurance win

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Hype Rumor: 2014 Mazdaspeed3 Could Be Available This December

Posted on 07.12.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Today most other automotive sites are posting their review of the 2014 Mazda3 (my invitation must have been lost in the mail..ahem..).  I don’t have a review for you but I do have a juicy tidbit.  Rumor has it that we could see a Mazdaspeed variant of the new 3 on sale as early as this December!  Which means it could possibly debut at this year’s LA Auto Show in November.

Although this is not all great news.  According to the source of the rumor, when the Mazdaspeed3 comes back it could be considerably less powerful than its predecessor due to a lack of a turbocharger.  Yes, you read correctly.  There is a chance that Mazda is ditching the turbo on the next Mazdaspeed3!  The result is that the new speed3 will have around 200hp versus the 263hp of the current model.

Why would Mazda do this?  Well if I had to make an educated guess I would say that this is an effort to keep costs down to make the Mazdaspeed3 financially accessible to a wider market.  Another possible explanation is that despite being a performance model, Mazda still wants the new speed3 to be as fuel efficient as possible.  High mpg numbers have been a marquee selling point for Mazda as of late so throwing in a snarling 300hp turbo beast into their line up may throw off that message a bit.

Either way this is all just rumor and speculation from an unnamed source.  If its true I am sure it will be a bummer but perhaps what the new Mazdaspeed3 lacks in power it will make up for in other areas.  Or this could all be wrong and Mazda will finally give the world what they want: An all-wheel-drive turbocharged 300hp Mazdaspeed3!

I guess we will have to wait until the holidays to find out for sure.

[Source: AutoExpress via WorldCarFans]

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Hype: 2014 Mazda3 Revealed With Kodo-Based Redesign

Posted on 06.27.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The current-gen Mazda3 was a controversial car in many ways.  While few could argue with the value and performance the polarizing issue came with the design.  Many hated the “smiley face” look of the front fascia while others loved it.  I’ll admit I was not a fan at first but it grew on me.  Now, with the announcement of the 2014 Mazda3, gone is the grin of before and now the Mazda3 goes the way of “Kodo”.

    

If you are unfamiliar “Kodo” is the name of the design language Mazda adapted when it began early work on the TAKERI concept (now known as the 2014 Mazda6).  As you can see, the nose of the new Mazda3 is nearly identical to that of the current Mazda6.  The lines of the hatch have also been redrawn in the rear complete with new taillights.

The 2014 Mazda3 will have two engine options available on release: a 2.0 SKYACTIV-G and a 2.5 SKYACTIV-G.  Numbers on the engines have yet to be released.  There is also no mention of a SKYACTIV-D (diesel) or Mazdaspeed variant but I would suspect that both of those trims are highly likely to materialize at some point in the near future.

    

The new Mazda3 is slated to hit dealerships this fall and while no MSRP has been announced I would expect the new “3″ to start around $20k.  Perhaps the new Mazda3 may make an appearance at SEMA 2013? Hmmm… That is still unknown but for now you can at least check out the gallery of pics by clicking the thumbnails.  Also if you want the scoop straight from Mazda then scroll down for the official press release.

Press Release:

NEW YORK, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Ten years ago the first Mazda3 was born, and today the global birthday party kicks off with the world premiere of the all-new 2014 Mazda3.  With same-day unveil events in New York, London, Istanbul, Melbourne and St. Petersburg, this completely redesigned and re-imagined third-generation model seeks to again propel Mazda3 as the leader in its segment.  Engineered with the full complement of SKYACTIV®1 technologies – a proprietary suite of fuel-efficient, performance-driven components and manufacturing philosophies – as well as the handsome styling of the KODO design language, this all-new compact car was deliberately crafted to take your breath away.

“We are proud to mark 10 years of the Mazda3′s success with the global debut of the next-generation vehicle,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  “There is no doubt that the all-new Mazda3 arrives with all-new expectations.  Yet as its track record has shown, we look forward to not only meeting those expectations, but exceeding them in the way only Mazda can.”

In production since June 25, 2003, more than 3.5 million Mazda3s have been sold in more than 120 countries around the world, and 136 global awards have been received.  The best-selling model in the brand’s lineup, Mazda3 accounts for nearly a third of the company’s annual global sales.  Previous generations were acclaimed in markets around the world for their emotive design, responsive and dynamic handling, environmental performance, safety, technology and excellent craftsmanship.  With the undeniable passion instilled from the design and engineering teams, whether you’re snugly situated behind the perfectly-molded steering wheel or obsessively ogling its aggressively sleek character lines, this next-generation Mazda3 will command your presence unlike any other vehicle in its class. 

The first generation (2003-09) – with its unexpected design, performance and quality – changed assumptions about the compact car segment consisting of low-cost, throw-away vehicles.  By being the dynamic sports compact leader, more than two million units were sold.

The second generation (2010-13) further enhanced the Mazda3′s sporty driving essence, as well as improved its fuel economy consumption with the introduction of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.  Also not taking a backseat was safety, in which the second-generation Mazda3 received the highest five-star rating from Euro NCAP and was named a Top Safety Pick by the U.S.’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The third-generation model, on sale in the United States this fall, will be introduced with a choice of two gasoline engines: the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter and SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter.  An all-new human-machine interface (HMI) system also will make its debut.  This in-car infotainment system is meant to broaden the scope of the driving experience, and was designed with ease of use and safety as top priorities, as well as ensuring the driver’s focus remains on the job at hand: driving. 

The 2014 Mazda3 also introduces several all-new safety systems under the umbrella known as i-ACTIVSENSE.  These technologies use sensing devices such as milliwave radars and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, reducing the possibility of collisions and minimizing damage should accidents occur.  While these systems will not eliminate accidents, their intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of a crash.  New safety technologies for the Mazda3 include a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS).

Mazda North American Operations 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.  For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com

1  SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).

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