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.
A weak yen and a slew of new models has Mazda within sight of profitability. With Mazda heavily dependent on exports, the yen’s 16 percent decrease in value relative to the U.S. dollar could not have come at a better time for Mazda, as it readies a whole slate of new products for sale.
TTAC readers, this is the one you’ve been waiting for; a fun-to-drive, lightweight, stick-shift sports sedan that doesn’t require a home equity loan to purchase. Now, the question is, will anyone buy it?
If you were to read certain outlets, you may have the mistaken impression that Mazda is making a move upmarket. More than one industry gadfly took Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi’s assertion that he wants to see Mazda become a “premium” brand as evidence of managerial incompetence. How could the world’s last independent auto maker have the gall to gun for the Germans and upscale Japanese marques when they are currently a bit player in the global auto sector?
A reader tip pointed us to an issue with Mazda’s recent Skyactiv-D diesel engines in Australia. Apparently, the vehicle’s particulate filter may be the source of some engine oiling issues.
Mazda is remedying the biggest complain regarding its wonderful CX-5 crossover; the lack of power. Starting next year, the 2014 CX-5 can be ordered with the new 2.5L Skyactiv engine offered in the new Mazda6.
Despite embargoes keeping things under wraps, journalists found another way to break this bit of information early; by going to the display stand and looking at the information.
And that’s how we confirmed that the 2.2L Skyactiv diesel engine will power the 2014 Mazda6. With 173 horspower and 310 lb-ft, the oil burning Mazda should be an interesting alternative to the VW Passat TDI. And apparently, you can get it with a manual as well.
The Mazda/Alfa Romeo sports car collaboration was best described by one industry reporter as “the first slow dance, where they leave room for Jesus”. Now it looks like Fiat is definitely trying to cop a feel.
Now that we’ve finally got real pictures of the 2014 Mazda6, powertrain details have emerged as well. For anyone who thought the 2.0L Skyactiv 4-cylinder was underpowered, there’s good news.
Starting with the redesigned 2013 Accord, Honda will introduce its new, ultra-efficient/more powerful Earth Dreams engine lineup. And it’s far from the most silly moniker attached to automotive technology.
Mazda’s Skyactiv engines are hitting on all cylinders. The company will double production capacity at its engine plant in Hiroshima from 400,000 units to 800,000 units per year in October 2012. The capacity increase is “in response to increasing demand” for Skyactiv-equipped cars, the company said in an emailed statement. (Read More…)
The newly announced GX class for Grand-Am racing will allow alternative fuel engines to race in one of North America’s premier sports car series, and Mazda plans on jumping into things with their own Skyactiv-D diesel engine.
Of course, we have no idea what kind of car this engine will go into, regardless of whether it’s a street car or a race car. We can’t really see a diesel CX-5 race car tearing up the track. A new Mazda6 may be a possibility. God forbid it winds up being a Miata.
Mazda is saying “peace out” to their V6 engines. The party line is that they don’t really fit with the companies new philosophy, and the SkyACTIV portfolio. Instead, the company is drumming up a few alternatives.
Mazda makes fun cars. Too few car buyers care. Mazda has been losing buckets of money. What to do? Mazda is betting that a focus on fuel economy without going hybrid will reverse their fortunes without costing them a fortune. To deliver big mpg gains, and further enhance the driving experience as well, the folks in Hiroshima have creatively re-engineered conventional engines, transmissions, suspensions, and body structures, with an emphasis on light weight and improved efficiency. But talk is cheap. Do Mazda’s “SKYACTIV” innovations actually deliver?
A scheduling conflict led me to be booked into a 2013 Mazda CX-5 SkyACTIV. With Jack and Brendan having already driven the car, I’ll spare you all yet another review discussing Mazda’s latest crossover. But a week in the CX-5 raised an interesting question; when are automatics better than a stick shift, even if it’s a vehicle that (arguably) has some appeal as a driver’s car?