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2017 Mazda RX-7 and Mazda RX-9: What to Expect

2017 Mazda RX-7 Artist's Conception

2017 Mazda RX-7 Artist’s Conception

Although the world may have hoped for a 2016 Mazda RX-7 release, there is still exciting news on the horizon. Suffice it to say that, in Phoenix, Chapman Mazda will be looking forward to two potentially historic events.

In what was arguably the most-celebrated sports car news of the year, “Motoring” recently reported that Mazda will launch a next-generation RX-7 model in May of 2017, on the 50th anniversary of the Mazda rotary engine. News broke in April that Mazda was working on a naturally aspirated rotary coup that employed the exclusive SKYACTIV technology. Now comes the even more exciting news that Mazda may ring in its 100th birthday with the release of the RX-9 supercar in 2020, the same year that Tokyo will host the Olympic games.

Although Mazda has yet to make an official announcement, industry reports predict that the new RX-7 will boast a 450 hp turbocharged rotary engine. Mazda phased out the rotary-powered RX-8 model in 2011, amid grumblings of excess gas and oil consumption and a lack of torque in the mid-range. Still, sports car enthusiasts mourned the loss of the rocket-like production vehicle.

In 1967, Mazda introduced the first rotary engine model, the Cosmo. The grand touring coupe was so named to capture the global fascination with the space race. Mazda touted the Cosmo’s rotary engine as a revolutionary departure from old technology. The inaugural model, 1967’s L10A, boasted a 2-rotor 0810 Series I engine with 110 hp and 982 cc of displacement. It pulled 16.4 seconds on the quarter-mile, with a top speed of 115 mph. Sticker price for the inaugural model was approximately $4,100 USD. The 50th anniversary model RX-7 promises to be just as exciting and forward-thinking as its predecessor.

The 2016 Mazda RX-7 is said to utilize a reworked version of the RX-8 platform, designed to more effectively handle the increased horsepower. “BoldRide” recently posted a series of renderings purported to reveal the new model’s radical Kodo styling. They went on to speculate whether Mazda would appease the purists with a manual gearbox and 3-pedal layout option. Design is reported to be taking place under the direction of chief designer Ikuo Maeda, whose father headed up Mazda design for the original RX-7 model launch in the 1970s. Mazda has admitted it’s been working on a hybrid version of the Skyactiv engine, which experts predict will become a part of this model.

Rumors that Mazda had registered both the RX-7 and RX-9 names originally led to speculation that the new model’s moniker would be one or the other. Imagine the automotive world’s delight when word broke that both might soon make an appearance. As the world focuses on Japan in 2020, it may also get an eyeful of the RX-9 halo supercar. The concept model of the RX-9 may emerge as early as 2017. Whether the two models will be sold simultaneously, with different price points and performance strata, remains to be seen. It goes without saying however that, if the world is fortunate enough to enjoy a 2016 Mazda RX-7 preview, Chapman Mazda on Bell Road will be the best place to catch a first glimpse!

Mazda Skyactiv engines and transmissions

SKYACTIV-G Engine

The Mazda/Ford relationship of old was symbiotic in nature. Mazda got the dealership network it needed to remain profitable, while Ford was able to mine Mazda’s products for platforms and engines. When Ford decided to part ways from Mazda, it left Mazda to “do their own thing” and “see other people,” but Mazda didn’t jump back into the dating game.

Instead, Mazda struck out on its own, creating a new chassis and, more importantly, more engines. These innovative power plants, available on certain models at Chapman Mazda, are called Skyactiv engines, and they ring true to the Mazda ethos of performance and efficiency. They combine with a new Mazda transmission and provide a fun-to-drive attitude with uncompromised efficiency.

In North America, Mazda offers the Skyactiv-G engines, which run on gasoline. They come in two sizes: 2.0-liter four cylinder and 2.5-liter four cylinder. The 2.0-liter engine made its debut in the 2012 Mazda CX-5 SUV, which has won numerous accolades for its driving capability. The 2.5-liter Skyactiv engine debuted in the 2014 Mazda 6 sedan and now both engines choices are offered in the completely redesigned Mazda 3. Previously, only the 2.0-liter engine was a Skyactiv model on the Mazda 3.

Rumors are unconfirmed that Mazda will be bringing over their Skyactiv-D diesel engine, available in Europe and Asia. Diesels are still considered a niche product in the American market, although their popularity is growing.

While these are not powerful engines, Mazda has been able to combine them with a well-designed chassis that is sporty without being unwieldy. They are then mated to with specially-designed transmissions. Skyactiv-Drive combines the best attributes of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), dual-clutch and traditional step transmission to provide a system that truly translates the power and efficiency of the Skyactiv engines to the road.

For those who like to row their own gears, Mazda offers the Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission. This manual gear-box offers a light, crisp shift feel while offering reduced weight to increase fuel economy. Manual transmissions are offered on all the base Sport models only; all other trim lines include the SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed Sport automatic transmission with manual shift mode.

With Mazda’s new-found independence, it was thought it would struggle to survive in the highly competitive automotive arena. Mazda defied the odds and created a lineup of stylish products that has been able to remain sporty and innovative while adhering to stricter fuel economy standards.

To test drive a slew of Skyactiv-equipped Mazda vehicles, visit Chapman Mazda today to experience a truly innovative car.

Mazda Hazumi Concept Previews Next-Gen Mazda 2

Mazda Hazumi Concept Previews Next-Gen Mazda 2

With Mazda hitting home run after home run with its new product lineup after its divorce from Ford, it is no surprise that many in the automotive industry are excited about what Mazda has in store for the teeny Mazda 2. You can test drive a current-gen Mazda 2 at your local Phoenix Mazda dealer.

With the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata already in development, and the Mazda 6, 3 and CX-5 bringing new customers into showrooms, the Hazumi concept looks like a car ready for both the racetrack and city center.

The current generation Mazda 2 is a fun-to-drive B-segment car that lacks the interior amenities many of its competitors now offer as standard fare. Mazda has been designing its cars with the KODO design language, which has been wildly popular on the company’s host of new vehicles. That design translates surprisingly well to the smaller proportions of the Hazumi concept.

Many of the neat design features on the concept probably won’t see it to production, but the thinly slit headlights and aggressive grille compliment the bulbous rear end. The slick center-exit exhaust and oversized, comical wheels won’t make it to production.

When you slip inside the Hazumi concept, you notice the interior appears to be thousands of dollars more than it should be. The Mazda 2 is supposed to be an affordable B-segment offering, but the technologies in the Hazumi concept say otherwise—though it is not completely new or different.

The instrument cluster looks like is had taken cues from the one found in the new Mazda 3, including the nifty heads-up display. Two-tone leather looks nice though likely won’t make production due to cost. A feature that is only for the flavor of concepts is the four seats. Five seats are mandatory in this segment.

Under the hood of the concept lies a 1.5-liter inline-4 cylinder Skyactiv-D diesel engine. In the concept the engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, but definitely expect a manual to be offered.

If you look at the Hazumi concept, you will see a car that desperately wants to reinvent the B-segment market. Vehicles in this segment have never really been thrilling, or stylish, but if Mazda can protect even just some of the design elements found on the concept as it makes its way to production, Mazda will have another sales and award winner on its dealership lots.

For more information about all the wonderful models Mazda offers, visit Chapman Mazda today.

How Tires Can Affect Your Fuel Economy

Tires and Fuel Economy

When it comes to performance and fuel economy, many people talk about things such as filters, fuel injector cleaners and regular oil changes as the key. While maintaining your car well will always result in better mileage and longer car life; people tend to overlook the fact that selecting and maintaining the proper tires will help your gas mileage as well, and keep you safe along the way.

Tire rubber is literally the only material connecting your ride to the road. This means that the tires’ performance affects everything from speed, handling, braking, acceleration and fuel economy. Worn out tires, for example, are not only dangerous as they impair handling, but they tend to slip more on the road requiring the engine to work harder to move the car forward.

Keeping your tires properly inflated is crucial. For example, tires with low air pressure cause the car’s weight to be magnified and creates more friction between rubber and road. Again the engine must work harder to move this vehicle whose weight is not being properly supported by correctly inflated tires. It’s always important to check the manufacturer’s manual, or visit a Mazda dealer in Phoenix, for the recommended amount of pressure needed. Some drivers also check for a reminder sticker on the door jamb, but it’s important to remember not to use any numbers printed on the tire. These numbers are the maximum pressure for the tire and not necessarily for the make and model of your vehicle. Seasonal weather can also affect pressure, especially in the summer months, so check the psi on a routine schedule.

Believe it or not, rims also have a part in fuel economy. Again, lightweight rims come into play along with tires because of the energy, and thus the gas, required to get the wheels rolling. Smaller wheels may increase gas mileage in the long run, but remember proper tire inflation is a major ingredient in this formula.

With all this said,  it is a good idea to have your tires rotated every couple thousands of miles and replaced as needed based on wear and tear, ability to hold air pressure, and handling. If you have questions or concerns on the specifications on your car, visit Chapman Mazda.

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The thrill of buying your first new vehicle is often overshadowed by the worry of how to pay for it. While a loan from the first-national bank of dad or a co-signer like mom is often needed, Mazda USA has developed a First-Time Owner program that allows you to purchase a vehicle on your own – without the parental purse strings attached.

Available through Chapman Mazda and Mazda Capital Services, the program assists first-time car buyers with limited or no credit who want to purchase a new or Certified Pre-owned Mazda2 or Mazda3 vehicle. The out-the-door purchase price is limited to $20,000, and the buyer must put down 10 percent of the purchase price of the vehicle. Depending on the price of the vehicle, new customers could pay as little as $1,500 down on a new vehicle, explains Chapman Mazda Finance Director Jim Duncan.

“This program is unique in that it’s not an advertised special,” says Duncan. “It doesn’t require you to have any credit. It’s a program I would put my kids in, because they could get financed on their own at the same rate I could qualify for. Mazda doesn’t saddle these first-time buyers with a high-risk rate like other manufacturers do.”

Other program requirements in addition to the down payment include at least 6 months of employment history, and no derogatory marks on your credit history. This means the $1 you owe in overdue library book fines probably won’t knock you out of eligibility, but that one-time-late $30 doctor bill payment definitely will. Bottom line: if it shows up as a black mark on your credit history, you won’t qualify for this program.

However, once qualfied for the First-Time Owner program, customers may also qualify for other Mazda finance offers. This may include bonus cash, APR financing rates and rebates. Customers also cash in on fuel savings when they purchase a Mazda2, which averages 35mpg on the highway and 28mpg in the city, based on EPA estimates.

To view the complete Mazda2 and Mazda3 Chapman inventory online, visit www.chapmanmazda.com.