Mazda, officially known as the Mazda Motor Corporation, is a well-known automobile manufacturer based out of Japan. They own a number of plants worldwide although the majority of their vehicles are still produced in Japan. Mazda is currently the fifteenth largest automaker in the world by production.
Mazda got its start as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co in Hiroshima, Japan in 1920. It took the company until 1931 to move from manufacturing machine tools to the production of their first vehicle. The model was known as the Mazda-Goautorickshaw.
With the onset of World War II, the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co suspended its production of cars and dedicated itself to building weapons for the Japanese military. As soon as the war ended, the company once again started to produce automobiles. Though every one of their models from this point to 1984 bore the Mazda name, it wasn’t until this year that it was officially adopted as the formal name of the company.
Mazda produced several popular cars during the 1960s. Indeed, this was the decade that the company established itself as a world leader. Their development of the Wankel rotary engine also helped set them apart from other Japanese automakers at the time.
With the Wankel rotary engine perfected, Mazda started to rapidly export its models to various countries. These models made their way around the world and established the company as one of the world’s leading automakers. The R100 and RX Series were particularly successful both in Japan and in foreign markets.
Mazda has continued to manufacturer a long line of successful cars, SUVs, and trucks to this day. Though they have gone through their fair share of ups and downs during the years (at one time going bankrupt and being bought by the Ford Motor Company), they still exist and are still financially stable. Mazda cars are some of the most popular in the world today.
The Mazda RX-8 is the company’s current flagship model. The vehicle takes the form of a sports car and first appeared in 2001, although it is now in its second generation.
The RX-8 was created to take the place of the RX-7. Like all of the other models in the RX range, it is powered by one of Mazda’s legendary Wankel Motors.
The second-generation Mazda RX-8 features several upgrades from the first generation. Chief among these is body design and the addition of structural reinforcements to improve body rigidity. The second-generation Mazda RX-8 was also a significantly faster car than its predecessor. Three trims are available. They include the Sport, Grand Touring, and R3.
Mazda currently manufacturers an extensive line of automobile models. It is important to note that most Mazda’s have a different name in Japan than in the markets of the rest of the world.
Current Mazda models are the Carol kei car, Scrum kei car minivan, AZ-Wagon kei car minivan, AZ-Offroad kei car SUV, Familia Van, Mazda2 supermini car, Mazda Verisa supermini car, Mazda3 compact car, Mazda5 compact MPV, Mazda6 family sedan, Mazda8 large MPV, MX-5 sports convertible, RX-8 sports coupe, CX-5 compact crossover SUV, CX-7 compact crossover SUV, CX-9 full-size SUV, Bongo commercial van, Biante large MPV, BT-50 pickup truck, and the Titan commercial truck.
Mazda is well-known for its environmental efforts. In fact, the company has invested more time, effort, and money into eco-friendly vehicles than most other companies.
For instance, Mazda has continually researched hydrogen-powered vehicles for several decades. They even developed a hybrid version of their Premacy compact minivan that uses an engine that is able to run on both hydrogen and gasoline.
Mazda has also been developing a bio-car model for its extensive model line. They have experimented using a host of alternative materials such as plastic to milk in its vehicles. Some of these experiments have even made their way into production vehicles. For example, bio-plastic internal consoles and bio-fabric seats can be found in the Mazda5. In fact, over 30% of the interior parts in the Mazda5 are made from non-biomaterial.
Mazda has also had substantial success in motorsports racing. It has developed winning racecars that use both its Wankel-engine and its piston-engine. These vehicles compete in a wide variety of disciplines in countries all around the world. In fact, more Mazda cars are raced every single week than any other car brand. This in and of itself speaks of the worldwide impact Mazda has made upon the car industry.
Perhaps Mazda’s greatest racing accomplishment is winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans competition in 2014. They are the only Japanese automaker to have ever won this particular competition. Mazda has also had particular success in Formula One racing and in the Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship open wheel racing series.