Mazda – Automobile http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars - Automotive Magazine Sat, 23 Jul 2016 21:44:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.2 We Hear: Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 Miata to Lose Even More Weight http://www.automobilemag.com/news/hear-next-generation-mazda-mx-5-miata-lose-even-weight/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/hear-next-generation-mazda-mx-5-miata-lose-even-weight/#respond Sat, 23 Jul 2016 19:30:26 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=970395 It has only been over a year since the fourth-generation ND Mazda MX-5 Miata went on sale but word about the next-generation of the automaker’s iconic roadster has already started surfacing. Speaking with Autocar, MX-5 Miata program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto said that the next-generation car’s size will stay the same but it will lose weight and improve...

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It has only been over a year since the fourth-generation ND Mazda MX-5 Miata went on sale but word about the next-generation of the automaker’s iconic roadster has already started surfacing. Speaking with Autocar, MX-5 Miata program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto said that the next-generation car’s size will stay the same but it will lose weight and improve efficiency via extensive use of lightweight materials in the construction of the car.

“The size is right,” Yamamoto said to Autocar. “But in the future, lightweight materials will be very important and will be used in this car. Now carbon fiber is very expensive, but we have in development affordable carbon fiber, so the MX-5 will be lighter in the future.”

When asked about powertrains for the next-generation MX-5, Yamamoto told Autocar that smaller engines and tires will be used since there won’t be that much mass to move. Outside of the U.S., Mazda sells a base model MX-5 Miata with a 1.5-liter I-4 rated at 129 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque, which slots below the 155-hp 2.0-liter I-4. Yamamoto also revealed that the Speedster and Spyder concepts shown at SEMA last year won’t be produced.

The current-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata weighs 148 pounds less than the car it replaced and is currently the quickest version of the car to date. Compared to the previous-generation NC Miata, the ND Miata was also a leap forward in fuel efficiency at 27/34 mpg city/highway with the manual and 27/36 mpg with the automatic, which is an improvement of 25 and 30 percent respectively. Earlier this year, Mazda revealed a power retractable hardtop version called the MX-5 Miata RF (retractable fastback).

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata right hand drive front side view in white tall 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata right hand drive front side view with curving road 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Spyder and Speedster concepts 2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF roof in place

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/hear-next-generation-mazda-mx-5-miata-lose-even-weight/feed/ 0 2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF roof in place 2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF roof in place 2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF roof in place 2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF roof in place
2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth vs. 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-fiat-124-spider-abarth-2016-mazda-mx5-miata-club/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-fiat-124-spider-abarth-2016-mazda-mx5-miata-club/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:00:01 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=967359 The new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth and 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Sport are the best antidotes for the coming onslaught of autonomous vehicles. No lane-departure controls, no adaptive cruise controls, no cross-traffic alerts, nor blind-spot information systems. Say “hell no” to automatic braking systems. Autonomy? We don’t need no stinkin’ autonomy. The...

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The new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth and 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Sport are the best antidotes for the coming onslaught of autonomous vehicles.

No lane-departure controls, no adaptive cruise controls, no cross-traffic alerts, nor blind-spot information systems. Say “hell no” to automatic braking systems. Autonomy? We don’t need no stinkin’ autonomy. The Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth and the Mazda MX-5 Miata Club are cars to drive, not to be driven in. The only concession to such modern automation gadgetry is the navigation system in the Spider Abarth and the rotary knob that controls infotainment screens in both, poorly located too close to the gearshift.

The Miata and Spider Abarth—Spiata, if you will—are your first defenses against the onslaught of these building blocks towards driverless cars. If you accept the theory that autonomous vehicle technology will soon begin accelerating the way computers and the internet have, then it won’t be long before you’ll have to trailer your sports car to a private racetrack just to experience the joys of cranking a steering wheel and executing a perfect heel-toe downshift.

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As we approach that cold, automated future, the last roads in the U.S. to be coordinated for autonomous driving comfortably inside your compact sport/utility vehicle’s navigation system will be those like California Highway 58 between McKittrick and Santa Margarita: remote, twisty, and hard to map precisely. Highway 58 and its ilk are perfect for cars like these. They’re not heavily traveled, and the twisty mountain bits play to their handling rather than to their power and torque. Pairs of eyes, hands, and feet will be fully involved in the drive.

This could well end up an AUTOMOBILE Collectible Classic feature circa 2040, but it’s our first opportunity to compare the new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth head to head with our Four Seasons 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club on the type of road for which these cars were built. Of course, the first thing you’ll ask is, which do we prefer?

The short answer is that either of these two represent top-of-the-list choices for navigating the driver’s roads hidden from the coming throngs of multi-camera, LIDAR-equipped, rolling, driverless, wireless hotspots. One nice advantage of the Miata and Spiata is that they don’t have adjustable chassis that demand you complete the final suspension tuning. Their relative simplicity of controls just requires you to get in the car and go. After serious study on 17.4 choice miles of Highway 58 (see Trip Notes), it’s easy to conclude this is a good thing. And when it comes to chassis tuning, there is as much difference between the two roadsters as between the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86, which is to say, degrees.

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Like the Scion FR-S-slash-Toyota 86, the 124 Spider Abarth is set up to be the bigger drifter of the two. Prior to Highway 58, we had the chance to autocross three Spider Abarths—two six-speed automatics and a six-speed manual—as part of Fiat’s introduction program at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The autocross course was loose enough to allow a third-gear straight along with mostly second-gear turns, and it revealed a sports car that could dance around the cones like Gene Kelly shuffling on and off the curb in “Singin’ in the Rain.”

As on the autocross, you want the traction/stability control off for both cars on Highway 58. Stability control allows a bit of snap-throttle oversteer that’s quickly blunted after a short slide, but turn it off (it defaults to “on” with every push of the ignition button) and oversteer is as catchable and predictable as ever, so you can snap the tail into the apex more quickly. But there’s a clear difference in the way the Miata and the Spider behave.

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front three quarter in motion 04

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club cabin 01 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club instrument panel 02 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club gear shifter 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club badge 01

First, the Miata has sharper steering, reacting immediately to inputs. We’ve heard complaints the MX-5’s steering feels “nervous” and needs constant corrections. This is not quite true: The Mazda suffers some bump-steer, reacting to every imperfection in the road. Find a rare bit of virgin highway pavement and the car tracks steady. The upside is the quick turn-in and perfect feedback, which makes it easy to tackle a tight second-gear turn with precision and casually collect the car when the tail snaps out.

The Spider’s steering is perfectly fine. It’s a Fiat-tuned variation of the Mazda’s electrically assisted power steering that feels a bit more relaxed. It’s such a subtle difference that you wouldn’t notice it if you’ve never driven an ND Miata.

All Fiat 124 Spiders feature exclusive Fiat tuning of the Mazda’s double-wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension, and the Abarth manual adds a limited-slip differential and Bilstein shocks, like the Miata Club. As with the Miata, there’s some initial compliance at turn-in, with springs becoming stiff as the body takes a set. The difference is that the Spider Abarth feels a bit stiffer in its initial compliance and a bit softer after turn-in. Again, it’s a subtle difference that requires back-to-back drives to discover. Hard work, that, especially on Highway 58.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth front view in motion

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth cabin 01 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth instrument panel 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth gear shifter 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth badge 01

Powertrain differences are not as subtle. Aside from the short-lived NB Mazdaspeed Miata, Mazda has left turbocharging of the Miata’s inline four to the aftermarket, even the original NA model’s 116-hp 1.6-liter. That number is now 155 hp and 148 lb-ft, from a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine from the Skyactiv family with direct gas injection. For the 124 line, Fiat ships its 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo-four to Hiroshima for installation in the Spider. In the Abarth, the engine is rated 164 hp (4 more ponies than in the Classica and Lusso trim levels) and 184 lb-ft.

Both engines arrive at 30 mpg combined EPA fuel economy averages, with the Skyactiv 2.0 doing so with 27/34 mpg city/highway, and the MultiAir 1.4 achieving 26/35 mpg city/highway. Similarities end there.

While Miatafisti will recognize the naturally aspirated 2.0’s linear power delivery, the turbo 1.4 in the Spiata features a strong mid-range with lag at the low end and lack of steam at the high end. When Mazda first unveiled the ND Miata at Laguna Seca, a few of us bristled at the Sport button placed at the bottom of a prototype’s gearbox shifter. We feared it was a suspension adjustment.

“It’s for holding upshifts with the automatic,” a Mazda product planner explained. But it’s also for the 124 Spider, manual or automatic, in which a Sport button lowers the 184 lb-ft peak torque’s kick in to 2,500 rpm, from 3,200 rpm, likely at the expense of reaching those EPA numbers. Loping around town, non-sport on the Spider Abarth is sufficient. You’ll want it on for the Highway 58s of the world, but there’s still that lack of linearity you’ll find in the Mazda’s bigger, naturally aspirated four. This becomes most obvious when double-clutching or heel-toeing a downshift. The Miata matches high rpms easily and naturally, while the Spider Abarth requires a more deliberate throttle blip. Fiat pairs the MultiAir engine with the previous generation, NC Miata’s six-speed box, by the way, to handle the turbo four’s greater torque.

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Features editor Rory Jurnecka says the Fiat is “a bit more playful on the throttle” and finds its mid-range torque useful around town. “Unfortunately, when you’re trying to keep the momentum on a hilly, winding section of a road like 58, the car feels outside of its ideal operating range much of the time. You’re either waiting for boost in the lower rev range or running out of steam on the high end.”

The famously dieted ND Miata is about 125 pounds lighter than the Spider. Some of this is the Fiat’s turbocharger and its nearly 5 inches added length and filled-out body form. It’s also better at sound insulation, thanks to an acoustic windshield, which pays off with improved sound attenuation with the top up (the Spider Abarth’s exhaust note, sampled with the top down, is disappointingly unlike the Fiat 500 Abarth’s). The Fiat’s interior is a better place to be, anyway, with more upper- and lower-dash panel padding, unique door panels eschewing the Mazda’s body-colored door inserts, and better seats, though Jurnecka prefers the palm-fitting sphere of the Miata’s gearshift knob to the “irritating” square knob on the Spiata. The 124 Spider Abarth’s optional suede-trimmed Recaros are perfect in the way they hold you in place, and offer this author’s back just the right degree of lumbar support without need for adjustment. Clearly, Fiat didn’t have time to decontent an interior originally designed for Alfa Romeo.

So which should you choose?

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It’s not—really, it’s not—a cop-out to say that both the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth and the Mazda MX-5 Miata Club deserve to be at the top of your list for surviving post-autonomocalypse driving pleasure. Drivers who favor a European sensibility and style can buy the Spider safe in knowing that the Fiat Chrysler engineering and Centro Stile design blend well with the “Made in Hiroshima” stamp.

Those of us who might be described as overly familiar with the Miata as a modern and reliable European-style sports car will prefer the MX-5’s natural power delivery and the way its very capable steering and handling can push the driver to improve his or her skills on challenging roads.

Unlike the NC Miata, the ND cannot be had with the Grand Touring package’s luxuries combined with the Club Sport’s Bilsteins and LSD, but a properly optioned Spider Abarth essentially solves that issue. Both sports cars suffer Germanic paint palettes; they could use brighter, happier color choices.

“My perfect car would be the Fiat with the Miata engine,” Jurnecka says.

Indeed, the problem with two distinct cars off the same excellent sports-car platform is you’re unlikely to find the perfect setup. But it’s clear that without Fiat’s partnership in this program, not only would there be no Spiata, there would be no ND Miata, two modern, efficient, and affordable sports cars that will help us survive a bleak enthusiasts’ future of roads filled with zombie automobiles.

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Trip Notes

President Obama called in to Garrison Keillor’s last “A Prairie Home Companion” broadcast as host last summer. The first question the nearly retired Minnesotan asked the soon-to-be former president was, “Will they let you drive?”

“I’m working with the Secret Service on that,” Obama told Keillor, “perhaps on certain roads.” He’s not interested in getting stuck in urban rush-hour traffic or blasting across I-80 but perhaps cruising something more picturesque, like the Pacific Coast Highway.

We’ve got news for you, Mr. President. PCH is over. Done. If there was any chance of finding some free, open bit of PCH before you took office in 2009, that isn’t true anymore. May we suggest something a bit more open and out of the way?

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California Highway 58 essentially connects the desert town of Bakersfield with the Central Coast wine country of San Luis Obispo County, but the salient part is 17.4 miles of constantly twisting mountain road west of the small town of McKittrick. Start there, drive 18 miles or so, then turn around to enjoy the opposite direction, then make the westward drive all over again before continuing on to Santa Margarita for about 69 miles total. If the rare truck or SUV that gets in your way turns out to be a local, the driver will probably pull over to let you pass. Turns and switchbacks allow aggressive speeds, though you don’t need to get anywhere near 10/10ths in the right car, whether Miata, Spider Abarth, Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, or even Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman (you won’t need an S model) to have fun and improve your motoring skills.

In Santa Margarita, try The Porch Cafe for breakfast until 11:30 a.m. if you start with an eastbound run, or stop for espresso, burgers, sandwiches, salads, or wraps at the end of your drive. Tell them the AUTOMOBILE Anti-Autonomy Brigade sent you.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth side profile 02

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $29,190/$37,870 (base/as tested)
Engine: 1.4L turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4/164 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 184 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Layout: 2-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD convertible
EPA Mileage: 26/35 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H: 159.6 x 68.5 x 48.5 in
Wheelbase: 90.9 in
Weight: 2,477 lbs
0-60 MPH: 6.8 sec. (est)
Top Speed: 140 mph (est)

2016 Mazda Miata Club Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $$29,420/$32,820 (base/as tested)
Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-valve I-4/155 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 148 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Layout: 2-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD convertible
EPA Mileage: 27/34 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H: 154.1 x 68.3 x 48.8 in
Wheelbase: 90.9 in
Weight: 2,332 lbs
0-60 MPH: 6.0 seconds
Top Speed: 140 mph (est)

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club side profile 03

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front three quarter in motion 01 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front three quarter in motion 02 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front three quarter in motion 03 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club rear three quarter in motion 01 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth front three quarter in motion 01 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth front three quarter in motion 02 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth front three quarter in motion 03 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth rear three quarter in motion 01 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 01 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 03 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 04 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 05 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 06 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 07 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 08 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 09 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 11 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 12 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 13 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 14 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 15 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 16 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 17 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 18 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 20 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 22 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 24 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 25 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front three quarter in motion 05 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front view in motion 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club side profile in motion 01 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club side profile in motion 02 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth front three quarter in motion 04 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth rear three quarter in motion 02 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth side profile in motion 01 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth side profile in motion 02 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 28 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 29 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth badge 02 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth cabin 02 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth cabin 03 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth climate control 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth engine 01 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth engine 02 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth engine detail 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth exhaust 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth front end detail 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth infotainment display screen 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth seat detail 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth sport mode 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth wheel detail 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club badge 02 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club cabin 02 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club engine 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club exhaust 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front end 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club infotainment display screen 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club instrument panel 01 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club steering wheel and center stack 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club wheel detail 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 31 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club cargo space 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front three quarter in motion 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club front three quarter 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club side profile 01 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club side profile 02 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth front three quarter in motion 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth side profile 01 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth side profile 03 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 31 1 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 32 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 33 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 34 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 35 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 36 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club 21 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory

Four Seasons 2016 Mazda Miata Club Specifications

Overview

  • Body style 2-door front-engine RWD convertible
  • Accommodation 2-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest.) $29,420
  • As tested $32,820

Powertrain

  • Engine 16-valve DOHC I-4
  • Displacement 2.0 liters (106 cu in)
  • Power 155 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque 148 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
  • Transmission 6-spd manual
  • Drive rear-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 27/34/30 (city/hwy/combined)

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.7 turns
  • Turning circle 380.8 ft
  • Suspension, Front control arms, coil spring
  • Suspension, Rear multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented front discs, solid rear discs
  • Wheels 17-inch aluminum
  • Tires F/R Bridgestone Potenza S001
  • Tire size F/R 205/45R 17

Measurements

  • Headroom 37.4 in
  • Legroom 43.1 in
  • Shoulder room 52.2 in
  • Wheelbase 90.9 in
  • Track F/R 58.9/59.17 in
  • L x W x H 154.1 x 68.3 x 48,8 in
  • Cargo capacity 4.6 cu ft
  • Weight 2,332 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 52/48 %
  • Fuel capacity 11.9 gal
  • Est. fuel range 404 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • Sport suspension with Bilstein shocks, shock tower brace
    • Limited-slip differential
    • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
    • Manual air conditioning/climate control
    • Black cloth bucket seats with red stitching and manual adjustment
    • 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Leather-wrapped shift knob and parking brake handle
    • Mesh-board windblocker
    • Touchscreen infotainment with rotary knob control
    • Remote keyless entry
    • Bose 9-speaker audio system
    • Bluetooth phone and audio, AUX port, CD player, USB connectivity
    • 17-inch aluminum wheels
    • Cruise control
    • Pushbutton start

Options

  • options for this vehicle:

    • Brembo/BBS Package ($3,400)
    • Brembo front brakes with red calipers
    • 17-inch forged aluminum BBS wheels
    • Advanced keyless entry
    • Aero kit: side sill extensions and rear bumper skirt
    • Ceramic Metallic paint: $0
    • Appearance package for Club ($0)
    • Front air dam
    • Rear lip spoiler

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profile 03 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth vs 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Todd and Rory
2017 Mazda3 Refreshed With Visual Tweaks, G-Vectoring Control http://www.automobilemag.com/news/updated-mazda3-revealed-goes-sale-japan-first/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/updated-mazda3-revealed-goes-sale-japan-first/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 15:25:12 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=967337 Mazda revealed an updated Mazda3, offered for sale in Japan now with gas, diesel, hybrid, and all-wheel drive variants. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the refresh is the addition of Mazda’s trick G-Vectoring Control, which  Mazda says will find its way across the entire lineup. In North America, the Mazda6 will be the first vehicle to...

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Mazda revealed an updated Mazda3, offered for sale in Japan now with gas, diesel, hybrid, and all-wheel drive variants. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the refresh is the addition of Mazda’s trick G-Vectoring Control, which  Mazda says will find its way across the entire lineup.

In North America, the Mazda6 will be the first vehicle to receive G-Vectoring Control. This new technology uses the car’s onboard computer to minimize steering inputs made unconsciously, correct understeer, minimize pitch and roll, improve steering precision and reduce jerkiness. The system is essentially a step forward in Mazda’s quest to make all of the cars it offers fun to drive by using the car’s computers to help you drive better.

While the exterior styling changes are subtle, they’re not so minor that you need a magnifying glass to see them. The front fascia, for instance, is slightly revised. The grille is rounded, the headlights are larger, and the lower front fascia features a more horizontal appearance. LED headlights and fog lights also look like they’ll be available on higher trim levels, at least for the U.S. The Mazda3’s rear end, however, only received minor tweaks such as a restyled lower bumper.

 

2017 Mazda3 front end three quarterMazda president and CEO Masamichi Kogai said in a press release that the automaker “is striving to become an irreplaceable presence in the lives of our customers, to create a special bond with them and to be a ‘one-and-only’ brand they will choose again and again.” He also noted that Mazda will continue to update its models with the latest innovations without timing them with a car’s redesign.

Expect the refreshed Mazda3 to be offered with the same engines as the current pre-facelift model in North America. A 155-hp 2.0-liter I-4 should be standard while a 184-hp 2.5-liter I-4 is optional. Expect a six-speed manual and automatic transmission to be offered across the entire lineup. What you shouldn’t expect is a hot-hatch Mazdaspeed variant, as Kogai-san has noted we won’t likely see one on the current generation.

2017 Mazda3 front three quarter 2017 Mazda3 rear end 2017 Mazda3 rear three quarter 2017 Mazda3 rear side 02 2017 Mazda3 side 2017 Mazda3 rear three quarter in motion 2017 Mazda3 front end 2017 Mazda3 front side 2017 Mazda3 front three quarter in motion 2017 Mazda3 rear three quarter in motion 03 2017 Mazda3 rear three quarter 02 2017 Mazda3 rear side 2017 Mazda3 interior 2017 Mazda3 interior view 2017 Mazda3 interior door handle 2017 Mazda3 interior seats 2017 Mazda3 interior 02 2017 Mazda3 gear shifter 2017 Mazda3 front interior seats 02 2017 Mazda3 front interior seats 2017 Mazda3 driver view in motion 2017 Mazda3 cockpit 2017 Mazda3 climate controls 2017 Mazda3 center stack screen 2017 Mazda3 center console 2017 Mazda3 center console gear knob 2017 Mazda3 center console 02

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IIHS Says All Small Crossover Headlights are Inadequate http://www.automobilemag.com/news/iihs-headlights-small-crossover-dont-cut/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/iihs-headlights-small-crossover-dont-cut/#respond Tue, 12 Jul 2016 21:01:42 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=966827 The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new headlight safety test has revealed that not a single subcompact or compact crossover received a Good rating, and only four received Acceptable scores. Earlier this year, the IIHS tested the headlights of midsize cars and only the Toyota Prius V emerged with a Good score, which is the...

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new headlight safety test has revealed that not a single subcompact or compact crossover received a Good rating, and only four received Acceptable scores. Earlier this year, the IIHS tested the headlights of midsize cars and only the Toyota Prius V emerged with a Good score, which is the highest possible.

According to the IIHS, the type of headlight doesn’t guarantee the best illumination. “Manufacturers aren’t paying enough attention to the actual on-road performance of this basic equipment,” said IIHS senior research engineer Matthew Brumbelow, in a release. Brumbelow believes now that automakers have a goal, they’ll be able to make improvements on their headlights quickly to meet standards. For 2017, the IIHS requires vehicles to receive a Good or Acceptable score in the headlights safety test in order to be eligible for a Top Safety Pick+ rating.

In the current crop of subcompact and compact crossovers tested, the Mazda CX-3 in Grand Touring trim with adaptive full LED headlights and high beam assist was considered the best performer of the bunch. However, the IIHS notes that on gradual left-hand curves the lamps didn’t provide adequate lighting. Other crossovers that received an Acceptable rating include the Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, and the refreshed 2017 Ford Escape.

The IIHS also pointed out that the worst performing headlights were those in the Honda HR-V, which was found to have inadequate illumination on curves and on straight roads for both low and high beams. Vehicles that offer multiple types of headlights are rated differently, and in the case of the Hyundai Tucson, the Limited trim without the optional adaptive HID headlights earns the Acceptable rating while the rest of the lineup is rated Poor.

Excessive glare was the reason why three of the 17 crossovers tested missed out on an Acceptable rating. “Glare issues are usually a result of poorly aimed headlights,” according to Brumbelor who believes the headlights in crossovers and SUVs should be aimed lower since they’re positioned higher than car headlights. He also notes that many crossovers and SUVs they’ve tested have headlights that are aimed higher.

Testing for headlight performance occurs at night at the IIHS’ Vehicle Research Center’s track where special devices are utilized to measure the distance of light projection while a car is being driven. Five approaches are used: travelling straight, a sharp left curve, sharp right curve, gradual left curve, and gradual right curve. Evaluators also measure glare during testing for each of the five scenarios. In the event that a car’s headlights produce too much glare, it can’t score higher than a Marginal rating. High beam assist, on the other hand, can earn a vehicle bonus credit.

Here is the scoring breakdown among subcompact and compact crossovers tested by the IIHS for headlight safety:

Acceptable: 2017 Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Mazda CX-3

Marginal: BMW X1, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota RAV4, and Volkswagen Tiguan

Poor: Audi Q3, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Wrangler, 2017 Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester.

2017 Kia Sportage SX Turbo front three quarter 01 2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude front end 1 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan front three quarters in motion 2014 nissan rogue front three quarter motion 2015 Buick Encore front three quarter in motion 02 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid MT homepage 2016 Fiat 500X front three quarter 2016 Subaru Forester front three quarters 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander front three quarter 02 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport front three quarter static1 2016 Audi Q3 front three quarter in motion 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited front three quarter2 2012 Jeep Patriot front three quarter 2016 Mazda CX 3 front three quarter1 2017 Ford Escape Titanium front three quarters 2016 Honda CR V front three quarter in motion 04 2016 Chevrolet Trax front three quarters 03 2016 Mazda CX 5 front three quarters in motion 04 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/iihs-headlights-small-crossover-dont-cut/feed/ 0 IIHS: The Headlights on Your Small Crossover Don’t Cut it - Automobile The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new headlight safety test has revealed that not a single subcompact or compact crossover received a Good rating, and only four received Acceptable scores. Earlier this year, the IIHS tested the headlights of midsize cars and only the Toyota Prius V emerge IIHS 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i promo1
Report: Mazda6 Could Get CX-9’s 2.5-Liter Turbo-Four http://www.automobilemag.com/news/report-mazda6-get-cx-9s-2-5-liter-turbo-four/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/report-mazda6-get-cx-9s-2-5-liter-turbo-four/#respond Fri, 08 Jul 2016 15:44:11 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=965573 For those who would like a Mazda6, but need a bit more power, good news might be on the horizon, as a new report claims the Mazda CX-9’s 2.5-liter turbo-four could find its way to more vehicles in the Japanese automaker’s lineup. Speaking with CarAdvice, Mazda North American Operations’ vehicle development engineer Dave Coleman said...

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For those who would like a Mazda6, but need a bit more power, good news might be on the horizon, as a new report claims the Mazda CX-9’s 2.5-liter turbo-four could find its way to more vehicles in the Japanese automaker’s lineup. Speaking with CarAdvice, Mazda North American Operations’ vehicle development engineer Dave Coleman said that the new engine can fit in cars where the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter can fit, which includes the Mazda6, Mazda3, and CX-5.

According to Coleman, the space used for the intake manifold is where the turbo will fit in since it’s been packaged to occupy the same amount of room, meaning it could eventually find its way under the hood of the other vehicles, particularly the Mazda6 and Mazda3 (Mazdaspeed3 anyone?). In the CX-9, the 2.5-liter turbo-four produces 227 hp on regular fuel or 250 hp on premium and a robust 310 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 rpm. Currently, the 2.5-liter turbo-four is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission in the CX-9.

However, Coleman also stated that it’s up to the product planners to decide whether or not to offer a specific powertrain combination on a particular vehicle and noted that there are no prototypes fitted with the new turbo-four. “It fits. I’m not a product planner so I don’t get to make that call,” stated Coleman when asked about the possibility of putting that engine in the Mazda6.

Coleman also expressed his desire to stuff the new turbo-four under the hood of the CX-3 small crossover, which shares a platform with the Mazda2 and not the larger vehicles in Mazda’s lineup. “I’d love to put in a CX-3. But it only “hot-rod” fits into a CX-3. It doesn’t production fit. The belts are rubbing on the frame rails,” he told CarAdvice.

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Mazda’s G-Vectoring Technology Is Eight Years of Handling Precision in the Making http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-test-mazdas-g-vectoring-technology/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-test-mazdas-g-vectoring-technology/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 17:00:44 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=961533 Mazda’s market share is fairly small, but its employees’ zeal might be second to none in the automotive industry. Many of those employees have a habit, for example, of working on weekends to help improve Mazda’s products, as was the case with the company’s latest safety technology, G-Vectoring. Daisuke Umetsu, Mazda’s senior engineer for vehicle...

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Mazda’s market share is fairly small, but its employees’ zeal might be second to none in the automotive industry. Many of those employees have a habit, for example, of working on weekends to help improve Mazda’s products, as was the case with the company’s latest safety technology, G-Vectoring.

Daisuke Umetsu, Mazda’s senior engineer for vehicle dynamics, and two other Mazda engineers conceived the project eight years ago and have been working slowly to implement it. They hit a snag early in the development, and only recently have they made the technology work to their liking.

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Mazda engineers’ initial explanation of G-Vectoring seems complicated, but ultimately it’s not difficult to understand. When a car’s onboard computer detects steering input, it signals the engine to cut torque by retarding the engine’s timing to variable degrees based on the severity (or lack thereof) of the steering input. This momentary, 300-millisecond cut in power causes the car’s nose to dive imperceptibly. The nosedive likely goes unnoticed by the driver, but it puts more weight on the front tires. thereby giving them more traction. Call it the automated version of a technique long used by race-car drivers.

What took so long to implement the idea? The computing speed of Mazda’s electronics was too slow to perform the operation with the almost instantaneous reaction required for it to work. Mazda’s engineers needed lightning-fast processors to reduce the amount of “minimum jerk”—think of the g force you experience when a car corners and your head whips to either side—to ensure balance and comfort and to make that “jerk” almost imperceptible to a car’s passengers.

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Now, though, the computers are fast enough. We sampled G-Vectoring installed on a front-wheel-drive Mazda6, on both dry and slick surfaces at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s parking lot and during a couple of slow, controlled laps of the track. Rather than be disappointed by the tame lapping pace, the slow speed made it easy to tell what the car was doing when G-Vectoring engaged. Mazda gave us the opportunity to drive the car with the system switched on and with it off, making it even easier to detect its effects. Customers, however, will not have the option to deactivate G-Vectoring when Mazda brings it to market later this year.

As the nose dives forward and increases the front tires’ grip, G-Vectoring corrects understeer; the result is that you feel as if you’ve just switched from low-grip economy tires to tacky, aggressive rubber. The car turns in to corners quicker than before, which gives you more confidence in your ability to make tight turns. If anything, the experience feels as if the car makes you a more proficient driver.

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For the Mazda6 we tested, G-Vectoring all but eliminated its understeer, even on slippery surfaces. G-Vectoring also reduced the amount of pitch and roll, which produced more precise on-center steering and decreased the car’s sway between lane lines.

G-Vectoring will debut on the Mazda6 later this year, while the rest of Mazda’s lineup will likely receive it further down the road. Engineers need additional time to tune other models to accept the new software, but it is worth noting they did not need to change a single piece of hardware for the system to function properly. But don’t expect Mazda to retrofit your car with the technology, as it says such an upgrade would require full programming of the original ECU.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata – A Flyin’ Miata Exhaust http://www.automobilemag.com/news/four-seasons-update-2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-flyin-miata-exhaust/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/four-seasons-update-2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-flyin-miata-exhaust/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:00:37 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=960573 A little while back, we ordered Flyin’ Miata’s $595 Hush-O-Matic active exhaust for our Four Seasons 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Why? One, the MX-5’s stock exhaust is wheezy, and our favorite sports car should sound cool. Two, we love that the guys and gals of Colorado’s Flyin’ Miata created a relatively inexpensive active exhaust with...

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A little while back, we ordered Flyin’ Miata’s $595 Hush-O-Matic active exhaust for our Four Seasons 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Why? One, the MX-5’s stock exhaust is wheezy, and our favorite sports car should sound cool. Two, we love that the guys and gals of Colorado’s Flyin’ Miata created a relatively inexpensive active exhaust with a lifetime warranty for the all-new Miata. And three, we love the name Hush-O-Matic.

According to Flyin’ Miata, at idle and with light throttle, “the exhaust stream is routed through an effective muffler that keeps the sound levels low,” and under load “a butterfly opens to allow the exhaust to bypass the muffler completely.” We also ordered the optional $75 electronic controller, which “lets you flip between two modes on the fly.” It essentially locks the exhaust in either its low- or full-noise modes, nixing its active capabilities.

The Flyin’ Miata exhaust system shipped within a few days, but the electronic controller would take a bit longer to arrive, as would the hoses for the vacuum-controlled actuator that opens and closes the exhaust’s butterfly valve. We decided to go ahead with the installation, enjoy the Hush-O-Matic in its loudest mode until those parts showed up, and fit the last few bits retroactively. (I easily could’ve picked up rubber hose and brass fittings from a hardware store, but I didn’t feel like putting on a shirt.)

Installation of the beautiful aftermarket catback went off without snags. Unsurprisingly, each bolt on the 2016 Miata’s stock system was a cinch to undo, and a little lithium grease let the exhaust hangers slide from their rubber mounts. The new exhaust went in just as easily as the old one came off. We immediately loved how the Flyin’ Miata system looked and sounded; it gave the Miata a more polished look and a meaner, more enjoyable tone. Our head honcho, editor-in-chief Mike Floyd, wholeheartedly agreed: “The new exhaust definitely makes a deeper, louder announcement. It settles down quickly though, and loping around town, it’s not all that different sounding than the stock unit. But open it up, and there’s far more roar.”

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata exhaust

Not everyone on staff agreed about the noise levels, though. “It sure is loud, and at times I feel like an absolute douche driving into a quiet neighborhood,” said executive editor Mac Morrison. “I’m still on the fence about whether I like it or not.” Features editor Rory Jurnecka said he “didn’t realize quite how obnoxious it sounded until a slammed, coffee­canned Civic passed [him] and gave [him] a thumbs-up.”

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Surely they would change their minds once the hoses and electric switch were installed, but they wouldn’t get the chance. Before we were able to hook it up, Detroit bureau chief Todd Lassa absconded with the Miata to Michigan, where it will live for the rest of its Four Seasons with us. So we shipped it all to road test editor Eric Weiner, who will install the last bits in the coming weeks and write an update about how it goes. Regardless, we think the Hush-O-Matic exhaust is a novel and worthwhile upgrade, one that massively improves the driving experience of our Four Seasons 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata cabin 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata rear end 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata rear three quarter 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata underbody Hush O Matic exhaust installed Hush O Matic exhaust vs stock exhaust 02 Hush O Matic exhaust vs stock exhaust Hush O Matic exhaust o1 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata front end 01 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata headlamp 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata front three quarter 02 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata cabin overview 02 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata headrest 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata cabin 1 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata front end detail 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata engine 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata cabin overview 01 2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata front three quarter 01

Overview

  • Body style 2-door front-engine RWD convertible
  • Accommodation 2-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest.) $29,420
  • As tested $32,820

Powertrain

  • Engine 16-valve DOHC I-4
  • Displacement 2.0 liters (106 cu in)
  • Power 155 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque 148 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
  • Transmission 6-spd manual
  • Drive rear-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 27/34/30 (city/hwy/combined)

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.7 turns
  • Turning circle 380.8 ft
  • Suspension, Front control arms, coil spring
  • Suspension, Rear multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented front discs, solid rear discs
  • Wheels 17-inch aluminum
  • Tires F/R Bridgestone Potenza S001
  • Tire size F/R 205/45R 17

Measurements

  • Headroom 37.4 in
  • Legroom 43.1 in
  • Shoulder room 52.2 in
  • Wheelbase 90.9 in
  • Track F/R 58.9/59.17 in
  • L x W x H 154.1 x 68.3 x 48,8 in
  • Cargo capacity 4.6 cu ft
  • Weight 2,332 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 52/48 %
  • Fuel capacity 11.9 gal
  • Est. fuel range 404 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • Sport suspension with Bilstein shocks, shock tower brace
    • Limited-slip differential
    • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
    • Manual air conditioning/climate control
    • Black cloth bucket seats with red stitching and manual adjustment
    • 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Leather-wrapped shift knob and parking brake handle
    • Mesh-board windblocker
    • Touchscreen infotainment with rotary knob control
    • Remote keyless entry
    • Bose 9-speaker audio system
    • Bluetooth phone and audio, AUX port, CD player, USB connectivity
    • 17-inch aluminum wheels
    • Cruise control
    • Pushbutton start

Options

  • options for this vehicle:

    • Brembo/BBS Package ($3,400)
    • Brembo front brakes with red calipers
    • 17-inch forged aluminum BBS wheels
    • Advanced keyless entry
    • Aero kit: side sill extensions and rear bumper skirt
    • Ceramic Metallic paint: $0
    • Appearance package for Club ($0)
    • Front air dam
    • Rear lip spoiler

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2016 Mazda CX-3 Crossover Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick+ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2016-mazda-cx-3-crossover-earns-iihs-top-safety-pick/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2016-mazda-cx-3-crossover-earns-iihs-top-safety-pick/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2016 19:00:22 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=956391 Crossovers are creeping toward a 40-percent share of the new car market, and with that, automakers have to do everything in their power to stand out amongst an ever burgeoning crowd of imitations. For Mazda and its CX-3, that means a sporty driving character, quirky styling, unbelievably good value for the money, and announced this...

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Crossovers are creeping toward a 40-percent share of the new car market, and with that, automakers have to do everything in their power to stand out amongst an ever burgeoning crowd of imitations. For Mazda and its CX-3, that means a sporty driving character, quirky styling, unbelievably good value for the money, and announced this week, a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

According to the non-profit testing agency, to be named a Top Safety Pick+, Mazda’s CX-3 had to obtain a rating of “Good,” the agency’s highest rating, in a total of five body-structure categories, “including small-overlap crash-testing, and have an advanced rating in available collision-prevention technologies like automatic braking,” which is a new requirement from the previous year.

2016 Mazda CX 3 side

 

 

 

The littlest Mazda CUV was put through the standard torture test of being routinely smashed, crashed, and dropped as if it were a hacky-sack at Coachella. The IIHS’ tests are conducted at speeds and forces higher than those federally mandated to ensure that occupants are safe on the road. One critical new test is the small-overlap front crash test which has become one of the agency’s most stringent as the IIHS notes “approximately 25-percent of traffic fatalities occur in small-overlap crashes, which put more force onto a smaller piece of the car’s structure than other current frontal-collision tests.”

In addition to the structural strength that’s been given the thumbs-up by the IIHS, the CX-3 can be optioned with i-ACTIVSENSE which involves Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart City Brake Support, Smart Brake Support, High Beam Control System, Lane Departure Warning System, and rain-sensing wipes for added safety.

Mazda’s CX-3 is one of our favorite small crossovers due to its sportiness, quality interior, and an introductory price in the low $20,000 range. This rating just boosts its already impressive credentials and is definitely worth our praise.

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2017 Mazda CX-3 Starts at $20,860, Gets Minor Equipment Changes http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-mazda-cx-3-starts-20860-gets-minor-equipment-changes/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-mazda-cx-3-starts-20860-gets-minor-equipment-changes/#respond Mon, 06 Jun 2016 19:25:11 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=952857 The 2017 Mazda CX-3 goes on sale this July with minor updates to the equipment list. Base Sport models start at $20,860, including destination fees. Prices for all models hold steady for the 2017 model year, although Mazda bumped up the destination charge sometime after the 2016 model was originally introduced. Base models come with...

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The 2017 Mazda CX-3 goes on sale this July with minor updates to the equipment list. Base Sport models start at $20,860, including destination fees.

Prices for all models hold steady for the 2017 model year, although Mazda bumped up the destination charge sometime after the 2016 model was originally introduced. Base models come with 16-inch alloy wheels, a 7.0-inch Mazda Connect touchscreen, push-button start, keyless entry, a USB port, six-speaker audio system, and air conditioning.

Touring models start at $22,860 and bring standard 18-inch alloy wheels for the new model year. Other features include leatherette and cloth seats, heated exterior door mirrors with integrated turn signal lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Adding the Touring Premium Package brings prices up $1,410, but you’ll get an upgraded BOSE seven-speaker audio system as well as satellite and HD radio, power moonroof, and a cargo cover.

At the top of the lineup once again is the Grand Touring, priced at $25,890. Look for LED adaptive headlights, leather and Lux Suede seats, navigation, automatic climate control, head-up display, and paddle shifters. For $1,170, you can tack on an i-ACTIVSENSE safety package that brings radar cruise control, brake support, lane departure warning, high beam control, automatic on/off headlights, and rain-sensing wipers. That package has dropped in price from last year when it was $1,920.

All Mazda CX-3 models come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 146 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The CX-3 comes standard with front-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive can be had for an extra $1,250.

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Race on Sunday, Teach on Monday http://www.automobilemag.com/news/race-sunday-teach-monday/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/race-sunday-teach-monday/#respond Fri, 03 Jun 2016 19:32:11 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=951402 TROY, Michigan – High schoolers’ interest in cars and racing appears to be alive and well, especially when you connect the technology with computers. Mazda Motorsports presented its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math pitch titled Racing Accelerates Creative Education (RACE) to more than 500 students at Troy High School a couple of days before Mazda...

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TROY, Michigan – High schoolers’ interest in cars and racing appears to be alive and well, especially when you connect the technology with computers. Mazda Motorsports presented its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math pitch titled Racing Accelerates Creative Education (RACE) to more than 500 students at Troy High School a couple of days before Mazda Prototypes race in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Belle Isle Grand Prix on June 4-5. Students gathered around a Mazda Prototype race car outside the high school building after the 45-minute presentation in the auditorium.

Most of the students correctly guessed that the Mazda Prototype is “100 percent computer-designed” and were a bit wowed that the car’s 4G network telemetry sends the equivalent of 127 texts every 5 seconds to help teams adjust their strategy. This falls under the “T” in STEM, which is an initiative to make and keep students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math and to prepare them to study these subjects in college.

Mazda Motorsports STEM 01

“A 200-mph race car, we think, is cool,” RACE presenter Joel Miller, a Mazda race team engineer and driver, told the Troy High School students.

And it’s not just about the engineering that goes into cars. Retired U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer demonstrated how he can use a prosthetic left leg (the result of a 2011 incident in Afghanistan) to operate the clutch pedal in his MX-5 Miata race car. The leg uses programmable Bluetooth technology through a 130,000-hour lithium-ion battery (a figure that very much impressed this young crowd) and has a quick-release in case of a crash.

Miller demonstrated how math is used to calculate racing advantages that can be made by shortening pit times. He touted racing as a discipline that spawns a variety of jobs—not just drivers, engineers, designers, and technicians, but also nutritionists and chefs (to keep drivers healthy, especially in endurance racing), lawyers (to write the contracts), health, medical and safety professionals, even broadcasters. He also noted how despite longstanding gender biases in the STEM disciplines, women have made inroads in all aspects of motor racing.

Mazda Motorsports STEM 02

Mazda Motorsports launched its RACE STEM program in 2014 at the Daytona International Speedway, reaching about 25,000 students so far. Some racetracks (though not Belle Isle) provide passes to the students, and the RACE program provides them with pit radio headphones. Mazda Motorsports also gave its RACE presentation to two high schools in Detroit before the Troy High School assembly.

Mazda’s RACE presentation proved popular and effective, said Troy High School Principal Remo Roncone.

“We’ll have trouble limiting the students participating next year,” Roncone said.

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