The car was built to compete in the Fireball™ rally event
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Auto blogMon, 12 May 2014 11:02:00 EST
Takashi Yamanouchi has been with Mazda for a long time. He signed on with the Japanese automaker in April 1967 - one month after graduating from Keio University - and rose through the ranks over the years. By 1996 he was named to the company's board of directors. In 2008 he was named president and CEO, an office he held until 2013, after which he handed over the day-to-day reins to Masamichi Kogai and took up the seat at the head of the board room to serve as the company's chairman. But now, after 47 years working for Mazda, Yamanouchi-san is retiring at the age of 69.
During his tenure as CEO and then as chairman, Yamanouchi was credited with growing Mazda's business despite unfavorable fluctuations in exchange rates, opening the company's first plant in Mexico, and spearheading the development of Mazda's Skyactiv technologies and Kodo design language.
In his place, current vice chairman Seita Kanai will take over as chairman. The changing of the guard will take place after the annual shareholders' meeting on June 24.
This past September we reported on Top Gear's destruction of the Mazda Furai, one of the finest concept cars to ever grace an auto show stage. It turns out that the Furai, which was burned nearly beyond recognition at the hands of the British magazine, was actually destroyed back in 2008, and that the entire thing had been covered up for five long years.
Now, a few months after publishing that heart-wrenching composite of a half-baked Furai (shown above), the lads at TG have published their account of just what resulted in a priceless concept car being transformed into a smoking hulk on a Suffolk runway. Click over to read the full story about just what happened, along with pictures of the Furai before, during and after the inferno.
Over the past 25 years and 3 model generations, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has shown that you don't have to be the best to be a massive success. The little, Japanese roadster has never been the absolute peak of automotive performance, but it's precise handling, good reliability and frugal running costs have helped make it a star. Autoblog recently tried to give you the experience of driving one on video, and now Xcar Films has made its own in an attempt to show what makes this droptop an icon.
As Xcar puts it, the Miata isn't the world's best sports car, but it is the world's favorite. When they were originally designing the roadster, Mazda's engineers took everything that made British droptops from the '60s great, and junked all of the stuff that made them a terror to own. The result was a car that would start up everyday with no fuss and get drivers wherever they needed to go with a huge grin on their face.
The fourth-generation Miata is imminently on the way for its September 3 unveiling, and the very early rumors indicate that Mazda doesn't plan to rock the boat too much with the latest one. It supposedly rides on a longer wheelbase and wider track but with the weight trimmed by over 200 pounds. Check out Xcar's video for a primer on MX-5 history and why the automotive world loves this little roadster.