Who Knew? – Mazda’s Sustainable Earth by 2030

Mazda has a goal to create a future in which people and cars coexist with the Earth. This long-term plan for technology development, which they are calling Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030, includes innovative technologies and a partnership with Toyota.

The vision includes perfecting the internal combustion engine, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and introducing electrification technologies.


Mazda has reinvented the gasoline engine, being the first to successfully use compression ignition and a supercharger to increase engine efficiency by 30 percent and torque by 10 to 30 percent. This technology allows this gasoline engine to outperform diesel fuel efficiency while also lowering emissions.

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Do You Need It? – Moonroof Wind Deflector

A moonroof allows you to enjoy the sunshine and open air experience. A negative to this experience is the wind turbulence, noise, and direct overhead sunlight caused by this unprotected opening.  Is there anything that might help this situation? Oh, never fear, a moonroof wind deflector is just the ticket for coping with these annoyances.


While a moonroof provides the pleasant open air feeling, it can also turn the passenger compartment into a wind tunnel complete with rushing air filled with questionable debris and a freight train level of noise that can make calm thought or conversation impossible. A moonroof wind deflector can direct much of this torrent of rushing air over the moonroof opening preventing the hair tangling and making quiet conversation possible.

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Do you Need It? – Truck Bed Step

Do you really need an additional step to get access to your truck bed? No doubt it would be nice to have an easy way to reach into your truck bed, but a step stool or log round might get the job done. Well if you are looking for a simple, hands-free way to add a step up to your bed, Toyota’s BedStep might be the answer.


The BedStep stows neatly under the rear bumper. When not in use it is mostly out of sight and out of the way. A spring-loaded cam allows it to flip out ready for use with the nudge of the foot. Another nudge can flip it back under the bumper when done using it. It’s unique side-angle movement provides access to the step whether the tailgate is up or down.




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Who Knew? – Mazda Rotary Engine Lives On

Who knew? – It’s the 50th anniversary of the Mazda rotary engine. Mazda is the only carmaker to mass-produce and bring to market the rotary engine. Had it not been for the uniqueness of the rotary engine, there would probably be no Mazda. In the 1950s and 1960s, Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry wanted to streamline the number of carmakers. Thinking that bigger manufacturers would be more likely to compete with US and European heavyweights, Mazda was afraid they would be vulnerable to a forced merger.

But a carmaker pioneering a bold new type of engine would be much more likely to maintain its independence. The unconventional rotary engine appealed to fans and offered a distinct reason to buy a Mazda. The successful introduction of the rotary-powered Cosmo Sport in 1967 launched Mazda as an influential carmaker.


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Who Knew? – The Effects of Aerodynamics on Fuel Efficiency

Automakers have been interested in the aerodynamics of vehicle design since the 1930s. Recently the effects of aerodynamics on fuel economy have made this a bigger issue in the race to improve gas mileage. So does the shape and design of a vehicle really make much of a difference on fuel economy?

There are lots of factors to look at, but the speed of the vehicle plays a big role in the results. A formula for the coefficient of drag (how easily a vehicle moves through the air) has the force against the vehicle as: coefficient of drag x frontal area x density of air x speed squared. These forces were once physically measured in a wind tunnel, but now sophisticated computer programs can give this information based on the shape of the vehicle.


In stop-and-go driving, aerodynamics has little effect on fuel efficiency, but at 70 mph you have four times the force working against the vehicle than you do at 35 mph. If you take away ten percent of the drag coefficient in a typical vehicle, you could improve miles per gallon by .5 mpg. In the overall scheme of things, this can be a big deal.

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Who Knew? – Intelligent Rear View Mirror

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see out the rear view mirror even if your vehicle was full of tall people or cargo? Well with Nissan’s intelligent rear view mirror you can. The Intelligent Rear View Mirror looks just like a traditional rear view mirror, except it has a built-in LCD monitor that can be activated with the flip of a switch located at the bottom of the mirror. This allows the driver to use either the conventional rear view mirror reflection to see rearward including what is happening inside the rear of the vehicle or the new intelligent view.


The intelligent mirror uses a rear-mounted camera to “look around” typical interior obstructions like rear headrests, tall passengers, and cargo. The rear camera is mounted under glass that’s swept clean by the wiper for a better view. The mirror’s built-in LCD monitor provides an expanded field of view, reduced glare, and improved visibility in low-light conditions, allowing the driver to feel more confident in a variety of traffic conditions.

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Do You Need It? – Door Edge Guards

Door edge guards, you know the guards that protect the vertical edge of your doors against dings and paint chips, do you really need them? This area of your vehicle’s doors is the most susceptible to damage in parking garages, at the mall or any tight parking place. To protect your resale value and to add to your vehicle’s sleek, streamlined styling door edge guards may be the way to go.

You can get aftermarket guards usually in silver or black. They come in a roll and are stick-on plastic you cut to fit. Or, you can take it to a whole different level with genuine Toyota door edge guards. Constructed from roll-formed 400 series stainless steel, which is stronger than typical steel, they are encapsulated in a body color-matched Thermoplastic Compound (TPC). The genuine guards are formed specifically to match the precise contours of each specific Toyota vehicle to offer a factory fit and finish.


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Who Knew? – Nissan Expanding NISMO Products

Nissan Motorsport International Limited “NISMO” is the in-house tuning, motorsports and performance division of Nissan. NISMO cars business department is part of Autech Japan, a Nissan group company that makes performance converted vehicles. Combining talent from Nissan, Autech, NISMO, and other companies a new unit will spearhead the development of an expanded line of vehicles and performance products.

There are currently seven models of NISMO vehicles being offered. The US is receiving four of these modified models:


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Who Knew? – Mazda Engine Cuts Fuel Use by a Third

Mazda will soon introduce a new engine that uses technology that will increase fuel economy by 30 percent. The technology called homogeneous charge compression ignition has been studied by many manufacturers, but Mazda will be the first to overcome the quirks and put it into production.



The SkyActiv-G direct injection gasoline engine uses compression ignition to boast efficiency combining the advantages of gasoline and diesel technologies. Most production gas engines have a compression ratio of 10:1 to 12:1. This engine has an exceptionally high 14:1 ratio, allowing it to squeeze more energy from every drop of fuel.

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Who Knew? – Volvo Offers Eye Protection

For the upcoming solar eclipse NASA warns that except during the brief total phase of the solar eclipse that the only safe way to view the event is through a special-purpose solar filter. Volvo being passionate about safety has produced a custom eclipse viewer for XC60.


The viewer is essentially a large shade made of ISO-certified 12312-2 material that clips onto the panoramic moonroof and allows occupants to view the eclipse without risk to their eyes, effectively turning the XC60 into a tiny observatory.

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