by Frank Ochal
Welcome to all of the many new members that have joined the club since the last magazine.
Thanks to Kym Kasper, Bill Richter, Kevin Cheung and all of the other contributors to this issue.
Due to club member requests, we have now added medium club t-shirts to the club store. We now have M, L, XL and XXL. Available from the club store in this issue or online at the club’s website.
We are now issuing plastic membership cards to all new members. All current members should have already received the new plastic membership card.
As the new membership card is plastic it is meant to be permanent and will no longer include your membership expiration date. Your membership expiration date and membership number can always found on the label on each issue of the printed ONLYWAY and other club mailings. Call, email or text us if you ever need a replacement card, your membership number or your membership expiration date.
Join us on Facebook at Mazda Club (www.facebook.com/groups/mazdaclubusa) and follow us on Twitter at mazdaclub (www.twitter.com/mazdaclub ). You can post your vehicle photos as well ask technical questions and read other helpful hints on the Facebook group pages. We now have an Instagram page. Find us at mazdaclubusa.
Classified ads will now appear in the OnlyWay, the eOnlyWay, on our website and on Facebook and Twitter. The club also has a blog at http://blog.mazdaclub.com.
You are now able to pay for membership and store items using credit cards and/or PayPal.
Mazda Club Technical Sections is now available in the club store. It contains a complete copy of all the Technical Sections, topics, questions and answers published in the OnlyWay from 1998 thru current. It is available in emailed and printed versions as well as on CD-Rom for PC or Mac in pdf format. It is indexed by subject for easy reference and contains articles, topics, questions and answers and is available in the Club Store section of each OnlyWay and on the website at www.mazdaclub.com. Another item in the store is a copy of the past issues of the OnlyWay available on CD or by emailed pdf.
We have expanded our list of free items that members can receive with 3 year membership or renewal. You can now receive either a free t-shirt, a tech CD (or emailed) or past issues of the OnlyWay in pdf format on CD (or emailed). We offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate for $80 or $95 for members outside the USA. We also have a 3 year eMembership for $50 which also includes the free items. Save money and get a t-shirt or tech sections on CD (or emailed) or OnlyWays on CD (emailed)!
We send out an email newsletter in addition to the regular Only Way for members that have given us their email address. This is in addition to the Only Way and is not intended to replace it. So send us your email address if you have one. If you have not received an eOnlyWay by this time it is because we either do not have an email address for you or not the correct one. Do not worry if you do not have an email address as you will get all of the information sent in the eOnlyWay in the regular OnlyWay but it may be in a different format and at later date because of printing and mailing time.
Help spread the enjoyment of club membership. Tell other Mazda owners about our club and if they join have them put your name and address on the membership application. You will receive a $5 credit good towards renewal or membership for each member you recruit. See page 16.
We still are in need of additional people for our technical staff. If you think you would like to help your fellow members in this way, please contact us. It can be a great way to publicize your business while helping out your fellow Mazda Club members.
If you have a recommendation on service and body shops send it to us so that we can assist other members looking for help. Our database containing such information is still small and we need your input to make it a worthwhile service for our members.
Thanks for your support!
(top photo: 2000 MX-5 LS Miata of Laura L. Byrd from Oceanside, California at Mugello race track in Tuscany, Italy)
1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S
On May 30, 1967, Mazda began its legacy of innovation, bringing to marked it first Wankel rotary engine and first sports car. The rotary was in an engine design that many had tried to build for production, but only Mazda could make it viable - because it had to. In the 1960s the Japanese automotive industry was on the cusp of globalization, Mazda needed to harness a technology that would differentiate it in the marketplace to avoid consolidation. Upon licensing the Wankel rotary in 1961 from German firms NSU and Wankel GmbH, Mazda went to work, with its best and brightest engineers tasked with bringing the technology to market.
With the launch of the Cosmo Sport 110S - Mazda found solutions for the considerable issues that had plagued the rotary, from internal scoring to loss of compression. As lore has it, Yamamoto had used graphite as a lubricant on apex seals after noticing how easily his pencil slid across his sketches. From there, the Cosmo Sport would kick off the legacy of successes, from sales to circuits, with the Cosmo unseating some of the best sports cars of the day.
This particular 1967 Cosmo Sport 1110S L10A (short wheelbase) was one of possibly three 1967 Cosmos that were officially exported to the U.S. This one was registered to Curtiss-Wright Corporation, the North American right-holder of the Wankel rotary engine for aerospace development application research. I subsequently changed hands three more time before coming back "home" to Mazda. The odometer reading is original and correct at a little over 16,000 km.
This car is owned by Mazda North American Operations as part of the Mazda Heritage Collection.
2020 Mazda CX-30
Slotting into the Mazda SUV lineup in the narrow space between the subcompact CX-3 and the compact CX-5 is the new—and curiously named—CX-30. Why isn’t it called CX-4? We asked Mazda: It’s kind of a long story. Regardless, we like the way it looks. Mazda’s designers gave it a more severely forward-canted rear window and chunkier black-plastic body cladding to help differentiate the 2020 Mazda CX-30 from its other crossover siblings. The CX-30 comes standard with impressive technology, both in terms of connectivity and driver-assistance features. Equipped with the perky and responsive engine seen in the Mazda 3, the CX-30 suggests it’ll ooze with that enthusiast appeal for which Mazda is famous.
All CX-30s are equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 186 horsepower and up to 186 lb-ft of torque; it’s the same engine in the 2020 Mazda 3. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available on the CX-30.
An infotainment display sprouts from the center of the dashboard and is controlled by a rotary knob on the center console; a row of climate-control buttons divide the upper and lower dash panels. Buyers will be able to choose between either an eight- or 12-speaker audio system and can upgrade to available heated front seats.
The CX-30 comes with Mazda Connected Services, which allows owners to lock and unlock, remote start and monitor their vehicle through the MyMazda app. The CX-30 also is equipped with standard Bluetooth, two front USB inputs, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and available features include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Mazda MX-5 Finally Has The Power It Deserves
We have cared a lot about the Mazda MX-5 Miata for nearly three decades. So, too, have the thousands of loyal Miata owners who race their cars, modify their cars, and take them to Miata Club meets. But do you know who cares about the Miata even more? Mazda. The little roadster truly is the company’s pride and joy, a North Star doubling as its philosophical center.
Price creep with performance goodies, noisy on the highway.
Thus, it isn’t surprising that Mazda is both steadfast about keeping the Miata true to its original missive and always looking for ways to make it better. The precedent of continuous improvement could be seen in the first three generations of MX-5, each of which received tweaks throughout its life cycle. It’s now time for the current, fourth-generation Miata (ND to the cognoscenti) to get better; for 2019, that means a revised 2.0-liter inline-four Skyactiv engine.
More Oomph for 2019
Previously, the ND Miata was powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four that was little more than a Mazda 3 engine turned longitudinally and stuffed into the MX-5’s small engine bay. Vehicle dynamics engineer Dave Coleman admits that the car was originally designed around the less powerful 1.5-liter four-cylinder that’s available in other markets and that by the time the decision was made to install a bigger engine in the Miata bound for the United States, it was too late to truly fine-tune the 2.0-liter for a sports-car application. Of course, the engine itself was hardly a dud—responsive and eager, it made the current car quicker than any Miata before it in our testing despite its meager 155 horsepower.
Acceleration Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story
Mazda even cares enough about the Miata to address small details. The 2019 car now has a telescoping steering wheel, which was engineered to give taller drivers an easier reach to the wheel while adding a minimum of weight. Despite its more complex mechanism, the new function adds only about half a pound to the waifish Miata’s curb weight. A backup camera is also newly standard in accordance with federal regulations. These new features, along with some extra weight in the engine, add up to a claimed weight gain of just seven pounds overall. We measured the 2019 car at 2345 pounds—21 pounds heavier than our long-term Club—with much of that disparity attributable to the extra weight of the Recaro seats that are newly available as part of the pricey Brembo/BBS package that can drive the softtop’s price to a rather dear $35,000-plus (exact pricing is forthcoming), while the 2019 RF can approach $40,000. Expect a bare-bones 2019 Miata softtop to start around $26,500.
From a big-picture perspective, though, the Miata remains a unique proposition: a lightweight, simple sports car that succeeds in placing driving pleasure above all other considerations. It has changed so little over the years that we almost wonder if Mazda is being too faithful to the MX-5 ideal for its own good. And yet, that such a small automaker has taken such painstaking care to maintain the ethos of a car that today presents such a difficult business case is telling. The Miata is hardly for everyone, but everyone should be able to appreciate that it not only still exists but that it keeps getting better.
New Turbocharged Mazda6
The Mazda6 never needed much. It looked awesome, was a lot of fun to drive and even came with a manual gearbox. It only ever really lacked one thing: power. Now the 2018 Mazda6 is here with the turbocharged 2.5-liter turbo engine from the CX-9, and it may just be the best front-drive midsize sedan on the market now.
In addition, it’s more "premium" now. That’s a buzzword that gets thrown around way too much, but Mazda’s doing this for a reason. It’s a tiny company, all things considered. It’s hard for Mazda to compete with giants like Ford and Toyota and Honda. So the answer is to go more upscale, to make cars more profitable by making them nicer and, yes, somewhat more expensive.
So the result is that the updated Mazda6—as well as the CX-9 and others—occupy a weird space between a mass-market brand and a true luxury one. But there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when the cars look great and cater to enthusiasts
Here’s what’s new. The updated 6 isn’t a new car, but a heavy update. Improvements include a retuned chassis for a better ride and less noise, vibration and harshness, more tech features and a heavily revised interior with available Nappa leather and wood accents.
Now, the real goodness is under the hood: a 2.5-liter turbo four with 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 RPM. Those are the power figures we’ve always craved from the 6, a superb driver’s car in every aspect but its anemic engine—until now. A six-speed automatic is standard there.
The base engine is still a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four with 184 HP, and that can still be had with a manual. Sadly the more powerful turbo engine cannot. That’s a shame, because this car would be rad as hell with the beefy turbo motor and a stick. Oh well.
The 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale in spring 2018 and pricing has not been announced yet, but expect a bump over the outgoing car’s $21,495 base price.