Dino’s Journal 📖

Cars

2020 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring? I wasn't sure what trim this was as it was just a loaner car.

I really enjoyed the 2020 Mazda CX-5 loaner car. I had it for a few days while the Speed3 was in the shop. I think it's a great daily driver. It wasn't the top of the line CX-5 trim, but it had a Bose sound system, heated seats, heated steering wheel and even had power folding mirrors. I think it also had ventilated seats, but I didn't get to try it out.

It didn't have the turbo engine, but it drove really well. Sure, it could use more passing power at highway speeds, but the engine felt responsive and strong. The biggest difference in my opinion, between the engine in this 2020 CX-5 and our 2016 CX-5, is the powerband. They both have the same 2.5 liter 4 cylinder SkyActiv-G engine. The newer engines do have cylinder-deactivation. But the powerband on the 2016 CX-5 goes from 3250 to 5700 RPM, while the powerband on the 2020 CX-5 goes from 4000 to 6000 RPM. Technically, the 2016 CX-5 has a wider powerband, so it should feel stronger in everyday driving. But this was not the case.

The much improved throttle response on the newer CX-5, plus the powerband being at the higher end of the RPM range, meant the newer CX-5 felt stronger in everyday driving. It also made for a much more fun drive. Bury the throttle on a 2020 CX-5 and the transmission puts you right into the powerband, where you can wind it out to 6000 RPM if you want to. The 2016 CX-5 on the other hand, feels like it runs out of steam before the redline. It's like the 2016 CX-5 doesn't want to be revved to redline, while the 2020 CX-5 wants you to redline it as often as you want.

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This is a cold start video of my daily driver, a 2013 Mazdaspeed3. This is with the stock downpipe, an Ultimate Racing catted racepipe and a Magnaflow catback exhaust. It's not loud enough to annoy your neighbors. Perfect for keeping you under the radar. Yet it still allows you to enjoy the rumble coming from Mazda's 2.3L MZR DISI Turbo engine.
*This post is Day 26 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.* *Tags: #Cars #Mazdaspeed3 #100DaysToOffload #Videos*
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Racing against 37 hot air balloons in a Lancia 037 Stradale. IMO, this was one of the best races in Forza Horizon 2.

Album: Forza Motorsport | Horizon


This post is Day 11 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #GameScreenshots #Forza #Cars #100DaysToOffload

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Racing against my brother's drivatar. Driving a Mazda NC MX-5 Miata. Racing against my brother's drivatar (up ahead), who also drives a Mazda NC MX-5 Miata. Drivatars are one of the coolest features in a Forza game. They are AI drivers that are modeled after a real player's driving behavior. If you play a Forza game but your friend is offline, their drivatar will show up in the game to add a bit of fun into the races. I don't have a screenshot of it. But I always enjoy racing against my wife's drivatar :)

Fun fact, my brother really did drive a Mazda NC MX-5 Miata in the past. It was red, just like in the screenshot above. Drove it to work a couple of times in the past. It was a fun car.

Tags: #GameScreenshots #Forza #Cars

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While trying to take a nap last Sunday afternoon, my mind wandered off to a scene in Cars 1 where Lightning McQueen was struggling to pull Bessie. I mean sure, Bessie is a huge, heavy, road paving machine. But isn't Lightning McQueen supposed to be a high powered race car? If so, why was he struggling to pull Bessie? Where did all his horsepower go? The answer I came up with (if true) helped me better understand the differences between horsepower and torque.

Lightning McQueen pulling Bessie

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I had never driven anything powered by a Wankel, and the contrast of the RX-7 compared to everything with wheels I had experienced was stark, and noticeable immediately. The feedback normally received from a piston engine is not felt, due to the fact that there is no more conversion from vertical to rotational motion, a rotary engine (as implied by the name) involves no vertical momentum. It's not that the engine refuses to communicate with you, it's just speaking an entirely different language. The whiny exhaust note has an odd property to it that can be heard from no other source. It conjures up images of the mysterious, angry pair of triangles whirling about in their cage. Purely imaginary, of course.

Because the Wankel is so smooth, I found myself wondering why I should shift up. A piston engine makes you anxious when you push it close to the redline. Most send the driver a variety of auditory and tactile messages indicating that they must either shift up, or face a molten tie rod to the head. The RX-7, however, gives no such indication. When close to the redline, one hears only an excited whir. The result (forgive the upcoming Disney analogy) is an almost magic carpet-like experience. It's as though the power simply materializes before you with no apparent source or sacrifice.

What a good read! I found myself hopping over to Autotrader looking for used RX-8s around my area after reading this piece. Then, reality set in and I realized that I am in no position to be owning a second car. I say second car because I'm not sure I would replace my Mazdaspeed3 with an RX-8. Hard to give up the hatch, the passing power and better gas mileage from the Speed3.

Link: Reunited with a Quaint, Wankel-Powered Friend

Tags: #Cars

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Back in October of 2019, I had the clutch replaced on my daily driver, a 2013 Mazdaspeed3. The clutch started to slip as I neared 90,000 miles on the odometer. From then on, it just started to slip more and more. All I could do at that point was to get the clutch replaced. Here is a list of parts that I had to purchase to get it replaced.

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Research on deindividuation theory has been conducted in numerous settings (not just driving) and has found that when we feel anonymous, we’re more likely to disregard societal norms for behavior.

Basically, it’s easier to get mad at someone when we don’t know them because we’re less likely to be held accountable for it.

“It’s the same reason why people feel like they’re entitled to be angry on certain social media platforms,” Dr. Himanshu Agrawal (a psychiatrist at the Medical College of Wisconsin) explains.

Since we rarely know the person in the car next to us (and since we also have a box of glass/steel between us and them), driving creates that sense of anonymity, making it easier for us to lash out.

When I decided to read this article, I was doing so because I wanted to learn more about road rage and how to avoid it. I didn't expect to run into this gem. This article basically says that one of the causes for road rage, is also responsible for the sad state of communications online. If you really read into it, it does make sense.

Link: Why We Have Road Rage and How to Combat It

Tags: #Bookmarks #Cars #SocialMedia

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Totally did not expect that car to be the winner... but if you read through this highly detailed and descriptive article, you'll understand why that car won. Really good read, especially if you are a car enthusiast.

Link: 2020 Performance Car of the Year

When it came to lap times, we enlisted a licensed club racer with no Thunderhill experience: me. We did this for a reason, and it wasn’t to build my ego. Most of our readers are not pro drivers. When you buy a new car, a professional’s lap time at any track is an interesting metric, but it’s rarely reflective of a normal person’s experience. We wanted to stress accessibility and adaptability. How easy is it to get up to speed in a given car? How communicative is the car? Is it hard to learn the quirks? Under the watchful eyes of our testing staff, every PCOTY contender got a quick warm-up session to set tire pressures, then no more than seven timed laps. Just enough to establish a representative lap and suss idiosyncrasies, not enough to set a record.

I love that. More car magazines/publications should follow suit.

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A surprisingly, pretty good read on struggling to justify the love of automobiles in the face of climate change. Written from a car enthusiast point of view. Not something that I expected to read from a car magazine.

Link: The Uncomfortable Conversation

But. How else do you go anywhere in America? Outside a few select corridors, our public transit is patently terrible. And at the risk of sounding like a selfish ostrich, I like driving. You control a satisfying machine. Travel independently and with minimal restriction. In this vast country built by and for the automobile, the machine too often makes sense.

This is definitely a problem here. I've a tried a number of times to find a way for me to cycle to work, but it just won't work. My ride would force me into roads with inattentive drivers who drive with their eyes glued to their phone screens. Yeah I'm not risking my life riding my bike alongside drivers like that. Which is unfortunate, because I think cycling is a better, more environmental friendly alternative to internal combustion engines than electric cars are, as far as work commute goes.

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