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Mazda Teases All-New CX-5 Ahead of LA Auto Show Unveiling

Refined design and new technologies expected for 2017 crossover.

by on Oct.27, 2016

Mazda uses more of its Kodo design language with the 2017 CX-5 makeover.

It’s promising to be one of the busiest L.A. Auto Shows in years, with manufacturers already signaling plans to preview as many as 50 new cars, trucks and crossovers at the Los Angeles Convention Center next month.

Include Mazda in that list, the Japanese maker adding an all-new version of the CX-5 to the list. Considering current market trends, this could be one of Mazda’s most important launches in several years.

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While the automaker isn’t saying much, it issued a statement with this teaser image promising it has “refined all aspects of its award-winning compact SUV’s design and technology to deliver new dimensions of driving joy.”


Record Number of New Products Set to Debut at LA Auto Show

More than 30 world intros, up to 60 models to make North American debut.

by on Nov.19, 2014

The new Shelby GT350 Mustang may not be the only Shelby American-Ford Motor Co. collaboration for the new generation Mustang.

It’s going to be a busy week for automotive scribes hoping to keep up with all the news coming out of the Los Angeles Auto Show – and that means great news for car shoppers looking for the latest and greatest offerings.

Based on advance announcements, industry scuttlebutt and the LA show’s latest media schedule, there look to be at least 30 world introductions at the L.A. Convention Center, with twice that many new models on display for the first time in North America if you include those recently shown at the Paris Motor Show and elsewhere.

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The Tinseltown gathering will underscore the increasing diversity of the American automotive market, with everything from battery-cars to high-performance vehicles, entry-level crossovers to ultra-exclusive sedans. If anything, this week’s L.A. Auto Show breaks with recent history. In recent years there has been an emphasis on green machines. This time around, there’s a big push for performance and luxury. (more…)

Jurors Name North American Car, Truck of the Year Finalists

Chrysler, Mazda, Cadillac, Honda make list; Ford lands two.

by on Dec.12, 2012

The C-Max is one of two Ford products up for North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards.

Ford Motor Co. is in the rare position where it could land both the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year. The maker’s new Fusion sedan and C-Max “people mover” were among the six finalists named today by the 49-member NACTOY jury.

Also on the list are the Cadillac ATS luxury sedan and Honda Accord sedan in the car category, and the Ram 1500 and Mazda CX-5 crossover in the Truck/Utility category.  If Ford were to score in both categories, it would be only the third time in the 20 years of the widely-followed award that a single maker won both Car and Truck honors.

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But Ford won’t have a cakewalk, stressed Lindsay Brooke, a member of the NACTOY organizing committee.  “These candidates,” he declared during a Detroit Automotive Press Association luncheon called to announce the finalists, “they’re all knock-outs. Many jurors have said it’s the toughest year.”


Ford, Toyota, Mazda and Dodge Square off for Green Car Honors

Hybrids face challenge from conventional gas technology.

by on Oct.25, 2012

Green car organizers note the new Ford Fusion shows how conventional and battery tech are both able to meet greener targets.

While hybrids and electric vehicles may be the very definition of “green” technology to the average American motorist, the organizers and judges of the Green Car of the Year award have a somewhat different take.

As their latest list of finalists for the annual honor underscores, there are plenty of high-mileage, low-emissions alternatives vying for consumer awareness.

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“This is an exciting time” for those looking for greener technology, suggested Ron Cogan, publisher of Green Car Journal. The magazine has run the Green Car of the Year program for eight years in conjunction with the LA Auto Show. The award will be presented this year on November 29th.


Mazda Delays Death of RX-8 While Working up New Rotary Plans

Japanese maker’s Wankel plans still uncertain.

by on Apr.30, 2012

Mazda stretches the final run of the RX-8 out to June.

With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the death of the rotary engine are premature, though not greatly exaggerated. Mazda has decided to give its Wankel-powered RX-8 a temporary reprieve, adding an extra 1,000 units to its final run. But what happens beyond that is anything but certain.

While the Japanese maker has been hinting that a more advanced version of the ultra-compact powertrain is under development – this time borrowing some features from Mazda’s promising SkyActiv technology – it is anything but certain if or when a rotary will return to production.

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As the Mazda RX-8 wraps up its ninth and final year of production, Mazda has decided to add another 1,000 units to the run to meet unexpected demand. The last cars will be part of the Japanese maker’s limited-edition Spirit R model, a heavily loaded model featuring such niceties as Recaro sport bucket seats, oversized red brakes and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.


Mazda SkyActiv Diesel Making First US Appearance

Takeri concept may reappear as next-gen Mazda6.

by on Apr.03, 2012

The next Mazda6? The Takeri concept will reappear in NY - and will notably feature the new SkyActiv-D diesel.

Technically, the Mazda concept vehicle that will be unveiled in New York, this week, is staging its North American, rather than global debut.  Known as the Takerei, it was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show, last autumn.  But Mazda had little to say about the prototype back then, except to note the name – in Japanese – means “male.”

The maker is revealing a bit more as it prepares for the NYIAS unveiling – although it’s still keeping a few secrets.  Most significantly, it describes Takerei as “a vehicle of mid-size sedan proportions.” And considering that Mazda is preparing to update its aging Mazda6 model, it seems reasonably likely that the concept will soon reappear in production trim – or at least heavily influence the upcoming Mazda6 replacement.

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Meanwhile, the other significant detail is that the Takerei concept is powered by Mazda’s new SkyActiv-D diesel powertrain.


Axe to Fall at Mazda This Week

"Substantial" job cuts to begin with buyouts.

by on Mar.14, 2012

Mazda is counting on the new, SkyActive-based CX-5 to begin its turnaround.

With its parent company preparing for its worst losses in more than a decade, Mazda Motors of America will begin the first in a series of what have been described as “substantial” job cuts this week.

Though the maker has declined to discuss precise numbers, the first step will come tomorrow when Mazda discloses details of a first round of “voluntary” layoffs.  The maker is expected to follow with additional, involuntary cuts by sometime in April, according to sources familiar with the plan.

The move is the result of “the global headwinds” the company is facing, spokesman Jeremy Barnes confirmed earlier this month.

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The Japanese maker has forecast a loss of about 100 billion yen, or $1.2 billion, for the fiscal year ending March 31, its worst deficit in 11 years.  Mazda Motor Corp, CEO Takashi Yamanouchi recently revealed plans to raise as much as 150 billion yen through a new stock sale needed to replenish its coffers.


First Look: 2012 Mazda CX-5

First new offering with maker’s SkyActiv powertrain technology.

by on Aug.02, 2011

The new Mazda CX-5 crossover will first appear in Europe but will follow to the U.S. market, as well.

Mazda is offering the first official sneak peek at the latest in its expanding line of soft-roaders, the new CX-5 scheduled to make its first appearance in the sheet metal at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

As with the recently launched Mazda5, the new crossover will bear the distinctive imprint of Mazda’s latest design language, dubbed Kodo. (For more on the Mazda5, Click Here.)  But perhaps more significant is the fact that the CX-5 will be the first new product from the Japanese maker to use Mazda’s new SkyActiv powertrain technology.

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Since all but splitting off from its longstanding ties to Ford Motor Co., Mazda intends to steer clear of hybrid technology – for now, at least – putting its emphasis on SkyActiv, a system that it claims will dramatically improve the fuel economy of both its gasoline and new diesel-powered engines.  Indeed, Mazda is on a path to become the first Japanese maker to offer an oil-burner option.


Mazda Debuts SkyActiv Powertrain With ’12 Mazda3

Maker bills drivetrain as hybrid alternative.

by on Apr.22, 2011

The 2012 Mazda3 will introduce Mazda's SkyActiv technology.

Mazda is making significant changes to its powertrain platform, starting with the 2012 Mazda 3 sedan and hatch grabbing the spotlight at the New York Auto Show. Subtle styling changes are in store, as well.

The grinning grille has a somewhat reduced happiness quotient, but the big news is that the 3 receives the first application of Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology.

SKYACTIV is the official name for a whole suite of technology and powertrain packages that aim to improve fuel economy – without having to resort to hybridization or related battery-based technologies.

Mazda's Minagi concept will return as the CX-5.

In the case of the 2012 Mazda3, SKYACTIV-G is the name of the game. This 2.0-liter four-cylinder direct-injection engine makes 155 horsepower and mates to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Available on both the sedan and hatchback models, the engine could produce up to 28 mpg city/40 mpg highway when paired with the automatic, according to Mazda.

The 148-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 167-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder carryover unchanged. So does the Mazdaspeed 3.

There are other changes, such as a stiffer body structure. But otherwise, outside the new engine and the slightly changed styling, the 3’s changes are evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

The car goes on sale this fall, and pricing will be announced closer to that time.

Mazda’s other big news was two-fold: The company expects to bring a diesel engine using SKYACTIV technology to the American market during the next year or so, and the company also plans to build the Minagi crossover SUV, which will be renamed the CX-5.  (For more, Click Here.)

Details are sparse, but we expect to see this CUV in calendar 2012 sporting SKYACTIV engines (including, perhaps, a diesel) and available 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

Right now, the Minagi is a styling exercise, but with the exception of a few outlandish bits, it looks showroom-ready. We expect to see it positioned below the larger CX-7 and CX-9 crossovers in Mazda’s fleet.

Mazda Minagi Concept Returning as CX-5

Taking new Kodo design language, SkyActiv powertrain technology into production.

by on Apr.19, 2011

Mazda will put the Kodo design language of the Minagi concept into production with the new CX-5.

Mazda’s Minagi concept vehicle made quite a splash at the Geneva Motor Show, earlier this year, which is good news for the maker considering the underlying design theme is set to return in a downsized crossover vehicle to be dubbed the CX-5.

Minagi served to preview an all-new design language Mazda calls Kodo, the soul of motion.  It “captures the energy of the moment,” explained Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi, following the show car’s debut.

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Back at the preview, Minagi was described as a “pure design exercise,” but while the Mazda CX-5 won’t be an absolute replica, it will carry over many of the basic elements of the concept crossover.

We’ll get a better look when the new CUV makes its formal debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this coming autumn.