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William Maley

Mazda News: Mazda To Launch Their First EV In 2019

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Mazda is the latest automaker to announce that it will be building an electric vehicle. Speaking with CarAdvice, Mazda's head of research and development, Kiyoshi Fujiwara revealed that the company would be building an EV, but for only select markets such Norway.

“Of course we need EVs. As you know, in Norway, the complete energy source is water… this means that EV is much better for CO2 in Norway. But not in United States or China… Therefore we are focusing on ICE, but some regions we need EV, so therefore in 2019 [or] in that time frame we will introduce EV where it is needed in the world.”

For other markets, Mazda will keep their focus on internal-combustion engines since a majority of consumers are still buying them up.

It is likely that Mazda will use one of their current models as a base for their new EV to help keep costs down. Fujiwara explained they have only started work on it and there is the possibility of bringing in Toyota as a partner for this model.

Source: CarAdvice 


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Probably a re-badge of a Toyota EV. Over all, I expect more people to enjoy the quietness of an EV than a petro auto and the significant reduction in maintenance cost.

I bet Mazda will rethink EV for the US once they see the BOLT take off.

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7 hours ago, dfelt said:

Probably a re-badge of a Toyota EV. Over all, I expect more people to enjoy the quietness of an EV than a petro auto and the significant reduction in maintenance cost.

I bet Mazda will rethink EV for the US once they see the BOLT take off.

Agreed!

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I wonder, is there a cost advantage to being FWD as an EV? I would think not or only feasible over large production volumes - especially when the battery is flat and placed between the wheelbase.

 

Imagine the RX-Vision concept spawning an EV RX-9?

That would be the most beautiful modern car in the world. Even an F-Type can't touch those curves.

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23 hours ago, dfelt said:

Probably a re-badge of a Toyota EV. Over all, I expect more people to enjoy the quietness of an EV than a petro auto and the significant reduction in maintenance cost.

I bet Mazda will rethink EV for the US once they see the BOLT take off.

I doubt that since we know Toyota won't have their EV out till 2020 in time for the Tokyo Olympics. I bet the two will share various tech and parts.

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      Make: Mazda
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    • By William Maley
      The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task.
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      Interior
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      The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids.
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      Infotainment
      All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both.
      For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. 
      I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system.
      Powertrain
      Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6.
      Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power.  NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging.
      The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for.
      Fuel Economy
      Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference.
      Ride & Handling
      The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin.
      The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin.
      Value
      It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim.
      The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money.
      Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you.
      Verdict
      Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. 
      For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank.
      Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,470
      As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Soul Red Metallic - $595.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Atlas
      Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN
      Base Price: $35,690
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      Chevrolet is expanding the availability of the 6.2L V8 for the Tahoe and Suburban through a new special edition.
      The 2019 Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus brings forth the 420 horsepower V8 engine, along with a 10-speed automatic and the Magnetic Ride Control suspension. To set it apart from other trims, the Premier Plus adds some special luxury touches such as two-tone black and mahogany interior, heated and ventilated seats, heads-up display, chrome power steps, and 22-inch wheels.
      “Our customers have shown strong demand for both Tahoe and Suburban with the 6.2L V-8 option. Thirty-six percent of all Chevy full-size SUV special edition models are now sold with this engine. Premier Plus gives both Suburban and Tahoe customers another option to choose from with several added premium touches,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet’s head of truck marketing and advertising in a statement.
      The Premier Plus models are quite pricey. The Tahoe Premier Plus begins at $75,395, and the Suburban Premier Plus kicks off at $78,195 - prices include a $1,295 destination charge. Production begins later this summer.
      Source: Chevrolet
      CHEVROLET INTRODUCES TAHOE AND SUBURBAN PREMIER PLUS SPECIAL EDITIONS
      DETROIT — Due to customer demand, Chevrolet is expanding the availability of the 6.2L V-8 engine within its full-size SUV lineup by introducing the Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus special editions.   
      The 6.2L V-8 was first made available in the Chevy full-size SUV lineup on the 2018 Tahoe RST 6.2L Performance Package. The engine recently debuted on the 2019 Suburban RST 6.2L Performance Package, which is now on sale at Chevrolet dealerships nationwide.
      All Premier Plus edition Chevy full-size SUVs, as well as RST Premier models with the optional 6.2L Performance Package, also feature Magnetic Ride Control with performance calibration and a Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission.
      “Our customers have shown strong demand for both Tahoe and Suburban with the 6.2L V-8 option,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Trucks Marketing and Advertising. “Thirty-six percent of all Chevy full-size SUV special edition models are now sold with this engine. Premier Plus gives both Suburban and Tahoe customers another option to choose from with several added premium touches.”
      The 2019 Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus editions feature a unique interior with heated and ventilated Black/Mahogany-colored leather-appointed front seats against a Jet Black trim surround. This premium two-tone interior and 22-inch polished wheels make their first appearance in Chevy’s full-size SUV lineup with the Premier Plus special editions.
      Other features include gold Chevrolet “bowtie” logos, chrome nameplate badging, a head-up display and 8-inch diagonal cluster, cross rails, chrome power steps and exhaust tip and a Chevrolet-branded cargo organizer.
      Connectivity is provided by a standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi1 hotspot, and the Premier Plus package includes a 12-month data plan.
      The available 6.2L V-8 is capable of 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The engine delivers three state-of-the-art technologies — direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing — to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions.
      The 10-speed automatic transmission offers smaller steps between each ratio to maximize engine power under acceleration. With a wide 7.39 overall gear ratio spread and lower numerical top gear ratio, the transmission also reduces engine revolutions at highway speeds.
      Magnetic Ride Control is an active suspension that “reads” the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in the electronically controlled shock absorbers in as few as 10-15 milliseconds. As a result, the suspension delivers improved body-motion control during cornering and a more comfortable ride while cruising.
      The 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier Plus will start with an MSRP of $74,100 plus a $1,295 destination charge, while the 2019 Chevrolet Suburban Premier Plus will start at $76,900 with a $1,295 destination charge. (MSRP excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment.)
      Both Premier Plus full-size SUVs are also available to Costco members at GM supplier pricing with a $4,500 Costco member incentive2. Costco Gold Star and Business Members who purchase the vehicle through participating dealers and complete a Costco Auto Program survey are also eligible for a $300 Costco Cash Card, while Executive Members are eligible for a $700 Costco Cash Card.
      The exclusive Costco member value package is only available on 5,000 vehicles. Costco offer is not compatible with any other GM incentives. To qualify, customers must be a member by Oct. 1, 2018, and take delivery between, Oct. 2, 2018, and Jan. 2, 2019.

      The 2019 Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus can be ordered from Chevrolet dealers now, with production beginning in mid-August.

      View full article
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