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Mazda Plans Limited Edition Miata RF Launch Edition

“Loyal” MX-5 owners to get first crack.

by on Aug.18, 2016

The Mazda MX-5 Miata FR made its formal debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Mazda will mark the New Year with the launch of the new MX-5 Miata RF, and it says  its “most loyal customers” will have reason to celebrate because they will get first crack at ordering the distinctive retractable fastback model that made its debut at the New York International Auto Show last March.

A special MX-5 RF Launch Edition model will be available and will feature just one option: the choice of a SkyActive-MT six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Product News!

“Rarely does any automaker have a vehicle that garners the sort of loyalty and enthusiasm MX-5 generates,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president with Mazda North American Operations, “something we don’t take lightly. MX-5 RF is the next chapter of this storied model line, and we can’t think of a better way to give back than to first offer this bespoke Launch Edition to those who have stuck with us.”

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Fiat Roadster Key to Brand’s Revival in US

Execs hoping new 124 will light a sales spark.

by on Jun.09, 2016

FCA is hoping the new 2017 Fiat Spider 124 will jump start sales for the brand in the U.S.

Automakers are always looking for ways to attract younger buyers to their brand. But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is hoping that the introduction of a new two-seat roadster will put a spark into the sales of the Fiat brand in the U.S.

Fiat brand sales were down 19% in May, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the Fiat 500, which has been hurt by consumers’ turn towards trucks and utility vehicles, dropped by 49% and sales of the 500L were off by 69%. But sales of the 500X utility vehicle were up in May compared with the same month a year ago, in its first month of year-over-year comparisons.

Product News!

Deliveries of the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider are expected to begin arriving this month. The 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation of vehicles and buyers. (more…)

Mazda Drops Surprise – and Top – With MX-5 Miata Retractable Fastback

New MX-5 Miata RF set to debut early in 2017.

by on Mar.23, 2016

The top folds away on the new Mazda MX-5 Miata FR.

These days, there are few surprises at major car shows. Either word of a new product leaks well ahead of time or a manufacturer offers reporters advanced, embargoed background material. But Mazda managed to keep the lid on its new drop-top, the MX-5 Miata RF.

That’s short for Retractable Fastback, an unusual design that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Porsche 911 Targa. Unlike the new Miata ragtop or the prior generation’s folding hardtop, the rear frame of the RF’s roof, complete with flying buttresses, remains in place while both the roof itself and the back glass fold away.

Flip Your Lid!

“You wait all your career to touch an icon like this,” said designer Julien Montrosse, during a Tuesday night preview ahead of Mazda’s official New York International Auto Show news conference on Thursday.

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Fiat Hopes New 124 Spider Will Catch Buyers in its Web

Bad boy Charlie Sheen to help launch the roadster’s marketing campaign.

by on Nov.18, 2015

The new Fiat 124 Spider picks up on classic cues of the original Italian roadster.

Fiat is driving forward into the past, hoping it can build some much-needed momentum by reviving the once-iconic 124 Spider nameplate.

Nearly a half century after its introduction, an all-new version of the Fiat 124 Spider is making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The debut also comes five years after the Fiat brand itself formally launched its return to the U.S. market at the annual L.A. show.

Auto Show News!

“There’s no better way to celebrate 50 years of the Fiat 124 Spider than to bring back this iconic roadster, pairing its Italian styling of the past with all of the modern performance and technology of today,” said Olivier François, global Fiat brand boss.

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Return of the RX? Mazda Set to Show New Sports Car Concept in Tokyo

Could it also mark the return of the Wankel rotary?

by on Sep.30, 2015

Does this Tokyo sports car concept signal the return of the Mazda RX - and the rotary engine?

Is Mazda finally ready to relaunch its RX sports car? It’s certainly starting to look like the answer is “yes.”

With barely a month to go before the biennial Tokyo Motor Show opens, the Japanese maker is offering a few hints of what it will have on display. And among the 14 models that will be on the stand, we can expect a sports car concept that, says Mazda, “maintains a sense of lineage and authenticity.”

Pushing the Limits!

Of course, if Mazda is truly set to reach back in its historical back of tricks, that raises another critical question: will the new sports car pack an updated version of Mazda’s signature rotary under the hood? Company officials have offered broad hints that they’re working on a Wankel engine that can meet modern fuel economy and emissions requirements.

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Electronic Synthesizer Company Helps Tune Up New EV.

Roaring V-8 or Jetsons spaceship? It just takes a touch of a button.

by on Aug.24, 2015

The GLM ZZ electric sports car.

There’s something primal about the roar of a big V-8, and even the sound of a turbocharged V-6 can send the adrenaline flowing. But it’s difficult to get excited about the whine of an electric motor, even if it’s powering a high-performance sports car.

So, to pump a little more passion out of its new ZZ sports car, small Japanese start-up GLM Co. turned to Roland Corp., a company best known for electronic keyboard and other sound synthesizers used by such musical legends as Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Page and George Duke.  While the ZZ won’t have any exhaust, Roland will allow a driver to customize a “one-of-a-kind” simulated exhaust note.

Sound Off!

Roland synthesizer technology, explains a news release, “will be used to create ingenious neo-futuristic sounds that will give sports car enthusiasts the experience of driving a space ship on the road.”

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Mazda or Scion or Fiat? Alliances Are Changing the Face of the Auto Industry

Automakers partner up to cut costs, expand product lines.

by on May.28, 2015

The new Mazda Miata was developed as part of a joint venture with Fiat.

When the new iA comes to Scion showrooms later this year, it will mark the first time Toyota’s youth-oriented brand has offered a sedan.

To bring it to market, Scion sought out some help, largely repurposing a 4-door model developed by smaller Japanese automaker Mazda. Toyota also will use the subcompact Mazda2 as the starting point for the next version of its small Yaris model – which will be assembled at a new Mazda plant in Mexico.

Stay on Top!

Confused? You’re not alone.  It takes more than just a scorecard to keep up with the convoluted alliances in today’s increasingly competitive auto industry. Hoping to add more models to their line-ups while at the same time driving down costs, traditional competitors are finding advantages to working together.

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Mazda Blings Out MX5 Miata for Chi-Town

Makers shows off accessory lineup for ragtop.

by on Feb.12, 2015

Mazda introduced its new 2016 MX-5 Miata decked out in a slew of accessories from the maker.

Mazda’s MX-5 Miata is the best-selling two-seater convertible on the planet, in some measure, because of its simple, yet impressive design. However, the automaker rolled out an accessorized Miata in Chicago to show what can be done to dress up the ragtop.

“The MX-5 is the soul of our company, and its enthusiast following both inside and outside of Mazda drives us to keep innovating new ideas for it and the rest of our lineup,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations.

Stay on Top of the News!

There is symmetry on showing off the dressed up Miata at the Chicago Auto Show as that’s where it made its debut in 1989; however, the vehicle debuting today is world’s apart from Mazda’s first-gen model from back then. (more…)

Mazda Previews Miata Concept for Chicago

Maker also debuting Heritage Collection apparel line.

by on Feb.10, 2015

Mazda offers a tease of its Miata concept.

Potential buyers won’t get a chance to slip behind the wheel of the fourth-generation Mazda Miata for some months, but the Japanese maker is already reaching out to those looking to customize the little roadster with what it has dubbed the “2016 MX-5 accessories design concept.”

Set to make its debut at the Chicago Auto Show later this week, it will anchor Mazda’s new Heritage Collection, three apparel lines “inspired by key themes of Mazda’s past, present and future,” the maker says.

Auto Insight!

Mazda isn’t saying much about the accessories concept before the maker’s Thursday news conference in the Windy City. No surprise. It has been dribbling out details about the 2016 MX-5 since it was unveiled last September, only this month confirming that the SkyActiv 2.0-liter inline-four engine that will be standard on U.S. models will make 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque.

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Mazda Fills in a Few Blanks About New MX-5 Miata

But some questions remain about new roadster.

by on Nov.19, 2014

Mazda confirms the US-spec 2016 MX-5 Miata will use an "ultra-high-compression" 2.0-liter I-4.

When Mazda staged its global preview of the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata last summer it left plenty of questions unanswered. As the roadster gets readied for its first public showing at this week’s Los Angeles Motor Show, the Japanese maker is finally filling in some – but not all – of the missing details.

Among other things, it says the new 2016 Miata’s SkyActiv design makes it not just lighter, but also shorter and narrower than the model it replaces. And U.S. buyers will be getting a 2.0-liter inline-four. But we’re still going to have to wait until closer to the MX-5’s launch date, it seems, to find out such necessary details as horsepower and torque.

Auto Show News!

Buyers in other markets will also have the option of a smaller 1.5-liter I-4 engine. The U.S.-spec car will be offered with a 6-speed SkyActiv manual gearbox, Mazda also revealed.

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