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Mazda Teases New CX-4 Ahead of Beijing Motor Show

Global plans unclear.

by on Apr.06, 2016

The new Mazda CX-4 picks up on the Kodo design language and cues from the Koeru concept.

Mazda is giving us a first look at its latest crossover, and the CX-4 set to debut at the Beijing Motor Show will clearly show the influence of the Koeru concept we first saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show last autumn.

The CX-4, among other things, picks up the Koeru’s blacked-out B-pillars and floating roof design. Both the concept and production model offer the latest take on Mazda’s distinctive Kodo design language – which also was quite apparent in the updated Mazda CX-9.

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Mazda previously suggested that the CX-4 could be something of a coupe-crossover take on the latest-generation CX-5, the pairing aimed at the likes of the BMW X3 and X4 pair. In its tease of the new crossover, the Japanese maker described it as an “exploring coupe.”


First Look: Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv

Maker claims new technology will outdo hybrid mileage, performance.

by on Nov.16, 2011

Mazda will introduce a wide range of Skyactiv technologies on the new CX5 crossover.

With the launch of the new 2013 Mazda CX-5, the Japanese automaker is “planting a stake in the ground” that will very likely determine the future of the zoom-zoom brand.

The third crossover in Mazda’s line-up will introduce the full range of technology that the maker collectively calls Skyactiv.  Mazda, which has a history of taking a different path on powertrains with technology like the Wankel rotary engine, is putting itself even further out of the mainstream with the Skyactiv system.

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The technology – which ranges from significantly modified gas and diesel engines to a distinctly different approach to body and chassis development – promises to deliver fuel economy that’s as good as more complicated gas-electric hybrid systems, declared Takashi Yamanouchi, the maker’s president and CEO, but also much better performance.

Mazda’s strategy, he said during the keynote speech at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show, is to “improve the efficiency of core technologies and then offer them as standard equipment.”


First Drive: Mazda Skyactiv

Can Mazda deliver hybrid mileage without the hybrid?

by on Aug.12, 2011

The new Mazda CX-5 crossover will be the maker's first vehicle developed specifically to use the new Skyactiv system, though the Skyactiv powertrain will appear first on the 2012 Mazda3 update.

“We are a very small company,” says Kyoshi Fujiwara – again.  It’s a mantra repeated over and over by the Japanese engineer who has become something of the chief cook and bottle washer for Mazda’s ambitious Skyactiv project.

The far-reaching effort could be the make-it-or-break it for, yes, this very small company, which has largely severed its ties with Detroit giant Ford Motor Co.  Long known for going its own way with unusual technology – think Wankel rotary engine – Mazda is doing it again with Skyactiv, a system that it claims can deliver the fuel efficiency of a hybrid without the performance and price penalties.

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Early next year, Mazda will introduce the new Skyactiv-G gasoline engine on the updated Mazda3 sedan.  But the technology isn’t limited to just a new petrol powertrain, ala Ford’s EcoBoost.  With Skyactiv, Mazda claims to have re-thought the entire vehicle, coming up with both gasoline and diesel engines, advanced manual and automatic transmissions and lighter-weight platforms that further enhance its drive for improved fuel economy without sacrificing the company’s familiar zoom-zoom qualities. recently got a chance to take an in-depth look at the Skyactiv system and files this report.


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.