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Posted on by Kurt 5
Nissan Esflow

Nissan is rumored to be working on an affordable sports car, as a rival to the Mazda MX-5. The catch? Nissan’s sports car will feature an electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the car that usually comes up in discussion when automakers set their sights on developing an affordable sports car. Since its debut in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 has become the standard for world-class handling in a package to fit anyone’s budget. Some would accuse the MX-5 of being underpowered, but when it comes to the ability to carve corners with razor-like precision, the MX-5 has few rivals, and none in its price range.

If new rumors surrounding Nissan are correct, that’s about to change. As part of its plan to launch 52 new cars over the next five years, Nissan is rumored to be working on an affordable rear-drive sports car. It will be built on a midsize platform purchased from Daimler, that ultimately will be used on the next generation 370Z , GT-R , and Infiniti G as well.

More details after the jump.

Source: AutoExpress

Mazda is squeezing in as many MX-5 special editions as it possibly can before releasing the next generation of the small sports car, and today another one is getting added to the list. The latest special edition MX5 is called the Black Limited Edition and was inspired by this year’s highly successful MX-5 GT race car . It will be limited to only 500 units and, on the British market, will be priced from £22,995 - or about $37,500 at the current exchange rates.

The new special edition will be distinguished by three unique paint finishes - Spirited Green Metallic, Crystal White Pearlescent, and Velocity Red Mica - and a Brilliant Black powered retractable hard-top. These exterior colors will be contrasted by dark "gun metal" 17-inch alloy wheels.

On the interior, the MX5 will get black leather with contrasting "sand" color stitching, a Piano Black steering wheel and deco panel, and Limited Edition floor mats. Model recognition will come from unique ‘Black Limited Edition’ exterior badging and uniquely numbered interior plaques.

Aside from the distinguishing features, the Mazda MX5 Black Limited Edition will also get a slew of standard equipment, including climate control air-conditioning, a premium Bose audio system, an integrated hands-free Bluetooth system, cruise control, and front fog lights.

UPDATE 09/01/11: The Mazda MX-5 Sport Black Limited Edition is getting ready for orders and to commemorate the occasion, we’ve uploaded more photos of the special edition Miata in the photo gallery. Check the new pictures out and maybe you’ll just end up scoring one of the 500 available pieces of the Japanese sports car.

Posted on by Alexander + 11
Top Gear USA To Premiere November 21st

Top Gear USA is back for its second season and, after watching the first two episodes of The Car Show, we were hoping it would start off with a bang. Unfortunately, it was more like a muffled beep.

The only segment in the first episode of the season was a series of challenges trying to convince viewers that pick-up trucks could be replaced by two-door models. The guys ended up choosing a Ford Maverick, a BMW BMW 335E, and a Mazda Mazda Miata as their specimens. The challenges were a bit eventful and a little humorous, but overall a bit disappointing.

Maybe Top Gear USA was trying to move away from the mirror image segments from the original Top Gear, but this path was not the right one. We just hope that the next episode adds a bit more oomph because, for the first episode of the season, we thought more could have been done to convince viewers that this was the car show to watch.

Hit the jump for all the details on Top Gear USA Season 2 Episode 1

The essence and beauty of the Mazda MX-5 lies in its small sports car body and engine. Lately, however, it seems as if bigger is getting continually better and Australian native, George Covacic, is showing proof of that with his highly modified MX-5 Bullet Roadster. According to Covacic, this particular model is the fifth Roadster that was built in the late 90s and the first to feature a V8 engine (all original Bullet Roadsters carried the RX-7 13B powerplant from the Mazda RX7). As of right now, all we can do is take his word for it, but if that’s all you need then this model is currently on sale for $46,191.

The 4.6L all-alloy, fuel injected V8 engine found in this Bullet Roadster was supplied by Covacic himself and came mated to a Tremac 5-speed manual transmission. Covacic also contributed the differential from a Holden Commodore SS, but the brakes and suspension - like the original Bullets - came from a Mazda RX-7 . As of right now, the Covacic Bullet only has 10,008 miles on it.

As for the non-technical stats, this particular Bullet comes in a "Grace Green" with a black leather interior and features a number of elements that were considered very high end at the time of its release. These include 17-inch alloys, air conditioning, power windows, and an Alpine CD stereo sound system, as well as a Momo steering wheel, shift knob, and drilled pedals.

Source: Carscoop

There’s not much arguing the fact that the MX-5 Miata is one of Mazda ’s most popular models of all time. So if there was any other car in the Japanese automaker’s lineup that has earned the right to spawn special edition models left and right, it’s their iconic sports roadster.

With that thought in mind, Mazda has once again given fans of the MX-5 Miata another special edition model for their consumption.

This one, called the Karai, comes from the automaker’s European division and has been given plenty of new digs that will most definitely give it plenty of attention from die-hard Miata fans in Europe.

You can make a case that the all these special edition Miatas have become one too many, even for its popularity. But that’s the thing with this venerable roadster; somehow, people just can’t get enough of it, no matter what their tastes and preferences are.

The Karai, which means ’sharp’ in Japanese, certainly fits the name it was given. Sharply dressed with plenty of aesthetic upgrades, the MX-5 Miata Karai is one that’s going to be a hit to European die-hards of the legendary model.

Details after the jump


40 years after Mazda first introduced its then innovative new rotary engine power source, the Japanese automaker is looking into breaking new ground with their latest powertrain system.

According to Autocar, the next-generation engine, codenamed the ‘16X Renesis’, has been in development since 2007, but it was only recently that a new wrinkle was divulged about this new powertrain. Instead of the long-held practice of using traditional spark plugs to ignite the engine, Mazda is looking into using laser beams to serve the purpose of igniting the fuel and air mixture inside the engine.

With the increasing advancements being made in the country on the controlled use of high-powered lasers, Mazda is looking into tapping into this new breakthrough by using these ceramic-made lasers. These lasers measure only 9 mm in diameter and 11 mm in length, measurements that can easily fit into a car engine and take up less space than the space-mongering spark plug.

While full-scale testing on this new system is still far from finished, the belief is that by using lasers instead of spark plugs, the engine would be able to run leaner and control the timing of the engine’s ignition. This, in turn, could dramatically cut down on emissions and, thus, improve the car’s fuel economy.

Full story after the jump.

Source: Autocar

The fact that Mazda is well into their plans to terminate the current RX-8 sports car is common knowledge at this point. However, if eliminating their only rotary-powered vehicle is in the works, why is the company still working on their Wankel engine?

There are whispers fluttering around that Mazda may be working on a new sports car model with the help of none other than Audi. Audi just released their A1 hatchback-based e-tron concept, which features a 254cc Wankel range-extender located beneath the trunk floor, so these latest rumors suggest that the two will be getting into bed together on a new rotary sports car featuring similar technology.

Mazda’s next sports car was originally thought to be the RX-9 , but recent news has gotten people thinking that Mazda may be working on a successor to the RX-7 instead. Whichever model they choose to roll with, Inside Line is reporting that Mazda’s next rotary sports car will hopefully achieve just 130 g/km of CO2 compared to the 299 g/km of the current RX-8. Other features of the new sports car may include micro-hybrid technology, auto stop/start, lightweight materials, and laser ignition - which eliminates the use of spark plugs, ultimately making it easier to seal the Wankel’s trochoidal combustion chamber for improved efficiency and reduced hydrocarbon emissions.

Source: Inside Line

Mazda produced the RX-7 from 1978 to 2002 and, compared to the RX-8, it did very well. Now, after almost ten years, the Japanese company will bring back the RX-7 DNA with the launch of a new sports car called the RX-9 . And, however chronologically deficient it may be, the RX-9 is being made as a successor to the RX-7 and not the RX-8 . We should be seeing this new model hit the streets as soon as the RX-8 bids adieu to the market.

The RX-9 is rumored to be built in the image of the most recent RX-7, the highly regarded version championed by the legendary "Koby" Kobayakawa, which went out of production in 2002. And, unlike the RX-8, it will be a two-door coupe model and not a complicated four-door coupe. Under the hood, Mazda will place the now famous 16X rotary engine.

Expect an official debut to be made in 2012, with sales to begin in late 2013.

UPDATE 05/25/2011: MotorTrend is reporting that the future Mazda RX-9 sports car will be using hybrid technology borrowed from Toyota, thanks in part to an agreement the automakers signed last year. Apparently Mazda will only use Toyota Toyota ’s hybrid drive unit as power booster and range extender, but the vehicle’s main power will come from the Mazda-built rotary.

UPDATE 06/01/2011: We know everyone got very excited about a possible future RX-9, but Mazda has denied all rumors associated with the production of this vehicle. According to the company, there are no plans for such a vehicle, and moreover, the very future of the rotary engine at Mazda is in jeopardy. The RX-8 is also preparing for a very sad end after a very unsuccessful history, but some good news is on the horizon as there is a good possibility that we will see a successor for the RX-7. This vehicle will share its platform with the future generation MX-5 and it is expected to be revealed in about two years. (CarAndDriver)

Hit the jump for some specifics on the new RX-9.

Source: Autocar

Mazda is celebrating their entrance into the Guinness Book of World Records with the launch of the special edition Record Series MX-5 . This special edition will be offered in two versions: black (limited to only 120 units) and white (produced exclusively by the Italian branch of the house of Hiroshima).

The Black Record Series model will be powered by a 1.8-liter engine that delivers 126 HP and is paired with five-speed manual gearbox. It will be painted in Sparkling Black combined with a glossy finish for the wheels, chrome handles for the doors and frames, and silver and chrome-ringed fog lamps for the front grille. The interior will get light gray leather and will offer a radio with a CD player and MP3 player, Aux jack, six speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The White Record Series model will get a 2.0 liter engine with 160 HP, paired with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Its exterior will be painted in a Chrystal White Pearl color which contrasts with the black Recaro leather interior. This version will be focused on sport, so it will add a sport suspension and limited slip rear differential, while the inside offers a premium Bose audio system with 6 CD charger, seven speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity.


Mazda’s little compact car showed up to the 2011 New York Auto Show with a midcycle refresh that not only provides a refined exterior and interior, but also dishes out a new engine that utilizes Mazda’s innovative SKYACTIV fuel-saving and performance-oriented technologies.

The new engine is the first application in North America of the SKYACTIV technology and improves the Mazda3’s fuel economy by 17%, allowing it to go up to an impressive 40 mpg on the highway.

"SKYACTIV is not just an engine; it is the next generation of advanced vehicle performance and efficiency," said Jim O’Sullivan, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). "SKYACTIV embodies Mazda’s philosophy of engineering only vehicles that are fun to drive, satisfying to own and environmentally responsible; and there is no better vehicle to start with than the Mazda3, one of the most exciting sport compact cars on the road."

The 2012 Mazda3 also features improved sporty driving dynamics, responsive handling, and comfortable cabin space.

UPDATE 04/27/2011: Mazda has revealed four videos of the new 2012 Mazda3 - both sedan and hatchback - that shares details of the car’s design elements and shows them off in action! Check it out by clicking on the image above and remember to hit the arrow to see the rest!

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Mazda3.


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