Mazda rotary engine technology lives on. Since the last rotary powered RX-8 sports car was retired in 2012 there has been much speculation on when we would see another Mazda rotary engine in production.
In 2017 Mazda celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the first rotary powered production vehicle. Even though rotary power had been benched, research and development has continued to refine the technology and adapt it to other fuel sources including diesel and hydrogen.
Kenichi Yamamoto who led the effort to mass produce the rotary engine passed away in December 2017 at age 95. Known as the architect of the Mazda rotary he directed development in the 1960’s and later became Mazda’s president in 1985 and chairman in 1987. In addition to his many accomplishments with rotary while president he paved the way for production of the Miata.
A teaser in 2015 at the Tokyo Motor show of a RX-9 concept car fitted with a Skyactiv-R rotary engine has kept hope alive for fans that another rotary sports car may be on the way. There is confirmation that rotary research continues and rumors from development managers that a next generation rotary engine sports car is in the pipeline.
Who knew that underneath Mazda’s Research and Development facility in Irvine, California there is a basement full of historic Mazda vehicles. Not too surprising that Mazda would preserve a museum of heritage cars, but these vehicles are not there just for display, they are maintained to be ready to drive.
For those who enjoy tinkering on classic vehicles, to be in charge of keeping Mazda’s Heritage Collection of about 80 cars road ready would be a dream come true. Mazda Motorsports Engineer Randy Miller has this dream job of curator, restoration artist, race car engineer, fabricator and maintenance mechanic.
Randy’s dad helped him work on his own cars that led to an automotive degree. After some time at Mazda’s service shop he became a R&D engineering technician that led to a full-time position with the Heritage Collection.
Mazda continues to push to make its vehicles stand out from the crowd. Allowing its designers to have more freedom than most manufacturers to inject life and soul into the vehicles they are creating. It is a philosophy Mazda calls KODO – soul of motion.
At Mazda’s Master Craft event in Los Angeles the similarities between Mazda design clay modelers and artisan bread makers became apparent. Unlike other car companies who only use computers in new vehicle design, Mazda’s modeled-by-hand design using clay is present in every step of the design process. Using clay models rather than computers and mathematics can make a car’s crisp exterior lines seemingly disappear, evoking emotion through its more fluid form instead of being “boxy and boring.” Artisan bakers agreed that “Like clay modeling, we shape every loaf by hand. It’s all about scale, shape and creating an out-of-this-world product.”
Mazda uses more clay than any other manufacturer in its KODO design process. KODO design is about “creating cars that embody the dynamic beauty of life – cars that visually suggest different expressions of this energy”. While the initial digital design model visualizes the fine details and specific materials of a vehicle, it is the sculpting from clay that brings it to life, something Mazda believes is impossible to replicate digitally.
For many people it is more a question of “what is it?” or “do I really have one?” then “do I really need to need to replace it?” For the last decade many of the vehicles on the road have a cabin air filter. It is there to help clean the incoming air into the cabin area. It is usually a pleated filter much like the engine air filter, but its job is to keep dust, pollen, and other fine particles out of the air we breathe inside the vehicle.
Since there is such a large amount of debris in the air these days it is important to check and replace this filter on a regular basis. Even more critical if there are individuals with allergies, asthma, or other health issues involved. Mitsubishi recommends replacing the filter every 15,000 miles or 12 months in normal conditions. It depends on the conditions in your area. Dusty or smoggy areas move the recommendation to inspecting your filter to every 3,750 miles or 3 months. Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s schedule.
The recently introduced C-HR (Coupe High-Rider) is a CUV (crossover utility vehicle) that comes with a pretty long list of standard features like alloy wheels, bucket seating, and 7-inch audio display, but still leaves room for some genuine Toyota accessories to customize it to your needs.
Toyota went out of its way to give the C-HR some unique sporty good looks and didn’t hold back on enhanced performance tweaks to the powertrain, suspension, and braking. Top that off with state of the art safety features like Pre-Collision Active Braking, Pedestrian Detection camera and radar, Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams to name a few and you might think you have it all, but let’s get back to the accessorizing essentials.
The Hyundai Tucson fuel cell crossover was introduced in 2014 as the first mass produced fuel cell electric vehicle in the U.S. Having driven over 3 million miles on California roads and highways it is estimated that instead of emitting over 1,140 tons of CO2 emissions they have emitted only clean water vapor.
2017 Tucson Fuel Cell
The current Tucson Fuel Cell CUV has a number of advantages over some other alternative fuels. The energy-rich hydrogen fuel provides an estimated driving range of 265 miles between fill-ups, similar to many gasoline vehicles. The Tucson Fuel Cell can be refilled with hydrogen in less than five minutes, about the same time as a typical gasoline vehicle. While it performs just as strongly as an internal combustion engine, its only emission is water. And it’s just as quiet as a standard electric vehicle while going farther on a single fuel fill-up versus a single electric full charge.
It was October 31, 1957 when Toyota opened its North American headquarters in a once Rambler dealership in Hollywood, California. With them came the first Japanese car to be exported to and sold in the mainland United States. The Toyopet Crown.
The Toyopet was not initially a success story. A few problems hampered its acceptance. Starting with the name, broken down both Toy and Pet left it hard to be taken seriously in the U.S. car market. While it performed alright on Japan’s poor quality road network, it struggled to keep pace on America’s smooth, fast-flowing blacktop. When it eventually got to 60mph, a speed that was rare in Japan, the car apparently shuddered so much the driver couldn’t see out of the rear-view mirror.
Mazda recently unveiled two concept models, the Mazda KAI CONCEPT and the Mazda VISION COUPE at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show. The new models are a continuance of Mazda’s new design philosophy: KODO – Soul of Motion. A philosophy to use design to breathe life to a car and make it more than a means of transportation or a mass of metal.
Mazda intends to go forward into future model designs with goal of bringing energy and rhythm to create even more elegant cars. The Mazda KAI CONCEPT compact hatchback features the next-generation SKYACTIV-X gasoline engine and advanced SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture. It boasts refinements in all areas of dynamic performance to produce a dramatically quieter, more comfortable ride and an enhanced performance feel. The KODO design features muscular, solid proportions and the use of reflections over the body sides to bring it to life.
Who needs a roof rack? Well, almost everyone has had a time where they just wished there was a little more room inside their vehicle. Whether it was heading to the beach, the ski slope, base camp, or grandma’s house, using a roof rack can be a welcome addition to free up some space for additional leg room or transporting oversize loads.
A genuine Mitsubishi roof rack base carrier gives you the ability to attach various carriers to your roof. A roof box or ski or bike carrier can free up interior space, but they require a roof rack to attach to. Some vehicles come from the factory with a full roof rack.
Some have raised side rails that go from front to back.
Some have flush side rails that go from front to back.
These just need cross bars that attach to them and go from side to side to complete the rack.
If you wondering whether you need something to protect against costly damage to your vehicle’s engine and transmission, a front skid plate might just be the ticket. Whether you are planning on off-roading or just want to be prepared for surprises in the roadway. They are designed to help protect the underbody of your vehicle from damage from flying stones, branches, ice chunks or other types of road debris.
Genuine Toyota front skid plates are constructed from a single piece of heavy duty stamped and formed silver powder coated aluminum. This material provides a uniform, durable, and high-quality finish. Rigorous CAD simulations conducted by Toyota engineers, in addition to real world testing, help to maximize protection and prevent vibration stress and noise issues. Each plate is made specifically for the year and model vehicle, so it won`t interfere with or block the cooling system, while providing cut outs for easy access to all maintenance points and vehicle tow hooks.