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News of the Week - October 9, 2002

It's Wednesday again, and I'm between classes - so it must be time for a quickie update on what's going on in the Mazda World!

Mazda Minutes

First and foremost, some Mazda6 news: The Car Connection was finally able to drive the 6 for the first time. Let me set up their article by saying that they really like the car (especially its above-the-board performance) and are quite ready to believe Mazda's optimistic sales projections. Click here to check it out.

As a side note, TCC mentions that the base price of the 6 (including the very same 160hp four-cylinder engine they tested) should be near $14,500 - which undercuts both Accord and Camry, not to mention the major American competition. Good to hear. Mazda USA's newly updated website claims that the 6 will be available in December, and I personally can't wait.

And in other news...

A considerable number of fans out there will be pleased to know that Mazda has introduced a revised version of the Millenia today for sale in Japan. Though no longer being imported to the USA, the new Japanese-market 25M and 25M Luxury editions will carry on the KL-ZE 2.5-liter DOHC V6 (four-cycle) engine as standard, along with the 4EC four-speed automatic transmission. Apparently, the Millenia's very slick Miller-cycle 2.3-liter supercharged V6 is gone (no doubt a victim of both high costs and low sales) - but with Mazda's current emphasis on "different" technology, I'd expect it to return sometime in one form or another.

If you can read Japanese, click here for the JDM Millenia site - and if you can't, click here for a cool web translator device. Use "Japanese to English" and set your destination as "www.millenia.mazda.co.jp". It's not perfect, but you'll get the idea.

Also of Interest

Get ready for GM's second crack at world domination, everyone. The boys in Detroit have announced a whole line of impressive-sounding new engines for release in the next few years' crop of revised vehicles.

For instance, the upcoming Malibu replacement (due as a 2004 model) will carry a 3.5-liter OHV V6 featuring a stunning 240hp - which is nice to hear by itself, but a little more scary when you find out that this will be the first in a whole range of such V6 engines. Sizes of this OHV series will run from 2.5 to 3.9 liters, thus serving as replacement engines for the bulk of GM's current American lineup. For those asking why GM still bothers with pushrods, the company has decided to take a two-pronged approach at the market. For the 80 percent of car buyers who don't particularly care about high-tech features but merely want a powerful and reliable engine, the new OHV series will be more than sufficient.

As for the other 20 percent - basically, that's the enthusiasts like us and those who pay attention to car magazines and such - GM is prepping a set of "high-feature" V6 engines using a DOHC layout and sized anywhere from 2.6 to 3.8 liters. Most versions will feature some tech you never thought GM cared about - including variable valve timing, an oil-life management system (just like the Germans) and coil-on-plug ignition. The first of this series to appear will be a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 pushing out 255hp. Nissan ought to be slightly worried.

Less important to Mazda fans, but impressive on the whole, is GM's proposed 7.5-liter DOHC V12. Expected to see duty only in Cadillacs, the new "double-six" is rumored to exceed 500hp. And since that's obviously not enough, the company is also running full-speed ahead on development of diesel and hybrid technology.

For a full rundown on GM's engineering plans, check The Car Connection's report and get the whole story.

That's it for now - I think I'll work on a race report for next week.

Duncan Malloch (hondaboy) :D



Last edited by Duncan at Oct 10 2002, 12:46 PM
 

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Dude, thats some great information that you dug up.

GM with a V12??? Who wudda guessed that one coming.

The maz6 5 door looks awesome!!! Is that gonna be available in 2.3 turbo that it is overseas?? And you said these cars will be ~15k....WOW!
 

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Well, that's what they (TCC) claim, anyway. The prospect is interesting enough that I might hang onto the old Honda a little longer, so I can get a 6 hatchback when I finally get out of school. Put it this way - even without a coupe model, it's a hell of a deal compared to the bulky new Accord.

As for the GM V12, that's been rumored since last year, but was finally confirmed this week.

The competition is starting to get a touch intense, no?

Duncan :D - I'll keep you posted
 
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