I have a piston slap question for a friend at work. She drives an ’11 Mazda CX-7 2.3. For over a year she has had an issue with fuel in the oil. Enough that the oil level has been as much as 1″ above the full mark on the dipstick as a result (oil level was checked after service, and frequently between services). This is noticed within weeks of service/oil change. (Read More…)
Back in the Middle Malaise Era, most of the B-series Mazda pickups you saw in North America were badged as Ford Couriers, and of course we’ve found the occasional junkyard-dwelling Courier. Still, some Mazda-badged pickups were released into the wild, and the longbed version was known as the Sundowner. Here’s a very-much-of-its-time Sundowner in yellow with beige-and-brown tape stripes and red-and-brown rust, spotted at a Colorado self-serve yard earlier this week. (Read More…)
TTAC commentator Kovalove writes:
Long-time lurker on a daily basis for over 5 years now. Not sure if this is a worthy question for Piston Slap but here we go: In about two weeks’ time I’ll make my final payment (0% loan ftw) on my 2008 Mazda3 GT 4-door (‘S Grand Touring’ in US spec) with just over 97,000 km. It has served me well with no at-cost repairs other than routine maintenance (some minor stuff was covered by warranty). I have been looking forward to payment-free living and would happily keep the car for many more years, but one thing has been rattling around in the back of my mind… (Read More…)
A fourth of July present from our friends at Top Gear Russia, and it’s not Edward Snowden!
The perpetual promise of Alfa Romeo’s return to North America has gone on for so long, it’s become the car guy equivalent of a religious belief that one day, we will be redeemed by Christ/Mashiach/The 12th Imam. Every year, we hear that Alfa is coming, only for it to be pushed back again and again. Now I’m wondering, why bother?
The spyshots were right all along. This is the hatch version of the 2015 Mazda3. We’ll get an official look at the car today at 2:30 PM EST, along with technical details. Europe will get 1.5L and 2.0L gasoline SKYACTIV motors making 99, 118 and 163 horsepower respectively. Expect the 2.0 to make it here, along with the 2.5L engine in the CX-5 and Mazda6. Europe will also get the 2.2L diesel used in the 6, which would be a real treat, and a nice rival to the Golf TDI. No weight figures have been announced, but the new 3 should be a good deal lighter than the current model. No word on a sedan model either.
EDIT: The North America spec 2.0L makes 155 horsepower. No word on a North American diesel. The i-ELOOP regen braking/capacitor system will power the car’s entire electronics, as well as an all new HUD system. Production will take place first in Japan, then in Mexico starting in Spring, 2014. Sales start in September. Sedan to debut in 2 weeks. Weight should be down by a couple hundred pounds, wheelbase is up 2.4 inches while overall length is down by 1.8 inches.
Yes, we know that you’ve all been bombarded with endless stories about modular kits these last few days. While there is a camp of skeptics out there, the move towards modular architectures is happening, and it’s going to have an effect on the way that sports cars are made. My theory is below, feel free to disagree with it.
If the first half of my automotive life was informed by Honda products, the second half was largely colored by “Sport Compact Car” magazine, which I still consider to be America’s finest automotive print magazine. From the age of 13 onward, I faithfully purchased SCC every month, enthralled by the idea of low-budget import car builds and sweeping California canyon roads. I liked that they took a different tack than most of the other tuner magazines; they weren’t as dogmatic as the other rags were with respect to the “Japan rules, America sux” dichotomy that seemed to pervade the lesser publications. There were no photo spreads of Asian women in flourescent bikinis. Unlike the editorials in Grassroots Motorsports, the budgets for their projects seemed realistic.
One shot that has stuck with me is this shot of an ancient 323 GTX sliding through the dirt; I can’t remember if it was an SCC project car or not, but it encapsulates what I always pictured Southern California to be; an automotive playground free of rust and full of roads that are appropriate for whatever driving conditions you could want. The 323 GTX’s near me are either terminally oxidized or going for absurd amounts of money ($6,000 for a barely running 26 year old Mazda that would amputate my legs in a crash? No thanks) but Mazda was kind enough to lend me a Mazdaspeed3 for my first trip to Los Angeles so I could live out my canyon run fantasies on the Angeles Crest Highway, albeit in front-drive form only. If that wasn’t enough, TTAC contributor Jeff Jablansky brought along his own Volkswagen GTI MKVI for comparison.
Every time we see images of the 2015 Mazda3, it looks better and better. This one, which appeared on a Russian site via Jalopnik, is the clearest image we have yet. It looks like a lower, more compact CX-5. Hopefully it’s not as slow. Mazda is apparently set to reveal the car in New York on June 26th with a streaming webcast via Xbox Live.
I needed something cheap, fuel efficient, and at least as powerful as the rotary it would replace… What I came across was something that didn’t excite me much but fit the bill fairly well, a 3.8 liter V6 and T5 transmission out of a 98 Camaro complete with ECU and harness, the price, $600… Turns out GM had their stuff together on this little bastard. It’s a little heavy due to being all cast iron and the heads don’t flow well but it’s rock solid reliable and gets great mileage. Plus it’s power numbers are not far from the 5.0/T5 I was originally looking for. Time to get transplanting.
And that’s how a fellow in an Ohio garage wound up building a race-winning RX-7 that happens to be powered by a Series II 3800 V6.
For the past 16 years, we’ve done the same routine with varying frequency; it started when I was 2 or 3 years old, at my insistence. Go for a swim at the YMCA, then lunch at McDonalds (always a Filet-O-Fish, since nothing else was kosher. I didn’t know what a Big Mac was until Junior High) and finally, we would arrive at Mecca, 715 Milner Avenue, the site of Honda Canada’s head office.
The above photo making its way around the internet is supposedly the first uncovered photos of the 2015 Mazda3. Based on prior shots of camo-clad prototypes, it looks like this could be the final design.
A report from Just-Auto suggests that the next Mazda2 will “use [a] downsized CX-5 platform”. While this is technically true, the headline is a bit misleading.
God bless the blogosphere. All it takes is one throwaway remark for something to become a widely reported rumor heard ’round the world.
Mazda, the favorite car brand of enthusiasts that few seem to actually buy, looks set to become profitable for the first time in five years.