The Mazda MX5 has been named ‘Most Popular Convertible’ at the 2012 Honest John Awards, adding yet another accolade to the model’s ever-expanding trophy cabinet. Judging for the awards was based on which car reviews on the Honest John website have been read the most. The Mazda MX5 took class honours ahead of a shortlist which also included the Volkswagen Eos, BMW 3-Series Convertible, BMW Z4 and Fiat 500C. Honest John described the Mazda MX5 as ‘a great sportscar’, praising in particular its handling abilities, ease of use and low running costs, while the website features many more glowing reviews from owners of the car.
“This award confirms that the Mazda MX5 remains a resounding hit among the British public,” said Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director for Mazda UK. “In spite of a growing number of competitors in this sector, the consistent level of praise for the MX5 – from journalists and motorists alike – marks it out as the ideal all-year-round convertible.”
To read the full Honest John review of the MX5 range, click on the logo:
Mazda UK announced today that Total, one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world, is one of the official sponsors of the 2012 Mazda MX5 GT race programme. Linden Thornton, Marketing Manager for Total Lubricants said: “With the MX5 GT race car doing so well in last year’s Championship and an attractive sponsorship proposition, it is an exciting time to support Mazda UK both on and off the race track. It is a fun, challenger brand which we are looking forward to working with to leverage business initiatives in the dealer network through the race programme.” (Pardon? – Fast Car.)
Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director, Mazda UK added: “I am delighted that Total Lubricants have chosen to support our Mazda MX5 race programme as it is an important element to building Mazda’s profile as a challenger brand. Last year was a developmental year where we demonstrated the strengths of the MX5’s nimble handling and performance. We are looking forward to our first year in the British GT Championship and I am confident that Total Lubricants will be able to capitalise on its success.”
The Jota-prepared Mazda MX5 GT ran a successful campaign in the Britcar Production GTN Championship last year, finishing fifth overall and fending off challenges from the more powerful Porsches, Ferraris and Lotus. True to the Mazda brand promise to ‘defy convention’, the MX-5 GT race car will take on the challenge of competing in the prestigious Avon Tyres British GT Championship against supercars in the GT4 class, including Aston Martin, Ginetta and Nissan. The newly developed, 1000kg Mazda MX-5 GT race car features a modified Mazda engine which produces 315bhp and reaches 0-60mph in just over three seconds, a six speed sequential paddle shift gearbox and 17-inch racing tyres. On the exterior, the Mazda MX-5 GT boasts a Spirited Green metallic body colour sporting exclusive sponsor branding on the white bonnet.
For the third consecutive year, the line-up for the MX-5 GT race car is regular drivers Mark Ticehurst (right) from Hassocks, West Sussex and motoring journalist and racing driver, Owen Mildenhall from Dartford, Kent. The ten-race British GT Championship runs until October 2012 and is set over seven weekends at seven different circuits.
The funny man and the bouncy girl from the Gadget Show put the new totally immersive TL1 simulator, based on the Mx5 2 ltr Sport Tech, up against the real thing in the form of the MX5 GT race car. Can Jason, on a real racing track, beat Polly in the simulator? The challenge is set at Brands Hatch, and a real racing legend, F1′s Mark Blundell, is on hand to impart his wisdom.
If you would like to learn more about this incredible simulator, which even looks fantastic from the outside, click on the photo above.
By the way does anyone else agree that the Gadget Show has become almost unwatchable, with poor reviews, silly challenges and childish presentation? Bring back Suzy and Jon and lose the bouncy girl!
Once againthe BBC’s video team produced a most entertaining introduction to the world’s greatest motor race at Monaco with a look at a day in the life of a Formula One big wheel! Its not just the competition, its the glamour, the glitz, the yachts and the girls that make this event so special. What’s not to like, just for a day.
Mazda and Fiat have announced a new deal to develop future sports cars jointly. A new affordable Alfa Romeo roadster will be built alongside the next generation MX5 at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant from 2015. The memorandum of understanding covers the development and manufacturing of a new roadster for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo marques based on Mazda’s next-generation MX5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.
The statement said: ‘The study calls for both Mazda and Fiat to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive. The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.
The Alfa Romeo will be a simple, no-frills sports car in the mould of the MX5. Rear-wheel drive is guaranteed and the roadster will benefit from Mazda’s SkyActiv programme of weight-saving and fuel-sipping technology, so it should be lightweight and responsive in the best MX5 tradition. The agreement will be finalised in the second half of 2012 and this could be the precursor to numerous joint initiatives in Europe. Both companies said they were willing to discuss further cooperation as they seek to increase sales volume and efficiency.
Alfa Romeo Spider Concept
“‘This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand,’ said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. ‘By partnering with Mazda, we will be co-operating with the recognized leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship.’
Mazda top brass are similarly glowing about the new Italian-Japanese relationship. Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s president and CEO, said: ‘Establishing technology and product development alliances is one of Mazda’s corporate objectives and this announcement with Fiat is an important first step in that direction. ‘It is especially exciting to be collaborating with such a prestigious marque as Alfa Romeo on a new roadster based on the next-generation MX5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and the best-selling roadster of all time.’
See what those old blokes at Top Gear think about this move by clicking on the logo: