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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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:
1 Porsche 267
2 Mazda 265
1 BGB Motorsports (Porsche #38) 260
2 SpeedSource (Mazda #00) 252
3 SpeedSource (Mazda #70) 250
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.
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.
– 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
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.
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.
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).
I have seen my share of big “one make” car meets in my time but nothing like what was recently done in the Netherlands. 683 Mazda MX-5′s got together for one huge parade lap of the RDW Test Center in Lelystad. This event destroyed the previous record of 459 MX-5′s which was set in Germany back in 2010. After an official from Guinness confirmed the new record the crowd decided to celebrate with a drive-in movie. They had three choices and the crowd was to vote by honking their horns. The movie that got the loudest reply was Arbitrage starring Richard Gere. Ah those crazy Dutch…
I can’t help but think that we should try to bring this record to the good ol’ U.S. I mean if 683 is the record, can’t we do better? We already know there is way more than 1,000 MX-5 owners in this country! Lets take a crack at it! Hey and if we win we can celebrate with the biggest drive-in showing of An Officer And A Gentleman ever!
Leverkusen, 17 June 2013. Mazda was able to set a new entry in the Guinness Book of World RecordsTM during the big MAX-5 2013 event on June 15 in Lelystad, Netherlands. A total of 683 Mazda MX-5s joined the procession on the roads around the RDW Test Centre at Lelystad, forming the longest parade of driving Mazdas ever. 1450 participants contributed to the successful record attempt, shattering the existing record for the “largest parade of Mazda cars” – 459 Mazda MX-5s – set in Essen, Germany in 2010.
The MX-5 parade through the fascinating polder landscape was led by a spectacular version of the MX-5, a third-generation (NC) racing model with the Dutch TV presenter Allard Kalff behind the wheel and President and CEO of Mazda Motor Europe Jeff Guyton beside him. Later on, after the successful record attempt, Guyton also received the official certificate which was presented by Guinness World RecordsTM adjudicator Pravin Patel.
Throughout the MAX-5 2013 event, the RDW Test Centre at Lelystad was completely dedicated to the Japanese brand and the Mazda experience. This included demonstrations by the Ribank Mazda MaX5 Cup racers and the three-rotor-engined Mazda3 20Bowned by Belgian racing family Van Herck. Participants also had the opportunity of extensively testing Mazda’s new i-ACTIVSENSE technology on the banked circuit, or entertaining themselves in one of the racing simulators. All the new Mazda SKYACTIV models were on hand for those interested in taking a test drive and visitors also had the opportunity of a free inspection of their own roadsters. During a special display with some of the finest MX-5s on hand, the award for the most beautiful and authentic Mazda MX-5 of the day was handed over to Pieter Staat from Meteren (NL). The second prize went to Maarten Tuiten from Almelo (NL), followed by Ludo Vander Vliet from Duffel (B), winning third place in this competition.
At the end of the day, about 250 cars still present joined to form a large drive-in cinema. Prior to the showing, the viewers were asked to pick from three films and seated at the wheel of their cars, the owners cast their vote by blowing their horn to indicate their preferred film. The loudest ‘vote’ was cast for Arbitrage with Richard Gere in the starring role.
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!