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It looks like Toyota is going to have a little more zoom-zoom in the future. The giant Japanese automaker has struck a deal with Mazda to use its Skyactiv engines for the possible replacement to the Yaris. The new subcompact will be built under contract by Mazda at its new factory in Mexico.
Keishi Egawa, CEO of Mazda in Mexico, told Automotive News that Toyota would be responsible for the interior and exterior design and would allocate 50,000 subcompacts per year to Toyota of the factory's 230,000-unit capacity. Production of the new model will begin between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016. Toyota has not confirmed whether the presumed Yaris replacement would also share other components with Mazda.
An official production date for the next Mazda2 hasn't been set yet, but it's expected around the second half of 2014, according to Automotive News. Mazda also hasn't said what version of the Skyactiv is going into the little hatchback. While the Hazumi concept, which likely previews the next 2, is using a new Skyactiv-D 1.5 diesel, this powerplant is unlikely for the US version.
The deal seems to be an ultimate vindication of Mazda's promise that Skyactiv would allow for class-leading, fuel-efficient engines. "You can't out-Toyota Toyota and you can't out-Honda Honda. You've got to be you," said Mazda USA's director of communications Jeremy Barnes to AutoblogGreen in 2011. Now, it has the world's largest automaker striking a deal to borrow its tech.Permalink | Email this | Comments
To say the 2014 Geneva Motor Show was packed full of news is an understatement as big as the show's home at the Palexpo convention center. Despite everything that we were able to cover during this year's show, there's still more coming out of Switzerland, including the announcement of the finalists for the 2014 World Car of the Year Awards.
We reported on the original list of finalists over three weeks ago, and now, that initial list has been pared down to three finalists for each of the five awards. The finalists were announced at a press conference by frequent Autoblog contributor and co-chair of the awards, Matt Davis (above).
The finalists for the overall title of 2014 World Car of the Year are the Audi A3, the BMW 4 Series and the Mazda3. The World Luxury Car of the Year will be either the Bentley Flying Spur, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, while the Performance Car of the Year will be awarded to the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the Ferrari 458 Speciale or the Porsche 911 GT3 (which, um, yeah...).
Rounding out the trophy contenders are the finalists for World Green Car of the Year, which include the Audi A3 Sportback G-Tron and Audi E-Gas, the BMW i3 and the Volkswagen XL1. Finally, World Car Design of the Year will be contested by the BMW i3, Mazda3 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The winners will be announced in April, at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. Scroll down for the official press release from the World Car of the Year committee.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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The official photos of Mazda's Hazumi concept leaked out yesterday, but we have finally gotten to see it in real life at the Geneva Motor Show. Our view is that its Kodo lines looks as good on the diminutive car's sheet metal as they did in photos.
The Hazumi was designed to appear to be bursting with energy, and it seems to deliver. While Mazda refuses to actually say that this is the concept for the next Mazda2, it makes it clear that the little hatchback is "foreshadowing Mazda's next-generation subcompact car." We can all read between the lines.
Hazumi also introduces the new Skyactiv-D 1.5-liter diesel engine but details about it are scant at the moment. The specs for the engine are still unannounced, but the company promises that it is both very efficient and has lots of torque for its size. Mazda is also promising that its Mazda Connect infotainment system will be available in the car too. Scroll down for the brief press release a brace of videos that celebrate the tiny concept's arrival.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The official images Mazda Hazumi concept, which previews the next-generation Mazda2, have leaked out from Chinese website Auto.sohu.com ahead of its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
The subcompact, four-door hatchback shows off Mazda's Kodo design language in its smallest size yet. Hazumi means "bound" or "spring up" in Japanese, and it is meant to look like it is packed with energy. It is a very attractive little concept and hopefully points to a more stylish face for the next-generation Mazda2.
Mazda has not unveiled the full details about the concept yet, but in a previous release, it said for the car is using a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine. While Mazda has not officially said that the Hazumi shows the next Mazda2, it did say in its earlier release that it "points the way to the future" for the brand's small cars. Reading between the lines isn't too difficult, then.
Click through the 42-image gallery to get the early scoop on Mazda's hot, little hatch.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Alfa giveth and Alfa taketh away. With apologies to Job (he has gone through a lot, after all), that's how things are looking at the Italian automaker - whether it's the promise of new products or its impending return to the North American market. But it's especially true when it comes to new roadsters.
While Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil the 4C Spider at the Geneva Motor Show this week, reports are now suggesting that its other roadster project is being called into question. That project is a joint venture between Fiat and Mazda, which was set to produce a version of its next MX-5 Miata as an Alfa Romeo, and was even changing the design to accommodate Alfa's requirements.
Now it appears, however, that the whole project in doubt. The problem seems to stem from Sergio Marchionne's pronouncements that, as long as he's in charge, there won't be an Alfa Romeo built outside of Italy.
The principal poses some problems, but also leaves some windows open. For one, it could mean that the Alfa project would be postponed until after Marchionne retires, but that's not expected to happen any time soon. For another, it could mean that the Alfa roadster would be developed by Mazda and based on its architecture, but assembled back in Italy - although the deal is said to call for Mazda to do the manufacturing. The prospect that our colleagues at at Automotive News Europe are betting on, however, is that Marchionne will switch its commitment to Mazda to another brand.
Eliminating Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia as possibilities, ANE figures the project could be transferred to either Fiat or the Abarth performance brand. Bertone's Fiat Barchetta concept looked promising in 2007, and Abarth was long rumored to get its own roadster - and both manufacture outside of Italy as it is. But for that matter, we wonder why - with Fiat and Chrysler now under the same umbrella - it couldn't be done instead as a Dodge or SRT. The Copperhead concept of 1997 and the Demon of 2008 did show some promise, after all. What do you think?
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To say that the Mazda3 is a vital product for Mazda would be one heck of an understatement. In fact, the model line accounts for about 30 percent of the manufacturer's sales. Fortunately for Mazda, they're selling well.
These days, the Japanese automaker is building the Mazda3 (known domestically as the Axela) in Japan, China, Thailand and, as of last month, in Mexico. The company's expanded global production capacity has helped Mazda reach four million units of the Mazda3 sold around the world since the first model was introduced over ten and a half years ago.
Over the course of that decade since its introduction in June 2003, Mazda has gone through three generations of Mazda3, the newest model benefiting from the company's Skyactiv technology and even encompassing a hybrid model in the Japanese Domestic Market.Permalink | Email this | Comments