At the conclusion of my FR-S road test, I opined that we should be thankful for its very existence, as it functionally doubled the available choices in the almost-abandoned small sports car/coupe segment. The Brits are long gone. BMW hasn’t played in this niche since the Z3 (in the States, anyway) and Porsche since the 944. Nissan bailed on the U.S.-market S Platform in 1998. The S2000 showed up a year later and soldiered on for ten years, though it could be argued that ten years was a few too many.
Tag - Mazda
When I first drove the 2013 CX-5 last year, I found it pleasant if a bit underpowered. That should come as no surprise. The original two-liter SKYACTIV gas engine was only good for 155hp and similar torque numbers. For 2014, Mazda has added a 2.5-liter SKY engine as an upgrade on the Touring and Grand Touring trims. At 184hp and 185lb-ft of Torque, this new mill makes the CX-5 power-competitive with the other non-turbocharged offerings within the class. It’s still not the clear leader in sheer grunt, but it brings enough hustle to keep it in the running in a class topped off by 250-horsepower Escapes and Sportages.
Thirty thousand units: it would represent a fantastic month for the Ford Fusion or Nissan Altima, but Mazda isn’t thinking in terms of months. That is the year-end sales goal for the 2014 Mazda6. Mazda sold 42,000 CX-5s in 2012—its abbreviated launch year—and more than 120,000 Mazda3s, but the number crunchers in Irvine are aiming for just 1.5% of what I’ve called the most important segment of the U.S. auto market, and one that represents more than two million sales in the United States each year.
For Krider Racing, the 2012 running of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill started with rum and ended with rum. It took a fair amount of rum to garner the courage to take on such a monumental task like “The 25.” This is the story of how a group of friends came together to compete with factory backed professional race teams in the longest road race in North America, while campaigning a $500 car that was originally built for the 24 Hours of LeMons, and somehow walked away victorious. This is the Krider Racing 25 Hours of Thunderhill “Rum Diary”
Photos by Mazda.
This was supposed to be a “Speed Read” featuring Mazda’s new CX-5 crossover, and then it was going to be a two-part Speed Read so that I could include a new SKYACTIV-equipped Mazda3i Touring 5-Door. Instead, after reflecting on a long weekend with Mazda at the Baltimore Grand Prix, I’m going to use this space to talk a little more about the company whose support for automotive enthusiasts cannot possibly be overstated.
Consumer Reports released their 2012 Top Picks and automotive Report Card today. The highlights? Toyota took home five of the ten Top Picks, Subaru scored all As, Mazda is the comeback kid and Ford stumbled over their own new tech. Snippets of the press releases are available after the break. For the full releases, check the PR Newswire ticker on the right side of the page, or go here: http://www.speedsportlife.com/prn-feed/.