I was having a conversation with a female friend a few weeks ago and she admitted to having “fooled around” in no fewer than four different brands of minitrucks during the Nineties and Oughties. I suppose in her case that would be the Noughties — but that’s besides the point. I should also mention that the fourth “minitruck” was really a Colorado, and the incident in question happened fairly recently.
“There’s always some kind of stick shift in the way, in those little trucks, you know?” she said.
“Those are the little crosses that empowered young women have to bear,” was my response.
The conversation could have gone in any number of directions from there, but where it actually went was to A Brief Discussion Of Mini-Trucks In America, 1970-2010. I thought it might be a conversation worth having with all of you, as well, because it showcases a rather unique phenomenon in American automotive history. (Read More…)
You’ll excuse us if the new 2017 Mazda CX-9 photos we took lack a little substance. Mazda’s newest crossover was on lockdown by the automaker in Los Angeles on Tuesday, allegedly because competing engineers were a little to eager to snap pictures underneath the new girl’s sheet metal.
Whether we’re allowed to take pictures of it now or later, Mazda’s newest crossover (presumably) gets a whole host of the automaker’s latest and greatest including its new 2.5-liter, turbocharged SKYACTIV four cylinder that makes 250 horsepower* and 310 pound-feet of torque.
Finally, a Fiat in North America that isn’t a 500.
The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is what happens when you give a spectacular chassis to the Italians and let them fit it with a torque-happy turbocharged engine.
The new roadster, which is based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, was revealed today at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be powered by what we all suspected — a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with 160 horsepower and 184 lbs-ft of torque. A pair of six-speed transmissions, one manual and the other automatic, will send that turbo power to the rear wheels.
The photos show a sleeker CX-9 than the current model, although not nearly as dynamic as the concept sketch released more than a month ago. A lower belt line and bigger windows should help the three-row SUV be a little brighter inside. We still can’t get much of a look at the car’s grille, but the headlights are clearly much sharper and the bumper has a whole lot going on there.
Toyota said Thursday that the world’s largest automaker would no longer use the beleaguered company’s airbags, joining Honda, Mazda and others, putting in doubt that supplier’s viability, Bloomberg reported (via Fortune).
Reuters (via Automotive News) reported that the automotive supplier, who was hit with a $70 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this week, is preparing for the worst.
“We are considering some plans to survive, but it is not at the stage I can talk about yet,” CEO Shigehisa Takada said Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Mazda announced Wednesday that it would unveil its next-generation CX-9 in Los Angeles later this month.
The three-row crossover made its debut in 2007 and hasn’t changed much since. Mazda’s seven-seater still sits atop the Ford CD3 platform used by previous generations of the Mazda6/Ford Fusion and Ford Edge. It also sports the same powertrain as the previous-generation Edge.
Mazda released a teaser image of the CX-9 on Monday that shows what the crossover would look like if the world had Photoshop filters turned on all the time.
Mazda just can’t quit the rotary. Magical spinning Doritos are such a significant part of their DNA that, in spite of overwhelming evidence against the Wankel existence thanks to its appetite for fuel, oil, and apex seals, they keep a team of engineers developing it.
In theory, the rotary is the perfect engine for a sportscar. Lightweight, rev-happy, and reasonably powerful — exactly the attributes needed for a lithe corner carver. Back in the late ’80s, just as another enthusiast-focused Mazda was coming on the scene, a special edition RX7 was released. Rather than tape stripes and excess frills, this one came stripped of excess weight, and loaded with performance goodies.
My mother-in-law in New England drives a fifteen-year-old Mazda Tribute with a manual transmission that is way overdue for replacement. She won’t settle for anything that doesn’t have 1) the ability to power all four wheels equally at the same time (I think her Mazda has a button or lever to engage the 4WD, so it doesn’t have to be a full-time 4WD system), and 2) a manual transmission. She is suspicious of the modern “all-wheel-drive” systems found on Subaru, etc., and swears that nothing works in the snow like 4WD.
Well, what we mean is less information is more frustrating. Or less exterior styling is more attractive. Or the less we know, the more we want to know. You get the gist.
Unveiled in Tokyo alongside its legendary 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, the RX-Vision “represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality,” according to the automaker.
Mazda was pretty mum on the details, including how it plans to update its next-generation rotary engine, dubbed Skyactiv-R, to comply with modern fuel economy standards. Will it be a range extender for hydrogen power? Will it be boosted? Will it blend? These are all important questions, people. (Read More…)