With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity becoming a must for prospective carbuyers, you’d think it would a no-brainier feature of every new car. Yet Mazda had resisted the technology until now.
The Japanese automaker has finally announced that it will debut Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity in the updated, 2018 Mazda6 in summer 2018. They will be standard on the Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels of the midsize sedan, basically leaving out the base Mazda6 Sport.
Mazda will retrofit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto presumably through a future software update if you purchased your 2018 Mazda6 before the roll-out.
It is likely that the similarly-updated Mazda CX-3 and every all-new Mazda from here on out will also offer the increasingly ubiquitous mobile apps.
Better late than never, Mazda.
Mazda3 TCR Race Car Gears Up With Big Wing, 350 HP For Racing
It wasn’t built your local streets.
Mazda has introduced a hotter version of the new Mazda3, but don’t get too excited if plan on driving it on public roads.
Based on the Mazda3 hatchback, the Mazda3 TCR is a thoroughbred race car specifically engineered to comply with the TCR regulations, making it eligible to take part in any of the 36 TCR-sanctioned championships around the world.
It features a very aggressive body kit that adds wider fenders, a massive rear spoiler, a chunky front splitter, a prominent rear diffuser, and a single exhaust tip positioned right in the middle. It rolls on 18-inch Rays wheels wrapped around in Michelin Pilot tires and uses Bilstein or, optionally, Öhlins dampers.
Power is provided by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can rev up to 7,000 rpm and produces a healthy 350 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, channeled to the wheels by a six-speed paddle-shifted transmission or an optional Xtrac setup. Top speed is reached at 150 mph (241 km/h), while Brembo brakes do the stopping.
The Mazda3 TCR will take part in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and makes its racing debut at the four-hour Endurance Challenge part of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Sunday, January 26.
If Mazda ever decides to make a street-legal version of the hot hatch, it will take on the likes of the limited-run Volkswagen Golf TCR.
2020 Mazda3 Brings More Standard Safety Tech
Driver and passengers will certainty feel safer in their little Mazda.
Mazda has given the completely-redesigned Mazda3 a few new updates less than a year after it went on sale.
For the 2020 model year, all Mazda3 models now come standard with the company’s i-Activsense driver-assist suite of safety features, which was standard on the hatchback but optional on the Mazda3 sedan.
i-Activsense utilizes cameras, radar, and collision mitigation features in order to increase driver awareness and decrease the likelihood and impact of an accident. It includes blind-spot monitor, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.
The Mazda3 is powered by a 186-hp 2.5L four-cylinder engine that can be mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Front wheel drive is standard, but buyers can opt for an all-wheel drive setup.
With the update comes a slight power increase. The 2020 Mazda3 sedan starts at $22,420, while the 2020 Mazda3 hatchback kicks off at at $24,620.
In related news, Mazda says it has no plans for a new, performance-focused Mazdaspeed3 hot hatch.
Mazda Has No Plans For New Mazdaspeed3 Hot Hatch
Mazda has no plans to re-enter the hot hatch segment.
The debut of the all-new, fourth-generation Mazda3 at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show had many hoping for the return of the Mazdaspeed3, but a las, there will likely won’t be one.
Speaking to Australia’s , Mazda’s new global boss Akira Marumoto confirmed that there are no plans for a hot version of the Mazda3, citing the Japanese automaker’s small size and, presumably, the shrinking hatchback segment as primary reasons. He stated:
“Mazda is a small player and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a high particular priority for Mazda my answer would be no. Therefore we not planning for MPS in the future.”
Emblematized by its memorable Zoom Zoom tagline, Mazda’s internal philosophy to provide “driving pleasure” for its customer seems to be taking a backseat to its new-found pursuit of establishing itself as a genuine premium alternative to the likes of established European rivals, which Marumoto says will result in improved quality, comfort and refinement of its existing vehicle line-up.
The decision will surely upset driving enthusiasts, but it is what is it. The times are changing and little ol’ Mazda is just trying to stay afloat.