AD #1732 – Mazda Revives Rotary Engine, Tire Registration Proposed, Lexus Flagship Concept

October 28th, 2015 at 11:56am

Runtime: 7:05

- NTSB Wants Mandatory Tire Registration
- Car Sharing Cuts Into Taxi Profits
- Lexus Flagship Sedan Concept
- Mazda Revives Rotary Engine
- Nissan’s Wild Autonomous EV Concept
- Mercedes Vision Tokyo
- Honda Prices Clarity Fuel Cell

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42 Comments to “AD #1732 – Mazda Revives Rotary Engine, Tire Registration Proposed, Lexus Flagship Concept”

  1. Phil Says:

    My word, that new Honda Clarity is the ugliest car I’ve seen in decades!

    I think they were channeling the Datsun B210 of the mid 70′s which was judged by most, at the time, to be one of the ugliest cars ever made.

  2. Ron Paris Says:

    Here’s a much more complete press release on the Mazda RX-Vision concept:

  3. Jon M Says:

    I work for an organization in which many of the employees travel frequently as part of their job. Every once in a while someone will take a cab and it is certainly the exception, not the rule. Uber is to them what taxis were to their predecessors. Taxis as an industry are going to have to change somehow or fade into obsolescence. It’s the consequence of complacency in business.

  4. Lisk Says:

    Is it me or does the look a lot like the Aston Martin Lagonda with the long beltline and the rear roof/trunk intersection? I still am having trouble with the spindle grille and the rear styling is very busy.

    The next gen Clarity is a big improvement over the previous gen, and it’s hands down more attractive than the Mirai.

    Has anyone checked out the Yamaha Sports Ride coupe concept. Looks pretty cool but I’d guess other than as a styling exercise, this is all we’ll see of it.

  5. Lisk Says:

    That’s LS-FC that loos like the Lagonda-

  6. Rob Says:

    Times are a changin; Sorry but cab driver profession will fade away like Elevator and Switchboard operators, and the milkman. The cab companies would be wise to invest in their own fleet of car sharing vehicles now.

  7. Rob Says:

    @1 I agree a very ugly car that looks like they took many styling cues from the Honda EV1 and 1980′s Renault Fuego.

    The Nissan I like and looks like autonomus car interiors will start to look more like boat interiors.

  8. MJB Says:

    #1. Couldn’t agree more.

    #6. You’re probably right. In fact, the smart move might be to simply cash-out and sell ones taxi licences, then go invest in a fleet of Ubers. Given that at their height, taxi licences were going for $1mil (fallen now to around $800k) Startup costs for an Uber fleet would be next to nothing.


    Yes, that Mazda RX-Vision is one sexy ride, indeed. I’ve always admired that last-generation RX-7 more than any other Mazda built to date. But this one’s got me drooling.

  9. MJB Says:

    If Mazda does produce that RX-Vision, they’d probably do well to have it featured in the next Fast & Furious. After all, an RX-7 was the car Dominic Toretto raced in the inaugural F&F franchise.

  10. omegatalon Says:

    Mazda must be hoping that the third time is the charm for the rotary engine; but in today’s world of ultra-performance sports coupes, Mazda needs to build a rotary engine capable of 400-450 hp wrapped around a lightweight composite cocoon under 3,000 lbs and capable of 1.00G lateral acceleration under $50K with the possibility of following General Motors approach by using the same engine, transmission and suspension in a super-sedan.

  11. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 10: Gotta admit,the technology has gotten better in terms of sealing the rotors.Also,a while back here on AD they did a story on this guy that kinda reinvented the rotors.As I remember,it solved the problems that plagued the production ones.

  12. MJB Says:

    11. I recall that interview. It’d be nice to know what’s going on with that now.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why hasn’t Mazda given up on the troublesome rotary motor is beyond me, everyone else has.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    I guess Honda made that car so ugly, cause no one is gonna buy one anyway.

  15. Kate McLeod Says:

    So loved Mazda’s rotary engine and this car looks sinful. But the last time I drove the rotary engine I refilled my gas tank twice–over a weekend!! Granted I never got out of the car.

  16. Drew Says:

    I really appreciated all of the RX7s, each generation within its time. But I hated the RX-8. The rear access door caused unacceptable compromises for a sports car. The roofline styling was compromised in the name of rear seat headroom. Then, the access doors forced the front door to be shorter, causing the B-post-like window frame to be constantly blocking my peripheral vision and banging the rumps of taller front sweaters during ingress/egress. The interior also had too much plastic. The cluster lacked a real analog speedometer. And the parking brake handle was on the passenger side of the floor console (I endured this ergonomics faux pas in a 1990 Thunderbird Super Coupe – never again – are you listening Corvette and MX5?). Oh, and there were re-start issues in colder climates.

  17. HtG Says:

    The RX8 did handle pretty well though. Pretty balanced. What was the maintenance and reliability like?

  18. Drew Says:

    The ergonomics in wifie’s 2001 Miata are near flawless. The only thing I find wanting is the Gen 3 and Gen 4 “Z” fold roof.

  19. RumNCoke Says:

    That Nissan concept kind of reminds me of the old Subaru SVX from the B pillar back. So I guess everything old is new again.

    Memo to fuel cell car designers – Michael Bay wants his Transformers back for the next movie.

  20. Drew Says:

    Ever since the Firestone fiasco and the Great Recession, the price on tires has been incredibly high. Does NTSB know (or care) what effect registration will have on tires costs/prices? Don’t forget to multiply by 4!

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Compared to today’s reciprocating engines, rotaries are inefficient, they don’t last very long, and apparently no one can rebuild them. They have high power/weight, which is nice, but overall, they don’t make much sense. That’s why no one uses them, except Mazda every few years. The second generation RX-7 was cool, though.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 It shouldn’t cost too much to manage registration of tires, given that you register $35 microwave ovens, etc. A tire failure is more serious than most issues that cars are recalled for.

  23. tp1943 Says:

    My concern with UBER is: Does the driver/vehicle have the proper insurance coverages for a vehicle for hire. It seems quite a vague bit of information. If you advise your insurance company you are operating a taxi basically the premium changes dramatically. Lack of scrutiny is a concern.

  24. HtG Says:

    21 These are the reasons it’s interesting that Mazda is going the Wankel route again. Why bother when they’ve got Skyactive already?

    23 It’s probably only a matter of time before someone in an Uber gets hurt and insurance gets dragged into it.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    I also believe that all these tire regulations are just gonna raise the price of new tires, forcing more and more people on a budget to have to buy used ones. Then I want to see how much more death and mayhem this will bring.

  26. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Tire reg: quick and easy using a scan tool when you buy your tires.The info can be printed on your receipt,so you’ll have a record,and the retailer can forward the info to where ever.Even buying them online,no problem as I see it.The oems just put the reg # in each tires barcode.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It shouldn’t cost much to do registration for tires. The last place I’ve bought tires got my address. Typing in the serial numbers wouldn’t be that much more to do. If they could do it, and establish a data base for a dollar a tire, it’s probably worth it. If it would cost 10 dollars a tire?

    In the end, I suppose most tire failures are due to under-inflation. A better remedy for tire failures might be to require all gas stations to provide free air. I’m pretty consciencious about checking air pressure, but I might be negligent if I didn’t have a compressor, and needed to feed a machine quarters to inflate tires.

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    I purchased a small 12v. tire pump at Walmart for $10 about 5 yrs ago and it was the best investment I’ve made, do it at home, no need to go to gas station and wait my turn, besides, tire pressure should be measured when tires are cold, not after you’ve driven around for a while. This tire reg thing will affect small operators who would have to invest in computers and such to keep records.

  29. HtG Says:

    Another way to do recalls in the future could be that whenever you buy tires their ID is entered into the car’s computer, whether in the car or in the cloud. If there’s a recall, you could be informed either on the car’s screen or via email.

    This has got to happen for all recalls on modern cars.

  30. HtG Says:

    28 I use a bike pump with a gauge and a standard tire pressure gauge. No gas stations for me. Sometimes it’s a work out, but the hassle is low.

  31. RickW Says:

    I don’t know why so many people think that a consumer or even the Tire Shop would end up paying more for a tire if it needs to be registered.

    Almost every appliance and motorized tool allows me to register the product for warranty and recall purposes on-line and it doesn’t cost me more to buy the item before I register it.

    I’m curious as to the concern expressed on here by other’s regarding this issue.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    In general any type of regulation means more expense passed on to the consumers. The tire mfg nor the retailer is gonna absorb that cost.

  33. Lex Says:

    Honda Clarity fuel cell – Please! I will take a Tesla Model S or that Ugly Honda any day !!!!!

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28, 30 I’ve used bike pumps and 12v pumps and they are both good options. The trouble is, too many people won’t use those options, and need checking tires to be as easy as possible. I have too many cars, and I’m a little lazy, so I got a $40 120v compressor from Harbor Freight.

  35. Drew Says:

    In my experience, the 12v $10 portable pumps don’t last very long. If you have a very low tire, the run time on the pump causes it to overheat and burnout. So, I bought a 1.5HP Craftsman. It works faster and more reliable.

  36. Lex Says:

    Honda Clarity fuel cell – Please! I will take a Tesla Model S over that Ugly Honda any day !!!!!

  37. C-Tech Says:

    For the tire registration, it should not cost more than. 50 per tire at the most. It only involves getting the numbers and owner information into a computer system.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    These cheap pumps cannot be used to fill up an empty tire, but are good to maintain proper tire pressure w/o having to go to the gas station.

  39. Rob Says:

    The registration of tires should be free as it will be a great marketing tool for the manufacturers. They will have a data base for who buys their tires and for what vehicles. They also know that in a few years where to send coupons to maintain repeat buyers.

    @29 I really like that idea as cars continue to get more screens and conductivity. Recall and service info should be sent to the car. No need to mail it and track ownership as cars get sold and traded in.

  40. MJB Says:

    @ #31. I think the reason people are saying it will cost money is because it won’t be the consumer entering this data. It will be the task of the tire retailer to register the tires to the owner. And the quickest way to do that will be a (new) bar code on each tire.

    Most people (me included) do not even bother to register half the appliances and other consumer electronics they buy. So, guaranteed, the take rate on people who would bother (or even remember once they’ve driven all the way home from the tire shop) to do their own tire registration would be next to none.

    Heck, it’s off-putting enough having to go transcribe the serial number from the back of the flat screen TV you’ve just mounted on the wall in order to fill out that registration card. So can you imagine how few people would be willing to traipse back outside and find a serial number written on their sidewall? Nahhh… :[

  41. Enn Norak Says:

    I’m sure there will be much debate about the the cost effectiveness of tire registration. I do love the proposal to require tire information to be shown on both sides of the tire. This information should also be made easier to read, especially the serial number if tire registration becomes mandatory.

    Serious automotive recalls are well publicized by the media; I would therefore be quite content to simply check the manufacturer’s website to see if my tires are affected.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last time I bought tires, from a large chain, the serial numbers were on the receipt. I assume they were “registered” in some way, at least with the retailer.