New Model News

A turbo returns: Mazda's new turbo-four option delivers 250 horsepower in 2021 Mazda3

For 2021, the Mazda Mazda3 is getting a power upgrade.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North America Operations

A new turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will be available in the 2021 Mazda Mazda3 giving the sedan and hatchback models a performance boost. The engine produces 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when the Mazda3 is fueled with 93 arcane but just 227 horsepower ad 310 pound-feet when running on 87 octane.

Mazda says that the engine delivers a "more spirited" drive than the 186-horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque that is generated by the 2.5-liter four-cylinder found in the 2020 Mazda3.

2021 Mazda 2.5 TurboThe new variant delivers stronger performance than the 2020 models.Photo courtesy of Mazda North America Operations

The company has paired the engine with their all-wheel drive system, which was recently updated.

The car comes equipped with larger tailpipes, 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, gloss black heated door mirrors, "TURBO" badge on the trunk and on the engine cover, rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, automatic on/off LED signature headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a shark fin antenna. The sedan variant features a gloss black front grille and sleek front lower spoiler.

The 2021 Mazda3 model that comes with the turbo comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bose 12-speaker premium audio system, 8.8-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, keyless entry, and Mazda Connected Services.

There's also a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, frameless automatically dimming rearview mirror, chrome in-cabin access around the push button start and glove box, a head-up display, power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leatherette seating, leather wrapped shift knob, and aluminum speaker grilles.

Additionally, the model includes a host of safety and driver assist technologies including adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, Smart Brake Support, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane departing warning with lane keep assist, apatite from lighting, and automatic high beams.

Buyers who opt for the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo with Premium Plus Package get a gloss black rear lip spoiler for the sedan and a gloss black rear roof spoiler and front air dam on the hatchback. The package adds Rear Smart City Brake Support with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking, which will automatically apply the brakes when the vehicle is in reverse, if an obstacle or a crossing vehicle is detected. The 360° View Monitor, Traffic Jam Assist, leather seats, navigation, and HomeLink on the frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, are also available.

The naturally aspirated 2021 Mazda3 will be arriving in dealerships next month. The turbo is expected a bit later. 2021 Mazda3 pricing will be announced at a later date.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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Toyota patented a dog-walking robot.

Toyota

Pets are one of life's great pleasures, but there's no disputing that they're a ton of work. Cleaning, vet visits, and walks are just the beginning, so it's always interesting to see the products that promise to make pet ownership more manageable. Toyota, the world's largest automaker, filed a patent for a self-driving dog-walking robot that looks nearly as advanced as many cars today.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotLogic helps the bot determine when to clean up a mess. Toyota

The main structure appears to be a platform with various attachments, and though the intention is for the machine to walk the dog for you, there's space for a person to ride. The vehicle is completely autonomous and does not require a person to guide it on walks. Sensors keep the robot from running over the dog and maintain speed.The patent paperwork includes several decision trees and logic for how the vehicle responds in various dog walking scenarios. One uses the vehicle's sensors to gauge the dog's distance from the robot. If the dog wanders too far, the machine can lock the leash and adjust its speed to maintain proper distance. It's the same sort of "thinking" done by autonomous cars on the road, just adjusted for scooping poop and leash management.

Speaking of number-two, dogs tend to poop when they walk, so Toyota had to prepare the robot for some poop scooping. In its decision-making process, Toyota added logic that asks, "Is it detected that the dog has pooped?" If the answer is yes, the machine is then instructed to "Execute collection process." A camera helps determine when the pooping has happened so the machine can do its job. If the dog pees, there's a water sprayer with an onboard tank to rinse the ground.

If your dog is anything like some of ours, it's likely you don't make through more than a few walks without some antics. Our lazy pups frequently get tired of walking and decide it's time for a mid-sidewalk nap, but Toyota's dog walker isn't going to tolerate any of that. The platform features paw sensors that can sense the dog's position and even let it do some driving.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotThe bot will scoop poop and wash away pee during a walk.

Toyota's patent filing is fun to think about and imagine what could be, but it's still just a patent. The automaker could turn its idea into a line of puppy walkers sold at dealers across the country or file it away as a thought exercise, never to be seen again. Either way, Toyota's got an exciting year ahead of it with the GR Corolla release and bZ4X hitting the streets, and there are rumors of a Crown SUV coming to the automaker's lineup.

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