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Auto blogThu, 21 Nov 2013 14:00:00 EST
Mazda has received a tremendous amount of public and industry praise in the last few years, following up the successful introduction of its Skyactiv technology (powertrain and otherwise), with strong products like CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, the Mazda3. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda has taken yet another step forward with Skyactiv and the 3, showing the compact (called "Axela" in Japan) with an all-new compressed natural gas engine in the Skyactiv-CNG Concept.
The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid is fuel consumption estimated at something like 74 miles per gallon.
Mazda thinks that CNG-powered vehicles are due for an uptick in demand, and the company believes this new powertrain will add valuable breadth to the Mazda3 range. The CNG Concept is actually a duel-fuel vehicle, capable of running on either natural gas or gasoline. In fact, we're told that the high compression ratio (14:1) inherent in Skyactiv-technology gasoline engines makes conversion to CNG particularly simple.
Is the answer always Mazda Miata? We discussed this in passing on the Autoblog Podcast earlier this week, and most assuredly the answer is "no." For example, the little MX-5 would be a terrible people carrier, and it'd be useless off road. You can't really tow anything of substance with it, either. Still, if push came to shove, it's satisfying to know that the diminutive roadster could eke out a career as a chase vehicle for the police.
That fact was proven when Road & Track editor Chris Cantle did something that he himself recognizes as "stupid." Upon returning home, Cantle discovered a "twenty-something" actively burgling his home. The resulting story is easily one of the more entertaining episodes to come out of the 1990 MX-5's service to the team at R&T and, we're guessing, will be one of the highlights of the Million-Mile Miata challenge.
Be sure to head over to Road & Track for a full retelling of the chase from Cantle, as well as a follow-up on the saga.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. The highly anticipated fourth-generation (ND) model made its official debut in Monterey, CA this evening, and while details are slim (as in, we have practically none), there's one big thing to talk about: less weight.
Yes, Mazda has confirmed that the new Miata sheds some 220 pounds over the model it replaces, and is "the most compact of any generation MX-5 so far." For those keeping track, that means the new MX-5 should weigh in somewhere around 2,200 pounds.
Mazda's Kodo design language is obvious here, with a seriously wide and low demeanor, and a mix of flowing lines and sharp angles. We don't have any powertrain details to report as of this writing, but Mazda says the full suite of Skyactiv technologies are onboard, and the motto in creating this car was "Innovate in order to preserve."