Posted by: bkivey | 23 January 2021

Exercising The Mazda

It’s been a warm, wet Winter so far, and that’s fine. No snow is good snow. And there have been some opportunities to drive the Mazda.

NW Moreland Rd. 22 January 2021 1430hrs

Posted speed limit is 55 mph, and I don’t exceed 60. The idea is to cover the road efficiently within the legal limit.

Alright! Curve coming up, downshift, no brake. Past the apex, upshift, into the straight. S-curve; downshift, whoa!, more curve than anticipated, downshift, apex, up shift, heavy on the throttle, upshift, upshift. Watch the speed on the straight. Corner. Off the throttle. Downshift, downshift, just off the brake and past the apex. Upshift, upshift. Sun in face, Can’t see the road. Slow down a bit. Still can’t see road: curve markers coming up. Downshift, wait, downshift. On the brake a little. Slam up two shifts for the straight, then down for the next curve. Tires screeching a bit. No oncoming traffic, but I’m in the lane. Upshift, upshift.

So much fun.

In my lifetime, I expect to see EV’s become the majority vehicle, and some will carve roads at least as well as any internal combustion car today. The acceleration and thrills will be the same, but the soundtrack of a willing engine will be missing. The Mazda has a little I4 engine, but as I’ve noted, Mazda has figured out how to get the most out of a given set of components. I’ve had cars with built American V-8’s, and that’s a soundtrack that’s hard to beat. Very good in the quarter, but the Mazda would have them on any kind of road. Even with a freshened suspension, I still remember the ‘Whoa!’ feeling when throwing 2 tons of 60’s iron around a corner at speed.

I think there’s maybe two generations left that will know the visceral pleasure of internal combustion doing it’s thing on a fun road. That’s not bad; just different. Performance will improve, but not the memories.

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