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Zoom-Zoom for Years
Mazda-mania just happened over the weekend, with a record setting 683 Miatas parading in Lelystad, Netherlands. The sight of so many Mazda enthusiasts jogged our foggy memories, and helped us to remember our own personal connections with the brand, as well as some of the greatest Mazda’s of all time.
Perhaps best known for the MX-5 Miata, Mazda has done a lot more than make small roadsters. In an era when many said the small Japanese automaker would have to partner with a bigger industry player, Mazda (as usual) took the road less traveled, engineering new chassis, new engines and an attractive new design language. Combined, it has surprised with an excellent new lineup of vehicles, like the 2014 Mazda6 and CX-5.
Much of that same philosophy and attitude has led Mazda to offer up some impressive models over the years, making the world stand up and take notice. Take a look at this top 10 of the greatest Mazdas over the years, and be sure to pipe in with your own favorites.
Is this car still legendary, or just past its prime?
The 1990s was a great time for Japanese sports cars. Pretty much every manufacturer was building a world class performance machine including Mazda, with the third generation RX-7. But that was twenty years ago and what may have been great then, might not be any good today. So, we have gotten our hands on a pristine, low mileage 1993 Mazda RX-7 to see if it was all hype, or the real deal.
The 1990s is a decade known for things like flannel shirts, grunge music, Barney the purple dinosaur and Napster. But for those who live and breathe high octane fuel, the ‘90s was also a great time for performance vehicles. With the world economy in fine shape, manufacturers everywhere were producing some impressive machinery. This is the decade that gave birth to the Dodge Viper, McLaren F1 and Lamborghini Diablo.
With 47 corners across almost 6.5 miles, the Crown Range in New Zealand is the country’s highest paved roadway at an elevation of 3,530 feet.
Which 90's Japanese Sports Car Would You Destroy?
It’s not every day that AutoGuide launches a new weekly feature. Today, however, is not just any day; it’s first installment of an interactive segment we call ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.
A successor to the iconic RX-7 sports car could be in the works using a new rotary-powered engine currently in development.
The RX-8′s days may be as limited as the Shinka, but the rotary engine isn’t. Mazda is still interested in furthering production of the Wankel, and they could have one ready by 2017 with Skyactiv technology.
During the gap, engineers will work on improving the rotary’s mileage and oil-eating capabilities, as well as improving reliability. The new rotary project had been scaled back during the recession, but senior officials are eager to continue developing it to fit with Mazda’s “zoom-zoom” image. It could go in the RX-7/RX-9 revival that’s been floating around for years, or it could even go in the MX-5 Miata. Either way, one thing’s for certain: they won’t give up on the triangle spinner.
Mileage is a big concern, but Mazda’s new Skyactiv system from its gasoline and diesel engines could make the jump over to the rotary. Skyactiv promises hybrid-like mileage from conventional powertrains, and some of its technology—direct injection, for starters—could easily be adapted. No more eating apex seals, hopefully.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
All aboard the speculation train! The rumors surrounding Mazda’s new RX-7 don’t stop coming, and with the demise of the RX-8, its a safe bet that Mazda will follow up their quirky four-door sports car with something more conventional.
Mazda is allegedly targeting the VW Scirocco as a rival for the new car, to be given the dubious “RX-9″ moniker. Reports say that a rotary in conjunction with an “electric turbocharger” (we hope they mean some kind of range extender and not the kind you buy on Ebay) should cure the rotary’s chief issues; low torque and loqw fuel economy.
Aesthetics-wise, the car is said to take some cues from the questionable “Nagare” design language, even though Mazda officially canned it.
If this is the case, we might be better off waiting for the all-new MX-5 and keeping our fingers crossed.
The Mazda RX8 has led a rich, full life as one of the finest sports cars you can buy for under $40,000. Never the quickest car in a straight line, the RX8 was always a dominant car in autocross, and a good way to put a smile on your face when blasting down a back road.
The RX8 was slated to exit the European market this year anyways, officially due to stringent Euro V emissions standards, but slow sales in North America have hastened its exit from our shores as well. If you still want one, the R3 model, with various suspension bits, Recaro seats and fancy wheels is the one to get, but deep discounts are sure to be had on virtually all models. Picking up a newRX8 for the price of a Civic Si is a realistic prospect depending on where you live.
In the mean time, speculation continues on what Mazda’s newest rotary project will be. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for an all-new RX7.
Mazda‘s last attempt at their RX-7 rotary sports car was a brilliant but deeply flawed effort. Performance and styling were top notch, but reliability issues and a high price tag meant that the car lasted less than five years in North America. The RX-8 that replaced it was a fine car in its own right, but the tame four-seater has forever lived in the shadow of its two-seater predecessor.
Motor Trend is reporting that the RX-7 is due for a revival, and while the performance capabilities will stay intact, the new car will be able to run on gas or diesel. While the rest of the automotive world abandoned the rotary engine long ago, Mazda has stood by the technology, and prototypes of the latest incarnation, dubbed the 16x, have apparently been able to use any number of fuels, even castor oil. Mazda is still refining a number of areas that previous rotaries have struggled with, including oil consumption and a lack of top-end power.
With the RX-8 growing long in the tooth, the new RX-7 should be a welcome replacement for the aging sports car, and a flagship for Mazda’s sporty line-up.