Mazda’s Game Changer

Recent news has been circulating about the new Mazda and Toyota joint production plant and what will be built there.  In a few news articles, Masamichi Kogai has been quoted saying Mazda will introduce a new and different type of CUV (crossover utility vehicle).

I have been thinking about that statement about a new and different type SUV. Looking in the marketplace, you have pretty much everything out there in size, shape, and quality.  I think there is something which is getting lost in the translation of this message.

My bet is it will be something totally new for Mazda.  

Back in 2015, Mazda showed off the Koeru concept which was hinting to future models of crossover SUVs.

Looking at the current styling and the concept cars Mazda has laid out at the Tokyo Auto Show with the Mazda 3 Kai concept this year.

The front end styling has been sharpened on this concept car, but it isn’t too far outside of what Mazda is currently offering. The changed roofline at the rear points is designed to maximize cargo space, but in a good-looking package.

I will go out on a limb and guess that Mazda is probably working on a new motor to power whatever the upcoming CUV is going to be.

The most powerful motor Mazda offers right now is the 2.5 Skyactiv turbo engine, which powers the Cx-9 and soon to be offered in the Mazda 6. This motor is based on the older Skyactiv tech though, and with Masamichi saying the new vehicle will something new, my guess is that we should expect to see another tech marvel being produced.

The last thought I have on this with Mazda is this:

If they’re coming out with something new, we may see a large-sized vehicle to go up against the truck-based SUVs from other manufacturers. It is a direction Mazda has not gone before and lines up with the statements they are giving us.

Time will tell!

-Derrick

Winterize – Dear Car Guy

Dear Car Guy,

It’s beginning to look a lot like WINTER, and for those of us who aren’t so lucky to have a daily driver, it’s time to start to winterize our Mazdas.

If you’re not one of those who put their Mazda baby to sleep for the long winter months, check out the tips below to best prepare for winter driving, and keeping yourself safe!

CHECK YOUR TIRES!

• Consider getting snow tires. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, swap out your regular tires for all-season tires or snow tires. Seems obvious, but snow tires have a softer rubber that allows them to retain flexibility in the coldest of weather. They also have specifically-designed tread pattern for gripping in ice and snow. They aren’t guaranteed to keep you from slipping and sliding in your car, but they help with better traction. (In winter, any extra help to keep us from losing control of our Mazdas)

• Check the tire pressure. If you’re not opting for winter tires, check your tires often and keep them properly inflated, however this is needed for all tire types. Cold weather changes the air pressure in your tires and causes it to drop (No, it’s not the local kids deflating your tires… I’ve fallen for that one before). Remember that properly inflated tires keep better contact with the road, and while you can’t always keep from slipping, you can do your best to have more connection to the pavement.

• Check the security of your mudflaps. Mudflaps can help keep road debris from killing your paint, be sure yours are securely installed on your ride for maximum protection. If you don’t have them yet, we can hook you up with a fresh set of mudflaps here.

CHECK YOUR FLUIDS AND ENGINE!

• Fill your wiper fluid and change out your blades. Remember that seeing the road is a requirement to staying on it! An ample supply of wiper fluid and new blades will give you a good line of sight in those nasty winter storms. Be sure to use the wiper fluid that has a lower freezing temperature. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to clear your windshield and failing.

• Get an oil change. For your Mazda’s engine to run, it needs the correct oil lubrication. Unfortunately, colder temperatures reduce the effectiveness of the oil. The colder it is outside, the thicker the oil gets. Thickened oil has trouble circulating through your engine, which means your engine doesn’t get appropriately lubricated during startup. Check the owner’s manual to see what oil is currently used in your Mazda, as well as, the recommended viscosity (thickness of the oil) level for different climates.

• Check your anti-freeze mixture. The ratio of your water to anti-freeze mixture should be 50:50 to prevent your radiator coolant from freezing. If you’re unsure, your local auto parts store should have a relatively cheap anti-freeze tester.

• Check your belts and hoses. Colder temperatures potentially weaken the belts and hoses. Look for signs of wear, and replace if needed. In the scenario that a belt snaps while you’re driving, you’ll have to wait for a tow truck, or that trusted buddy to get you out of the cold.

PROTECT YOUR CAR!

• Remove vulnerable exterior mods. Exterior modifications like front lips, custom wheels, and any other exterior bolt-ons that you cherish should be removed. The elements will take their toll on your car, even if it’s parked in the garage at night. From salt on the roads to new potholes you can’t see in the rain, keeping these beloved mods in the garage for the season will preserve your investment.

• Install floor mats. If you don’t already have floor mats in your ride, putting them in the front and back of the car will help keep your interior carpet pristine. Floor mats are easier to clean and can be removed to wash if the mud or snow gets too intense. Click here to check out our CS floor mats.

• Secure your Seat Covers. If you don’t have them, winter is the best time to use them! If you do, make sure that you have them securely installed. The wet from rain and snow isn’t great for the interior and seats. They’re also great for protecting your back and passenger seats from corners of boxes or crockpots of chili while carting presents and food from place to place.

PROTECT YOURSELF!

• Stock your car with emergency supplies. This is one that my dad never let me leave home without. Snacks, blankets, towels, waters, and emergency/first aid kit should be in your trunk during the winter seasons (if it’s not always in there). You never know where or when you might get stranded during winter, and if it’s for longer than expected being prepared is key! Also, the towel is great for kids, passengers, and pets who might be a little muddy or wet from the weather.

Note here from CorkSport: Keeping spare cash in your emergency kit can often help if you’re financially strapped and need to pay for a tow. It could save your butt one day (I know it has saved mine in emergencies!).

• Check your emergency supplies. Road flares, jumper cables, and first aid supplies should be checked for expiration and usability. Road flares do not always have expiration dates. However, the summer months with high heat can sometimes render them unusable (storage above 120 degrees for longer than a week should be avoided), as well as they could be expired if you got your kit for Christmas from Grandma a few years ago.

Whether you’re driving a Mazdaspeed 3, Mazdaspeed 6, or you’re riding around in a Mazda 3 or Mazda 6, we hope that you use our tips to keep yourself safer this winter!

We also sincerely hope that you’re not trying to weather any storms in a Miata or MX5… our Mazda enthusiasts are awesome, but that’s just a different level of crazy!

Anyone else have some good tips or tricks for winter driving in your Mazda or Mazdaspeed?

Share your thoughts or tips in the comments; I am sure we could all use them!

Wishing you safety, warmth, and clear weather this winter!

Cheers,
Kim@CorkSport

 

Guest Blog – Mazda Takeover Event

Recently, we’ve been posting a lot of blogs on clubs and connection in the community, and I’m sure you’re wondering what that’s all about. We’re hoping to help people get connected in their local areas and start throwing more meets!

What way to better understand how to get a HUGE group of MAZDA ENTHUSIASTS together than ask a Mazda Meet Organizer?

Keith Eggert has been an influential event planner for a lot of West Coast Mazda clubs. Below, he walks us through how it was for him setting up the first couple Mazda Takeover events. We hope it inspires you to start the process of creating your own!


KEITH:

Let me start off by saying that I am by no means a professional at getting a large gathering of people together, nor am I very organized. However, I love the Mazda community and enjoy connecting with fellow Mazda enthusiasts.

A unique opportunity was laid out before me: Get as many people with Mazdaspeeds together here in my area. (For those of you who don’t know where I’m from, I currently reside in the greater Boise, Idaho area.) 

Dale Owen, head honcho of the Mazdaspeed Idaho group on Facebook, who also runs Gem Tuning (yes, he tuned my car), approached me with a yearly meet idea.

He explained how it’d be a huge help if I lent a hand in helping organize our yearly Mazdaspeed group meet, since I live in the epicenter of the majority of the Idaho members.  Of course I said “Yes”, and just minutes after I told him yes, I had an idea:  “Let’s do it big!”, I said to Dale:

“Let’s make this thing huge, not just a simple one-day hangout, let’s put this party on the map!”

He reluctantly agreed to that, and since that day over two years ago, I took the reins and ran with it.  I figured I had to give it a name, but more importantly, I had to figure out what we were going to do for two whole days. It had to be exciting, it had to fill empty time, it had to connect Mazda Groups from all surrounding areas.  Most importantly, it needed to be fun.  I decided to call it the Mazda Takeover because that’s how I envisioned it; Mazda after Mazda after Mazda, driving down the road to locations in the valley where events were set up. It was a beautiful thing to see.

I invited anyone in the Mazda Community willing to make the drive from as far as Utah to come up.  I invested about three months into getting known, talking to people, and helping members with their questions on the Utah Mazda Enthusiasts Facebook group.  It paid off. As luck would have it Cody Allington is kind of the go-to guy down in Utah, and with his help he generated interest, and brought up 7 cars with him in the first year, which blew me away given that the planning span of 3 months was all the time I gave him to gather a group willing to drive up.

Friday through Sunday. That was the game plan, come to find out, clearly waaaay too short of a time frame.

Between the Friday evening’s Line the Streets meet, Saturday mornings dyno day, Saturday nights drag racing, and Sunday’s farewell, I think everyone managed to get about 3 hours of sleep each night. That needed to change. We absolutely needed an extra day; that way people wouldn’t feel burned out, and would have time to relax and just talk to people. So, for Year Two, we did just that.

Mazda Takeover’s second year was much more organized, spanning from Thursday night through Sunday.

Three days to dyno, race, and have a scenic cruise.  It was perfect, and even had people making the trip in the late evening on Saturday just to make two passes down the drag strip before the lights went out and everyone went home. We now have a perfect amount of days, but there was still quite a bit of downtime that we attempted to fill with a garage day, which was way too stressful given that it was hours before we all left to go drag racing. That won’t be happening in Year Three.

So what did I learn in all of this?

Two successful years, triple the amount of attendance from people outside of Idaho, states I never contacted via Social Media wondering about the event and contacting me directly…  I think I have a recipe to keep this thing going.

Here is just a little bit of wisdom should you find yourself wanting to have a huge meet.

  1. First things first: PLAN PLAN PLAN.  Do not fill a day with too much.  Two events per day spaced out is perfect.  Dyno in the morning from 9-2, then have everyone meet for a BBQ from 4-7.  However, you wish to fill the day, keep in mind: the key to a successful meet is to utilize the reason you are there.  If you get Mazda people together, do Mazda stuff.  Go for a cruise, schedule time for how long that drive will take, and any pit stops needed for photo shoots, fuel, etc.
  2. Second. When doing two events during a meet, NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO TWO CAR RELATED EVENTS IN THE SAME DAY. Meaning, don’t schedule a dyno day and an evening of drag racing in the same day.  Can you? Sure you can.  Should you? Probably not.  Cars are like people, too much stress and they break.  Don’t need to go breaking any cars; this is supposed to be fun.  And if you do, know your groups of attendees. Scheduling an Autocross event and a drag event on the same day is far more acceptable, since autocross drivers are less susceptible to drag racing, and a drag car sure as hell won’t ever see an autocross course.
  3. Third. Keep in mind, you are doing this for a group so that everyone can have fun, yourself included.  Call ahead, give businesses a heads up that a group is coming on a certain day, that way it alleviates stress on the business and on you as the administrator. The less stress, the more fun everyone has.

With those three key ingredients, you can build the foundation for a successful meet.  

Keep in mind, if you are planning on doing a multi-day meet, the more notice the better.  Also, keep in mind that not everyone can make it, even with six months of notice.  Life happens fast, and things change quickly.

I think the biggest thing I learned is to not fear failure.  

The first year of the Mazda Takeover, THE DAY OF the start of the meet, I had doubt, fear that no one would show, a sinking feeling that three months of phone calls and planning was all for nothing.  Push that aside, people will come.  Hype up your meet, make it sound like the best weekend people near you with a Mazda could ever have. I did just that for two years worth of events.  Last year Corksport sent Luke McCarvel and Barett Strecker to the event.  This year I got Luke and Barett, and Brett White got the chance to join them.

Evolutionary Performance out of Salt Lake even shut it’s doors for the weekend to relax and have a good time.

So that just goes to show: If you never settle for OK, and constantly push to have bigger and better meets, performance shops will come to your meet, retailers can come to your meets, tuners can come to your meets, but most importantly, people will have a good time.

Lastly, a shameless plug for the Mazda Takeover 2018. – June 7th-11th in Boise, Idaho.

Dyno, Drag, Karting, BBQ, Scenic Cruise. Whether you drive a Mazdaspeed, Miata, Protege, or just regular Mazda that you’re proud of, you won’t want to miss this year’s event.  We hope to see you there. Camping is encouraged!!!

Cheers,

– Keith Eggert

Check out the Mazda Takeover Event Page on Facebook!

If you’re looking for an excuse to connect with your local Nator Club, Mazdaspeed Group, or Mazda community, Keith has shown you how to stick with it and come up with a great event. However, if you don’t want to plan your own, stay tuned as we’ll be working with clubs all over the US to promote events and meetups throughout 2018.

If you’re a club and you have an event page, email kim@corksport.com so we can be sure to get you on the calendar!

A List of Your Local NATOR Communities – What Makes Us Family

Ever wondered how to connect with your local Mazda crews and clubs?

Or have you ever gotten connected and then lost your ride somehow? For some of us it’s a crash, others of us sell our beloved Mazda and aim at our next dream car, or heck, even the necessary minivan.

What happens then? Not only did you lose your favorite car, but seemingly you lost out on the community as well. Does it make sense to show up to your favorite meets if you no longer drive the “proper” vehicle?

When it comes to the Nator groups, the love is still there regardless of what your next ride.

According to Micha Fullen, this is exactly how it goes; and it’s about so much more than the cars themselves:

“While at the annual Midwest meet this year in St Louis Missouri, washing my hair in the shower I had a thought, “Micha, why do you still come to this event when you don’t even own a Mazdaspeed anymore?”

I told myself, that being a Mazdaspeed owner past, present or future, is like being in a family. Especially when you involve yourself in the community and clubs that are offered throughout the country. Me, I’m a Nator Guy.

Year after year, we collectively travel thousands of miles to attend an event centered around vehicles that some of us don’t even own anymore. It’s crazy huh? Do the same thing, show up without owning the ‘correct’ Model Vehicle, at a VW or Honda meet and you get blacklisted and shunned.

Mazdaspeed owners don’t kick you out, or tell you that you shouldn’t be there. We just call each other; funny, and sometimes very rude, names. Then ask to race your new vehicle on a track, dragstrip or parking lot.  (More recently it’s been even helpful to all of them that I bought a truck… because we all know with spirited driving, and some showing off, something is bound to go wrong)

 I am closer to my Mazdaspeed family than I am to my own. This has been true since I bought my Speed 3 Jun of 2011. I had some problems with my car(s) and my Mazdaspeed (Nator) family came to my aid. But when that same family had problems of their own, I drove many miles or sometimes across multiple states to help them.

Corksport goes out of their way to attend these events. Not so much pushing parts, but to welcome family with open arms and stay connected to the grass roots of our community.

I met Barrett this year and even having never talked to him, he was the top 3 nicest dudes I have ever met. He got involved and talked shop with the majority of everyone in attendance. Kim is also a major voice in the community, listening to what the people want and bouncing ideas off of people to find how CorkSport can continuously push and evolve in this platform. She shows up to multiple events a year, stays in contact even throughout the winter and is always helping her “brothers and sisters” with their own endeavors, even if it doesn’t involve Corksport.

This year, if you were at the Midwest meet, you would see that a good majority of people have moved on to new platforms, specifically the new ecoboost options from Ford being very popular. Adrienne K with her Focus RS, Matt D with his FoST and Ryan P with his brand new FiST, and myself, I went way to the left with the new Raptor (Hey it has 2 turbos mmmmmkay).

It doesn’t matter what happens in your life, or even if you have moved on, we all got our start with Mazdaspeeds and we always stick with Family.”

As you see, being a Mazda owner is about the community, the family, the connection to other Mazdaspeed Enthusiasts.

And being an enthusiast isn’t always defined by the fact you still own a Mazda. It’s defined by being a car family. There may be groups that require you to own a Mazda to show up, but when it comes to Nator, once a Mazdaspeed Nator Family member, always one.

If you’re curious about where to connect, who to reach out to, or how to get in touch with your local Mazda club, check out the list below.

While we would love for this list to be exhaustive, it’s not, so if you’re currently involved in a club not listed, please let us know and we’ll be sure to make it easier for other CorkSport followers to connect with your group!

Download PDF of List:  NATOR Clubs List

CorkSquad https://www.facebook.com/groups/1634041806878345/ Savannah GA
Souther Street Crew https://www.facebook.com/groups/454444514600458/ GA
MMOC https://www.facebook.com/groups/MIMazda/ Michigan
ClubMPS https://www.facebook.com/groups/clubmpsnz/ New Zealand
LVMazdas https://www.facebook.com/groups/LVMazdas Las Vegas
NoVA Mazdaclub https://www.facebook.com/groups/321399927926454 VA
Mazda MIata Mx5 WA/OR https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698103380420298 WA/OR
Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/mazdamilitia WA
Nothern Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/286006598276940
Texas Mazdaspeeds https://www.facebook.com/groups/TexasMazdaspeeds TX
PNW_Mazda https://www.facebook.com/groups/PNWMazda WA/OR
Mazda 3 Owners Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mazda3OA AUS
Mazdas of Kileen/Ford Hood https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasspeeddemons TX
Nator Oregon https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorOR OR
Nator TN/KY https://www.facebook.com/groups/206647016088166 TN/KY
Nator Oklahoma https://www.facebook.com/groups/NATOROK/ OK
Nator NC/SC https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Carolina/104083326294266 NC/SC
Nator Minnesota https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorMinnnesota MN
Nator Georgia https://www.facebook.com/groups/163448653866393 GA
Nator Florida https://www.facebook.com/groups/1298072073575997/?ref=br_rs FL
Nator Missouri https://www.facebook.com/groups/natormo MO
Nator Arizona https://www.facebook.com/groups/708796579135806 AZ
Nator New Mexico https://www.facebook.com/groups/270637012974823 NM
Nator San Diego https://www.facebook.com/groups/natorsd/about/ CA
Nator DC Metro https://www.facebook.com/groups/147772498652109 DC
Nator WA https://www.facebook.com/groups/948847285235072 WA/OR
Nator WI https://www.facebook.com/groups/379868465454404 WI
Nator Chapter E https://www.facebook.com/groups/176597409073225/ FL
Nator New England https://www.facebook.com/groups/255796874460817 New Englan
Nator Houston Miata https://www.facebook.com/groups/446031202177809 TX
Mazda Owners of Nebraska https://m.facebook.com/groups/733704760063616 Nebraska
Speed Squad https://www.instagram.com/speedsquad.tm/ Quebec Canada
Mazda Flow London https://www.facebook.com/groups/934300966591060/ Ontario Canada

Dear Car Clubs: We Want To Hear From You!

Dear Car Guy,

Did you know there are LOTS of Car Guys and Gals out there in the Mazdaspeed world?

From Nator Clubs and Mazda Nova Clubs to Mazdaspeed and Meet Up Clubs, the branding is slightly different for each area and each group, but the heart and soul of the people who get involved stays the same.

Great people, big appetites (for speed and food), awesome tastes in beers and booze, and a genuine care for their fellow club members. I have made sure to attend meets and get to know the nitty gritty center of our Mazda Community, mostly because who doesn’t want to do Car stuff with their Car friends. However, I also do it because it’s an integral part of CorkSport’s vision, to give unprecedented levels of customer support and connection to the Mazda Community.

We ultimately just want to LOVE OUR CUSTOMERS, and I’ll take one for the team and meet you Guys and Gals face to face.

We’ve been to the MidWest Nator meet, the East Coast Nator Meet, and the Boise Mazda Take-over event this past year. We have also hosted our CorkSport Dyno day and given the west coast Mazda community a place to gather as well! Let me just say, it’s been amazing getting to know everyone, and seeing some awesome familiar faces.

The one thing that really stands out for me is the sense of community that is built at the center of all of this. I’ll admit I’m a people person, so of course YOU are my favorite part of working for CorkSport, however, it’s a community like no other, regardless of the title it goes by. The values of the Mazda community stay fairly similar, with mods, install days, track days, meet ups, and expansion of the love we all share for the Mazda Platform.

A group of awesome individuals, getting together, teaching those who don’t know how, and taking are of those who do (and still break down).

There are Groups all over the US (and I’m sure international), that we don’t even know about. It’s my hope that when you read this, you pass me your group pages, club names, social addresses, etc., so that CorkSport can help others in your area connect!

Near and Far, no matter where you are, let CorkSport hear from you!

Until next time, stay safe, stay fast, stay happy my friends!

-Kim @ CorkSport