Mazda has always been a company on the cutting edge of technology since its founding, and if you head over to your local Mazda dealership, you are going to see what is in store for you from this legendary automaker. If you look back at the past, you will see that Mazda has always been willing to take risks, creating vehicles and technologies that constantly propelled the automotive world forward. Today, you can choose between three superior Mazda SUV models, the CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9, as well as two versions of the Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster and two editions of the Mazda3, both in a sedan and a hatchback. In addition, Mazda has debuted its first electric vehicle (EV) this year, the MX-30 EV, a subcompact SUV that combines all the technical prowess of Mazda with the benefits of operating on a fully electric powertrain.
This dedication to innovation involves making frequent adjustments to existing models. For example, the engineers at Mazda have taken steps to make the 2022 MX-5 Miata roadster an even more enjoyable ride, giving it better handling and cornering over the prior year’s model. Sometimes an incremental change is all that is needed. This goes back to the company’s humble beginnings, a dedication to leveraging technology to give drivers a better vehicle every time.
From the Beginning…
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer once sang, “It’s all clear, you were meant to be here from the beginning.” That line could apply to Mazda. The company began as a cork manufacturer in Japan in 1920 as the Tokyo Kogyo Co., Ltd. Looking to branch out, the company introduced its first vehicle 11 years later, a motorized tricycle truck called the Mazda-go. Named after the Japanese god of harmony, intelligence, and wisdom, the vehicle was also so influential that the company’s board voted to change the name to Mazda Motor Corporation. From the beginning, the goal of Mazda has been to use technology to promote world peace and “be a light in the automotive industry,” according to the company’s official history.
The key breakthrough for Mazda involved the use of cutting technology. In 1960, a German engineer developed the first successful rotary engine, which replaced pistons moving up and down inside cylinders, it used a triangular orbiting rotor turning inside of a closed chamber to provide a car’s propulsion. While this revolutionary design produced an engine with fewer moving parts and a lighter design, it was not widely adopted. In fact, the only major automotive company to begin producing vehicles with a rotary engine was Mazda. This contrarian decision by Mazda proved to be a major breakthrough for the company. Not only did it help set Mazda apart from its competitors, but it also led to the development of such successful models as the Mazda Luce T130 Coupe, the Mazda Parkway Rotary 26 minibus, and the Mazda RX-7, which became a status symbol for drivers who wanted a sports car with exceptional performance at a reasonable price.
Even though Mazda no longer produces vehicles with rotary engines, the company continues to be on the cutting edge of technology, embracing innovation to improve its performance, fuel economy, safety, and handling. This can be seen in many of the current models offered by Mazda.
All-Wheel Drive My Car
The Beatles once sang, “Baby, you can drive my car.” While it was doubtful that John, Paul, George, and Ringo were driving in a car with all-wheel drive, if they were to get behind the wheel of a Mazda SUV, they would get that no matter which model or trim they chose. This is because Mazda has decided that all of its three SUV models would feature standard all-wheel drive. Most SUV makers build their vehicles with a front-wheel drivetrain as the base. This means that the all-wheel drive versions are not built on a vehicle designed this way, but rather an add-on to the front-wheel drive base. This is why these models of SUVs tend to be a compromise. With Mazda, this is no longer the case.
No matter which 2022 Mazda SUV you buy, you will get one equipped with the i-ACTIV AWD system. This is not just another all-wheel drivetrain but an integrated system that involves 27 different sensors monitoring road conditions over 200 times per second. This includes such factors as wheel speed, engine dynamics, g-forces, outside temperature, and driver usage of brakes and steering. The system takes all of this data and uses it to provide the optimal traction for exterior road conditions. By making the i-ACTIV AWD system standard on all 2022 models of its SUVs, Mazda is also saving drivers money. Where other automakers require you to pay extra for an all-wheel drive system on their SUV models, you will get this necessary feature included at no extra charge.
You’ve Got to Feel It, It’s Electric!
Mazda has decided to join the growing list of automakers that produce EVs with the 2022 introduction of the MX-30 EV. This electric crossover features a front-wheel drive 80.9 kW electric motor powered by a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, delivering 143 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. What’s more, it frees you from the gas pump when gas prices are spiking out of control across the country. The 2022 MX-30 EV will give you 100 miles of freedom on a full charge of its battery. Mazda has also made charging easy on this new model as you can use a plug-in wall charger at home or charge on the road at any Level 2 or Level 3 DC public supercharger.
The 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV also makes two heartfelt nods to Mazda’s past. The first is featured in the interior cork accents, an homage to Mazda’s origin as a humble cork factory. The second is the addition of a rotary generator. Jeff Guyton, Mazda North American Operations President, points out that, “The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain. This technology is being engineered for nearly silent operation and will replenish the battery rather than drive the wheels.” This will help you get a better range, reducing the need for frequent recharging of the lithium-ion battery.
This new model is intended as the first of many new EVs coming from Mazda in the near future. This includes the MX-30 PHEV, a plug-in model scheduled to debut in 2023. Also, there are reports that the next Miata model will feature a SKYACTIV-X four-cylinder engine with a mild-hybrid system to boost the model’s already impressive fuel economy. Once again, Mazda will be leveraging technological innovation for its lineup of models.
The Shape of Things to Come
In the movie Wild in the Streets, singer Max Frost sings that, “Nothing can change the change of things to come.” While the satirical film was poking fun at the 60s revolutionary spirit, the innovative revolution coming out of Mazda is no laughing matter. The latest model that will hit the roads in 2023 is the CX-50 compact SUV. This will be the newest member of Mazda’s growing family of SUVs with standard i-ACTIV AWD. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 has been given a more rugged profile than its fellow Mazda SUVs, with an eye toward marketing this model to the outdoor crowd that demands a model that can stand up to the rigors of off-roading. This is why the standard drive modes on the CX-50 will include an off-road to maximize traction through coordination of the vehicle’s brakes and engine torque.
The 2023 CX-50 will be offered with a choice of a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV I-4 gas engine and a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G engine with twin-scroll turbocharger. Whichever engine you choose, you will get exceptional performance and solid fuel economy in your Mazda CX-50.
The Future Is Mazda
Mazda has built a reputation for technological innovation, whether popularizing the rotary engine or moving forward with an electrification program for its vehicles. It also shows its dedication to delivering technology-based performance to its drivers in an affordable way, as shown by the decision to make i-ACTIV AWD on all of its SUVs. This is why Mazda will continue to be an industry leader in the automotive world.