Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Mark Gilbert 1:52pm on Friday, April 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 100 years, , century, Special edition   

    Special Edition Mazda Miata Celebrates 100 Years 

    There have been some seriously cool special edition Mazda MX-5 Miata special editions over the years, with the US fortunate enough to have received some of the best Miatas ever made. But the latest special edition model from the Japanese automaker might be the coolest yet, and it could also be one of the few that won’t be making its way to US shores. Meet the 100th Anniversary Special Edition, designed to celebrate Mazda’s centenary year in absolute style by drawing inspiration from arguably one of the coolest historic Mazda’s ever made, the R360 Coupe.


    As part of the centenary celebration, Mazda’s international arm has announced that a series of 100th Anniversary Special Edition models will be rolled out across selected vehicles from the Mazda range. These include cars like the Mazda MX-30 all-electric crossover as well as favorites like the CX-5, Mazda 3, and yes, the MX-5 Miata.

    These special editions will all be based on upper-level trims from within the respective model ranges, and each will get a series of special design cues intended to make them stand out. All will, however, draw inspiration from the legendary two-tone scheme of the Mazda R360 Coupe, which was Mazda’s first passenger vehicle back in 1960.

  • Craig Freger 8:32pm on Thursday, February 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    Ninjin, my 30AE, is going to be a Hot Wheels Legend 

    I just got word that my little 30AE, Ninjin, was accepted to participate in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour when it comes to Miami on March 7. I honestly expected a polite rejection, as my car is pretty much stock.

    The application asked that I say a little bit about my car. I wrote: “It is a 30th Anniversary model MX-5. It is #185/3000 worldwide. It is very orange. I think it would make for a cool Hot Wheels car.”

    The application also required that I upload a photo that they could use for promotional purposes. I chose this one:

    30th Anniversary Edition

    Apparently, that was good enough. I have no illusions of inspiring a new Hot Wheels car with my entry… but if Mattel ever makes a 30AE Hot Wheels… I will buy a dozen.

    Some more info here:



    • Mark Gilbert 1:58pm on Friday, February 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      We’ve got 7 30AE owners signed up with our club. Got to get everyone together for a photo op at some point!

    • Craig Freger 2:08pm on Friday, February 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      There were seven at MATG 2019. Lucky number?

  • Robert Burr 12:04pm on Thursday, January 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Braking, Electronic, , Regenerative   

    Miata Now Has Electronic Regenerative Braking 

    Mazda announced a refresh for the MX-5 Miata sports car today for European markets, outlining new trim levels and standard safety equipment. The car hasn’t changed much, save for one thing: the inclusion of the company’s i-ELOOP and i-stop kinetic recovery and stop-start systems, which will now be standard on all European MX-5 models.

    Mazda’s i-ELOOP tech has been around for awhile, but this is the first time we’re seeing it included in the MX-5. It works by converting the car’s kinetic energy into electricity as it decelerates, rather than lose it to heat as the car uses its brakes to come to a stop. It then stores that energy in a dedicated capacitor, which in turn powers the car’s electronic systems. Mazda has a great video explaining the entire process:

    This system means the engine-driven alternator doesn’t have to work as hard to power the car’s electronics, which Mazda claims can result in a five-percent improvement in efficiency. And in case you were wondering, no, this doesn’t mean the Miata is now a hybrid. The system only helps power the car’s electronics — it doesn’t assist with propulsion.

    Mazda hasn’t specified how much weight its i-ELOOP system adds to the Miata, or how it’ll affect drivability or the car’s fun factor. But knowing them, we’re sure the car will be just as enjoyable, even with the system in place.

    Mazda declined to comment on whether the 2020 model-year Miata will be receiving the i-ELOOP system in the U.S., though we should receive news on updated trim levels and pricing for the car soon.

    link to article:


    • Andrew 10:58am on Saturday, January 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      We will see how that works out in the end.

      To remove the load from the alternator (also probably making it smaller to reduce the amount of work the engine needs to do – which is where the 5% improvement comes as the alternator is belt driven by the main shaft), its going to use a capacitor to store the converted brake energy into electricity. Most of the electrical components will then run off that system. A capacitor will high a very voltage more than enough to kill if not careful when working in the engine bay. Additionally, it will add a bit of complexity and expense. Might also might mean limited options for upgrading the braking calipers, pads, lines, etc..

      Just a thought.

      • Robert Burr 11:03am on Saturday, January 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        The future of super-capacitors is unfolding rapidly, as an adjunct to battery systems. Capturing a large amount of power quickly, discharging quickly for large demand, this is the realm of capacitor. Discharging slowly to power 5 volt or 12 volt systems is a clever trick. Thank the electric vehicles for moving this technology of energy efficiency forward at a rapid pace.

  • Mark Gilbert 10:49am on Friday, January 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Documentary, , , Series   

    Mazda Miata Documentary Series 

    Mazda Miata Documentary Series links:
    Introduction- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpBc3K3aZgc&t=14s
    NA- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p41i9L0HOJw
    NB- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTAHDnvO748
    ND- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38SE1-1hBlI&fbclid=IwAR2TovfTMZyDZjHnqGixwxtVM1cWbQxR4-uYRWERsyksONo5dReVnNMLOCw

  • Robert Burr 1:06pm on Thursday, January 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Stick Shift   

    Mazda Miata Buyers Kept the Stick Shift Alive in 2019 

    Every day, we car enthusiasts are warned that the manual transmission is dying. Automatics shift quicker, accelerate faster, and deliver superior fuel economy. The stick-shift is old fashioned, out of date.

    Mazda Miata Stick Shift

    Well, it seems someone forgot to tell Miata buyers about the death of the manual transmission. In the 2019 model year, the majority of the delightful drop-tops that Mazda sold were equipped with three pedals, according to Autoblog.

    Turns out, between July 2018 and April 2019, 76 percent of soft-top Miatas were sold with a manual transmission. The number was a bit lower for the retractable-hardtop Miata RF, just 52 percent sold with a stick-shift. Still, that means the majority of Miatas were manuals.


  • Robert Burr 1:58pm on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2000hp, 2020, electric, hypercar, Lotus Evija   

    2020 Lotus Evija: 2000hp all-electric hypercar revealed 

    This is it, then, the Lotus Evija electric hypercar – the car that will relaunch the Lotus brand next year. With 2000hp and four-wheel drive it’ll be, Lotus claims, the most powerful production car in the world, and capable of 0-60mph in under 3sec and more than 200mph flat out.

    Lotus will build no more than 130 of these £1.5m-2m (plus taxes) Evijas, carbon fibre constructed and with a carbon fibre body to leave it at 1680kg, beneath which will be four electric motors that can torque vector, and a 70kWh battery that can take 350kW fast charging. Join Matt Prior as he talks you through the full spec of this car and its extraordinary aero and fabulous interior, and gets the full skinny from Lotus’s design director, Russell Carr.

    • Robert Burr 2:01pm on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      There is a rumor that Mazda and Lotus have been consulting on an electric version of the MX-5 for the future. Obviously, no way to keep these below the 2,000 pound current weight of the MX-5, but who knows what the future might bring.

  • Mark Gilbert 11:36am on Monday, September 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

    Monthly Meeting This Sunday – Oct. 6th 

    This Sunday will be our last regularly scheduled monthly meeting on the first Sunday of the year. There will not be any regular monthly meetings in November and December.

    Lester's DinerI hope everyone can attend as we will discuss plans for next years road trips and events. I hope to see everyone there.

    John will raffle off a Mazda backpack at the meeting.



  • Mark Gilbert 7:02am on Sunday, September 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , showdown, sports car   

    Miata Is Still Always The Answer! 


    Two seats, rear-wheel drive, a manual transmission, some sticky tires, and enough power to light em up when the urge strikes. The basic ingredients of a sports car haven’t changed much over the years, and if you’re lucky enough to have a large pile of cash, there are quite a few brilliant examples available today. Unfortunately, for most of us, these pinnacles of automotive performance are all but out of reach.

    Sure, we have plenty of sports sedans, hot hatches, muscle cars, and even SUVs that claim to be sporty—all of which are also available for less than a fortune. But a true sports car for the masses is sadly becoming rarer.

    Luckily, Mazda continues to build the torchbearer for affordable performance. Now in its fourth and arguably best generation, the MX-5 Miata is pretty much the go-to answer for driving enjoyment on a budget.

    Not to be outdone by their Japanese neighbor, Toyota and Subaru entered into a partnership over a decade ago to develop their own small, affordable sports car. Sold as the Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and now Toyota 86, the Toybaru has gained a loyal following of enthusiasts, many of whom take advantage of a thriving aftermarket to mod their cars.

    The recent introduction of a TRD Special Edition model to the 86, as well as an updated engine for the MX-5 Miata, provided an excellent rationale to test these two cars and see which is best.

  • Mark Gilbert 7:07pm on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply

    30AE Delivery Coming Soon 

    Release to dealers from the ports, coming July 8th. Can’t wait to see a 30th anniversary model in the flesh! A chap from Australia has taken delivery and posted photos. Enjoy the pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/simon_corston/albums/72157709286949317?fbclid=IwAR31ZVrsEJo8mgq88kiR5T9oMaOCg8rRUiVQ3noUgiIcCmy9ZPnz5zp-60c

    • Anonymous 9:42am on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Lookin good!

  • Andrew 12:24pm on Monday, May 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Autocrosser, , Gulfcoast,   

    Gulfcoast Autocrosser and Performance Driving 

    UPDATE: here is a link for a training run I did with an instructor. It was a lot of fun. The tires were starting to squeal which is the sound you want to hear running running at its limits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUqDWvjsx9c&feature=youtu.be

    The hard part is learning where the imaginary rod lies in relations to the cones. As for the car, it handles very well with stock tires. My swaybars were upgraded to GWR RoadsterSport brand, a medium upgrade for swaybars. Its helps to reduce, but not eliminated the strong roll of the car.


    For anyone interested, I will be out at the training ground this coming Saturday, June 1st for another round of novice training. Its a great learning experience, well worth the drive there and nominal cost for about 2-3 hours of driving practice through cones on a safe airfield. You can drive the car as hard or soft as you like. For me its about learning the feel of the car, its handling, braking and threshold of grip.

    Preregistration is going on now: http://rollbase.gulfcoastcloud.com/prod1/portal/portal.jsp?c=142720&p=144437&g=211172 You pay the $25 at the event, helmets are available for free use.

    This is the last session for the summer and the program resumes in September. Pretty much everything you need is on site for nominal cost: food, drinks/water, paper signage for your car. Do bring lots of sunscreen, hat, proper clothing for direct sunlight as there is no shade.

    The novice program starts at 9:30 AM sharp, I expect to be there around 8AM.

    Your car will need to be inspected (tires, brakes, engine for loose battery and anything loose) and cleared by the officials at the site. The facility is broken down into two parts for Saturday use: novice school and 1/2 mile test/tune track. Novice school is in the morning then they break for lunch around noon and give you 3 runs (tokens) for the test track. You can earn more tokens (more runs) by working the cones (people stationed to reset the knocked down cones). On Sunday the entire field becomes a 1 mile race track.

    Contact me for any other questions.

    • Robert Burr 2:52pm on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds great!

    • Anonymous 3:23pm on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Where is this held…Google map?

    • Andrew 5:15pm on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The address is: 3987 Sunset Road, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

      Also see this link: http://www.gulfcoastautocrossers.com/gcacmap.html

      Its about 140 miles (one way) from West Broward County, a straight run on I-75, exit 138 then a couple of miles east. You will/should refuel off the exit. There are a couple of gas stations there and nothing else near the facility. One tank of gas was more than enough to have made the trip and back and do the various runs. Between gas, registration, paper decals, food on site, you will probably spend around $70

    • Frank Falcone 11:09am on Thursday, May 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like fun, Do you know how to register for the novice class? I tired registering at the site, but don’t know what to put in for the car number and class.

      Also, My tires are getting close to needing replacement, think that will be problem?

    • Anonymous 12:25pm on Thursday, May 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Andrew, i can’t make it this Saturday but would like to do the event in September. Please keep me informed.

      BTW, I’ve done two of the Equipe-Rapide autocross events at the St. Lucie Fairgrounds this year. They won’t start back up until October but I’ll post the date when it becomes available.

    • Andrew 5:24pm on Thursday, May 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Frank,

      Go onto the website and register. You will need to first create a car/person profile and class. Pick a car number from the list available; that is your number from now on. I picked CS as its a basic stock class. Then when you register click on the button for attending the novice class. Its only offered on Saturdays. I don’t compete so I only go for the training class. Need to do it by NOON Friday as you can’t register at the site (as far as I am aware).

      That is basically it. You pay when you get there. Bring cash, makes thing easier. There is a $1 entry fee, paper numbers costs $0.50 each or $3 for a set of 6 numbers, three on each side. $25 for the novice class, sodas are like $1 or $0.50 for water. There is a food vendor making hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and some other meat sandwiches for like $5-$7.

      As of 5:23PM, the site seems to be running slow and I could not get onto the registration page. You can always send an email to the contact person listed.

      As for the tires, not unless they are bald and showing wire or have obvious physical damage. Note, what ever you bring in the trunk will have to be emptied at the site (tools, spare tire, etc.). Not a problem as everyone does that and I have been told that nothing has been stolen.

      I inflate my tires the night before to 34 PSI for this purpose only, although they have compressors on site for use.

    • Frank Falcone 10:14am on Friday, May 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, I was able to register for the class. I used the CS car class as well, but it might be wrong, since I have the supercharger installed.

    • Anonymous 4:49pm on Friday, May 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Frank,

      For purpose of novice training, I don’t think it matters as you are not competing. If you were to race on Sunday, then it would make a big difference.

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