Join us as we explore our garage in detail and showcase where these cars are headed in the next several years!
GBXM has always been about gearheads like us; people who get it. We love shiny new cars and car parts. But while the cars might bring us together, it’s the things we do — together — that keeps us coming back. [Read more…]
There aren’t many pictures with this one, but be careful. You’re going to be hungry by the time you get to the end. Hungry for success. [Read more…]
It used to be that there were one or two choices for gearboxes, also known as transmissions, consumers could purchase in their cars. Today, transmissions are not so simple as they were, but the choices remain largely the same.
The automatic transmission has transformed since its inception in horseless carriages of 1904 (by the Sturtevant Brothers of Boston, Mass.). Where once there was one or two forward gears (and no backwards gears) there’s now eight or more forward gears (and no less than, nor no more than, one reverse).
While technology may have increased the number of gears, the true-blue automatic takes all control out of the driver’s hands. However, there aren’t that many manufacturers doing dead-basic automatic transmissions anymore.
What manufacturers are now doing, is allowing the driver to input the gear selection for the automatic transmission. The new “Manumatic” transmissions can either be left in fully automatic mode or can be used in a pseudo-manual mode.
I say ‘psuedo’ because the driver isn’t actually selecting the gears, they are merely telling the car’s computer (and transmission) which gears they want the car to go into, the car still shifts the gears.
Manumatic gears can be changed either with the selector lever, usually by popping the selector left or right of drive mode and pushing up or down depending on needs, or by using the flappy paddles (selectors usually on the steering wheel) common on many current models.
Many auto manufacturers are including more of these transmissions under other names, such as Sportronic, Shiftronic, Geartronic and more. And, while flappy paddles aren’t the same as a proper manual, they can still be pretty fun.
The Acura TLX The Auto Reporter reviewed a few weeks back had a brilliant manumatic transmission and was paired with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT), making gear shifts blindly fast. A dual clutch transmission has two clutches, rather than one in normal transmissions, and is technology first used in automotive racing.
The (proper) manual
The manual is when the entirety of gear selection is left up to the driver, and is what many car enthusiasts go to when looking for transmissions.
Manual transmissions force drivers to pay attention, not just to the revolutions per minute (RPMs) of the car’s engine, but to driving as a whole; it makes people think about what they’re doing when behind the wheel.
Many vehicles now have hill assist, so Cherry Street in downtown Seattle won’t seem nearly as frightening as it once did. And, unlike even brilliant DCTs, a manual gearbox will give the driver the a feeling like nothing else – of being one with the car, of being man and machine.
The staff of The Auto Reporter prefers full manual transmissions, though the Acura TLX had a system that’s hard to say ‘no’ to.
To select the gearbox that’s right for you, think of how you drive. Are you the kind of driver that enjoys letting the car control the engine or do you want to be the one to have the horsepower under your control?
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Why did the Mazda community push Derek to crowdfund CANBus Triple on Kickstarter? How much crowdfunding experience did he have prior to this? How much did he ask for, how much did he get, and what did he do with the money?
Ever thought about crowdfunding some kind of new product? Coming up with the idea is the easy part. Getting the final product to market is something else entirely. I caught up with Derek Kuschel, inventor of the CANBus Triple, to talk about how he took his slick, tuning solution from idea to successful Kickstarter campaign. [Read more…]
It’s no secret that there’s quite an enthusiast following for both Mazda and Toyota, not only because they make reliable vehicles, but also vehicles that are fun to drive and a joy to own.
(Note: The author of this article totally doesn’t own a ’96 Miata and a ’93 Toyota MR2… no bias…right.)
By sharing Mazda and Toyota resources, the groups hope to improve each other’s products and technologies, with end results being more appealing cars for global motorists.
“Toyota is a company that has shown steadfast resolve in acting responsibly on global environmental issues and the future of manufacturing as a whole,” said Mazda President and CEO, Masamichi Kogai. “I also have tremendous respect for Toyota’s dedication in its pursuit of ever-better cars through ongoing innovation.”
According to Kogai, Mazda and Toyota both cherish their roots and all the communities involved in their brands. He hopes that, by working together with Toyota, they can make better cars, raise the value of cars in the eyes of consumer while also improving manufacturing capabilities.
This isn’t the first time that Mazda and Toyota have teamed up, Mazda is currently building Toyotas out of it’s Mexico plant and Toyota has allowed Mazda access to their hybrid technologies.
While the collaboration is sure to help boost the bottom lines of both companies, it’s the end users that will benefit the most by keeping more cars sporty and fun, and ensuring drivers always find joy behind the wheel.
I have been remiss. My husband transplanted to my native state, Washington of course, after the military and we have lived up here for around 8 years now and I still hadn’t taken him to see Deception Pass.
It was about damn time, but we didn’t just take any car – we took the 2015 Mazda3 and it was the perfect car for the job.
One who operates a side hustle.
What’s a side hustle? [Read more…]
This 5-person 4-door sedan, also available in 5-door hatch, costs around $25,000 starting out – though the version I drove had optional accessories that bumped the price up to $26,335.
“Laz has enriched my life in ways I didn’t know were possible to come from a car, and for that I’ll always be thankful.”
Meet Lazarus, aka: Laz. This Miata represents bang for the buck; having more fun for less money. It’s a back-to-basics kinda thing. If this story doesn’t inspire you, maybe you should be driving a used Prius.
Those who come to Gearbox Magazine love their respective cars. We don’t care what your car-quirk is so long as you love what you do and how you do it.
I first fell in love, not with autos, but with the road trip, whether rolling around the Pacific Northwest with my family as a kid or the hills of Northern Japan with Rob during our tenure in the Navy.
This New Year’s, I wanted to start things in the best way possible, but knew I couldn’t afford the ‘big shebang’ of a full-blown road trip.
This article has been updated (9/3/2014).
I’m absolutely in love with my the official media car of AON Media, the Mazdarati – a 1996 Mazda Miata M-Edition (in Starlight Mica Blue). I have gone scuba diving (though I couldn’t bring my dive buddy in the same load), she’s gone on Canadian dirt rally roads, and safely transported me and my husband everywhere we need to go.
As Mazda Unveils their newest incarnation of the MX-5, I’ll be live-tweeting the event from @AON_Media:
My initial misgivings about Mazda not listening to the enthusiasts who have really stuck with the brand (Cough). The new design really showcases that they not only listened, but they acted on those comments.
We already knew the chassis would be lighter when Mazda revealed that a few weeks back, what we didn’t know is what kind of body would be set ontop.
The new look really shows off the return to simplicity. It doesn’t look bloated like the NC (but I’m also looking through it on my computer screen). It doesn’t seem too tall or too bulky…
And I absolutely love the lines on the side profile. Those lines are clean, they are curvy, they are beautiful!
I’m really stoked. I can’t wait to see how the new Miata compares to the current Media-Miata, aka the Mazdarati, that AON Media uses for all coverage.
I know mine can handle Canadian wildernesses… Can yours, Mazda? Can the new one?
If you’d like to watch the live stream of the 2016 Mazda Miata unveiling yourself, head here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze5GPxABcMs
I know a lot of Mitsubishi owners down under. While most have – or, more accurately, this year, had – Galant VR4s, Peter Dunn has recently added a Subaru Impreza to his stable of race cars. I say “stable,” because he has no fewer than THREE race cars. [Read more…]
A growing number of automakers have pure electric vehicles available these days, but EVs are still relatively scarce. And what do we – the gearheads – know about them? They’re expensive. They don’t go very far. They don’t go very fast. Most of them (at least on the American grid) are charged from coal-fired power plants, making them even dirtier than the conventional cars they replaced.
Oh, and they’re driven by tree-hugging hippies who don’t care about automotive performance. [Read more…]
The FD3S RX-7. To spot one on the streets these days is a rare treat. If you’re lucky, you might see the odd FD in traffic on a major street through town; an older gentleman behind the wheel, simply enjoying the rich rewards of proper vehicle maintenance practice. If you’re really lucky, however, you come across someone like Kenji taking their FD for a spin, because, damn. [Read more…]
Mid-2011, Ringebu, Norway. Most of us probably don’t even know where Ringebu is located, but yet it’s the place to be at this time of the year. Why? The answer is simple; it’s the location for the 2011 Norwegian Classics meeting. Because Gearbox Magazine is for every gearhead around the globe, we try to report on as many interesting events/meetings/happenings around the world as we can. This time, that’s Norway, so come take a look how they do things in Ringebu. [Read more…]