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Mazda Putting Diesel Engine into New CX-5

Engineers tweaked the oil burner for three years before approving it for the U.S.

by on Nov.17, 2016

Globally, Mazda will offer the new CX-5 with three SkyActiv powertrains, including a diesel.

Mazda Motor Corp. announced during its press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show that it will offer the SkyActiv 2.2-liter clean diesel as an option in the CX-5 utility vehicle, beginning in the second half of 2017.

“We’re confident this engine offers a smart new option for North American drivers who want both performance and fuel economy,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s executive vice president and representative director.

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The 2.2-liter diesel used in the all-new CX-5 for North America provides a torque-rich driving experience. It will meet the region’s strict emission standards and make the CX-5 one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class, Marumoto said. (more…)

Mazda Sees Red with New CX-5

Putting some soul in motion.

by on Nov.16, 2016

Mazda U.S. design chief Julien Montousse shows off the new CX-5 crossover.

Forget performance. Ignore those fancy new infotainment systems. Virtually every study shows that design is still one of the top motivators when it comes to choosing a new car. And, in recent years, Mazda has worked hard to elevate automotive styling into an art.

The automaker takes things another step with the latest version of its mid-range CX-5 crossover now making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. While picking up on some of the obvious cues of the bigger CX-9, the new CUV takes Mazda’s Kodo, Soul of Motion design language another step forward – adding an eye-catching new paint job it has dubbed Soul Red Crystal.

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“We were searching for a pure emotional expression,” said Julien Montousse, the head of Mazda’s U.S. design operations, during a media preview ahead of the formal opening of the 2016 L.A. Auto Show.

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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.”

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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.

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“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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Mazda Reveals Updates for 2017 Mazda6, Mazda3

Japanese maker tweaks sedan, hatch for 2017.

by on Aug.10, 2016

Mazda is tweaking exterior and interior of the Mazda6 for the 2017 model year.

Mazda is updating two of its most important passenger car models as the Mazda6 sedan and Mazda3 hatchback are getting relatively modest tweaks for the 2017 model-year.

The two models were updated, a few years back, to use the Japanese maker’s SkyActiv system, which helped improve fuel economy even while boosting performance. Perhaps the most significant update for 2017 is the addition of a torque vectoring system – Mazda calls it G-Vectoring Control – to improve cornering and handling.

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Other updates include an improved Smart City Brake Support system, or SCBS, which now adds the ability to spot pedestrians in the vehicle’s path, while also working across a broader speed range. The Mazda6 gets several other new safety features, in keeping with trends in the hotly competitive midsize sedan segment. (more…)

BMW Delaying Launch of 2017 U.S. Diesels

Latest maker hit by fallout from VW diesel emissions cheating scandal.

by on Jul.19, 2016

BMW will delay the launch of its variously diesel models in the U.S. due to added testing.

Even as Volkswagen continues to face new problems related to its cheating on diesel emissions testing, other automakers are facing collateral damage.

The latest to be hit is BMW, the automaker confirming that it will delay the launch of its 2017 diesel models because U.S. regulators want to be sure they comply with federal emissions standards.

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While the maker said there has been “no indication” that its oil burners don’t meet federal rules, the testing process has been delayed, according to various media sources, which will mean that models such as the 2017 BMW 328d sedan and xDrive35d won’t reach showrooms at the same time as the rest of the ’17 line-up.

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Mazda Rebooting as a Premium Brand

Maker moving away from focus on volume sales.

by on Jul.13, 2016

Mazda's new 2016 CX-9 is the first entry in the company's next generation of vehicles born out of a new strategy.

Mazda has watched its sales in the U.S. decline this year, which has put substantial pressure on one of the world’s smallest international companies.

But a key executive, Masahiro Moro, who is both the chief executive of Mazda North America and the company’s chief marketing officer, told a group of reporters in Detroit that the decline reflects the company’s efforts to shift its strategy 180 degrees to focus not on building volume, an old strategy that in theory builds profitability by lowering piece costs, rather it is zeroed in on building relationships with customers.

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Building volume is no longer effective for a relatively small company, such as Mazda. (more…)

Mazda Not Ready to Abandon US Diesel Market – Yet

Diesels now 70% of Mazda’s Japanese sales mix.

by on Jul.12, 2016

Almost 80% of Japanese buyers order the new Mazda2 with a SkyActiv-D engine.

Nearly two years after the maker had originally hoped to begin offering a diesel version of its SkyActiv engine system in the U.S., Mazda Motor Co. is getting close to making a final go/no-go decision, senior executives said during a luncheon meeting in Detroit.

In the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, Mazda planners are concerned about future demand for the high-mileage technology. Ironically, a Japanese version of Mazda’s SkyActiv-D powertrain has proven far more successful than expected, diesels now accounting for more than 70% of the maker’s home market sales.

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The question is whether the emissions scandal has damaged the German maker’s image or diesel’s image, said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations for Mazda North America. “We think the damage is to Volkswagen, but we’re still deciding” whether there’s enough demand for Mazda to finally launch a U.S. diesel.

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Mazda Remains Committed to Bringing Diesel to US

Maker undaunted VW problems and falling diesel sales.

by on May.31, 2016

Mazda scrapped plans to bring a diesel-powered Mazda6 to U.S. shores a few months before VW's diesel scandal broke.

While the timetable has not been established and remains in flux, Mazda remains committed to putting a diesel-powered vehicle on the road in the U.S.

Mazda last year quietly delayed plans for a diesel-powered version of the Mazda6 months before Volkswagen was forced to disclose that it had cheated on key emission tests for vehicles sold in the United States equipped with diesel engines. The fallout from cheating scandal has been casting a cloud over diesel engines in light-duty vehicles.

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However, Jeremy Barnes, Mazda director of communications, told TheDetroitBureau.com that Mazda remains committed to introducing a diesel-powered vehicle to the U.S. market. The diesel remains under development, but the timing of the introduction has not been set yet, he said. “We’re still going to have a diesel,” he said. (more…)

First Drive: 2016 Mazda CX-9

Next-gen crossover highlights Kodo design influence.

by on May.24, 2016

The CX-9 looks smart and offers ample horsepower and features technologies needed to compete with the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

Mazda always has had a reputation for building great quick, nimble, sporty cars.

But perceptions about the other vehicles in product have been less precise, which is a challenge in a world where small sporty cars are being left in the garage in favor of utility vehicles that seem more suited to today’s harried lifestyles.

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However, Mazda now has an answer and with the CX-9, it has developed a utility vehicle that looks smart and offers ample horsepower. It also delivers the kind of solid dynamics that enhances a motorist’s driving experience and features technology, such as a forward collision braking system to compete with the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. (more…)