The rotary sportscar you want probably isn't coming any time soon, but it's in Mazda's interest to lead you on.
We've dug deep for just about every scrap of 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata info available out of the car's California reveal celebration, but powertrain particulars have been especially hard to come by. While we still don't have engine specifications, the folks over at Autoweek have scored a nice scoop – the first underhood photos of one of the display cars.
It looks like Toyota is going to have a little more zoom-zoom in the future. The giant Japanese automaker has struck a deal with Mazda to use its Skyactiv engines for the possible replacement to the Yaris. The new subcompact will be built under contract by Mazda at its new factory in Mexico.
Looks like Mazda's big Geneva Motor Show debut is actually something quite small. Teased here, the Hazumi concept "points the way to the future" for the brand's subcompact offering, the Mazda2. Details are slim as of this writing, but from what we can see in the image above, the Hazumi will use the same Kodo design language found on the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5. We're big fans of this styling direction, so we fully expect the concept to be quite an attractive little number.
Japanese automakers haven't lead the charge towards diesel power in the same way as, say, the Germans have. But Mazda is out to change that. It has been following Audi's lead on the racetrack with oil-burning racecars right here in America, and will soon translate that excitement to the road by introducing its Skyactiv-D engine in North America. It just won't happen as soon as we expected.
As Mazda continues the current rollout of its still-new Skyactiv technology, the automaker is already looking at improving its family of engines for even better fuel economy and emissions reductions. Automotive News reports that with stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations planned for 2020 and 2025 in Europe, Mazda will likely release engines with next-generation Skyactiv 2 technology by the end of this decade, and Skyactiv 3 units just five years later.
Diesel has without a doubt become the dominant fuel in the modern era of endurance racing. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has been won under diesel power for the past eight years running, as has every race in the FIA World Endurance Championship since its inauguration in 2012. Yet there will only be one diesel prototype entered in the top tier of the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship this year, and it belongs to Mazda.
Zoom-Zoom, indeed. Toyota may be the world's biggest maker of hybrids and Nissan may be making big strides on the plug-in front with increased sales of its Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, but it's Japanese automaker Mazda that has once again topped the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) list of most fuel-efficient automakers selling vehicles in the US, increasing its Model Year 2012 average by half a mile per gallon compared to MY2011.
Mazda has received a tremendous amount of public and industry praise in the last few years, following up the successful introduction of its Skyactiv technology (powertrain and otherwise), with strong products like CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, the Mazda3. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda has taken yet another step forward with Skyactiv and the 3, showing the compact (called "Axela" in Japan) with an all-new compressed natural gas engine in the Skyactiv-CNG Concept.
Mazda has unveiled its latest challenger in the top flight of endurance racing, a diesel-powered prototype that will campaign the inaugural, 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship. The new Skyactiv-D-powered car will make its race debut at January's Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Mazda has made huge gains in its competitive set with the introduction of its Skyactiv technologies, and the Japanese automaker appears to have no plans on slowing down. While we're still waiting for the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D diesel to go on sale in the US, Mazda announced that it will debut new Skyactiv-Hybrid and Skyactiv-CNG versions of the Mazda3 (standard US-spec model shown above) at next month's Tokyo Motor Show.
Diesel enthusiasts waiting on the new Skyactiv-D-powered Mazda6 will have to wait a bit longer. The shapely fuel-efficient four-door has just had its North American launch pushed back to April, due to delays in emissions testing. Mazda had originally planned to launch the Mazda6 diesel before the end of this year, making the four- to five-month delay a rather serious one.
Mazda is set to expand production of its Skyactiv engines after critical and commercial acclaim for the fuel-sipping powerplants. The Japanese manufacturer has a number of plans in the works to bump up production, with the first being a 25-percent increase in output from its Hiroshima, Japan engine facility.
The new Mazda3 is a stunner, both aesthetically and from a driving perspective. As with all good things, though, there's always room for improvement. That's where the wizards from Mazdaspeed come in. Mazda's in-house tuner has been tweaking and turbocharging the five-door Mazda3 since 2007, with impressive results.