Mazda MX-5

The All-New 2015 Mazda MX-5 – News and Photos

Local loudmouths and internet car-forum keyboard warriors rejoice. Mazda’s fourth-generation MX-5 is here for you to recommend anytime someone asks what two-seater roadster they should buy; but without owning one yourself, of course. But in all seriousness, has Mazda remained true to the MX-5 vision on its 25th anniversary?

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Mazda has sold over 900,000 examples of the MX-5 (or Miata / Roadster, depending on where you are) globally since the car’s introduction in 1989. Whilst North America accounts for almost half of that figure alone, Europe has taken around a third of the pocket-sized sports car over that period too. Whilst it’s easy to poke fun at the MX-5 for being the car that always gets suggested, there is clearly a reason for the significant recognition that’s backed up by the sales figures.

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Lighter, leaner and sharper are probably the three best ways to describe the fourth-generation car. Something of a novelty in the modern automotive industry; not only is the new MX-5  more than 100 kg lighter than the outgoing version, it’s also shorter and lower. In fact it’s over 100 mm shorter, which is quite a chunk of metal for a car that’s hardly huge in the first place. Mazda, however, has recent form for weight-saving. The current (but soon to be replaced Mazda2) shaved a similar 100 kg from the weight of its predecessor. (more…)

EngageSportMode is NOT at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013

Unlike last year, EngageSportMode decided not to make the pilgrimage to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s a very long way from Newcastle Upon Tyne, ESM’s Mate Dave has just bought a house, and if you go every year it might lose the novelty.

So, instead, ESM is at home watching the Festival of Speed unfold by the power of Twitter. It’s a lot like being there, just without the £8 burgers, stupid blazers and the smell of burnt rubber and clutch. Almost identical you could say. It would have been great to have seen the Volkswagen Polo R WRC hammering up the hill in anger (or doing doughnuts like yesterday) but that will have to wait for another time.

The Festival of Speed organisers have set up a rather good live blog at http://foslive.goodwood.com showing off Instagram  and Twitter tagged photos and thoughts.

Plus, if you want read all about EngageSportMode’s experience at last year’s event, feel free to read these:

If you’re there this weekend, do let EngageSportMode know what your favourite car/bike/champagne bar was. Oh, and for old time’s sake, here is the ESM favourite from last year, the Mazda MX-5 GT Concept (again):

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2012 EngageSportMode Awards (Part One)

After a long twelve months, the time has finally come to hand out the infamous EngageSportMode ‘macaroni and glitter’ trophies to this year’s award winners. It may now be 2013, but cast your mind back (a few days) to last year.

Despite the world’s ongoing financial problems, the ever-present environmental lobby and the ridiculous price of fuel, 2012 still managed to be an enjoyable year for motoring enthusiasts. In addition, representing a three-fold increase on 2011, ESM now has six (!) awards to dish out.

With so many awards, the ceremony has been split into two parts. So, without further delay, are the first three winners.

Best Car Driven in 2012 Award

The long running saga of potentially buying a new car has provided me with a number of different vehicles to try over the past year. But there was one which stood out amongst everything else in 2012 as being the most complete automotive package. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the Audi A1 1.4 TFSI:

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Ignoring the fact I haven’t bought one – due to Tyneside Audi’s refusal to negotiate on price – the A1 was a superb vehicle, and one I enjoyed immensely when I tested it at the end of November. (more…)