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20th Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda5
Will be rolled out globally across entire product line by 2015

In May of this year, President Barack Obama proposed a 35.5 mpg nationwide average fuel economy standard that would be achieved by 2016. The average for cars will be raised to 39 mpg, while the average for light trucks will be raised to 30 mpg.

Mazda is currently known for its line of sporty vehicles, but is currently lagging its competitors in fuel economy. To remedy that, the company is implementing a complete redesign of its four-cylinder engines that will see them paired with new small and light six-speed automatic transmissions.

The new direct-injection gasoline engines will have a combination of smaller displacement, higher power output, and greater efficiency. The fuel injector is placed in the combustion chamber of a direct-injection engine, as opposed to the intake valve in a conventional fuel-injected engine. Mazda is also combining its direct-injection engines with a new electric high-pressure fuel pump and variable intake and exhaust valve timing that will allow more optimal combustion in a wider rev range. The company plans to incorporate these developments into its rotary engines.

Seita Kanai, the head of Mazda's R&D department, said that the redesign of Mazda's 2.0 liter four-cylinder engines paired with the new transmissions would result in a fuel economy increase to 32 mpg from 22 mpg in the city. Highway fuel economy would increase to 42 mpg from 32 mpg.

While not confirming the use of dual-clutch technology, Kanai stated that the next-generation automatic transmission would provide the quick, direct shift quality of a double-clutch transmission system. "No slip means there won't be wasteful heat generation," enthused Kanai.

Idle-stop engine cut-off, regenerative braking, electric power steering, and electric water pumps are just some of the technologies also being considered for inclusion in the company's quest for fuel economy. If Mazda does decide to adopt these technologies across its entire production line, economies of scale could enable the company to bring them to market at a lower cost than other vehicle manufacturers. BMW has already implemented many of these technologies in its "EfficientDynamics" program.

Mazda was particularly enthusiastic last year about idle-stop technologies when it talked about its plans last year, but has been forced to scale back its hype. The Environmental Protection Agency doesn't account for the technology during its fuel economy testing, which can reduce fuel consumption by up to ten percent. Mazda doesn't want to foot the bill for installing it if it can't market it to consumers.

Weight reduction is also an important component of Mazda's plan. An additional 3-5 mpg could be achieved through the use of lighter structural materials and new bonding technologies. Mazda will also use its single nanotech catalyst, which reduces the need for expensive palladium and platinum in the catalytic converter by 70-90 percent.

There is a catch though to all of the new technologies though. Robert Davis, Senior Vice President of Mazda's North American Operations R&D, said that the new powertrains cannot be retrofitted to any of its existing product lines. Therefore, the new engines and transmissions will be incorporated into the company's new models as they are developed and introduced.

The redesigned MX-5 Miata convertible or Mazda5 are the most likely to integrate the new technologies first. The entire model lineup will be equipped with the new engines by 2015.
 
"We want to provide this technology to all owners, not just through a few eco-friendly vehicles," stated Kanai during a media briefing.

Mazda is also considering bringing new diesel engines to the North American market. However, it does not currently have an automatic transmission for diesel engines.



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Auto transmissions
By randomposter on 8/25/2009 8:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mazda is currently known for its line of sporty vehicles ... four-cylinder engines that will see them paired with new small and light six-speed automatic transmissions.

Sporty and auto don't mix.




RE: Auto transmissions
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/25/2009 8:56:51 AM , Rating: 5
Mercedes SLR...

And would you call a dual-clutch tranny an automatic as well? It is after all computer controlled and can be set into an auto-only mode.

If you include those, you're throwing out "sporty" cars like the Ferrari Enzo/430 Scuderia/etc, Bugatti Veyron, Nissan GTR, Audi R8, and just about any $100,000+ sports car/supercar.


RE: Auto transmissions
By callmeroy on 8/25/2009 9:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the over all advancements in auto transmission technologies --- just a little more development and you'll be hard pressed to tell any performance edge from a manual and and auto -- except from maybe the most skilled of manual drivers (let's face it speed shifting is a skill not all master, in fact most do horribly bad at).


RE: Auto transmissions
By Emma on 8/25/2009 9:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
There are plenty of twin-clutch auto's that will beat the manual version no matter how fast you are at shifting. They change gears in 100's of a second, transferring torque immediately to the next gear.


RE: Auto transmissions
By BrandtTheMan on 8/25/2009 10:07:20 AM , Rating: 4
I'd much rather have a older sporty car with a regular manual tranny... there's more of a connection between the car and the driver.


RE: Auto transmissions
By axeman1957 on 8/25/2009 10:17:51 AM , Rating: 2
I have always owned a manual, so I agree, but what i think sounds pretty sweet are the cars with a CVT. One gear that can constantly keep you in the power band durring acceleration then gear way down for maintaining speed... can't wait till they get just a bit more reliable


RE: Auto transmissions
By gstrickler on 8/25/2009 12:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
CVTs are very efficient, but they're not great at handling very high torque or power. Honda proved they can handle more torque and power than previously thought, but no one has produced one that can handle the power and torque you're likely to find in a sporty/sports car. Maybe one day, but not now.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Suntan on 8/25/09, Rating: -1
RE: Auto transmissions
By Steve1981 on 8/25/2009 3:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i: 6 speed is rated for 19/27mpg while the CVT is rated for 23/31mpg.

Nissan Sentra 2.0: 6 speed is rated for 24/31mpg while the CVT is rated for 26/34mpg.


RE: Auto transmissions
By matt0401 on 9/7/2009 2:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't even know Nissan's run-of-the-mill family cars had optional CVT's available. The Versa, Sentra, and Altima all have CVT options. That's impressive that Nissan would be bold enough to try to market that.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/25/2009 1:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the CVT in the new maxima felt pretty solid/responsive, especially when in the sporty mode or using the shifters. I think it has almost 300hp.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Starcub on 8/26/2009 11:35:23 AM , Rating: 2
The new hybrid busses our county is buying also have CVT transmissions. I imagine their engines generate quite a bit of power and torque.


RE: Auto transmissions
By on 8/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Auto transmissions
By FITCamaro on 8/25/2009 10:54:16 AM , Rating: 3
Automatics are always still heavier than manuals. And rob more power.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/25/2009 10:58:41 AM , Rating: 5
If I'm not mistaken, there is no "robbing of power" with dual-clutch trannies and they are almost always faster than their manual counterparts (which is usually why most high-end sports cars come with them).

Now traditional automatics as you say -- that's a different story, especially with weight. However, IIRC, isn't the standard Corvette (base model) faster with an auto than it is with a manual?


RE: Auto transmissions
By inperfectdarkness on 8/26/2009 2:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
yes.

but not only that, the c6 mtx corette was compare to an slk350 atx--and the slk was 0.10 sec faster in the 1/4. this, dispite being 150lbs heavier, 50 less hp, and 45 less lbs torque than the corvette.

in fact, all top-level drag racers use atx transmissions. if anyone uses a manual...it's most likely a sequential. conventional "H" geared mtx's are woefully mis-suited to the task any more.

don't get me wrong, i can understand why some people like rowing through gears. for me, i'd rather not have to do it while navigating stop & go traffic.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Spuke on 8/26/2009 5:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but not only that, the c6 mtx corette was compare to an slk350 atx--and the slk was 0.10 sec faster in the 1/4.
Dual clutch trannys are not the same as traditional automatics.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/dual-clutch-transmis...


RE: Auto transmissions
By Fireshade on 8/28/2009 9:26:00 AM , Rating: 2
Oh come on, please don't call a dual clutch transmission an automatic transmission. It's still the driver who decides when the thing shifts gear. That hardly qualifies as "automatic".


RE: Auto transmissions
By Finnkc on 8/25/2009 10:14:59 AM , Rating: 2
Race spec sequential gear boxes with automatic clutches are not even close to the same as the traditional automatic transmission in your grandmothers Chevy.

that being said ... it is about controlling the relationship between the engine and the wheels ... heal and toe, match reving, double clutching ... all skills people who drive automatics will never know.


RE: Auto transmissions
By dubldwn on 8/25/2009 12:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
For an engaging and enjoyable drive, I really need a third pedal, "dual clutch" or not.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Jeffk464 on 8/25/2009 11:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
I drive a tractor trailer and am all too familiar with double clutching and manually matching gear speeds(no synchros) and I can tell you it sucks.


RE: Auto transmissions
By tastyratz on 8/25/2009 10:57:30 AM , Rating: 3
We are walking a line here Brandon,
The problem is intelligence. No automatic transmission can ever anticipate a drivers next move fully, they are always reactionary by nature after the driver has already begun. While new transmissions have improved this by more accurate modeling, they will ALWAYS be a step behind. This leaves something to be wanted in the car/driver connection.

While new high end expensive sports cars are often equipped with no holds barred automatic transmissions - the people driving those cars are generally not true race car drivers and rich yuppies who want the race car driver experience. Taylor to your audience and you have a car that can bring 90% of drivers to 90% capacity instead of 10% of drivers to 100% capacity.
While auto transmissions today are faster shifting, etc - they are again still only reactionary. REAL manual transmission cars are much better than that corolla 5 speed - ecu programming (decel fuel cut, etc) and drivetrain weight are largely responsible for generic consumer grade cars and slow shifting.


RE: Auto transmissions
By bldckstark on 8/25/2009 12:34:45 PM , Rating: 3
Many of the people posting here are confusing fast automatic transmissions with dual clutch manuals. A dual clutch transmission is not an automatic transmission. It has a clutch that must be used at starts and stops. Shifting is still done manually by the driver. They are used in the F1 series among others, and high line sports cars such as Ferrari.

A paddle shifting automatic transmission can be very close in shift time to a dual clutch manual, but it still loses power to the hydraulic system required to perform the slip and lockup of the gears. It does not have a clutch, and it has thus far always been slower than a comparable dual clutch manual transmission.


RE: Auto transmissions
By bldckstark on 8/25/2009 12:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I decided to re-inform myself on the current state of DCT's and found that I was sadly mis-informed. Please ignore my previous post.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Jeffk464 on 8/26/2009 1:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
True but most cars now lock up the torque converter when not shifting or at least once up to cruising speed. This really cuts down on the inefficiency of autos.


RE: Auto transmissions
By GlobleWarmingisbunk on 8/26/2009 1:22:46 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing can replace the feel a manual transmission. It is the perfect blend of man and machine.

quote:
If you include those, you're throwing out "sporty" cars like the Ferrari Enzo/430 Scuderia/etc, Bugatti Veyron, Nissan GTR, Audi R8, and just about any $100,000+ sports car/supercar.


What about:

Koenigsegg CCX, Saleen S7.


RE: Auto transmissions
By Spuke on 8/26/2009 2:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And would you call a dual-clutch tranny an automatic as well?
Those are not traditional autos (you know torque converter). Those are manual tranys with auto clutches. BTW, the Mercedes "dual clutch" is a traditional auto with a clutch replacing the torque converter.


RE: Auto transmissions
By drycrust on 8/25/2009 2:54:16 PM , Rating: 1
I beg to differ.
For maximum acceleration (which, apart from racing rules, is really the only reason people need a manual transmission in a sports car) the right time to change gear isn't just a matter of getting the engine to the maximum revs, which is what a lot of drivers think, but rather to the point where the torque of the wheels at the next gear is greater than the torque in the current gear. The sports car engine is designed to have maximum torque at high rpm, so getting the engine to a high rpm does give maximum acceleration, but only because that is the way that engine is designed. If the engine isn't designed to give maximum torque at high rpm, and this is common in diesels (and probably in this car as well, since it is using similar technology), then to pushing the engine to maximum revs won't achieve maximum acceleration.
A good auto gearbox computer is able to measure things like engine power output, vehicle load, grip on the road, etc, and to map it against every gear for that speed and acceleration, so it knows not only when to change, but whether to go (in this case, for maximum acceleration) to just the next sequential gear (which is what most drivers think) or to skip one or two gears.


RE: Auto transmissions
By andrinoaa on 8/25/2009 5:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think everyone missed the elephant in the room. Mazda plans to role this tech stuff out in 2015. Everyone else has it or will have it next year, doh. Lots of marketing BS.


Nothing new
By Masospaghetti on 8/25/2009 10:05:31 AM , Rating: 3
Props to Mazda for using these technologies..but other companies (GM in particular) already have production models with direct injected, dual VVT engines with 6-speed auto transmissions. The Equinox, SRX, and LaCrosse so far have these technologies.

GM should get credit when they actually do something right




RE: Nothing new
By FITCamaro on 8/25/2009 10:56:12 AM , Rating: 3
But American companies suck.

PS. - Still not gonna buy a GM until its not Gubbament Motors.


RE: Nothing new
By theapparition on 8/26/2009 10:21:55 AM , Rating: 1
Sell your GM GTO yet, or would you just like to continue with they hypocracy?

Don't give me the crap about buying it before the bailout, or that it's Aussie, or any other backward BS reasoning. Make a stand if you feel so strongly, otherwise shut the hell up.

Me, I'll continue buying the cars that I want. And unfortunately, the only car I'm interested in is sold by GM. It's scheduled for a Oct museum delivery and it has a ZR1 badge on it.


RE: Nothing new
By sprockkets on 8/25/2009 2:44:49 PM , Rating: 5
Mazda beat GM to 6 speeds in the Miata and 6, and with the 3, a 5 speed. Beat out Honda too.

Currently no one has a 6 speed AUTO in a sub-compact. That is what you need to keep in mind for the comparison.


RE: Nothing new
By Smartless on 8/25/2009 5:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I love my Mazda 6 but so far all the engines save for a few are made by Ford but slightly modified by Mazda.


RE: Nothing new
By sprockkets on 8/25/2009 6:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well, as a general rule, Mazda makes all the 4 cyl engines and Ford makes the 6 cyl engines, because Ford made crummy 4 cyl engines and Mazda made crummy 6 cyl engines.


RE: Nothing new
By Davelo on 8/26/2009 12:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
Mazda also makes crappy trannys. I had a Ford Ranger with a Ford V-6 which was a great engine. The thing was bullet proof. The manual tranny, made by Mazda, went out rather quickly and began making a howling noise. My friend's Ranger with same tranny also began making the same noise. I heard one going past me on the road making the exact same noise.


RE: Nothing new
By Spuke on 8/26/2009 6:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Currently no one has a 6 speed AUTO in a sub-compact. That is what you need to keep in mind for the comparison.
And neither will Mazda until 2015.


RE: Nothing new
By vtohthree on 8/26/2009 1:00:07 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, EXCEPT that MAZDA ALREADY HAS DIRECT INJECTION. They've had one out for several years now.

Ever heard of the 2.3 DISI? It's the motor in the Mazdaspeed3 and the discontinued Mazdaspeed6. In fact it was rated as one of Ward's top 10 engines in the world:
http://wardsautoworld.com/ar/auto_story_behind_war...

So no, GM isn't ahead of Mazda. What Mazda is touting is that they are going to put these in ALL of their cars by 2015(so they claim), and that their DI engines will be very efficient. Mazda wasn't stating that they are finally going to release their first DI(as they've had them for a while now...I believe even longer than GM has). GM has not stated that they will make their whole lineup DI, that's the difference.


RE: Nothing new
By Spuke on 8/26/2009 7:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
as they've had them for a while now...I believe even longer than GM has
It was close. Essentially GM and Mazda released DI at the same time. I considered a Mazdaspeed3 while I was waiting for my Solstice GXP to come in.


engine shutoff at idle
By FITCamaro on 8/25/2009 9:21:39 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with this is that its then much harder for the engine to have time to warm up to its proper operating temp. Starting an engine produces more wear on an engine than anything. While it makes sense in a car like the Prius where the gas motor isn't necessarily needed all the time, for a gas only car, it would prematurely wear the motor. Not to mention you're going to need a more expensive, heavy duty starter.

My question on all these things they're talking about is how much is it going to affect the cost of the vehicle. All those things don't come cheap. Especially lighter, stronger materials than they already use.




RE: engine shutoff at idle
By gcouriel on 8/25/2009 10:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
you are correct, however, given the warranty demands placed on companies, i would imagine that this will be one of the key things they work on. I know BMW's efficient dynamics program doesn't use the auto-stop until the engine is at operating temps. additionally, the engines are designed with this technology in mind (no retrofits).


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By Dribble on 8/25/2009 10:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
However engine oil has been improving steadily to minimise damage, and as with most things if it's going to be a bigger problem then designers will try much harder to work around it.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By rudolphna on 8/25/2009 11:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of how good the oil is, when the engine is shut off, oil always leaks backward past the oil filters ADBV, and you have empty oil passages. No oil in the crank bearings for a few seconds is bad. I think something like 40% of engine wear is attributed to startup wear.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By gstrickler on 8/25/2009 12:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
Most hybrids employ idle stop now, it's not well known yet, but Toyota and Honda have proven it can be reliable and durable.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/25/2009 1:13:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Starting an engine produces more wear on an engine than anything. While it makes sense in a car like the Prius where the gas motor isn't necessarily needed all the time, for a gas only car, it would prematurely wear the motor.


What the hell are you talking about, Fit? Have you ever actually driven a hybrid car? The gas engine is engaged all the time. It is constantly turning off, and then back on during acceleration from a stop sign or light. And this isn't the volt we're talking about, the engine engages the drive train. Just because there are some instances where the engine does not turn on until 5-10mph during intentionally slow rolling, instead of its typically instant application on normal gas pedal depression, does not mean that this somehow wears the engine less.

There is no difference in the auto start/stop implemented in a normal vs. hybrid car - the theoretical wear is the same and the engines have been proving highly durable. Actually, I believe the GMC pseudo-hybrid truck line does this - using the battery to do nothing other than shut off at idle. No catastrophes reported yet.

Subsequent posters are correct about engine wear being negligible when used after being warmed up (which comes quicker now), new design, and better oil.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By JediJeb on 8/25/2009 4:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
Most large trucks have been using idle stop for years now. If the truck is sitting still for a set time the engine turns off, and I believe the time is programmable. It is mostly used by companies to keep costs down from when some drivers leave the engine running while they make a delivery or go eat and such.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By Jeffk464 on 8/26/2009 1:22:12 AM , Rating: 2
I think companies do it to piss us drivers off.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By Alexstarfire on 8/26/2009 4:04:27 AM , Rating: 2
I find it sad that not 1, nor 2, but THREE people don't know how the Prius actually works. Now what I say isn't necessarily true for all hybrids, but it is for the Prius. First off, no, the engine does not have to reach operating temperature before it'll shut off the engine. Secondly, there is a larger starting motor as to reduce wear from starting the ICE. Third, the oil does not drain when the engine is off unless the car is also turned off.

And actually, an auto-stop is quite different from the way a car like the Prius drives, only turning off when at a stop compared to turning off when no power is needed (like coasting). It was easily the first thing I noticed when I had to drive my dad's Civic Hybrid.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/26/2009 11:00:00 AM , Rating: 2
Right, but the point of the intial poster was that the auto-stopping of the engine would do the damage than that it doing so is SOMEHOW different for engine wear in a hybrid vs a regular car with auto-stop. Its the starting and stopping that would theoretically create the concern, not whether it occasionally kicks on at 5-10mph or turns off during cruising. Its the re-engagement that is of concern- and is obviously something they dealt with properly.


RE: engine shutoff at idle
By Jeffk464 on 8/25/2009 11:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
nope, toyota engineers being the engineers they are took this into account. The engine doesn't cut out until operating temperature has been reached and the oil pump is designed specially for these conditions. Common how often do Toyota manufacturers screw up.


More practical
By Ristogod on 8/25/2009 8:47:22 AM , Rating: 5
Nice to see some of these companies not rushing into drastic changes. Taking their time and focusing on more simple methods to achieve results is much better than going hybrid or electric.




RE: More practical
By Emma on 8/25/2009 9:30:10 AM , Rating: 1
I agree. They are taking the VW approach to fuel efficiency without compromising on performance, practicality and affordability. The Golf 118TSI is a perfect example of what can be achieved. It uses 6.2 litres/100km, whilst the Mazda3 uses 7.9 litres/100km.


RE: More practical
By bespoke on 8/25/2009 2:16:16 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It uses 6.2 litres/100km, whilst the Mazda3 uses 7.9 litres/100km.


The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.


RE: More practical
By STILTO on 8/25/2009 4:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
(6.2 litres) / (100 km) = 37.937836 miles per gallon


RE: More practical
By Jeffk464 on 8/25/2009 11:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
No reason to do either or, all of these technologies can be incorporated into a car. But I have to agree if same mileage and one car is hybrid and other is not, I'm going for the non-hybrid. One of the greatest advantages with the hybrid is getting alot of your energy back when braking, no way you can do this with a conventional car.


RE: More practical
By Starcub on 8/26/2009 12:04:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Nice to see some of these companies not rushing into drastic changes. Taking their time and focusing on more simple methods to achieve results is much better than going hybrid or electric.

Your kidding right? The only reason they are making the changes they are is because govt. got involved, so now they have no choice.

The statement Mazda made regarding it's descision to exclude auto-stop tech is proof that most companies are bottom line focused assuming that the consumer doesn't care (not that it matters). They could easily use "auto-stop" as a selling point to differentiate their product regardless whether or not the EPA incorporates it into their mileage figures.

Amazing how now the "it can't be done" crowd is being silenced under the new regulations. All the sudden we're seeing new cars being developed with 30% higher fuel efficiency, using what is now state of the art tech.


RE: More practical
By Fireshade on 8/28/2009 10:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
And so it is! *Applause*

Perhaps the "can't be done" crowd is powered by the effective lobby of the car industry to prevent investments in innovative technologies.


Fix the RX-8
By Rhl on 8/25/2009 3:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
More specifically, change out that awful rotary engine. That oil-burning chipmunk is what ruins the RX-8's appeal: having to check your oil at every gas station and the incredibly bad mileage just drags the RX-8 down into the realm of subpar.

I'd much rather see a turbocharged I4 or a nice V6 in the RX-8, as the shell of the car is beautiful. The design of the car really is sexy, and having the pullaway doors for easy access to the rearseats is sweet. In fact, how great would the RX-8 be with the turbocharged Mazdaspeed 3 engine? Very sweet indeed.




RE: Fix the RX-8
By sprockkets on 8/25/2009 4:47:22 PM , Rating: 3
You haven't driven an RX-8, have you? It isn't about power, it's about weight. Weight is the enemy of any sports car. You can put all the power you want into a car, but all that weight will suck the joy out of driving it. Oh driving in a straight line is nice, but that isn't fun in the turns. In addition, the rotary engine is placed well behind the front wheels and lower than a V6 ever could, and contributes to its awesome handling.

Try getting 230hp out of any 1.3l engine.

You also don't know that it is set to be replaced by a larger yet lighter 16X Renesis with direct injection and less oil usage.

But, if you want the best V6 powered sports car, get a Nissan 370Z.


RE: Fix the RX-8
By KillaKilla on 8/25/2009 7:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
the best V6 sports car is the GT-R, by the same company.

Also Rotary engines are incomparable to piston engines since they act rather differently, as anyone who's driven an RX-7/8 can attest.


RE: Fix the RX-8
By sprockkets on 8/25/2009 10:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
What about the Porsche flat 6?

Just to clarify then, I meant in its price class. Obviously the GT-R isn't in the same price range as a RX-8.


RE: Fix the RX-8
By phu5ion on 8/26/2009 1:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
Nor is a Porsche. And think about the placement of the engine on a Porsche, low and hanging off the back end of the car. There is a reason why Porsche drivers live (and die) by the mantra; slow in, fast out.


RE: Fix the RX-8
By ul1ul1ul1 on 8/26/2009 9:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
Wankel engine has some serious advantages over piston engines, by design. Mazda believes in this and it is the only major car manufacturer that invests into it and keeps pushing the limit, generation after generation.

That's why I think RX-8 with Renesis is more sweet than any other boring car with same old piston engine that everybody else would've done. Sure it has some drawbacks but who cares, there is no other car that feels the same.


RE: Fix the RX-8
By phu5ion on 8/26/2009 1:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what you are talking about. The oil consumption is by design to lubricate the inner workings of the engine, and only consumes about a quart per 3000 miles (I think it's actually less on the 8, but that's my experience with my RX-7s).

As far as putting another engine in there, there is no way to place a V6 or even an I4 as low and towards the center of the car as a rotary engine. Doing so completely ruins the driving dynamics of the RX-8, which is meant to be a drivers car.

Finally, if you are worried about the mileage go get yourself a Prius, because this is obviously too much car for you.


RE: Fix the RX-8
By Rhl on 8/26/2009 3:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
Please. I've driven the RX-8 and it just isn't that great. I drive an RSX-S and an M3, and even my RSX competes well with the RX-8 at the track. And yet my RSX-S averages over 35 MPG on the commute. Even my M3 (E46 '05) gets better mileage than an RX-8, and it'll blow the tires off any RX-8, and has several times. ;)

I'll just stick to my 'boring' piston-rod engines.


Why all the rush all of a sudden?
By sigmatau on 8/25/2009 3:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine what would have happened if the current administration didn't raise the numbers to take affect so soon. How long do you think the free market would have taken to get all the technologies mentioned in the article to be used by one car company that doesn't use any of them? 20 years? More?

They probably would have been putting around adding a new technology every 5 years. Now they have to add more than 10 new techs that will make their cars more fuel efficient.

Credit goes to the current adminitration.




RE: Why all the rush all of a sudden?
By Steve1981 on 8/25/2009 4:57:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
How long do you think the free market would have taken to get all the technologies mentioned in the article to be used by one car company that doesn't use any of them? 20 years? More?


Depends on the price of gas, as that determines the demand for fuel efficient vehicles.

quote:
Credit goes to the current adminitration.


For what? It doesn't take much effort to say "make cars more fuel efficient". It takes a lot of effort to make it so, and it will likely end up costing consumers more than had the market acted according to demand.


RE: Why all the rush all of a sudden?
By Starcub on 8/26/2009 12:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For what? It doesn't take much effort to say "make cars more fuel efficient". It takes a lot of effort to make it so, and it will likely end up costing consumers more than had the market acted according to demand.

A lot of that effort has already been done. Many of the tech's Mazda is now looking at incorporating are state of the art. The tech's were pioneered by companies like Honda and Toyota. There are some new advancements, but just like the state of the art stuff, they will pay for themselves over time. The govt. provided additional incentives (in the form of regulation and financial incentives) for getting efficiency to market sooner, using environmental concerns to counter corporate irresponsibility.


RE: Why all the rush all of a sudden?
By Steve1981 on 8/26/2009 12:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
What can I say, I'm not especially convinced of a need for government controls on our vehicles gas mileage as a counter for "corporate irresponsibility". By and large, the free market does a good job of implementing things when they are cost effective to do so. Government mandates run counter to that. As I stated before: as fuel prices rise, demand for fuel efficient vehicles go up, and the technologies in question become more cost effective to implement.


By Starcub on 9/17/2009 11:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
You're theorizing about a 'free market'. Such a thing does not exist. As Bill Gates said: 'the standard is what gets sold off the shelf'. Companies go through a lot of trouble to ensure that they control as much market share as possible. This means that they engage in non-competitive business practices, like entering in to exclusive arragments with suppliers and vendors. The effect is to artificially interfere with the 'free and open market'. They can put whatever they want on the shelf and people will have to buy it. This is, to a certain extent tolerated by law since companies argue that they are required to generate a return for their shareholders.

When a company establishes itself in a particular market, they do whatever they can to ensure that they remain in control of their market. That's the reality -- and it's hardly a "free" market.

quote:
As I stated before: as fuel prices rise, demand for fuel efficient vehicles go up, and the technologies in question become more cost effective to implement.

Just because demand for a product increases, that doesn't mean that the company will determine that the product will be more profitable than what are already offering. As I implied, there is more to profitability than the price consumers are willing to pay. There are a variety of factors that must be considered that contribute to the cost of production.

Often times companies (and their government representatives) find that they have entered into arrangements that, while giving them an advantage in producing a particular product, at the same time present barriers to change that hinder them. So they have to deal with risk, and they often do this to the detriment of the consumer. Most companies today are bottom line focused, and they feel they have to be in order to compete in the market exchange.


By celticbrewer on 8/26/2009 3:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Credit goes to the current adminitration.


Credit goes to the huge jack in gas prices about 2 years ago.

If anything, credit may go to the administration of California, but surely not the feds.


Mazdaspeed MX-5?
By Noya on 8/25/2009 10:21:57 AM , Rating: 1
Is Mazda ever going to put their 2.3l turbo in the MX-5 and give us a relatively lightweight, RWD sports car for less than $30k?




RE: Mazdaspeed MX-5?
By dubldwn on 8/25/2009 12:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
I remember the last time Mazda dropped a turbo charger in the Miata the power output was less than spectacular. I think Mazda claimed it wouldn't be able to take much more - surprising considering some of the souped Miatas I've seen. It would be nice to see DI and a turbo on the RX-8, too, if they could keep the cost down.


RE: Mazdaspeed MX-5?
By sprockkets on 8/25/2009 2:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
No. The 2.3 needs to be transversely mounted, and the fuel pump doesn't clear the firewall without serious modifications to the body of the car.

Last gen they turbo'ed the 2.0l anyhow, but the updated non turbo version puts out the about the same anyway.


yada yada yada
By danobrega on 8/25/2009 2:27:31 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares about what will car company A or B do. Want to buy an efficient car? Ask yourself what exists now.

There are some tools that can help us:

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/fuelConSea...




SIgh
By justniz on 8/27/2009 2:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of a blatant prius knockoff, Why don't big manufacturers do something truly innovative for a change and get rid of the petrol engine entirely.
We need an affordable and sporty electric car that isn't butt-ugly. Think affordable tesla rather than rebadged prius.
The mazda 5 looks butt-ugly. I'd call it bland and boring but that would be making it sound better than it is.




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