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Mazda gambles with advanced engine tech to bridge the shift to all-electric

Why it matters to you

New body styles may not catch your eye, but revolutionary engine tech could change your ride. Mazda Motor Corporation showed off two attention-grabbing concept models at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show. Looking past the curves and sightlines, the company’s plans for the revolutionary SkyActiv-X spark-controlled compression ignition motors captured as much if not more attention than the swoopy concept bodies.

Mazda Vision Coupe Concept

We’ve already written about the Vision Coupe concept previewed as the next Mazda6, likely to launch in 2020. Mazda also unveiled the Kai Concept four-door hatchback, an early look at the next generation 2019 Mazda3. Car and Driver recently drove prototype examples of the next Mazda3 in Germany with Skyactiv-X engines and the same body. Mazda referred to the current Mazda3 design as “juvenile and fresh” and the Kai concept as “sporty and mature,” according to CarsGuide.

Beyond aesthetics, the new platform is supposed to be quieter, with less vibration and ride harshness. The Kai Concept, like the Vision Coupe, was created with Mazda’s Kodo design language. Kodo is a design philosophy that goes beyond shaping metal mass to “breathing life into the car.” Mazda’s long-term tech development vision is to use driving pleasure to “inspire people, enrich society, and help bring about a beautiful earth.” The company calls the vision “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030.”

According to Mazda the Kai Concept muscular, solid proportions result in a dramatically quieter, more comfortable ride than the current model as well as an “enhanced performance feel.” CarsGuide states the next-gen Mazda3 will be about 2 inches shorter and 3.5 inches lower than the current model, with a 2-inch longer wheelbase and a 2.4-inch wider body.

Mazda SKyActiv-X compression ignition engine The new Mazda3’s greatest test, beyond eye appeal, noise levels, and ride feel, will be the success of the SkyActiv-X engine technology. The promise and hope are that the new compression-ignition engine can combine the better aspects of both gasoline and diesel engine technologies.

The new engine follows Mazda’s previous SkyActiv-G gasoline engine and Skyactive-D diesel engine. Mazda’s sees the “X” as a crossover, using spark-ignition to control the compression ignition. If it works, the SkyActiv-X will deliver diesel engine-like torque and fuel economy along with the higher revs and cleaner exhaust emissions associated with gasoline engines.

Mazda wants SkyActiv-X drivers to simultaneously enjoy the drive and take better care of the planet.

Editor’s Recommendations

The best drifting videos on the internet are smoky, brilliant, and mesmerizing

There’s more to drifting than a Fast and Furious sequel without Vin Diesel. It’s a popular form of motor sport and a vibrant automotive subculture, and outside of that, it’s just plain cool to watch. Even skeptics will find something to appreciate after watching the best drifting videos on the web.

The goals of drifting are to get a car sideways, keep it under control, smoke the tires, and — sometimes — play “follow the leader” with other cars. Just about anybody can break the rear end loose, but maintaining a proper line without wrecking the vehicle altogether takes skill, patience, and poise. The internet is full of drifting videos, and we’ve gathered 15 of our favorites here.

They’re a great place to start if you’ve never seen drifting before and want to see what the fuss is about, but they’re also an extremely addicting form of procrastination. You’ve been warned.

Tandem drift on the Ebisu Circuit

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Drifting was invented in Japan, and the Ebisu Circuit remains one of the country’s most legendary drift courses. This video of a tandem drift shows why.

The cars get close together in an elegant dance while producing glorious amounts of tire smoke. While it is technically a racetrack, this part of the circuit has almost no runoff, leaving drivers little room for error.

#Battledrift — Vaughn vs. Daigo

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It’s a battle royale between two top professional drifters: Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Daigo Saito.

Gittin’s weapon of choice is his usual Ford Mustang[1], while Saito slides around in a Lamborghini Murci?lago. An abandoned Russian village and a gaggle of Japanese Dekotora trucks serve as a cool backdrop and obstacles, respectively.

Hoonigan Black Friday

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Here’s one to replay during the holiday season. It features drifting pros Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck in a pair of V8-powered Nissan 370Zs[2], doing their thing in the abandoned Hawthorne Mall in Los Angeles.

The cars get unbelievably close together in some of the tandem moves, a level of precision made all the more challenging by the immense clouds of smoke coming off the rear tires.

Moving Target

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A staple of drift competition is when drivers get their rear bumpers as close to a barrier as possible without actually ripping them off. Ryan Tuerck took this to the next level by making the barrier mobile. In this video, a Ford Crown Victoria sporting highway guardrails sets off on a track, and a mob of drift cars plays a game of automotive tag with it.

Motorcycle vs.

Car Drift Battle 2

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This one shows that motorcycles[3] can drift too. The storyline may be a bit hokey, but the action certainly isn’t. The setup involves two mischievous motorcyclists, who get chased by a Buford T.

Justice-wannabe “cop” in a Ford Mustang. The result is a lot of sliding around on two wheels and four.

“Mad” Mike Whiddett drifts New Zealand’s Crown Range

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This one has it all. Red Bull pro drifter[4] Mad Mike Whidett pilots a sweet Mazda RX-7 through some epic scenery in New Zealand. There’s plenty of tire smoke, a wailing Wankel rotary engine, and a helicopter.

What more could you ask for?

Gymkhana 9

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Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos mix drifting with rally and stunt driving, but there’s definitely enough sideways action to warrant a mention here. The entire series is worth watching, but the latest installment in particular features some great stunts as well as Block’s awesome Ford Focus RS[5] RX rally car.

Ferrari F40 snow drift

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As one of Ferrari’s rarest and most acclaimed supercars, the F40 is probably not the kind of vehicle most would consider drifting on any surface, let alone snow. But that didn’t stop Red Bull from orchestrating this stunt, which shows a very different side of this pedigreed exotic.

The Drift Alliance at Gridlife Atlanta

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The “Drift Alliance” (drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chris Forsberg, and Ryan Tuerck) sure knows how to do synchronized drifting.

Watch their three-car formation snake around Road Atlanta[6], shadowed closely by a very dedicated camera-car driver.

Drift All Stars — Follow The Leader

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BMWs mix it up with an assortment of Japanese cars in this European drifting video. The action is intense and gritty, and the trackside vantage point gives a great impression of the speed these cars achieve while going sideways. Plus, who doesn’t love red tire smoke?

Ken Block’s Climbkhana

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Many people know of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb[7], but many more people know of Ken Block’s infamous Gymkhana videos.

So what do you get when you mate a terribly dangerous 14,115-foot ascent with non-stop drifting? This is Climbkhana. Ken Block ushers his 1,400-hp Hoonicorn[8] V2 race car around precarious curves, almost dies, but ultimately conquers the mountain unlike any before him.

Moving target drift — Tuerck’d slide ride

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Lower production quality, way more silly, but definitely creative — this video from Network A pits the Drift Alliance against Ryan Tuerck’s “slide ride.” Four drift cars maintain coordination while slapping the sides of a Crown Vic in a simple yet fun-to-watch game of tag.

Sure, some of the cars get a little mangled, but it’s impressive regardless.

Tanner Foust street drift — Mulholland

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This one’s been out for a while now — before Tanner Foust had ever heard of Global Rallycross[9] or Top Gear America[10] — but it’s still fascinating to watch over and over again. A 600-hp Scion TC sliding around one of the most famous ‘fun-roads’ in the world is pure entertainment gold.

Making a burrito with a car — Matt Powers

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Sometimes the title just says it all. Pro drifter Matt Powers slides his super-powered ride around the Streets of Willow race track, bursting bags of burrito ingredients all over the place.

At some point, Powers is even eating a burrito while making one with his car — it’s burrito-ception!

Formula Drift Seattle 2015

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If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to attend a Formula Drift[11] event, this video gives you a pretty awesome picture. While the actual drifting is exciting to watch, we particularly like the editing and camerawork that keeps the pace of the video high. Update: Hide your tires!

We’ve added five drifting videos to the list.

Editor’s Recommendations

References

  1. ^ Ford Mustang (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ Nissan 370Zs (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ motorcycles (www.digitaltrends.com)
  4. ^ Red Bull pro drifter (www.redbull.com)
  5. ^ Ford Focus RS (www.digitaltrends.com)
  6. ^ Road Atlanta (www.roadatlanta.com)
  7. ^ Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (www.ppihc.com)
  8. ^ 1,400-hp Hoonicorn (www.digitaltrends.com)
  9. ^ Global Rallycross (www.digitaltrends.com)
  10. ^ Top Gear America (www.bbcamerica.com)
  11. ^ Formula Drift (www.formulad.com)

Garage Sale Trail weekend will connect buyers will sellers

Entire weekend of garage sales for Hawkesbury’s Garage Sale Trail.

Bargain buffs unite for garage sale weekend

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DO you love a bargain? If the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’, then make sure you’re around on the weekend of Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 October because households, community groups, charities and schools across the Hawkesbury will be dragging-out all their old bits and bobs for the rest of us to scour through. The coordinated garage sales are part of the annual Garage Sale Trail, a nation-wide initiative aimed at bringing communities together and promoting reuse.

The Garage Sale Trail website allows sellers to register and promote their garage sales, and buyers can easily find sales in their area and compile their own ‘trail’ (map) of sales they plan to attend – so they can visit as many locations as possible over the two days. At time of writing, over 30 garage sales had been registered across the Hawkesbury – everywhere from Pitt Town to Kurrajong Heights. In Lower Portland, resident Graham McDonald will be selling more than your standard second-hand books and baby clothes.

His sale, registered as ‘Cumberland Reach[1]‘, will include two caravans – a 24-foot Millard with a shower and toilet, capable of sleeping six people, which he’s pricing at around £8000; and a 16-foot Roma which sleeps four people, which is expected to sell for around £16,000. He’s also hoping to shift a 20-foot sidewinder ski boat with a galvanised four-wheel trailer (£1000), a Scott Bonnar ride-on mower, a chainsaw, two canoes (£100/£350) and a couple of go-karts (around £150 each). “They’re more ‘fun carts’ than go-karts for racing.

Being on a rural property, my kids used to use them,” Mr McDonald told the Gazette. “At my age it’s time to clear some stuff so when I’m not here my kids won’t have to do it!” Over in Freemans Reach, resident David Cox will be selling a shed-load of old tools and farm equipment, all of which belonged to his late father who was quite a ‘collector’.

His garage sale is registered as ‘Antique, Rusty & Dusty[2]‘, and will offer everything from nuts, bolts, saws and hammers starting at £2, to old farm machinery, leatherworking goods, pulleys and a post hole borer. “My old-man never threw anything away – he’d always ‘use that later on’. He still had plans and visions about what he’d do, right up until he passed away at 99 years old.

He’d always say, ‘We can modify this, fix this, add this!'” Mr Cox said. He’s also selling a variety of hand tools, two kids’ motorbikes, old water pumps for irrigation lines and a few old and worn-out horse saddles. “People could use them for barn art or to hang on their fence,” said Mr Cox. In addition, he’s hoping to offload two air compressors – one electric and one diesel, which will probably go for a few-hundred-dollars apiece.

“It’s all negotiable. If somebody comes along and offers a figure and they get you at a weak moment, then they get a good bargain! The best thing it to come and see – that’s the way to find out if you want it!” Mr Cox said.

If second-hand books are more up your alley, a household in Bligh Park will be host to the ‘Books Galore and Much More![3]‘ sale, featuring hundreds of books (true crime, biographies and craft books), as well as assorted clothes and homewares. A sale called ‘The Pink House at Windsor Downs[4]‘ will be offering a giant Christmas lights display, as well as furniture, linen and electrical goods, plus a ride-on mower, a push mower, blowers and hedgers for the gardening enthusiasts. A house in Clarendon will be hosting the ‘Odds & Sods Sale[5]‘, offering a variety of horse gear including rugs, English and Western bridles, and Western Show Shirts, as well a natural gas heater and a Ron Marks waterski.

The hosts of a sale called ‘Elaine’s Treasures[6]‘ at South Windsor are clearing-out a bunch of sewing equipment, including a sewing machine and an overlocker, as well as a dining setting and an assortment of kitchen appliances.

The hosts of another South Windsor sale called ‘Kays Crazy Bargains[7]‘ are even offering ‘free hugs’ for the early birds.

For sale dates, times, addresses and more details, or to register your own garage sale for free, visit the Garage Sale Trail website at www.garagesaletrail.com.au[8].

References

  1. ^ Cumberland Reach (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)
  2. ^ Antique, Rusty & Dusty (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)
  3. ^ Books Galore and Much More! (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)
  4. ^ The Pink House at Windsor Downs (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)
  5. ^ Odds & Sods Sale (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)
  6. ^ Elaine’s Treasures (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)
  7. ^ Kays Crazy Bargains (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)
  8. ^ www.garagesaletrail.com.au (www.garagesaletrail.com.au)

Product Review: Napier Outdoors Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series – Motor Trend

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Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC diesels pollute at illegal levels, suit charges

A class action lawsuit charges that Mecedes-Benz BlueTEC diesels have a problem similar to Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” engines. It alleges that the Mercedes engines emit 65 time the legal level of nitrogen oxide (NOx) when operated at temperatures below 50 degrees.

Mercedes labeled its BlueTEC vehicles as earth friendly, selling consumers the false notion that these diesel cars were less harmful to the environment, but Mercedes never divulged to consumers that BlueTEC diesels pollute at illegal levels when driven at lower temperatures and that its champion of the environment mantra was a sham, said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman[1], the law firm filing the complaint.

It appears that Mercedes has been caught in a similar scheme as Volkswagen and programmed these BlueTEC vehicles to pollute, all the while reaping profits from those who have fallen victim to its aggressive and deceptive eco-conscious branding, Berman said.

“Ultra-low emissions”

The suit filed Feb. 18, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois accuses Mercedes of deceiving consumers with false representations of its BlueTEC vehicles, which it marketed as the world s cleanest and most advanced diesel with ultra-low emissions, high fuel economy and responsive performance that emits up to 30% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline. According to the complaint, on-road testing confirmed that Mercedes so-called Clean Diesel cars produced average on-road NOx emissions that are 19 times higher than the U.S. standard, with some instantaneous readings as high as 65 times more than the U.S. limit. The suit asks that Mercedes be ordered to recall or repair the affected vehicles and that consumers receive compensation for the diminished value of their cars.

Models named in the suit include:

ML 320

ML 350

GL 320

E320

S350

R320

E Class

GL Class

ML Class

R Class

S Class

GLK Class

GLE Class

Sprinter

“Even higher levels …”

When we filed the first lawsuit against Volkswagen regarding their use of emissions-cheating software, we felt they were not the only culprits duping consumers into paying a high price for deceptive diesels, Berman said. Mercedes deception involves a cover-up of even higher levels of pollution, and consumers paid high prices for these luxury vehicles they thought were clean, only to be forced to drive diesel cars dirtier than their gasoline counterparts.

The complaint states that, Exposure to these pollutants has been linked with serious health dangers, including asthma attacks and other respiratory illness serious enough to send people to the hospital. Ozone and particulate matter exposure have been associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects.

References

  1. ^ Hagens Berman (www.hbsslaw.com)
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