Convertible, News, Sports Car, Motorshow

Mazda reveals MX-5 RF with retractable hardtop

Mazda has unveiled the MX-5 RF (“retractable fastback”) on the eve of the New York International Auto Show.

Featuring fastback styling with a smooth roofline that slopes down to the rear, the MX-5 RF’s unique rear roof and retractable back window deliver a ‘distinctive new convertible feeling’, says Mazda.

The power roof opens and closes with the press of a button while moving at speeds of up to 10km/h, stowing away compactly so the boot space is exactly the same as the soft-top model's.

Also like the soft-top, the new version will be available in Europe with a choice of two SKYACTIV-G petrol engines – the 1.5 and 2.0 – mated either to a six-speed manual gearbox or – exclusively for the MX-5 RF – a six-speed automatic.

Paint colours include a new premium ‘Machine Grey’ finish, specially designed to intensify the contrast between light and shadow in order to accentuate Mazda’s sculptural ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ exteriors.

The new colour, which will be available on a range of Mazda models, is applied using Mazda’s Takuminuri painting technology system – a three-coat structure consisting of colour, reflective and clear coats. The reflective layer, which contains extremely thin, high-brightness aluminium flakes, shrinks during the drying process to about one-quarter the thickness of most reflective layers. This causes the flakes to lie flat with regular spacing between each flake for a high-density finish that gives the entire surface a sheen when illuminated, and a genuine metallic look. Meanwhile, Jet black pigment is used in both the reflective and colour layers. It is visible through the spaces between the aluminium flakes, giving them a black hue and thus heightening the contrast.

The MX-5 RF is on display at the New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public from 25 March to 3 April.

4x4, Concept Car, Motorshow, News, SUV

Mazda CX-4 crossover to debut at Beijing Motor Show

Mazda will debut the all-new CX-4 crossover SUV at the Beijing Motor Show.

The CX-4 is the latest addition to Mazda's new-generation range featuring SKYACTIV Technology and KODO-Soul of Motion design. The CX-4 is described as featuring a ‘striking presence that sets it apart from other SUVs, the functionality modern users expect' and Mazda’s ‘Jinba-ittai driving’. The term is a Japanese four-character compound describing the unity of horse and rider - and was used to describe the connection between a horse and his rider that helped give the MX-5 sports car ‘the perfect driving experience’.

The Japanese automaker's stand at the show will feature twelve vehicles, including new-generation models such as the Mazda3, Mazda CX-5, Mazda6, and race cars prepared for the Mazda-sponsored MZ Ruisi Racing Team competing in the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC).
The Beijing Motor Show runs from April 25 2016 to May 4, 2016.

Concept Car, Motorshow, Sports Car, News, Events

Mazda RX-VISION concept wins design award

Mazda’s new sports car concept has won ‘Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year’ at the Festival Automobile International.

First revealed at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, the rotary-powered sports car concept features ’exquisitely proportioned dimensions and stunning lines’ says Mazda.

The concept award goes to the vehicle that best embodies pure design creativity and emerging trends. Representing a ‘vision’ of the future, the concept continue’s Mazda’s ‘KODO: Soul of Motion’ design philosophy, with smooth-flowing proportions hinting at the performance of the car while paying tribute to Mazda’s heritage of front engine, rear-wheel drive sports cars. The rotary powertrain’s compactness makes characteristics like the low bonnet possible.

Nominated alongside the Bentley Exp10 Speed 6, Peugeot Fractal and Porsche Mission E at this year’s Festival Automobile International, Mazda’s international design chief, Ikuo Maeda accepted the award Tuesday evening together with Kevin Rice, Mazda’s European design director, Julien Montousse, his counterpart at Mazda North America, and Mazda designer Norihito Iwao.

The RX-VISION will be on display at the Festival Automobile International’s concept car exhibition in Paris at the Hotel National des Invalides until 31 January.

Convertible, News, Sports Car

Limited Edition Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro unveiled

Mazda has teamed up with German sports seat company Recaro for a limited edition MX-5.

The new Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro has joined the company's sports car line up and is based on the 2.0-litre 160PS Sport Nav model. Limited to just 600 cars it benefits from 'added exclusivity and sporty styling enhancements' inside and out.

Created with the 'discerning sports car fan in mind' says Mazda, the Sport Recaro adds a Brilliant Black Sports Aero kit that includes a rear spoiler, plus front, side and rear skirts. Piano Black door mirrors and 17-inch Diamond Cut alloy wheels with an engraved MX-5 logo complete the stand out exterior appearance.

Inside, the MX-5 cabin naturally gets standard Recaro seats finished in Alcantara on the seat cushion and seat back, while red seat piping compliments the red stitching found on the dash, handbrake and gear lever. An Alcantara dashboard panel, alloy pedals and unique floor mats can also be found. Designed to deliver 'outstanding lumbar and lateral support' the heated Recaro seats complement the MX-5's driver-focused cabin and communicative controls.

Features on the Sport Recaro model include LED headlights, a leather steering wheel, climate control air-conditioning, rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, a premium Bose sound system and cruise control, plus Mazda's MZD-Connect connectivity and infotainment system with 7-inch Colour touch-screen display and Multimedia Commander.

With a dynamic set-up that includes Sports suspension featuring Bilstein dampers, a limited slip differential and strut tower bar, the Sport Recaro MX-5 is the first Limited Edition version of the new model offered in the UK. Its exclusivity is marked out by an individually numbered badge located on the centre storage box lid.

Available to order now, the Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro costs £24,295 OTR.

Convertible, Sports Car, News

Mazda MX-5 concepts revealed at SEMA

Mazda has pulled the covers off two MX-5 concepts at the The Specialty Equipment Market Association show (SEMA).

The two concepts, the MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster have shaved off more weight while accentuating open-air driving.

The MX-5 Spyder features a 'bikini top', Mercury Silver exterior, carbon fibre aero kit, grille intake, lightweight 17-inch Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II wheels and a Spinneybeck PRIMA natural full-grain leather interior. The MX-5 Speedster, meanwhile, pares the roadster back to the bare essentials - it even has a deflector in place of the windscreen. With carbon fibre doors and seats as well as custom 16-inch RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights wheels resultsin the Speedster tipping the scales at 943kg. It is also 30mm lower than the production MX-5 thanks to an adjustable coilover suspension. Both are powered by Mazda's SKYACTIV-G 2.0 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT.

"Both MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are uncompromising designs that highlight the core strengths of MX-5," said Ken Saward, design manager at Mazda North American Operations. He and his colleagues at Mazda collaborated with various aftermarket parts suppliers and performance shops to create the two concepts. "With the all-new 2016 MX-5, we have a clean sheet to show how the aftermarket can go wild on our flagship sports car while staying true to its mission."

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas runs until the 6th November.

Sports Car, News

Two Mazda MX-5 Concepts set for SEMA show

Mazda has confirmed two vastly different takes on the fourth-generation MX-5 will be revealed at the 2015 SEMA Show.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, for which the Mazda designers wanted to see what they could do if the MX-5 was 'taken to the extreme'. The result was an MX-5 Spyder Concept and a MX-5 Speedster Concept.

The MX-5 Spyder captures the character of a vintage roadster and translates it into a modern-day design, including bespoke leather interior details and is finished in a new Mercury Silver concept paint colour.

The MX-5 Speedster is described as a 'study in the extremes of lightweight, purpose-built performance', paying homage to minimalist roadsters of the 1950s. The Blue Ether-painted MX-5 Speedster is uncompromised in its approach to wind-in-the-hair driving, deliberately avoiding the use of a traditional windshield for a lighter deflector.

Both cars are significantly lighter than the 1057kg MX-5 roadster.

The SEMA Show takes place from 3-6 of November.

Sports Car, News

Mazda unveils RX-Vision at the Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda has pulled the covers off a new rotary-engined RX-Vision sports car in Tokyo.

Powered by Mazda's next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine, this technology allows for what Mazda calls an 'exquisitely proportioned' front-engine, rear-wheel drive car. Rotary engines are unique in that they generate power through the rotational motion of triangular rotors (unlike pistons in conventional engines). Overcoming numerous technical difficulties, Mazda succeeded in commercialising rotary power, first in the Cosmo Sport 110S in 1967 and then in several other models.

Although not currently mass-producing any rotary models, Mazda says it never ceased its R&D activities, choosing the SKYACTIV-R label for the next-generation rotary engine.

"I look forward to talking with you more about this vision we revealed here today at the Mazda stand," said Mazda's Representative Director, President and CEO Masamichi Kogai. "Mazda will continue to take on new challenges in an effort to build a special bond with our customers and become their one and only brand."

Further details have yet to be announced.