Mazda said WHAT about the Rotary in 2017? Also, the 2016 MX-5

With more and more information circulating about the new Rotary and MX-5 Miata, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about these two beauties.

Rotary 2017

Mazda has been pretty tight-lipped about the next Rotary. In fact, just a few months ago, we heard a few sources claim that the Rotary wasn’t in development at all, or at least was no longer being focused on. Well, hope has been renewed! This news is thrilling, and it honestly lines up perfectly with what we published back in August: What Mazda Said That Will Have You Saying, “Take My Money!”

Mazda-Auto-Adapt-for-2020-CorkSport-Mazdaspeed-RX7-Rx8

So what’s the excitement? Well, according to an article posted here, Mazda Kiyoshi Fijiwara (Managing Executive Officer) recently was referenced stating that they should be coming out with a new Rotary in 2017 at the Tokyo Motor show. Mazda is pretty big into anniversaries, and this just reaffirms our hunch they’ll use the 50-year anniversary of their first commercially available Rotary to release a new one. They did it with the 25th anniversary of the Miata MX-5, so why not the Rotary?

This is exciting news, and the best part is, they say it should have close to 300hp!

In case you can’t read Japanese, see the (slightly modified) Google Translation below:

Kiyoshi Fujiwara, the Mazda Managing Executive Officer, at the event in Spain was saying that the company is thought to publish a new car equipped with a rotary engine at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017.

2017: It’s a memorable year. The world’s first commercially-available car equipped with a rotary engine “Cosmo Sports” appeared 50 years earlier. The name of the new car is unknown. As specs become realities, it is clear the “RX-7” engine should come near the order of 300hp.

 

2016 MX-5 Miata Only Gets 155hp

In other news, the engine is officially confirmed at 155hp and 148 ft/lbs of torque for the next generation MX-5. Though this might seem underwhelming, we still have high hopes. The three reasons for these hope are as follows:

 Reason 1:

2015 Miata: 2,619 lbs, divided by 167 hp = 15.68 lbs per Horsepower

2016 Miata: 2,200 (estimated) lbs, divided by 155hp = 14.19 lbs per Horsepower

It’s only an estimate, but the next Gen MX-5 would have to weigh over 2,400 lbs in order to have a worse power-to-weight ratio than the current model.

Reason 2:

Mazda knows more than ever that everyone wants a faster and higher horsepower car.  This knowledge, and the fact that they don’t currently produce, and have not announced, plans to introduce a single Mazdaspeed variant of any of their cars, gives us hope. You might think that makes no sense, but consider it: Doesn’t all their silence about the next Mazdaspeed seem strange? How can a company that has the most vehicles racing in the World on any given weekend NOT have a Mazdaspeed? Secrets.

Mazda has been parading around their Super20 Miata since 2012—a roughly 250 horsepower supercharged Miata that’s received incredible press and reviews. Of course, it isn’t available for public sale. So why does Mazda continue to tease us? Why produce these totally reachable cars that people want without actually producing them for sale? It could just be for publicity, but our bet is also that Mazda has secretly been working on the next Mazdaspeed, and it will be an Mx-5. If we’re right…. we would guess everyone will receive a good confirmation of the next Mazdaspeed MX-5 soon.

Reason 3:

The MX-5 is the pinnacle of Mazdas to modify. More people are modifying their Miata/MX-5 than probably all other Mazdas combined. What does this mean? Turbos, Intakes, Exhausts, Suspension, Bodykits, Lighting: There are so many mods!! Mazda knows people love to modify their cars. If they don’t do it themselves, they know their customers will, which is why we have a feeling that with a few small tweaks, we’ll have this next MX-5 purring and putting out an extra 20-40 horsepower in no time.

Check out The Jalopnik article on the Miata and it’s 155HP: HERE.

The End of the Mazda Rotary RX

tombstone

R.I.P Mazda RX Rotary

We received some sad news a few days ago about the much loved Rotary RX-7, RX-8 and other RX series. The official word according to the Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai is that “we don’t have that kind of vehicle in our future product plan.”  when asked about a future RX. 

Honestly I’d love to pontificate about this more, but there isn’t much to say. It sounds like the final word from the current CEO. When pushed further he gave some reasoning that honestly makes perfect sense, “If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products.” Also stated was the fact that “It’s difficult for us at present to further expand our lineup. The company is still in the process of improving its financial structure. We want to focus our limited resources on the Skyactiv products that we have today” 

Though this probably makes the most sense from a stability standpoint, it certainly doesn’t make us excited or want to say “Zoom-Zoom”. What happened to the Mazda passion? All that racing knowledge and development? Did they just give up on pushing the bar? Honestly, I don’t think so, I just think they are changing focus. The Rotary is off the board in the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean their current lineup won’t see some improvements…. after all, what about that Mazdaspeed 3 and MX-5?

Nonetheless, let us all take a moment of silence and mourn the passing of the RX series, for now.

 

Cheers

Spencer@CorkSport

Spencer CarsonWritten by Spencer Carson. Spencer is a car enthusiast and Mazda fan at heart. Whether enjoying the power of a modified Mazdaspeed 3, or driving top down in his 1992 MX5, he always enjoys getting behind the wheel. As much as Spencer loves driving, he loves helping out other Mazda owners even more. Whether helping at a local install day or heading to a car meet across the country, he loves chatting about Mazda and giving advice on how to get more Zoom-Zoom out of any car. 

 

Clearance Bonanza!

Around this time of the year everyone is looking for a good deal on some parts to make their money stretch just a little further. If you are a Mazda enthusiast you may naturally take a look at CorkSport to see what we have to offer in the way of deals this holiday season.

This year CorkSport has a large range of parts on clearance for Mazda enthusiasts across the spectrum, from 90-94 Protege parts all the way up to the 2010+ Mazdaspeed 3.

Need some examples?

For the Mazdaspeed 3/6 we have an Aluminum Fidanza flywheel for $373 on the shelf.

Want something for the exterior of your Mazda? How about an AutoExe Rear Bumper which fits 2004-2009 Mazda 3 hatchback and Mazdaspeed 3s. We have one available for $389 which is $263 off the regular price.

Yes, we have suspension parts available too with everything from an AutoExe front sway bar for the Mazda 3 to adjustable swaybar end links for the Mazdaspeed 6.

Many of the items we have on clearance are parts which will no longer be available once we sell out so this could be your last chance to get them. This is especially true for parts that we have listed for the older car models like the 90-94 Protégé.

Now here comes the really fun part. Beginning today until the end of the month, we are giving you a chance to make an offer on any of the clearance items we have listed! If a price is just out of reach, but you REALLY want that product, you can email me Derrick@corksport.com with the part you are interested in and your best offer. There are rules to this so please read the rest of this post before you go crazy and start sending over your offers.

RULES:

  • We are not accepting offers on regularly priced items. This only applies to clearance items.
  • Email is the only way we will accept an offer on a clearance part.
  • Do not call up to make an offer, I will not be able to help you on the phone about it.
  • Do not post up on this blog with an offer.
  • Do not post up on Facebook or in a forum either. I will not be looking there and we will not answer you.
  • Do not send us a contact us email through our webpage with an offer on a clearance part, we will delete it.
  • If a part is no longer in the clearance section then it is sold out or no longer available at the clearance price.
  • This is a first come, first serve deal, so please no whining or complaining if the part is no longer available or
  • on clearance.

    Happy Shopping!

    Derrick-

    P.S. We will be adding more parts to the clearance section as the week goes on (no, not top mount intercoolers, intakes, or exhaust systems…or any other CorkSport parts that have been released in the last two years) so feel free to check back throughout the next week to see if a part you want comes up.

    Product Release! CorkSport Oil Catch Can Development and Release Notes

    Sometimes projects take a lot longer than expected to get to release. After several design changes, lots of simulations, and plenty of mounting revisions, we are happy to announce the release the CorkSport Oil Catch Can for Mazda and Mazdaspeed vehicles.

    Oil catch cans are designed to separate the water, oil and other contaminants from your PCV system. The PCV system feeds directly in the intake manifold causing all these contaminants to be pushed to the back of the valves then into the engine cylinders. As cars wear, we see more and more contaminants in the PCV system and then into the engine.

    Many of you have followed the development as we moved through our design revisions beginning with our first concept, a titanium oil catch can that used stainless steel wool to separate out the oil and several versions in-between before we came to the design that we are happy to be releasing today.

    Unlike other catch cans on the market that simply expect the contaminates to fall out of the PCV vapors, our newly released oil catch can has a unique cyclonic vacuum design that forces contaminants to the walls of the can before the air can move back into the intake system. This Solidworks simulation shows how the system was designed. You can see that the air swirls around the outside of the can trapping the contaminants at the wall. This allows them to fall through a disk that is welded between two chambers used to separate the PCV vapors and the contaminants. Once the contaminants are separated you can view them with a sight tube located on the side of the catch can.

    We were particularly surprised to see how much water vapor builds up in the crank case of these cars. After a few miles of driving with the catch can on our shop Mazdaspeed 3, we could really see what separates our catch can from the competition. After only 500 miles we had separated out a great deal of contaminants from the PCV system. Most of which was water vapor that had been trapped in the PCV lines and engine block. This alone should ensure that oil doesn’t break down quickly on our DISI MZR engine.

    After 3000 miles we performed our first oil change. The results were exactly what we expected, a much smaller concentration of water but a noticeable amount of oil. MZR engines are notorious for slight amounts of blow by getting back into the engine. As you can see from the picture this is something you don’t want getting back into your engine. We took this sample and sent it out for particulate analysis. The results really prove that you don’t want this in your engine. Along with a large amount of oil, which can be seen, there was metal and water present in the oil. All of which we don’t want to be reburned in our engine or stuck to the back of our valves.

    Even though it took a little longer than we expected to release this, I’m sure everyone will agree that there are certain things you want done right and somethings are worth the wait. When it comes down to it there are just some contaminants that you never want entering your motor. Most of them are listed on the sheet to the right.

    The CorkSport Oil Catch Can will enhance the reliability of your engine and improve performance and fuel economy. It is made from high-grade aluminum with a pressed annodized top cap and includes a chemical resistant sight tube. It comes with a complete mounting kit and can be purchased from CorkSport for $139.00.

    For more information about this product or to purchase one today, please visit our product page on our online catalog at https://www.corksport.com

    So you want to be a race car driver…

    I have always had the itch to go racing on the track over the years but the price to do so always seemed like a number that was too high. I decided late last year that if I was going to hit the track I needed to get going on my dream. This is the beginning of the adventure I am taking to achieve this dream.

    The best choice to get the license that I can find in our area was to race at Portland International Raceway with the SCCA. To get out on the track requires getting a SCCA novice permit. There are a wide range of things needed to get the permit. First thing you need is a race car. Since I had planned on going racing we have been preparing a car to do this but it was not ready to meet the challenge yet. After a few phone calls I came up with an intriguing option. The Oregon Region SCCA created a local class called IT-J. What do the initials stand for you ask? Well IT stands for “improved touring” and the J stands for “junk”. Yes I said junk. The local officials recognized the popularity of the Chump Car and Lemons car series so they made a class just for the junkers people race. The cars do need to pass an SCCA tech inspection like every other racecar out on the track but the budget building of the cars is taken into consideration so there are some things which are overlooked in the styling department.

    My race car was loaned to me by several members of rotary power northwest, a local rotary enthusiast group. I was a guinea pig of sorts to test out the recently installed brakes and brake cooling system after an event showed the system to be a weak point in Chump Car racing.

    With the racecar part of the puzzle out of the way, I had to get a physical with a specific set of SCCA forms to be filled out by my doctor, turn in my novice permit application, and get some safety gear.

    The novice permit is straight forward as well as the doctor visit to get the forms filled out but the safety gear has a huge range of choices. It is required in the SCCA GCR (General competition rules) to have a fire resistant driver suit, gloves, shoes, baklava (sock for your head that fits under your helmet), helmet, and a HANS (head and neck support) device. Even shopping for the best prices the total bill on the safety gear came out to ~$1700. The safety gear lasts for years if properly cared for so this is a large upfront cost you will only have to make once. A tip if you are purchasing a HANS device and helmet, make sure the helmet has the holes pre-drilled for the mounting point for the HANS. This saves you having to measure and drill your helmet. I purchased a bell helmet which had the points pre-drilled which made the installation of the mounting points a snap. The finished safety display of items is below.

    Yes, I know, I look like they guy who died jumping a jag off the end of an aircraft carrier but there is a reason I went with the colors I did. Black is a color which works well with about any color and driving a race car is dirty which is hidden well on black.

    Once you have all of your docs in order, your race car, and safety gear you get to wait for the event. I got lucky; the Oregon region SCCA school was a two-day affair with all of the required track time smashed into two days. This made it better than attending two schools to get the novice permit issued. In this case after passing the novice permit you get to race the same weekend at the 1st region SCCA event immediately after the school.

    First things first, getting the car through the tech inspection. When you don’t own the racecar you are using this was a bit nerve-racking. I had an inspection done but it was found that the harnesses we expired at the end of 2011. There is nothing like a scramble to find a set of harnesses on a Thursday evening while you are in a drivers class which runs until 9pm. At 8:30pm a set of harnesses magically appeared in the driver seat of the car. By the time the class was over, I drove home and installed the new harnesses, it was midnight. With the words of one of the driving school instructors in my head saying “be there by 6:45am if you don’t have your tech sticker already” ringing in my head and “make sure you get plenty of sleep” I sacked out.

    5 hours later a gently reminder to wake up blasted away to get me moving to the track to meet the time the teacher set out. I arrived early and got the car to the tent to await my tech inspection. The vehicle was remembered by the tech from the previous night so after a quick check of the harnesses the vehicle was passed for the school. Another quick check of my safety gear done and I was given an inspection sticker for my helmet and one for the car. I was ready to go.

    After a quick drivers meeting where we all got a quick run down of the morning events everyone got suited up and we hit the track for some simple driving techniques and a trip around PIR to receive a preview of the track and what and where everything is. Next up was a drive and follow with several of the instructors to work out the driving line for everyone. Somewhere along the way I lost my instructor and another student to the pits for technical issues. I got to continue practicing turn in points and hitting the apex on the corners for another 20 minutes. Turns out the other student was busted for the 103db sound limit for the track. Moral of the story there is a vette with side pipes is REALLY loud, even louder than an Rx7 I was driving with a header and a pair of straight through mufflers.

    After a drivers meeting and a quick lunch we headed out on to the track for another 120 minutes of track time to practice our lines, hitting markers, and learning the track. One of the items the instructors wanted us to learn is the turn markers and braking points. The reason for this is they had set up cones marking everything for us to learn and the cones were not going to be there the next day.

    A sample of my instructions in my head for driving the track “turn four hit the late apex and head towards the small bleachers, quick on the brakes to set the outside tire and turn in to five. Aim for the orange climb through for the apex in five, a quick jab on the brakes to set the car for turn six which you need to stay in the middle of the track to start the turn and hit the next apex.”

    After working on this for an entire day and some input on some tweaking of the car from one of the instructors I felt pretty good about driving around the track. The last driver session we got a surprise, the advanced drivers were put onto the track with us to give us the experience of much faster cars on the track at the same time. The advanced drivers were running a pair of Spec Miatas, a Porsche turbo, and a Viper challenge racecar. The Porsche and the Viper were insanely fast. You would see them in the rear view starting down the back straight. I was ¾ of the way down the straight and they would catch up to me by the end of it and pass me (and all of the other students) in the corners and disappear again for a lap or two. It is a very humbling experience to get blown past by those cars on the track.

    At the end of the first day I had completed 260 minutes on the track and I was beat. Unfortunately I had an off the track incident while passing a 240z which required some minor repair work to the brake ducts on the front of the Rx7 and a quick inspection of the front brakes to see how everything was holding up. After 2 hours of work making sure the car was in good shape I got some much-needed rest.

    The next morning the classes started up at 8:15 for a drivers meeting and hitting the track for four thirty minute driving sessions with a five-minute break between each one. In the Rx7 this meant I had to stop and get fuel after two sessions. It had rained all night so the track was really slick. After a brief meeting we headed to our cars and off onto the track. The 1st session was a get yourself up to speed and a last chance to memorize the track before the marker cones were pulled. On the first lap out I had an instructor spin out in front of me, several other students spin out, and another student blow completely off the track in turn nine and ten and end up against the tire wall. That black flagged the session so we all headed to pit row for them to clean up the mess. We were cut loose again on the track to finish out the session.

    Session number 2 had more people going off the track along with our friend who went way off the tracking getting a chat from the instructors which I can guess was probably not a pleasant conversation.

    The third session was a race just like what we would see in a normal SCCA weekend. All of the students were on the track with instructors and more advanced drivers at the back of the pack. I was stacked up with several other IT-J Rx7s towards the back of the pack in the starting grid. The green flag dropped and it looked like everyone was waiting for the car in front of them to go. I took off to the right with the Miata in front of me and passed eight cars by the time I hit the first corner. (I was next to the silver Rx7 in the picture below).

    I was pretty proud of myself for the first racing start and getting past eight people. I managed to work myself past several others through the field until the faster drivers at the back of the field caught up later in the session.

    For the last session of the day we had the advanced drivers out joining us again. By this point the track was really drying out and I was able to push it as fast as I felt comfortable in a borrowed car. I found myself checking glancing at the rear view mirror often with the threat of the Porsche and viper catching up to me and I wanted to make sure I was ready for them to go past.

    We all headed off the track and went to the last drivers meeting. There were a few violations handed out (someone had pass on a yellow flag which is major no-no in racing) by the stewards for the day then we got what we had all come for, the novice permit signed off. Some of the students immediately signed up for the practice session to race in the region SCCA event the same weekend. My prize for the weekend is the novice permit and the office certificate granting stating we passed the school.

    So what is next in my path to racing? Like I mentioned earlier CorkSport is building a racecar to compete with. I will divulge more on that project later but we need to have it together by April 28th and 29th for the double regional event. With two regional events under my belt I can apply to get my regional SCCA racing license and move up from the novice permit.

    -Derrick