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    Drew Dowdell

    ...starting at $33,790...

    The Mazda CX-9 has been on sale a few years now without many updates. For 2020 Mazda is increasing the torque of the engine and adding second row captain's chairs.
    The engine now will produce 320 lb.-ft of torque when running 93 octane gas and 310 lb.-ft when running on 87.  That's an increase of 10 lb.-ft over the 2019 model.  Horsepower rating stays the same at 250 hp on 93 octane and 227 on 87.  The engine sends power to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission.  Mazda's predictive i-Activ all-wheel drive is standard in the Signature model and available on all other trims.  For 2020, the all-wheel drive system gains an off-road traction assist feature that replaces the traction control button.  The system helps on uneven terrain by increasing brake force on the wheels without traction and diverting power to the wheels with traction. 
    The 2020 Mazda CX-9 Sport gets new standard features such as heated front cloth seats, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, Gray Metallic 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated outside mirrors, automatic on/off headlights and High Beam Control. Mazda’s full suite of i-Activsense safety features are now standard with includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection, Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist to Blind Spot Monitoring System with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Other standard features include a seven-inch Mazda Connect infotainment screen, LED headlights and taillights, one-touch front and rear power windows, rear privacy glass, three-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio pairing, rearview camera, keyless entry and push-button start.
    The Touring model now adds Apple Car Play and Android Auto and a new nine-inch color touchscreen display.  Optional on the Touring Premium and Grand Touring are the new second row captain's chairs, heated on the Grand Touring. 
    The 2020 Mazda CX-9 goes on sale this fall starting at $33,790 for the sport, $35,610 for the Touring, $41,540 for the Grand Touring, and $46,115 for the Signature.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...But what will it look like?...

    Mazda currently has no EVs or Hybrids in its stable of vehicles, but that will start to change next month at the Tokyo Auto Show when Mazda unveils its first EV meant for production.  Mazda recently announced that it will put a fully electric vehicle into production in 2020 and a plug-in hybrid following later. The plug-in will use a small rotary engine to recharge the battery on the go. 
    What we don't know yet is what type of EV Mazda will be producing.  If it is a small hatchback, we can chalk the potential sales up as "not many". The test mule that Mazda is using has been the new CX-30 with a 35.5 kWh battery and an electric motor good for 141 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque. That battery pack is considerably smaller than the 64 kWh unit the Hyundai Kona uses in North America.  Mazda says that the vehicle will not be based on any of their current lineup, but instead will be all new. It is possible that North America only gets the range extended version due to longer drives on this continent. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Adding to the trend of new inline-6s...

    BMW is renowned for their inline 6-cylinder engines,  Mercedes and Land Rover are jumping back in the game, GM has a new diesel inline 6, now add Mazda to that list.
    Jalopnik combed through the Mazda financial report and found references to the new engine line.  Mazda is apparently working on a 6-cylinder version of their Skyactiv-X engine for use in longitudinal applications. In case you need reminding, Skyactiv-X is Mazda's spark controlled, compression Ignition technology that allows the engine to run in spark-less mode part of the time.  This allows for lower emissions and higher fuel economy. One of the trade-offs is lower engine refinement when in SCCI mode.  Now that Mazda has it working well on 4-cylinder engines, it is apparently going to try its hand on mathematically better balanced inline 6-cylinder engines.  Mazda is also planning on including 48v Mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the engine as well. 
    Also on the plan is an inline-6 Skyactiv-D diesel that Mazda is calling a second generation.  This likely builds on the know-how gained from the development of the Mazda CX-5 Diesel that was finally released at the New York Auto Show.
    What both of these engines point to is a new large vehicle platform which is rear-wheel drive based. It's possible that the next iteration of the Mazda CX-9 could ride on this new platform and Jalopnik even speculates a new Mazda 6, though we have our doubts on that. 
    Either way, this continues Mazda's slow but steady move up-market.

    William Maley

    It will cost you if you want a manual transmission

    Mazda has some big ambitions with the upcoming 2019 3 and that is reflected in the pricing. The model will now start at $21,895 for the sedan and $24,495 for the hatchback - includes an $895 destination charge. For those keeping track, the 2019 3 sedan is $2,905 more expensive than the 2018 sedan, whereas the 2019 hatchback is $4,255 more than the 2018 model.
    The reason for the higher price tag is due to the 2019 model being only offered with the 2.5L four-cylinder producing 186 horsepower and six-speed automatic. A 2.0L SkyActiv-X compression-ignition engine will be joining the lineup later in the year and possibly help drop the price somewhat. Those wanting a manual will need to pony up $28,395 for the top-line Premium hatchback. It isn't available on the sedan All-wheel drive is optional on the sedan and hatchback, but only with the automatic.
    Standard equipment on the base sedan includes 16-inch wheels, cloth seats, and a 8.8-inch infotainment system. Stepping up to either the Select trim on the sedan or base hatchback will add 18-inch wheels, keyless entry, push-button start, i-Activsense active-safety features, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Higher trims add a power driver's seat, heated front seats, Bose audio system, LED lighting, and a heads-up display.
    The 2019 Mazda3 arrives at dealers in March.
    Source: Mazda

    William Maley

    Teamed with the upcoming Skyactiv-X powertrain

    In a few weeks time, Mazda will be revealing to the next-generation Mazda3 compact which will sport the automaker's new Skyactiv-X powertrain. This new powertrain uses compression ignition that allows for improved fuel economy and emissions. But that's not all according to Automotive News.
    Akira Marumoto, Mazda Motor Corp. CEO revealed that Skyactiv-X would be tamed with a mild-hybrid system. Not many details were provided except that the system would feature a lithium-ion battery pack. The mild-hybrid setup will provide "spirited, linear acceleration without hesitation or hiccups" according to Marumoto.
    "After driving just 20 or 30 meters, you notice the difference. There is linearity, no abruptness. Drivers and passengers don't feel uncomfortable or stressed," said Marumoto.
    But as Automotive News points out, launching this new powertrain in a segment that is seeing sales drop may cause a delay in the recouping of investments. Despite being Mazda's second-best selling model in the U.S., it trails other compact cars in terms of sales like the Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze. Marumoto defended the decision to launch Skyactiv-X into the Mazda3, explaining that the model produces large volumes at the global level. Marumoto also hinted that this setup could launch in an SUV. "

    William Maley

    But it will cost you 

    It is no secret that Mazda is planning to bring over the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder from the CX-9 and Mazda6, considering the various leaked documents that have come out in the past few months and the announcement of the Japanese market version. Now, new documents have come to light revealing that the U.S. variant will get the turbo engine, along with some other key changes.
    The leaked "Product Information Bulletin" reveals the turbo engine (227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque) will be available on two new trims - Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. Somewhat surprising, the engine will not be available on the Grand Touring like on the 6. All-wheel drive will be standard for the turbo engine.
    Mazda will also be adding an updated G-Vectoring Control Plus system (uses the braking system to keep the car stable when exiting a corner), and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for Touring and models above.
    What is somewhat surprising is no mention of the 2.2L turbodiesel in the document, despite the EPA fuel economy figures coming out. Maybe Mazda got cold feet and has decided to pull the plug or that the 2.5T threatens the diesel as it produces the same amount of torque. This is just speculation on our part and maybe the diesel will come.
    As for pricing, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 begins at $25,345 after the $995 destination charge. Adding the turbo engine adds a significant cost - $35,865 for the Grand Touring Reserve and $37,885 for the Signature.
    Source: Reddit

    William Maley

    Expected to debut at LA Auto Show

    "A New Era Begins November 2018" is the title of video that Mazda has uploaded to their YouTube channel. The sixteen-second video provides brief glimpses of two vehicles. One is a close up of the rear with a sharply raked c-pillar, while the other is a side profile shot. A number of people believe this is our first glimpse of the next-generation Mazda3 - mostly due to elements of the Kai Concept showing up.
    That title also hints at a big change coming with the next-generation 3. The Skyactiv-X powertrain with homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) will be available. HCCI allows a gas engine to use compression to ignite the fuel. This allows for better efficiency and more power.
    We're expecting Mazda to show off the new 3 at the LA Auto Show next month.
    Stay tuned.
    Source: Mazda

     

    William Maley

    Possible tease for the CX-5 in the U.S?

    Mazda has introduced a number of key changes for the Japanese-market CX-5 for 2019.
    Those changes include the addition of the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder from the CX-9 crossover and recently refreshed Mazda6. It produces 227 horsepower (increases to 250 when Premium fuel is used) and 310 pound-feet of torque. There is also the introduction of G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) that adds a braking function to improve traction and handling. The interior looks to get a new climate control system and new instrument cluster.
    Normally, we wouldn't talk about changes for models outside of the U.S. But there are some good reasons as to why we're talking about the Japanese-market CX-5. As we reported back in June, a CARB document revealed that the turbo 2.5 would be appearing in both the 2019 CX-9 and CX-5. Then last month, an internal document from Mazda Canada noted the turbo 2.5 would be an option, along with the updated G-Vectoring Control Plus system.
    We don't know if and when Mazda is planning to show off an updated version of the 2019 CX-5, but our money is on the LA Auto Show in November.
    Source: Mazda


    Updated Mazda CX-5 Launched in Japan
    Becomes the first model in Japan available with SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine; special edition model features a premium-feeling interior HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has begun accepting pre-orders for the updated Mazda CX-5 at dealerships throughout Japan. The freshened crossover SUV offers a distinctive design coupled with the pleasure of Jinba-ittai driving - responsive control over driving, turning and braking – in everyday driving situations. Pre-orders have also begun for the CX-5 Exclusive Mode special edition. This range-topping special edition model combines carefully selected materials that create a look of warmth and modernity. Sales of the updated CX-5 and CX-5 Exclusive Mode special edition start on November 22.
    Sold in 120 different countries and accounting for a full quarter of the brand's global sales volume, the CX-5 is a core model in the Mazda lineup. Popular for its striking design, innovative SKYACTIV technologies and a pleasing performance feel that makes you want to keep on driving, the car has been acclaimed domestically and in overseas markets. The CX-5 has received more than 100 awards, including the prestigious Japan Car of the Year award, since the launch of the first-generation model in 2012.1
    With this update, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T is added to the powertrain lineup, making the CX-5 the first model in Japan available with this 2.5-liter inline-four direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine. While the diesel delivers powerful torque and excels at long-distance cruising, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T realizes a powerful and refined driving experience. Acceleration response is faithful from low revs, through the mid-range and up to the highest rpms, creating an interactive feel that makes drivers want to stay behind the wheel.
    G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) enhances handling stability on slippery road surfaces and when changing lanes on the highway. This updated version of G-Vectoring Control now regulates vehicle motion when returning the steering wheel to center as well as when beginning a steering action.
    Models powered by the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine are available for the first time with a six-speed manual transmission. The updated CX-5 diesel becomes the only model in its class2 to offer a manual option, providing SUV drivers with the pleasure of greater control over the car.
    As the highest-grade CX-5 available, the Exclusive Mode special edition combines a finely-crafted interior with high-quality materials such as Nappa leather and real woodgrain decorative panels to create a refined cabin space that blends warmth and modernity. Such high-quality materials and fine craftsmanship bring new joy to the experience of owning a CX-5.
    Moving forward, Mazda will continue to regularly update models so customers can enjoy driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance in all kinds of common driving situations. In so doing, the company aims to build a strong bond with customers and become an irreplaceable presence in their lives.
    Updates to the Mazda CX-5
    Powertrain, handling stability and ride comfort
    The first model in Japan available with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T, a 2.5-liter inline-four direct-injection gasoline turbo engine. Burning regular unleaded gasoline, it outputs up to 169 kW (230PS) at 4,250 rpms and produces up to 420 N・m (42.8kgf・m) of torque at 2,000 rpms. GVC Plus, a new technology that improves handling stability at high speeds and during emergency maneuvers while suppressing sudden, unintended movements to enhance passengers' peace of mind, comes as standard equipment on all model grades. The SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission is now available with the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine in both FWD and AWD configurations. Advances in safety and convenience
    Nighttime pedestrian detection is added to Advanced Smart City Braking Support (Advanced SCBS). A 360° View Monitor is standard equipment on the Exclusive Mode special edition and is available as a factory-installed option for all model grades. Mazda Connect car-connectivity system supports Apple CarPlay5 for the first time on a Mazda model in Japan. Mazda Connect car-connectivity system supports Android Auto ™6 for the first time on a Mazda model in Japan.  Improvements in design and quality
    The 17-inch aluminum wheels are painted Gray Metallic instead of Dark Silver. (The design is unchanged.) The climate control panel, switches and dials are redesigned for better feel and operability. For models with normal speakers, the surface material of the A-pillar trim has been changed from resin to fabric. In addition, tweeters have been added at the base of the A-pillar, increasing the number of speakers from four to six. Exclusive Mode special edition (with SKYACTIV-G 2.5T or SKYACTIV-D 2.2)
    The Exclusive Mode special edition offers Mazda's highest-grade interior, using specially selected materials such as Nappa leather upholstery and real woodgrain trim to create a premium cabin space with the feel of a higher-class vehicle. In addition, features and functions that improve comfort and safety enhance the joy of ownership.
    Seats are upholstered in soft, smooth Nappa leather and the exclusive interior color coordination uses black on the pillars and ceiling and Deep Red in the lower areas. Real woodgrain is used in decorative trim panels for a look of refinement and warmth. The frameless rear-view mirror provides a wider field of vision and a cleaner look. 19-inch aluminum wheels with exclusive dark gloss paint accentuate a look of composure and toughness. Both front seats feature a ventilation system that extracts hot air trapped between the occupant and the seat surface. The seven-inch TFT LCD display mounted in the center of the meter cluster shows essential driving information in a well-organized and easy-to-read manner. White LEDs are used throughout the cabin for consistent interior lighting, and foot lamps come as standard equipment for both front and rear seats.

    William Maley

    Will act as a range-extender

    Mazda is the latest automaker to announced plans for electrify its entire lineup and it will involve the return of the rotary engine.
    By 2030, five percent of Mazda vehicles will be pure electric and range extender models. The rest will have combustion engines with some sort of electrification.
    "We've seen drastic changes in automotive-related environmental policies all over the world. We at Mazda are keeping an eye on what is going on in the industry as we move forward with our strategy," said Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto.
    The push begins in 2019 with a mild-hybrid model, followed by a electric vehicle that is being developed in-house according to Automotive News. A plug-in hybrid will debut in 2021.
    But what about the rotary engine? This will be the range-extender for an electric vehicle that will recharge the battery and provide a longer cruising range. Mazda says the rotary is the perfect engine for this application as it is compact, powerful, and quiet. One interesting tidbit - Mazda says the rotary will be able to burn liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mazda


    MAZDA ANNOUNCES ELECTRIFICATION AND CONNECTIVITY STRATEGIES FOR CARS THAT INVIGORATE MIND AND BODY
    CONTINUES TAKING A HUMAN-CENTERED APPROACH TO THE JOY OF DRIVING; CONTRIBUTING TO THE EARTH, SOCIETY AND PEOPLE October 2, 2018; HIROSHIMA, Japan – Mazda Motor Corporation today announced electrification and connectivity strategies that build on the company’s human-centered development philosophy, aiming to further advance the joy of driving, provide both drivers and passengers with peace of mind through an enhanced sense of connection with the car in everyday driving situations, and offer an emotionally enriching joy of life through car ownership. The strategies are based on Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030,” which makes it the company’s mission to preserve the beauty of the earth and enrich society and individual lives and seek solutions in the areas of people, society and the earth.
    The electrification and connectivity technologies outlined below will further enhance the inherent value of the automobile.
    ELECTRIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES
    Mazda will strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance the joy of driving by deploying compact, lightweight electrification technologies while further refining the internal combustion engine, which is forecast to be equipped in the majority of new cars for many years to come. The company will introduce electric vehicles as the optimal solution in regions that generate a high ratio of electricity from clean energy sources or restrict certain vehicle types to reduce air pollution.
    With a view to achieving a 90-percent reduction versus 2010 levels in its corporate average “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, Mazda will deploy some form of electrification in all production vehicles by 2030. By 2030, Mazda expects that internal combustion engines combined with some form of electrification will account for 95 percent of the vehicles it produces and battery electric vehicles will account for 5 percent. In-house development of electric vehicles will leverage the advantages of electric drive systems and be guided by Mazda’s unique human-centered development philosophy that focuses on human traits and sensibilities. Mazda will develop two battery electric vehicles, one powered solely by battery and another that pairs a battery with a newly developed range extender powered by Mazda’s small, lightweight and exceptionally quiet rotary engine. The range extender will recharge the battery when necessary to effectively increase the vehicle’s driving range. The concept behind the rotary-powered range extender was to leverage the rotary engine’s small size and high power output to make multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout. Taking advantage of the rotary engine’s compatibility with gaseous fuels, the rotary-powered range extender is designed to also burn liquefied petroleum gas and provide a source of electricity in emergencies. CONNECTIVITY TECHNOLOGIES
    In line with its human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will develop connectivity technologies that offer an enriching experience of the joy of life, connecting people by facilitating the sharing of experiences and feelings through cars. By offering this new value together with the joy of driving, Mazda aims to inspire people and enrich society.
    Contribute to the resolution of social issues, such as the weakening of interpersonal connections that has accompanied changes in society, by connecting people and society through connectivity technologies. Link connectivity with model-based development and reflect the results in future product development, improving quality and customer satisfaction. Leverage the alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation in the development of connectivity technologies. “They say that the automotive industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation. At Mazda, we see this as an opportunity to create a new car culture,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. “New trends and technologies in connectivity, autonomy, sharing and electrification offer new possibilities for creating ever more attractive cars. Using new technologies based on our unique human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will, in the spirit of ‘Never Stop Challenging,’ continue to pursue the joy of driving and work to create an emotional connection with customers that rivals the strongest brands in the world.”

    William Maley

    Turbo Power!

    A user on Reddit posted today an image showing an internal document from Mazda Canada detailing some of changes coming to the 2019 CX-5. The highlights mention that the CX-5 will be getting the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder from the CX-9, G-Vectoring Control Plus (we're assuming this is updated version of the system); changes to the exterior, the top-line Signature trim becoming available, and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
    The mention of the turbo engine confirms a CAFE document we reported back in June listing the 2019 CX-5 with the turbo engine.
    If you're wondering about the trims, that's for Mazdas sold in Canada - they won't changing the trim line that significantly for the U.S. at this moment.
    Source: Reddit

    William Maley

    Not much of an improvement over the gas engine

    It seems like ages since Mazda announced plans to bring over a diesel engine. Many things have transpired since then with various delays and the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. While the company said the diesel engine was still in the cards, we started to think it was as real as bigfoot or the loch ness monster. But the engine is one step closer to reality as the EPA has posted the fuel economy figures for the CX-5 diesel.
    For the front-wheel variant, the CX-5 diesel will return 28 City/31 Highway/29 Combined. All-wheel drive see a slight drop to 27/30/28. Major improvement over gas model, right? Not really. The FWD gas model does trail the diesel in the city by three, but there is only a one mpg difference in the highway and the combined figure is the same. The AWD gas model is pretty much the same story; three mpg difference in the city, two mpg difference on the highway, and the same figure for combined.
    It gets even worse if we compare it to the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain Diesel. In FWD guise, EPA figures stand at 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined. AWD models return 28/38/32.
    We're guessing that new emissions equipment and harder testing likely affected CX-5 diesel's fuel economy figure. Mazda might sell the diesel engine as a performance upgrade - the 2.2L turbodiesel produces 170 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. 
    No timeframe has been given on when the CX-5 diesel will finally go on sale.
    Source: EPA

    William Maley

    And we're not talking turbodiesel

    When we drove the Mazda CX-5 towards the end of last year, we found ourselves wishing that either the long-delayed turbodiesel or possibly the 2.5: turbo-four from the CX-9 would grace the engine. The 2.5L four-cylinder does ok around town, but really struggles when more speed is needed. It seems our wish could be coming true.
    The Truth About Cars obtained a certification document from the California Air Resources Board for the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder. In the document, it lists the 2019 CX-9 and CX-5 offering this engine. It would give the CX-5 a nice power boost as the turbo-four produces 227 horsepower (250 horsepower on premium fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque.
    Mazda declined to comment when asked about the document.
    We're guessing that Mazda could debut the turbo engine in the CX-5 at the LA Auto Show in November.
    Source: The Truth About Cars

    William Maley

    Ooh, more horsepower

    For the past few months, we have been hearing about some key changes to the Mazda MX-5 Miata; more power from the four-cylinder engine, new safety features, and a telescoping steering wheel. Mazda has been using the "can't comment at this time" when asked about these changes. Today, the Japanese automaker finally confirmed the changes.
    Under the hood lies a reworked 2.0L Skyactiv-G producing 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque - up 26 and 3 respectively. A higher redline of 7,500 rpm complements the added power. To pull this off, Mazda made a number of changes to the engine which include,
    Lighter pistons and connecting rods Reconfigured intake ports New fuel injectors New exhaust system Mazda has also fitted a higher final drive ratio (3.583 vs. 3.454), which should make it slightly quicker off the line.
    There is also more safety tech for the 2019 MX-5 Miata. All models get a backup camera as standard and higher trim levels boast traffic sign recognition and  Smart City Brake Support.
    Other changes for the 2019 MX-5 include,
    Optional brown canvas soft top Redesigned 17-inch wheels Telescoping steering wheel Mazda hasn't announced pricing on the 2019 MX-5 Miata, but does say it will arrive at dealers later this fall.
    Source: Mazda

    William Maley

    181 horsepower, telescoping steering wheel...

    The past months has brought some interesting rumors to light on the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata. In March, a NHTSA document came to light that revealed the 2019 model would produce 181 horsepower from its 2.0L four-cylinder. A month later, a leaked document from a Canadian Mazda dealer confirmed the horsepower rating, along with some much wanted features such as a telescoping steering wheel.
    Recently, Japanese outlet Car Watch had the chance to drive the updated 2019 MX-5 Miata for the Japanese market - called the Roadster. In their first drive report, they confirmed a number of details we have reported previously. For starters, the 2.0L has seen power boosted from 155 to 181. The engine has also see its redline increase from 6,800 to 7,500 rpm. This is due to a number of improvements for the engine including lighter pistons and a larger opening for the throttle body. Mazda has also fitted a new dual mass flywheel that will reduce vibrations coming inside, along with a new muffler. Other changes include new color choices for the exterior and interior; Smart City Brake Support, and a telescoping steering wheel.
    Unsurprisingly, Mazda said that it "can't comment at this time" about if these changes will appear in the U.S. Given the amount of evidence, it would be a safe bet that we'll be seeing most, if not all appear on our MX-5 Miata in the near future.
    Source: Car Watch, Road & Track

    William Maley

    Some progress is being made

    Remember how Mazda planned on launching the diesel option for the CX-5 in the second half of last year. Nothing came of that and we were left scratching our heads as to why. Was the engine in limbo with the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board? Had Mazda decided to throw in the towel? It seems to be the former.
    Green Car Reports obtained an engine certification document from CARB dated April 13th approving Mazda's diesel engine. Getting this certification in California after the mess that was the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal is quite impressive and will likely make it easier to get through the EPA certification. 
    A Mazda spokeswoman confirmed to Green Car Reports that the diesel still needs to go through EPA certification, and said the company would not speculate when that might happen.
    Source: Green Car Reports

    William Maley

    More power, more features

    Last month, we reported in the rumorpile that the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata could be packing more power - 181 to be exact. A new report from Road & Track has a couple more details on the engine of the 2019 MX-5 Miata, along with some other tidbits.
    A leaked document from a Mazda dealer in Canada made its way on to the Miata.net forum (which has been taken down at the time of this writing). According to R&T, the document confirms that the 2019 MX-5 Miata will produce 181 horsepower from a 2.0L four-cylinder. We also learned that torque sees a small bump from 152 to 155 pound-feet. 
    The 2.0L in question will come with a number of new parts including “ultra-light” pistons, lighter connecting rods, intake manifold, throttle body, and high-flow exhaust system.
    Other details for the 2019 Miata,
    Will get Mazda's Smart City Braking system and backup camera Finally will have a telescoping steering wheel Source: Road & Track

    William Maley

    An additional 26 horsepower you say...

    There will always be those who want more power in whatever they are driving. Take for example the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Its 2.0L four-cylinder produces 155 horsepower. We found it to be more than enough for driving fun, but there are those who think more power will make it better. It seems their wish could be coming true.
    Road & Track uncovered a VIN notice sent by Mazda to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that reveals the 2019 MX-5 Miata will a 2.0L four-cylinder producing 181 horsepower - up 26 from the current model. The question is how Mazda could reach that number. A journalist on Twitter posted a possible clue, saying the engine will feature a reworked head. 
    It is unclear whether or not Mazda is planning on making other changes to the engine to reach 181 horsepower. As Road & Track notes, the most common aftermarket upgrades for the MX-5 (computer, exhaust, and intake) only add around 12 horsepower. 
    A Mazda spokesman said they don't comment on future products when asked.
    Source: Road & Track

    William Maley

    There is some fuzzy math involved to get to this conclusion

    Mazda hasn't even put their Skyactiv-X technologies into production and already they are talking about the next-generation known as Skyactiv-3.
    Automotive News reports that Mazda's powertrain chief Mitsuo Hitomi said the gasoline version of Skyactiv-3 will have the same emission levels as an electric vehicle.
    Hitomi told attendees of automotive technical conference in Toyko that Mazda will be working on improving the thermal efficiency of its engines. This reduces the "amount of combustion energy lost to heat while increasing the amount harnessed to power the wheels." If Mazda can improve the thermal efficiency by 27 percent, to 56 percent, Hitomi said it could achieve emissions similar to an EV.
    How does he come this conclusion? There is a bit of fuzzy math to reach this. It is based Mazda's measurement of wheel-to-wheel emission for electric vehicles and internal combustion engines. For electric vehicles, Mazda includes the carbon dioxide emitted in the production of electricity for the vehicle. The emissions from oil extraction and refining are included in the measurement for internal combustion engines. Mazda's calculations say that some EVs are dirtier than fuel efficient gas-powered models.
    Mazda also believes that it cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent with the next-generation of Skyactiv, giving them "real world well-to-wheel fuel economy comparable to EVs deriving their electricity through the burning of liquefied natural gas," according to Hitomi.
    No timeframe was given as to when Skyactiv-3 would debut.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Upcoming Chinese regulations has automakers scrambling

    China will soon be introducing regulations where automakers have to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles. This has caused a number of automakers to introduce new models and plan new alliances.
    The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Mazda is planning to develop a new electric vehicle with their Chinese partner, Changan Automobile Group. The model is expected to be an SUV. Changan will provide the majority of the electric drivetrain while Mazda will produce the bodies.
    Mazda and Changan have been in a 50:50 joint-venture partnership since 2012, but the two have been working together since the 2000s. Currently, the venture builds the CX-3, CX-5, and Axela hatchback and sedan.
    This isn't only partnership Mazda has in terms of developing electric vehicles. Last year, Mazda and Toyota announced a new partnership that included plans for developing electric vehicle technologies.
    Source: Nikkei Asian Review

    William Maley

    Both models have the option in other markets

    Mazda is continuing their upward push to make their vehicles more premium. Case in point is the updated 6 with the option of a turbo-four and improved interior. What could be next? It might be offering all-wheel drive.
    According to CarAdvice, Mazda North America Operations' president and CEO Masahiro Moro said there is growing demand to offer an AWD option for the 3 and 6. There is the precedent for this as Mazda offers AWD variants of both models in certain markets. But there is a catch.
    “I think we are not able to combine four-wheel drive and the 2.5-litre turbo. We have a layout issue with the sedans, that’s why a four-wheel drive isn’t deployed on the Mazda 3 and 6 so far,” said Moro.
    This also affects the naturally-aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder models. Only models equipped with the 2.2L turbodiesel can get the AWD option, which isn't sold in the U.S.
    “But there is a huge demand, at least what I know is that in the east coast of the USA, 80 or 90 per cent of premium sedans are sold with all-wheel drive.” Four-wheel drive becomes a premium queue for US consumers and obviously I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” Moro went on to say.
    This might mean the next-generation 3 and 6 could have the option of AWD.
    Source: CarAdvice

    William Maley

    To be built in the U.S. as well

    In a recent interview with Automotive News, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai revealed that the company is working on an all-new crossover designed and built exclusively in the U.S.
    "We are actually going to introduce a totally new and different type of SUV. R&D is coordinating with our North American operations on that right now," said Kogai.
    He said the new model would slot into Mazda's current crossover lineup (CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9) and would not cannibalize the sales of any of the current models. Production will begin in 2021 at a plant that will be a joint venture between Mazda and Toyota. Mazda is planning to dedicate its entire capacity of 150,000 vehicles for this new model.
    It is unclear what this crossover could be, but some believe it could be the successor to the the CX-7.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    Photo Credit: William Maley for Cheers and Gears

    William Maley
    Despite announcing and getting ready to launch their SkyActivX compression ignition engines, along with an electric vehicle, Mazda will still be working on diesel engines for the coming future.
    “There is a benefit to keep developing the diesel engine. Because when we put the engine on a big vehicle, the big vehicle needs big torque as well and if you look at the diesel engine it can produce the large torque, so we still believe the diesel engine has advantages,” said Ichiro Hirose, Mazda's managing executive officer of powertrain and vehicle development to CarAdvice.
    “There is actually huge room for further improvement in diesel engines. [Such as] refining of the combustion, of course, the efficiency will be better, also emission will be reduced as well. As far as the diesel engine is concerned there are still many things we can do in terms of evenly mix the air-fuel and burn. Many things we can do.”
    A recent patent filed by Mazda shows a twin-turbo diesel engine that also features a supercharger, most likely to help minimize turbo lag.
    Source: CarAdvice

    William Maley

    The rotary sports car could also happen

    There is a small group of enthusiasts that want to see the return of the rotary engine in a Mazda vehicle, preferably in a performance. We have reported on various rumors and news stories talking about the rotary engine making a comeback and then being shelved for one reason or another. It now seems the engine making a return, but not in the way many were hoping for.
    Speaking with Automotive News, Mazda's global powertrain head Mitsuo Hitomi said the engine would be used as a range-extender for an upcoming EV. A rotary engine is perfect for this application due to its compact size and providing enough juice to charge a battery.
    Akira Kyomen, Mazda's program manager for vehicle development said they are planning to launch an EV by 2019. The model would come in two different flavors - one being a pure electric and the other using a range extender. Kyomen said the range extender is seen as being necessary for North America and other markets due to the daily drive being much longer.
    Hitomi also confirmed that Mazda's engineers are working on a larger rotary engine that could power a sports car. The big hurdle isn't the tech, but making the business case for it.
    Mazda's question, Hitomi said, has been "whether the business conditions will be met or not … not the big technical issues. Are we going to really sell that many models of sports cars? There aren't that many auto companies selling multiple sports cars."
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Look, a Mazda CX-5 Diesel (Mule)

    Mazda confirmed last year that the CX-5 crossover would be arriving with the option of a diesel engine sometime in the second half of this year. We're three months into the second half of 2017 and nothing has popped up. Mazda has also been keeping quiet on the CX-5 diesel. So low and behold our surprise when Car and Driver caught a prototype running around Michigan.
    How do we know its the diesel? The tachometer has a redline of 5,500 rpm and there is single tailpipe - the standard CX-5 comes with dual exhaust tips. As Car and Driver notes, this test vehicle has a Bosch sticker on the windshield. This likely hints that Bosch is doing some testing for Mazda. They're known for having a fleet of test vehicles running around Southeast Michigan.
    When reached for comment, a Mazda spokesperson said the company is working with the EPA and California Air Resources Board toward final emissions certification. No details were given on timing. 
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    Could Mazda be the first automaker to launch an HCCI engine?

    Mazda could do something that no other automaker has been able to do, introduce a homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine for a production model.
    Today in Tokyo, Mazda held a news conference announcing their Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 initiative. The gist is to improve overall efficiency while retaining the fun-to-drive nature of their vehicles. The big announcement during this news conference is the introduction of the Skyactiv-X engine which features HCCI - something we first heard about back in January.
    HCCI engines are like diesel engines where they use compression and not spark to ignite the fuel. This allows for better fuel economy and emissions. But automakers could never figure out how to control when the gasoline ignites. HCCI engines need to run at a specific temperature for smooth operation. If the engine is too cold, the performance of the compression ignition is affected. Too hot and you'll have engine knock. Mazda says they have figured out a solution to these issues by using spark plugs to ignite the fuel in certain situations such as cold starts. Skyactiv-X will also feature a supercharger that will provide a smooth and immediate engine response. The new engines will see a 10 to 30 percent increase in torque over the current Skyactiv engines. As for efficiency, Mazda says Skyactiv-X will see a 20 to 30 percent increase.
    There are other parts to Mazda's Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 initiative, not all of it dealing with efficiency.
    Introducing electrified models, including electrics beginning in 2019. They'll be offered in places "that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution." Work on reducing the “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions (from building the vehicle to driving it).  Cut back on the corporate“well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions to 50 percent of 2010 levels by 2013, and reducing that to 10 percent by 2050. Add more advanced safety tech and work on the fundamentals such as driving position and visibility. Begin introducing autonomous driving tech by 2025 Source: Mazda
    Press Release is on Page 2


    MAZDA ANNOUNCES LONG-TERM VISION FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, ‘SUSTAINABLE ZOOM-ZOOM 2030’
    INTRODUCES SKYACTIV-X, WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIAL GASOLINE ENGINE TO USE COMPRESSION IGNITION August 8, 2017
    HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation today announced “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030,” a new long-term vision for technology development that looks ahead to the year 2030. As part of the new technology to achieve this vision, the company disclosed plans to introduce a next-generation engine called SKYACTIV-X in 2019. SKYACTIV-X will be the world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition.1
    Under the original “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom” vision announced in 2007, the company has striven to offer both driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance. In light of the rapid changes taking place in the automotive industry, the new vision takes a longer-term perspective and sets out how Mazda will use driving pleasure, the fundamental appeal of the automobile, to help solve issues facing people, the earth and society.
    The following is an overview of “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” and the next-generation SKYACTIV-X engine.
    1. SUSTAINABLE ZOOM-ZOOM 2030
    Mazda believes its mission is to bring about a beautiful earth and to enrich people’s lives as well as society. The company will continue to seek ways to inspire people through the value found in cars.
    Earth
    Through conservation initiatives, create a sustainable future in which people and cars coexist with a bountiful, beautiful earth
    Mazda’s approach
    Expand measures for carbon dioxide reduction from a “well-to-wheel” perspective, considering emissions over the vehicle’s entire life cycle Aim to reduce corporate average “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions to 50 percent of 2010 levels by 2030, and achieve a 90-percent reduction by 2050 Achieve this with a policy prioritizing efficiency improvements and measures for cleaner emissions that apply in the real world In line with this policy, continue efforts to perfect the internal combustion engine, which will help power the majority of cars worldwide for many years to come and can therefore make the greatest contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and combine the results with effective electrification technologies From 2019, start introducing electric vehicles and other electric drive technologies in regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution Society
    Through cars and a society that provide safety and peace of mind, create a system that enriches people’s lives by offering unrestricted mobility to people everywhere
    Mazda’s approach
    Develop more advanced safety technologies under the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy, working toward the goal of eliminating traffic accidents Further enhance safety fundamentals, such as correct driving position, pedal layout and good visibility, and standardize them across all models Promote further standardization of i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features, which help drivers recognize and assess potential hazards; in addition to Japan, where they are already becoming standard, gradually make these technologies standard in other markets starting in 2018 Begin testing of autonomous driving technologies currently being developed in line with Mazda’s human-centered Mazda Co-Pilot Concept2 in 2020, aiming to make the system standard on all models by 2025 Using connectivity technologies, create a new business model that enables car owners to support the needs of people in depopulated areas and those who have difficulty getting around People
    Enhance customers’ mental well-being with the satisfaction that comes from protecting the earth and contributing to society with a car that offers true driving pleasure
    Mazda’s approach
    Pursue an enhanced Jinba-ittai driving feel that will unlock people’s potential and revitalize them mentally and physically Based on the philosophy of “breathing life into the car,” further develop KODO design to raise vehicle design to the level of art that enriches the emotional lives of all who see it 2. SKYACTIV-X NEXT-GENERATION ENGINE

    Technological innovations
    SKYACTIV-X is the world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition, in which the fuel-air mixture ignites spontaneously when compressed by the piston A proprietary combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition overcomes two issues that had impeded commercialization of compression ignition gasoline engines: maximizing the zone in which compression ignition is possible and achieving a seamless transition between compression ignition and spark ignition. Features
    This new proprietary combustion engine combines the advantages of gasoline and diesel engines to achieve outstanding environmental performance, power and acceleration performance. Compression ignition and a supercharger fitted to improve fuel economy together deliver unprecedented engine response and increase torque 10–30 percent over the current SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine.3 Compression ignition makes possible a super lean burn4 that improves engine efficiency up to 20–30 percent over the current SKYACTIV-G, and from 35–45 percent over Mazda’s 2008 gasoline engine of the same displacement. SKYACTIV-X even equals or exceeds the latest SKYACTIV-D diesel engine in fuel efficiency. With high efficiency across a wide range of rpms and engine loads, the engine allows much more latitude in the selection of gear ratios, providing both superior fuel economy and driving performance. Moving forward Mazda hopes to help create a future in which people, the earth and society can coexist with cars, to enrich people’s lives through a car ownership experience that celebrates driving, and to become a brand with which customers feel a strong emotional connection.

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