Mazda Minagi concept car uncovered before Geneva debut

January 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Like so many concept cars the Mazda Minagi may never see production but that doesn’t mean it’s not an important machine for the Japanese carmaker. The Minagi design will likely influence many of Mazda’s next-generation of production cars and one look at the front shows that Mazda’s new ‘Shinari’ design language is already in full bloom.

If the Minagi is produced, it will be positioned below the CX-7 within Mazda’s lineup. In fact, test mules for this new small CUV have already been spotted testing. Provisionally called the CX-5, Mazda is showing genuine intent to build a smaller crossover machine.

Little else is known about the Minagi concept vehicle at this stage but official information is expected to be released leading up to the Geneva Motor Show in March. Continue reading “Mazda Minagi concept car uncovered before Geneva debut” »

New 2012 Mazda BT-50 to have Dynamic Stability Control

December 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has just announced that the all-new 2012 BT-50 ute will be fitted with its own brand of stability and traction control technology – Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).

Mazda’s DSC system is already included as standard fare across the company’s passenger car range, but hasn’t been offered with the 2010 BT-50. The current model BT-50 does have Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, which increases stopping power while maintaining control of the vehicle.

Expected for sale in New Zealand at the end of next year, the next-gen BT-50 is currently undergoing testing in Australia, including calibration of the new DSC system.

“If you consider how the new BT-50 is likely to be used, it becomes clear just how many situations have to be taken into account to ensure that the Dynamic Stability Control system meets the needs of each and every driver,” Mazda Australia Engineering and Compliance Manager, Wayne Watson said.

“Mazda engineers have spent months calibrating and fine tuning the Dynamic Stability Control system to ensure maximum safety and durability.”

Check back for more news on the new Mazda BT-50 as it becomes available. Continue reading “New 2012 Mazda BT-50 to have Dynamic Stability Control” »

Mazda releases fresh images of 2011 BT-50 ute

December 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Over the ditch, Mazda Australia has just released a swag of new images for its upcoming 2011 BT-50. Unfortunately the Japanese carmaker is staying tight-lipped on the details like powertrain options and performance figures and an official launch date in NZ or Australia is yet to be announced.

The new BT-50 was officially unveiled a couple of months back at the Australian International Motor Show to a mixed reception with opinion polarized by the ute’s radical exterior styling. The production debut is expected sometime next year with both single and dual-cab variants in cab chassis and veilside configurations.

Despite the secrecy Mazda has revealed that production for the new BT-50 will begin in June 2011 and the range is expected to be diesel only. Mazda’s will be launching both its Sky-G petrol and Sky-D diesel engines in 2011, making it very likely the new BT-50 will be powered by the new Sky-D diesel engine.

Check out the new images of Mazda’s BT-50 in the gallery below. Continue reading “Mazda releases fresh images of 2011 BT-50 ute” »

Mazda getting formula right for next-gen rotary RX-9

November 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

More info is slowly leaking out about Mazda’s much speculated work on a rotary-powered successor to the old RX-7 and the current RX-8. Like usual, nothing has been officially confirmed but the new machine in development is believed to carry the RX-9 nameplate. It is also expected to ditch the the innovative but odd four-door layout of the current RX-8, and will make use of a reworked platfrom from the current model MX-5 roadster. But what all you rotor heads out there really want to know about is the new engine.

Called, at this stage, the 16X project, the new Renesis rotary engine is expected to grow in size considerably over the RX-8’s and come packing around 230kW — that’s significantly more power to play with than the 173kW that exists in the current car. But it’s not getting big power from the engine that is the tricky part, Mazda is hard at work keeping the engine as clean and efficient as possible. This is a necessity in these environmentally-friendly times, particularly as the current RX-8’s high fuel and oil consumption have driven it out of some markets already.

Stay tuned as we bring you more updates on Mazda’s progress in keeping the rotary engine alive.

Mazda teases new BT-50 ute interior before Sydney debut

October 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Leading up to Mazda’s all-new BT-50’s launch that will take place at next week’s 2010 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, a second teaser sketch has been released. This time, it’s the interior design of the new ute that we get a look at.

From the sketch, the cockpit looks more like a sports car than a utility vehicle,  featuring a modern design with a wrap-around dashboard layout and a ringed instrument panel with two prominent and deeply set gauges.

Mazda has said this about the new BT-50’s cabin: “The interior of the All-New Mazda BT-50 has been designed to complement its athletic and refined exterior design and offers a comfortable and sporty environment to rival Mazda’s current passenger car standard.”

The model was designed in partnership with Ford and its sister model the Ranger. The BT-50 will be both wider and longer than the current model, providing greater stability thanks to its wider track. Interior space will also benefit, with the rear seats likely to prove more spacious.

Mazda has revealed little in the way of technical details for the new BT-50, so far, although the new model is sure to be offered in dual-cab and king-cab form. The two companies recently announced plans to invest US$350 million in the AutoAlliance (AAT) plant in Thailand which will handle production of the BT-50.

The BT-50 will be joined in Sydney by its Ford brother, the new 2011 Ranger. Both utes are scheduled to go on sale globally in the second quarter of 2011.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the current model BT-50.

Mazda to debut next-gen BT-50 ute at Australian Motor Show

September 14th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has just announced that its brand new 2011 Mazda BT-50 utility will make its first appearance during next month’s Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Sydney.

Mazda released the above image as a teaser sketch of the new BT-50, with the striking styling inspired by Mazda’s current passenger-car range.

The model was designed in partnership with Ford and its sister model the Ranger. The BT-50 will be both wider and longer than the current model, providing greater stability thanks to its wider track. Interior space will also benefit, with the rear seats likely to prove more spacious.

Mazda has revealed little in the way of technical details for the new BT-50, so far, although the new model is sure to be offered in dual-cab and king-cab form. The two companies recently announced plans to invest US$350 million in the AutoAlliance (AAT) plant in Thailand which will handle production of the BT-50.

Scheduled to launch during Mazda’s press conference on October 15, the new BT-50 will be on view to the public afterwards.

Mazda’s next-gen SKY rotary heads into development

September 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The rotary engine can, at times, divide car enthusiasts, it has its serious fans who wouldn’t drive anything else but it also has its doubters. But however you look at it, Mazda’s rotary unit is a fascinating piece of engineering, brilliantly simple and compact but very inefficient and currently struggling to keep up with modern piston power.

Mazda knows if its next rotary engine is to have any chance of survival a radical redesign is required for it to achieve better fuel economy and less emissions while still offering what rotary fans really want – performance.

Mazda’s director of R&D, Seita Kanai, held a press conference in Germany this week, and announced that a new rotary engine is being designed or rather redesigned. Kanai said that the redesign was going as deep as the most fundamental elements of the rotary concept. He went on to say that the rotary remains important to Mazda as a point of uniqueness amongst the increasingly generic car market, but if it can’t meet current emissions targets and fuel economy regulations, it’ll have to be dropped.

While Kanai didn’t confirm any technical details, rumours about the new engine centre around a 1.6-liter displacement (up 0.3 liters from the current but soon-to-be-deceased RX-8’s rotary) and a power output of close to 300 horsepower (223kW). Some reports have suggested the boost in power and efficiency would come courtesy of forced induction, including using an electric supercharger.

Continue reading “Mazda’s next-gen SKY rotary heads into development” »

All New 2010 Mazda Shinari Concept Revealed

September 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has take the media by surprised with the unveiling of a new four-door coupe concept.