WINDY CITY MIATA CLUB
Established in 1990 with a membership now in excess of 300 people with more than 200 cars, the Windy City Miata Club is one of the oldest, largest, and most active Miata-enthusiasts’ clubs in North America. While the majority of the members live in Chicago and its suburbs, the club also draws from northwest Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana—as well as a few outliers from as far away as Arkansas and Florida.
During the prime driving season, Windy City Miata Club (WCMC) offers a minimum of one event each week and often two or three. The club does monthly membership meetings, burger nights, breakfasts with tours following, and short tours to favorite ice cream shops. There are one-day drives and multi-day tours. Members enjoy parades, picnics, car shows, tech days, and drive-in movie nights. WCMC participates in community service projects, including an annual “Toys for Tots” collection.
The autocross program is one of the best in the area, offering 15 events every year—these often max out at the 75-car registration limit. WCMC encourages its members to participate in regional Miata events, to “go and bring back a new idea.” In 2020 we anticipate being represented at the gatherings in Ontario, Atlanta, and Lancaster (Pennsylvania). The driving season begins in late April with the President’s Tour and ends in mid-October with the Fall Color Tour, usually on the wonderfully twisty roads of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine. The year’s events are celebrated at the Annual Banquet and Awards Presentation in January.
Windy City Miata Club has benefited from the enduring strong relationship Chicago has with Mazda. The Miata was introduced to North America at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. When in 2015 WCMC hosted a regional event to celebrate our 25th anniversary, Mazda North America trucked a pre-production ND from California to our event for a private showing. The 30th Anniversary Edition was unveiled at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. WCMC members were present as Mazda’s special guests. One couple, who are both members, had the honor of having their 10th Anniversary Edition trucked by Mazda to the Auto Show to be included in the multi-generational display of Miatas.
WCMC makes the claim “you’ll join for our great little cars and stay for the people.” Miatas are so much fun it’s almost embarrassing, and even more fun when we enjoy them together.
MAZDA CX-30 NOW AVAILABLE TO ORDER
U.S. buyers have an exciting new compact crossover to consider with the arrival of the Mazda CX-30 in showrooms. Offering a blend of impressive standard horsepower, strong visual presence, and a user-friendly, human-centric cabin, the CX-30 can be ordered now. All CX-30s are equipped with a 186hp four-cylinder Skyactiv-G 2.5 engine paired with a quick-shifting Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. G-Vectoring Control Plus and front-wheel drive are standard on all models, while Mazda’s predictive i-Activ all-wheel drive is available on all trim levels.
The range kicks off with the standard CX-30, which is priced from $21,900 with front-wheel drive or $23,300 with all-wheel drive. It comes with an 8.8-inch center display with Mazda Connect™ , 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and a matte finish front grille. Upgrade to Select ($23,900 for FWD; $25,300 for AWD) and Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto capabilities, leatherette seats, Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control (driver & front passenger), and 18-inch alloy wheels are included. Choose CX-30 Preferred trim and a Bose 12-speaker premium audio, heated front seats and black gloss finish front grille are among the additions. Prices are $26,200 (FWD) and $27,600 (AWD)/ Top trim Premium ($28,200 for FWD and $29,600 for AWD) features Active Driving Display, Moonroof, leather seats, a power tailgate, and paddle shifters.
Mazda best car brand for fifth year in a row
U.S. News & World Report has named Mazda as the “Best Car Brand” for the fifth consecutive year. The award takes into account the U.S. News Best Cars rankings, which are based on a combination of safety scores, reliability data and the consensus of the automotive press. “Mazda cars can make your heart race with their sporty performance, while wrapping you in gorgeous upscale interiors,” said Jamie Page Deaton, U.S. News Best Cars executive editor.
updates for 2020 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA
A suite of updates across the range has been announced for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata. The entry-level MX-5 Sport adds more i-Activsense safety features as standard, including Rear Cross-Traffic Support, Smart City Brake Support, and Lane Departure Warning System. Apple CarPlay® (for integration with your iPhone) and Android Auto™ are now standard on the MX-5 Club and GT Trims, while Sport-tuned suspension components are standard on the MX-5 Grand Touring. Polymetal Gray (pictured above), Red Nappa Leather, and a Gray cloth soft-top are newly available color options. Apple Carplay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.
IMSA prototype drivers confirmed
Mazda is running a familiar lineup of drivers in this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito (above) are pairing up in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P. They are being joined in the Michelin Endurance Cup by Ryan Hunter-Reay. The No. 77 car sees Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez team up, with Oliver Pla joining the pair for the longer races.
Things got off to a flying start for the team at the season opener, the legendary Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 26. With Oliver Jarvis putting the No. 77 car on pole, anticipation for podium success was high and the team delivered in style when after 833 laps, the car finished the race in second place.
The No. 55 car was not quite as successful, sustaining bodywork damage and a penalty during the race. Despite this, No. 55 was in contention for the win for much of the 24 hours, ultimately finishing in sixth place (and securing a healthy chunk of championship points).
Keep up to date with Mazda Motorsports progress here, and meet Nelson Cosgrove, Mazda’s new Director of Motorsports, in our interview by clicking the link below.
Upgrades for 2020 Mazda CX-3
The newly updated 2020 Mazda CX-3 now comes with a host of features as standard, including Apple CarPlay® for intergration with your iPhone, Android Auto™ and Mazda’s powerful i-Activsense safety suite.
Externally, the car boasts LED exterior lighting including: headlights, taillights and daytime running lights all as standard. To add function to form, the LED headlights have automatic on/off and automatic leveling capabilities. Rain-sensing windshield wipers are also standard, and the CX-3 is styled with 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a roof spoiler, shark fin antenna, dual stainless-steel exhaust outlets, and an understated black front grille.
Internally, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are included, and an extensive suite of i-Activsense safety features are also present. These include: Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, and a Lane Departure Warning system.
The 2020 Mazda CX-3 is on sale now, and starts at $20,640. Apple Carplay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.
Mazda wins most IIHS “TOP SAFETY PICK+” AWARDs
Mazda vehicles have been awarded more IIHS Top Safety Pick+ honors than any other manufacturer in North America (as of March 2020) by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent, non-governmental safety-testing organization.
The IIHS awarded 2020 Mazda3 (hatchback and sedan), Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5 and any CX-9 built after December 2019 the highest safety designation available, and all feature front crash prevention technology as standard.
Mazda President Jeff Guyton was delighted that the marque’s commitment to safety had been recognized: “We are proud to be the top 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award recipient. It’s a big accomplishment and stems from our commitment to our owners. Always keeping our customers in mind, Mazda is dedicated to providing the most advanced safety technologies, giving our customers a more enjoyable and confident driving experience.”
Mazda3 gets highest government safety rating
The Mazda3 has achieved the highest possible government safety rating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Mazda3 a five-star rating* based on the car's performance in frontal, side, and rollover tests.
But the Mazda3’s collision avoidance technologies also played their part in securing the five-star rating. Both the sedan and hatchback are equipped with NHTSA-recommended safety features, SMART BRAKE SUPPORT, LANE DEPARTURE WARINING SYSTEM, LANE-KEEP ASSIST, and MAZDA RADAR CRUISE CONTROL WITH STOP & GO in the form of Mazda's iActivsense safety systems.
*Government star ratings are part of the NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov).
Jared Thomas: Road to 24 winner
Mazda has always been a supporter of grassroots racing, and it is possible for an amateur driver to rise from anonymity to the pinnacle of sports car racing in the U.S. via the company's various racing series.
The Mazda Road to 24 Shootout is a crucial competition for any driver looking to progress their career, as winning it secures a $100,000 bursary into Mazda’s professional MX-5 Miata racing series, the Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, presented by BFGoodrich Tires.
In December, Jared Thomas from North Vernon, Indiana, won the 2019 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout at the Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds in Mountville, South Carolina. Thomas beat five other racers with a range of experience in amateur sports car racing. He will now compete in the 2020 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup in the Soul Red Crystal Global Mazda MX-5, where he will vie for the $75,000 Rookie of the Year title.
“First and foremost, I just want to thank Mazda, Michelin, BFGoodrich, and my fellow competitors,” said Thomas. “This is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in racing and something in my life that I will always remember. I am able to share this with my dad, who helped me to build my Spec Miata and has been with me since the very beginning at age five, gave me all of the opportunities and has been there at each step.”
Nelson Cosgrove, Director of Mazda Motorsports, said: “Mazda Motorsports was extremely fortunate to have six very talented drivers take part in the Road to 24 Shootout. They certainly did not make the decision of the judges easy, but Jared demonstrated to the judges that from the moment that he was nominated for the Shootout that he would be a real contender.”
Follow Thomas’ on-track adventures when the 2020 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup commences on April 3-4 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Reader Interview: Andrew Holliday
To celebrate Mazda’s centenary, car photographer Andrew Holliday from Vancouver, British Columbia, answers the question: What Does Mazda Mean To You?
“In 2012 I purchased my first Mazda, which I still own and love. Looking in the classified ads, I found the red 1990 MX-5 with low mileage and in impeccable condition. My wife was out with our car at the time, so I hopped on my bicycle and rode to the owner’s home several towns away. I bought it on the spot.
Since that day, my wife and I have packed the trunk with camping gear and set off on several long road trips, camping the whole way. Not a month into ownership we drove 4,500 miles down the coast to L.A., east to the Grand Canyon, and back up to B.C.
My wife’s version of the story has been highlighted in a video called Mazda Dreams. She had always wanted an MX-5, so owning this car has been a dream come true for her. I started taking pictures for Mazda Canada in 2013, photographing the new Mazda3 around Vancouver for Mazda’s media division. Since then, I’ve worked with Mazda Canada throughout the Okanagan, Whistler, and Vancouver to photograph new models such as the CX-5, CX-9, and Mazda6. My most memorable job took me beyond the Arctic Circle in Alaska. Our group embarked on a road trip in two Mazda3s under the midnight sun, driving on infamous roads like the Denali and Dalton highways.
I appreciate both Mazda’s Kodo design and Jinba Ittai philosophy, and I’ve truly enjoyed capturing the design elements of each car. The assignments have provided some of my shooting career highlights and Mazda has given me many of my best driving memories.”
“I was always a big fan of Japanese cars and as soon as I saw my RX-8, I knew that I had to have her. I love the special sound that a high-revving rotary engine makes—it feels like there is a soul in there somewhere.”
“This car makes me want to enjoy and live life to the fullest. I wrapped it because I like to stand out from the crowd and wanted to get people’s attention. I also changed the steering wheel and laminated the interior with carbon fiber.”
“I’ve had my Mazda6 for four years and it now has 180,000km (112,000 miles) on the clock. The durability of the engine and the traction of the all-wheel-drive make it the perfect car for any journey. I’ve also started to restore a 1979 RX-7 SA22C.”
“Mazda cars put a smile on people’s faces, whether the cars are being raced on the track, put to the test in competitions or just being used for daily drives. It’s a community that I want to be a part of for a long time.”
“Mazda is a car brand for car people. As well as my current 2012 model I’ve also owned a 2007 MazdaSpeed 6 and a 2003 Mazda6. My goal is to eventually take my car to all the U.S. states (I’ve driven to six so far!).”
“The main reason I bought my Mazda is the design. I’ve been driving it since 2017 and I have taken many road trips across Europe. Some of my favorites include Lake Garda and reaching the coast of the Baltic Sea.”
“My Mazda is a way for me to escape the chaos of daily life. One of my favorite road trips was driving 1,000 miles through Turkey. I love exploring roads that I don’t know in my home city of Ankara.”