Despite having more special edition versions than any model in recent history, the Mazda MX-5’s popularity doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon.
Over in the UK, the Japanese sports roadster is still a hot ticket, so much so in fact that Mazda has decided to give the UK market yet another special edition model of the MX-5.
Say hello to the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition.
Available in two variants - one for the soft-top and one for the folding hard top - the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition distinguishes itself from the rest of its MX-5 peers with a host of aesthetic alterations, including a race car-inspired exterior graphics, black detailing around the front grille and front fog lights, ‘Kuro Edition’ badging all over the exterior, and a new set of 17" alloy wheels. The special edition model also gets a new rear sports bumper, a larger sports exhaust, and a choice of three different color options: Velocity Red Mica, Crystal White Pearlescent, and Brilliant Black.
Inside, the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition gets treated to Stone and Black heated leather seats, Stone leather door inserts, red stitching, a silver interior panel with red accents, alloy pedals, and floor mats with a race-inspired logo.
The soft-top variant of the Kuro Special Edition will come with a 1.8 liter engine that nets 126 horsepower and 123 lb/ft of torque while the hard-top model will be powered by a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that produces 167 horsepower and 158 lb/ft of torque.
200 units of the soft-top model will be available in the UK at a price of £18,495 ($28,890), while 400 of the hard-top variant will be available at a price of £21,995 ($34,350).
Mazda will be attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a very cool Mazda MX-5 GT Concept which may head to production depending on customers’ reactions at the festival. The concept was developed by Jota Sport and looks a lot like the MX-5 Super20 unveiled last year at the SEMA Auto Show.
The GT Concept is powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre Mazda petrol engine that delivers a total of 205 HP and is mated to a standard manual gearbox. Mazda is also offering an updated suspension, as well as an impressive aerodynamic package that includes a carbon front splitter, a rear diffuser, and a boot spoiler. The final piece of the exterior is a sports exhaust system with a central tailpipe.
For the interior, the concept gets Recaro seats and plenty of carbon fiber to suits any sports car enthusiast. Road slicks and body-colored roll hoops behind the seats were also added for customers who want to run the car on the race track.
"This year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed we have a number of significant cars on the stand and contesting the hillclimb," said Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director, Mazda UK. "The MX-5 has been our best known car for 22 years and with the GT4 and GT Concept on show, we are demonstrating that this car can compete with the more expensive race and performance cars but still remain true to its roots of affordable motoring with a strong focus on the driving experience."
In the last year, we have seen Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology make its way into various vehicles in an effort to increase fuel efficiency without reinventing the wheel. These technologies include advanced weight reduction, reduced friction, forced induction, and ultra-high compression ratings. All of these advancements combine to boost the fuel economy ratings of Mazda’s street cars.
Now Mazda is ready to take SKYACTIV to the next level, and introduce it into racing, via the Grand-Am Road Racing Series. The first engine that Mazda will offer to race teams is the 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D engine, which is an ultra-high-efficiency diesel engine. Now, before you start wondering how Mazda expects this engine to be competitive in the Grand-Am series, keep in mind that this engine will only be raced in the GX class, which is a class dedicated to alternative fuels and highly fuel efficient vehicles.
The SKYACTIV-D that is currently being developed will boast a 14-to-1 compression ratio, a two-stage turbocharger and a 5,200 rpm redline. In comparison to the current Mazda 2.2-liter diesel engine, the SKYACTIV-D is 10 percent lighter, has 20 percent less internal friction, and gets 20 percent better fuel economy.
The production numbers are not out yet for this racing engine, but we do know that the production SKYACTIV 2.2-liter diesel produces 173 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and an impressive 310 pound-feet of torque at just 2,000 rpm. We will update you with the official base numbers once Mazda completes the dyno phase of its testing.
Click past the jump to read the full press release.
The European auto market has the Spring Edition. The American auto market has the Special Edition. Continuing on that trend, Mazda has announced that it will be releasing a new special run model of their highly-popular MX-5 Miata sports car for the German market.
The model is called the MX-5 Senshu Special Edition, which made its debut at the 2012 Auto Mobil International Show in Leipzig, Germany.
The "Senshu" name is Japanese for "player," and this particular Miata is all that and more. It’s available in three different exterior colors - Red, White, and Black - and is based on the MX-5’s Sports Line spec model.
On the outside, the Senshu Special Edition comes equipped with a unique black surround design on the front front grille, racing stripes that run along the car’s profile, a matte black rear diffuser, xenon headlights, a lowered Bilstein sports suspension, and a new set of 17" dark alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45 R17 tires.
Inside, the special edition MX-5 gets treated to leather seats dressed in a two-tone black and gray scheme. It also has red stitching on the door panels, red surrounds on the air vents, an aluminum trim decoration, sports aluminum pedals, and a Bose audio system.
No performance enhancements were made to the car so expect it to carry the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Only 200 of these babies will hit the German market with each being priced at €29,190, a number that converts to $36,297 based on current exchange rates.
After hearing plenty of these rumors, Fiat Chairman, John Elkann, had enough and announced at a shareholder meeting that Fiat is not interested in acquiring any percentage of Mazda in the future. Fiat does plan on adding a Japanese partner in the future to help expand its global reach, but there is no mention of what companies Fiat is considering.
We would not be surprised to find out that this is simply a rouge to not tip its hand too early. It only makes sense for the two to partner up in a larger sense, as Mazda needs some help getting over the recovery hump and Fiat needs a Japanese partner. It would be a win-win situation, so we’ll see if Fiat’s tune changes after testing out Mazda’s abilities with the Mazda Miata-Alfa Romeo Spider production deal.
Fiat is planning a little bit of expansion soon though. In July 2012, Fiat is planning to expand its ownership in Chrysler by an additional 3 percent, bringing its total ownership to over 60 percent. Over the course of time, Fiat plans to jump its overall Chrysler ownership to 100 percent, giving it complete control over the recovering automaker’s operations and profit.
It definitely looks like Fiat is on the right track here so far. We will keep you updated as its expansion continues.
Actually, they’re right; we can’t get enough of them. So when they took to the 2012 Auto Mobil International Show in Leipzig, Germany to debut the MX-5 Miata Yushu Concept, it certainly got our attention, and then some.
Named after the Japanese word for "Victory," the MX-5 Yusho Concept is the kind of concept proposal for the popular sports car that makes us remember why we love Miatas so much.
The matte white paint finish is already an eye-catcher in its own right, but it also paints only a part of the modifications Mazda did to the car. It also received new aero components, a new interior treatment, and best of all, engine modifications.
About the only thing we didn’t like about the MX-5 Yushu Concept was Mazda failing to say that the car - or at least some of the mods - is getting ready for production.
Nevertheless, the MX-5 Yushu Concept is still a beauty, a car that we’re more than hoping to see out in dealerships sooner rather than later.
UPDATE 07/24/12: Mazda has released a new video of the MX-5 Yushu Concept doing some rounds at the Nurburgring! Check it out by clicking on the photo above!
Find out more about the Mazda MX-5 Miata Yushu Concept after the jump.
Just a few days ago, we reported that Mazda and Fiat have joined forces to jointly produce a new sports car based on the upcoming redesigned MX-5 Miata. Fiat would use this opportunity to revive the once popular Alfa Romeo Spider, the car whose shoes the MX-5 filled back in 1990. This could not only revive the Spider overseas, but it could also bring Alfa Romeo back into the U.S. market at a reasonable price.
Recently, at a Chrysler event, a reporter from Reuters learned that this relationship may go even further than simply jointly manufacturing a sports car. The report states that Fiat is also open to allowing Mazda to use Chrysler plants to manufacture their North America-bound cars. This would obviously help Mazda a great deal, as importing cars from Japan to North American countries is extremely expensive and drives up the cars’ MSRPs, which in turn drives customers out of dealerships.
There is nothing official, but we could see something like the Ford-Mazda partnership that started in 1979 and effectively ended in 2010. This would result in various joint-ventures between Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, and Mazda, making the group one that rivals Volkswagen Auto Group, though a tad less luxurious and expensive. The advancements across the board, however, would be similar.
After some tough times, Mazda finally saw some gains in 2011, as its market share increased 9 percent that year, but it needs more to remain afloat. Mazda should see some additional increases over the next few year regardless, as the RX-8, which was down 33 percent in 2011, is being discontinued and the Miata, which was down 11 percent, is being significantly redesigned. A little added boost from a production-cost sharing venture with Fiat and Chrysler could do nothing but help all three rebounding brands and reinvent Alfa Romeo in the U.S.
In Road & Track’s latest road test, they took the aforementioned Subaru BRZ out onto public roads to see how it would perform when pitted against its main rival, the Mazda MX-5 Miata as well as the Hyundai Genesis 2.0 Coupe.
We won’t ruin the result for you, but keep in mind the following performance specifications when watching the video.
The BRZ features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer style engine which was developed in conjunction with Toyota to produce 200HP and 151lb-ft of torque, while the base Mazda MX-5 Miata produces significantly less at just 167HP but does turn out an impressive 158 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the Hyundai Genesis actually produces the most of the bunch with 217HP and 217lb-ft of torque; however, it does weigh significantly more than the other two due to its larger proportions.
Collaborative efforts aren’t anything new in the car world. Companies have been borrowing bits and pieces from each other for years, but lately it seems as though full blown projects are being split between companies to develop almost identical vehicles. Take Subaru and Toyota, for example. They joined forces to develop the new GT 86/BRZ sports car that carry identical parts with different maker flares. Now Fiat and Mazda are jumping on board the team builder wagon to produce a new small roadster based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.
The two companies will have to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled roadsters and each variant will be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand. Both models will be built at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan, plant with production for Alfa Romeo envisaged starting in 2015.
"Establishing technology and product development alliances is one of Mazda’s corporate objectives and this announcement with Fiat is an important first step in that direction. It is especially exciting to be collaborating with such a prestigious marque as Alfa Romeo on a new roadster based on the next-generation MX-5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and recognized as the best-selling roadster of all time." said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO.
"This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand. By partnering with Mazda, we will be co-operating with the recognized leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship." said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.
We all watched as Mazda rolled out the sexy Mazda Takeri concept car in New York. At that same time we learned that the 2014 Mazda6, which we will see at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, will be “strongly influenced” by the Takeri concept and we became rather excited by its potential. With those “look at me” body lines we assumed that there would be some hot V-6 option for this new stylish body. Unfortunately, Mazda went in a completely different direction, according to Mazda spokesperson Jeremy Barnes, via Automotive News.
Barnes made it quite clear that there are no plans to place a V-6 option or any other performance engine option under the 2014 Mazda6’s new hood. Actually, Mazda is even axing the somewhat impressive 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The likely replacement for both engines is the Skyactiv 2.0-liter four-banger that cranks out a respectable-for-its-size 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. However, if you have to add “for its size” in front of something, that’s typically not a good thing.
The goal of this freshly revised Mazda6 is obviously fuel economy, which we can respect Mazda for doing. In all honesty though, they could produce a turbo-charged four-cylinder or even borrow an EcoBoost engine from Ford, who still owns a small share of Mazda. A possible performance engine would be the 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine slated for the upcoming Focus ST.
Having said all of that, Mazda did not completely rule out a future optional Skyactiv V-6 option for the Mazda6, but for now we will only see a four-cylinder engine.
We just hope that Mazda isn’t cutting its own throat by offering an under-powered four-cylinder for this hot-looking model. Then again, the automotive world tends to change with the wind, so you never know what may actually happen between now and the 2014 Mazda6’s release in the first quarter of 2013.