Mazda to Debut a New Vehicle on Xbox Live

Mazda MX-5

With the ever evolving landscape of the auto industry, it’s easy to get left behind on new developments that can be categorized as a "world first".

Mazda’s probably well aware of that, which is why it is taking the never-before-taken step of unveiling a new car - a global debut, in fact - through a video game system.

Believe it or not, that’s exactly what the Japanese automaker is set to do after partnering with Xbox to introduce a new global model as part of the first-ever global live stream of a new vehicle introduction through the Xbox.

“It’s a digitally connected world, so what better way to reach our customers than through a connected platform like Xbox,” Russell Wager, vice president of marketing for Mazda, said.

”We were looking for a way to launch a global product and tie together our five separate reveals. Xbox not only gave us the platform, but allowed us to leverage our digital assets to drive a global audience to view the event.”

Mazda is keeping a lid on what kind of vehicle it’s going to unveil, but fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long to find out. The ground-breaking unveiling is scheduled to take place on June 26th in New York with the festivities being streamed globally, courtesy of Xbox Live, beginning at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

To drum up interest for the talked about debut, Mazda is sweeping through social media, touring the hashtag #GameChanger, alluding presumably to a car that will redefine its market.

Perhaps Mazda is gearing up to unveil the next-generation MX-5 Miata .

For now, your guesses are as good as ours because the whole event is being shrouded in so much secrecy that would make the Pentagon proud.

If you want to be part of the unveiling - and score a chance to win $2,500 and create your own dream trip to a music event of your choice - you can participate in the live broadcast and the accompanying sweepstakes.

Click past the jump to read some history on the MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Miata History

Mazda MX-5

Ah, the MX-5 Miata. Not only is it one of the best inexpensive roadsters ever built, but it is also one of the most polarizing cars ever. Since its debut in the 1990 model year as a compact, flip-up-headlight roadster with a modest 116-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-banger engine car enthusiasts have argued whether it is the truest sports car of the modern era or a “chicks car.”

As the Miata progressed in popularity, its saw significant changes with the biggest changed for the first-generation models being the introduction of a 128-horsepower 1.8-liter engine in 1994. In 1996, the 1.8-liter engine was bumped up to 133 horsepower, thanks to the new OBD-II computer system.

The second-gen Miata debuted in 1999 with all-new fixed headlights and an extra 7 horsepower from its 1.8-liter engine. The introduction of variable-valve timing in 2001 jumped the 1.8-liter engine’s power output to 155 horsepower, but the decision to allow the Miata to pass CARB regulations caused the output to tumble to 142 horsepower before it hit showrooms.

For the 2004 model year, Mazda decided to give its resident roadster the Mazdaspeed treatment by installing a turbocharger, a six-speed manual transmission, 17-inch wheels, a lower and stiffer suspension, massive anti-roll bars and updated shocks. This resulted in a mid-6-second 0-to-60 mph time and racecar-like handling, but also a gut-jarring ride. The 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata lasted only through the 2005 model year.

In 2006, Mazda introduced the third-gen Miata with all-new underpinnings and a new 2.0-liter engine that produced 170 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. This allowed the new Miata to hit 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds.

The third-gen Miata was not only more powerful, but it was also a longer and wider model, which afforded passengers a little more room than previous generations. In 2007 , after much begging from Miata enthusiasts, Mazda chose to add an optional hardtop to the Miata’s lineup. Additionally, Mazda had to reduce the Miata’s published horsepower rating to 166, thanks to SAE standards.

The 2009 Miata received some engine tweaks that helped improve the 2.0-liter engine’s mid-range and top-range rpm response. This dropped the Miata’s 0-to-60 mph time down to about 7 seconds. The Miata also received a sharp front end restyling that gave the Miata a cheery smile that we could have lived without.

Mazda lightly refreshed the front fascia on the 2013 MX-5 Miata , but all else remained the same.

IRVINE, Calif., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Mazda has teamed-up with Xbox, Microsoft’s premiere entertainment brand to produce the first-ever global live stream of a new vehicle introduction. Mazda is keeping the vehicle a surprise but has announced that the event will be anchored with a live concert by the award-winning band Metric—the first to be streamed live globally through Xbox.

Mazda MX-5

On June 26, 2013, Mazda’s vehicle reveal will take place live from New York. The event will be broadcast at 9:00 PM EDT globally on Xbox Live, and is the culmination of a multi-city reveal cadence that will start in Melbourne, travel through St. Petersburg, Istanbul, London, and then on to New York City.

"It’s a digitally connected world, so what better way to reach our customers than through a connected platform like Xbox," said Russell Wager, vice president of marketing for Mazda. "We were looking for a way to launch a global product and tie together our five separate reveals. Xbox not only gave us the platform, but allowed us to leverage our digital assets to drive a global audience to view the event."

Starting today, Mazda will begin launching a series of activations to build awareness of the event, which is in line with the brand’s new advertising campaign that began in April. The kick-off will begin through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ and include the hashtag #GameChanger so that fans can join the conversation. will direct viewers to a dedicated Mazda landing page on The site will include details of the event, a countdown clock and will host a sweepstakes for one lucky entrant to win $2,500 to create their dream trip to a music event of their choice.

Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox Advertising says, "Working with Mazda to introduce their new vehicle through a global live stream event showcases Xbox’s versatility as a connected entertainment device that reaches millions of Xbox Live users worldwide."

Mazda MX-5

In addition, visitors will be informed of the event through a specially branded Mazda Facebook tab.

"This organization has always been one that likes to be a part of breaking new ground," said Metric’s manager Mathieu Drouin of the band’s involvement in the first ever, multi-continent concert streaming event on XBox Live. "Metric’s fans are spread throughout the globe, so there is something quite special about being able to offer a select few fans the opportunity to attend such a unique and intimate Metric concert in person, while the rest of the band’s fans around the world can participate virtually through a social streaming event on one of the world’s largest interactive global entertainment platforms."

Fans that participate in the broadcast will not only get treated to the exclusive Mazda vehicle debut, a free live concert, and a chance to win a sweepstakes, but also receive a branded #GameChanger t-shirt for their Xbox Live Avatar—the first giveaway of its kind tied to a live event.

Mazda vehicles provide customers engaging technology that connects their driving experience to the outside world via social media, entertainment options, satellite navigation and real-time traffic monitoring. Partnering with Xbox for the global reveal of a new vehicle allows Mazda to participate with its target customers through technology they are already using to enjoy their entertainment, but in a fresh and innovative way.

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

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