Ήρθε επιτέλους η ώρα και για τη Mazda να μας παρουσιάσει το Hazumi concept της που προφανώς αποτελεί πρόγευση για το νέο Mazda2.
Προφανώς το Hazumi είναι concept και ως τέτοιο έχει ορισμένες υπερβολές αλλά το αυτοκίνητο μοιάζει περισσότερο για έκδοση προ-παραγωγής παρά για κανονικό concept όπως έχουμε συνηθίσει να τα βλέπουμε τα τελευταία χρόνια. Το πεντάθυρο hatchback έχει μήκος 4.07 μέτρα, πλάτος 1.73 μέτρα και ύψος 1.45 μέτρα με μεταξόνιο που φτάνει τα 2.58 μέτρα. Πατάει σε ζάντες 18 ιντσών με ελαστικά 215/45/18 και σχεδιαστικά, υιοθετεί όπως ήταν αναμενόμενο, την Kodo Design γλώσσα σχεδιασμού.
Στο εμπρός μέρος, τα φωτιστικά σώματα και η γρίλια είναι τοποθετημένα χαμηλά, κοντά στο έδαφος ενώ στο πίσω μέρος, την παράσταση κλέβουν τα “άγρια” φώτα και η κεντρικά τοποθετημένη διπλή απόληξη της εξάτμισης.
Το εσωτερικό είναι ίσως και το πιο φουτουριστικό και concept-like στοιχείο του Hazumi. Η κεντρική κονσόλα “αιωρείται” σαν γέφυρα ενώ ο πίνακας οργάνων είναι σχεδιασμένος γύρω από τον οδηγό. Φυσικά δεν μπορεί να μην παρατηρήσει κανείς τα κόκκινα καθίσματα αλλά πέρα από αυτά, κυριαρχεί το μαύρο, το άσπρο και το χρώμα του αλουμινίου.
Κάτω από το καπό, βρίσκεται ένας νέος SKYACTIV-D turbodiesel που εκπέμπει λιγότερα από 90 gr/km CO2 και πληροί τις προδιαγραφές ρύπων Euro6. Συνδυάζεται με 6-τάχυτο αυτόματο κιβώτιο και σύμφωνα με την εταιρία, προσφέρει “άφθονη ροπή και δυναμικές επιδόσεις”.
Η νέα γενιά του Mazda2 θα παρουσιαστεί κατά πάσα πιθανότητα στην έκθεση του Παρισιού τον Οκτώβριο ενώ οι πωλήσεις του θα ξεκινήσουν στις αρχές του 2015.
[learn_more caption=”Δελτίο Τύπου”]
MAZDA AT THE 2014 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW
|1. Mazda Hazumi||Packed with potential|
|2. KODO – Soul of Motion||Evolution of a style|
|3. Mazda MX-5||25th anniversary|
|4. Models on show at Geneva||Overview|
|5. Mazda in 2013||Highlights of an eventful year gone by…|
|6. Mazda Motor Corporation||Facts & figures|
1. Mazda Hazumi
Packed with potential. A glimpse at Mazda’s ideas for its next-generation B-car
Mazda is focusing on four key areas with its new generation models: KODO — Soul of Motion design, SKYACTIV technology, Mazda Proactive Safety, and a new in-car connectivity system called MZD Connect*. The new Mazda HAZUMI unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show brings together all four of these elements and foreshadows Mazda‘s next-generation B-car.
One look at Mazda’s new generation models – the Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 and all-new Mazda3 – will confirm that the ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design theme is defined by a dynamic, living expression of motion. In the new Mazda HAZUMI concept the essence of KODO has been captured in a compact body without losing an ounce of impact. The concept is fitted with a newly developed 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine which promises outstanding fuel economy without compromising powerful, linear performance.
In addition to enhancing safety fundamentals such as driving position and field of view, HAZUMI adopts Mazda’s cutting-edge range of i-ACTIVSENSE safety features. Meanwhile, MZD Connect offers drivers the fun and convenience of smartphone connectivity in a format that is safe and appropriate for in-vehicle use. Refusing to bow to the conventions of the B-segment and refusing to compromise in any of the four key areas of Mazda’s vehicle engineering, the Mazda HAZUMI points the way for Mazda’s next-generation B-car.
The concept’s name is a good fit both for the look of the car and its target market. HAZUMI is a Japanese word meaning to ‘bound’ or ‘spring up’ and was chosen to convey an image of a small but vigorous animal, bursting with energy. It also describes potential B-segment buyers: young, dynamic, vibrant and ambitious.
The HAZUMI is yet another example of KODO’s vast potential and how well it can be adapted to different vehicles of different sizes. “Whereas with longer models such as the SHINARI we use long and free lines of motion stretching from front to back to express KODO, with HAZUMI we’ve created a form which suggests explosive motion,” says HAZUMI chief designer Ryo Yanagisawa. “It’s like an animal poised to pounce. Every muscle is held tense as it gathers energy for the chase. Despite being small, KODO gives the concept car a presence that can’t be ignored, and a shape that has driving pleasure written all over it.”
* Known as Mazda Connect in Japan, US, Canada and Mexico.
2. KODO – Soul of Motion: HAZUMI Exterior design
KODO design seeks to capture the fleeting tension, beauty and power of living creatures in motion. By packing the powerful and dynamic movements of KODO into a compact five-door hatchback, Mazda has given the HAZUMI distinctive exterior styling and an athletic physique made for the road. This is KODO in its most highly concentrated form so far.
Moving the compact cabin as far to the rear as possible, places the visual centre of gravity near the rear wheels. It creates a wedge shaped body starting from the low and pronounced nose and rising toward the rear to impart a strong sense of forward motion. The sharp, chiseled silhouette is a clear departure from mainstream B-car design where “one-motion form” styles prevail. The short overhangs and powerful fenders that bulge over the imposingly large wheels underline the car’s strong and athletic stance.
Nevertheless, it is not all about looks. As with all its new-generation products, Mazda has put a big focus on aerodynamics, optimising the airflow over the upper body and creating a turbulence-minimising under-floor structure. Tuned specifically for the compactness of the car, these elements deliver superb aerodynamics.
The headlamps and front grille are positioned as low to the ground as possible, giving the ‘face’ a sharp look reminiscent of a cheetah on the prowl. The car also manages to be appealing at the same time, ensuring onlookers will soon feel a sense of attraction. The LED guiding rings add depth and solidity to the headlamps, evoking the strong-willed eyes of an untamed animal. Another KODO trademark, the aluminium signature wing, underscores the grille before cutting through the headlamps, imparting a deeply sculptured facial expression.
With its short overhangs and pillars that look ready to pierce the centre of the front and rear tyres, the HAZUMI displays the athletic silhouette of a sportscar when viewed from the side. A long line starts from the bonnet, crests over the front wheel and runs all the way to the rear, while an overlapping line peaks over the rear wheel, emulating a rhythm of flexing muscles and adding to the strong sense of forward motion. The surface textures of the body are rich with tension, accentuating the car’s big-boned physique.
The firmly planted rear wheels support the high hipline and, together with the steeply angled back window, create a strong sense of forward motion. The distinctively oblong rear combination lamps convey speed while possessing a piercing vitality that matches the headlamps.
The large diameter alloy wheels feature a dynamic design expressing a powerful force radiating from the centre of each wheel. The contrast between the radiant sheen produced by the aluminium milling process and the dark metallic paint give a taut, three-dimensional quality.
HAZUMI Interior design
The interior of the HAZUMI imparts the same dynamic sense of speed as the SHINARI, MINAGI and TAKERI concept cars which preceded it, maintaining superb functionality as an interface between car and driver. The high-quality feel of the interior exceeds the standards of the B-segment, but also gives a light and youthful impression that befits a B- car.
Speed is at the essence of the HAZUMI’s interior shapes, which spread out from above the instrument cluster to the door trim and centre console. The effect, similar to the exterior, is a dynamic sense of forward motion. The passenger space impresses immediately with an instrument panel shaped like the wing of an airplane, creating a comfortable feeling of openness. The centre console is suspended like a bridge, enhancing the feeling of space and creating more room in the foot wells.
The instrument cluster is designed around the driver’s centre axis. It features a single, centrally-positioned gauge with minor displays spreading like wings on either side. The layout of the centre display, Active Driving Display, and commander control, is based on Mazda’s unique human machine interface (HMI) concept called the Heads-Up Cockpit. It is designed to help drivers deal with large amounts of information while keeping their eyes on the road ahead and maintaining a safe and stable body position.
In every area of the HAZUMI’s cabin, the high quality forms have a sculptured appearance amplified by reflections of light and shadow. The material for each was crafted to optimise its appearance. Key components of the interior such as controls and displays use a layered combination of hard chiseled metal and deep acrylic material. This produces a light and playful impression befitting a B-car, while maintaining a high-quality ambience.
The concept’s interior is designed with black leather as the base and white leather used in certain places such as the instrument panel. A Crimson-coloured leather with a nubuck feel is used on the seats. This modern colour-coordination, which is both bold and charming, makes the interior look youthful and refined at the same time.
SKYACTIV technology newly optimised for a B-car
The Mazda HAZUMI incorporates the full suite of SKYACTIV technology, optimally tuned for a B-car and introduces a new small capacity clean diesel engine. It delivers the agile driving experience expected from a supermini with typically Mazda linear performance that also provides a sense of security.
The SKYACTIV-D 1.5-liter clean diesel engine
The Geneva Show marks the world premiere of the new SKYACTIV-D 1.5-litre. This compact and lightweight clean diesel engine is designed to achieve ultra-efficient internal combustion just like the bigger SKYACTIV-D 2.2-litre. It offers ample torque and dynamic performance that is linear right up to the redline, as well as excellent CO2 emissions under 90 g/km when powering the Mazda HAZUMI. It will also comply with stringent Euro 6 requirements without after-treatment systems such as a NOx trap or selective catalytic reduction.
i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety
HAZUMI also features i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies based on Mazda Proactive Safety. This is Mazda’s safety philosophy aiming to maximise the range of conditions in which the driver can drive safely and minimise the risks that lead to accidents. These technologies will help drivers enjoy the Mazda HAZUMI safely and with complete peace of mind.
New-generation in-car connectivity
Young people crave stimulating experiences and want to share them with their friends as soon as possible. Mazda addresses the needs of younger drivers – or anyone who wants to stay connected at all times – with MZD Connect, a new connectivity system first introduced with the all-new Mazda3. In combination with the Heads-Up Cockpit, MZD Connect is designed to allow drivers to access the fun and convenience of their smartphones in a safe and easy-to-use format while behind the wheel.
Mazda HAZUMI – main dimensions
|Body style||5-door hatchback|
|Length x width x height (mm)||4,070 x 1,730 x 1,450|
|Transmission||SKYACTIV-Drive (six-speed automatic)|
|Key auxiliary systems||i-stop (idle-stop system)i-ELOOP (brake energy regeneration system)|
|Wheel Size||18 x 8.0J|
KODO – Soul of Motion
Evolution of a style
KODO – Soul of Motion was conceived as the essence of motion, embodying the tension of power and speed. Inspired while observing the instantaneous movement of animals, it symbolises the evolution of Mazda’s look. KODO has resulted in a whole new generation of Mazdas brimming with vitality, strength and depth. It all started five years ago…
When Ikuo Maeda became Mazda’s global design chief in 2009, he wanted to put more emotion back into the Mazda brand, giving it a new sense of presence and purpose. And the KODO – Soul of Motion architect had an extraordinary perspective on the carmaker’s history: His father, Matasaburo Maeda, came up with the original Mazda RX-7 in the 1970s and was also Mazda’s head of design. Like father, like son. Prior to KODO, Ikuo’s design achievements include the Mazda RX-8 and the current generation Mazda2.
“KODO – Soul of Motion is about sharpness outside. There’s a tension in the surfaces that conveys speed, but inside it’s alluring and feels handcrafted.”
Ikuo Maeda, speaking during a 2010 CAR magazine (UK) interview
Mazda SHINARI: The first rendering of KODO, unveiled in Los Angeles in 2010, was an exhilarating yet elegant four-door sports coupé concept. Based on pure strength, its lines and form represented the interplay of subtle movements and the release of energy. Taking styling cues from Mazda’s decades-long sportscar tradition, the SHINARI’s unique expression of speed was also reflected in the layout of the innovatively ergonomic cabin.
Mazda MINAGI: Geneva was the showcase as the SHINARI, now making its European debut, was joined by a second KODO concept: a compact SUV. Fitting for the segment, the MINAGI’S slanting A-pillars and powerful haunches personified the agility of a wildcat about to pounce. Its shapes conveyed motion even at a standstill with a dynamism unique for an SUV. The concept translated well into practice – as the Mazda CX-5.
Mazda CX-5: Just about as bold as the MINAGI, the CX-5’s roots are unmistakable. Mazda’s first-ever compact SUV was the first KODO production model and the first Mazda with the full range of SKYACTIV technology. Mazda’s vision had reached the mass market, and it’s been a huge success ever since. Sales have smashed expectations around the world, paving the way for things to come. Mazda hasn’t looked back.
Mazda TAKERI: Just as the MINAGI set the course for Mazda’s coming SUV, the TAKERI divulged the future of the company’s mid-sized flagship. Namely, all the emotion of the SHINARI in an electrifying C/D-segment package. Featuring cutting-edge Mazda technology like i-ELOOP (a brand-new brake energy regeneration system), the poised sports saloon overflowed with confidence. First displayed in Tokyo in late 2011 and again in Geneva a few months later, the TAKERI would also prove a remarkably market-ready concept – as the Mazda6 saloon.
Mazda6: KODO’s purest adaptation to date conveys the strength and distinctiveness of the Mazda brand while hinting at the performance-enhancing innovations underneath the fluid body lines. With a style destined to stand the test of time, the new-generation Mazda6 had hardly arrived at dealers before it was chosen as one of three finalists for the 2013 World Car Design of the Year. An awards magnet from day one, the Mazda6 has followed faithfully in the CX-5’s tracks.
All-new Mazda3: In such a fiercely contended market sector (C-segment), Mazda’s new-generation compact had to be good. So Mazda designed the latest version of its all-time bestseller not only to outshine the competition, but also to look every bit the part. Launched at events hosted on the same day in five locations around the world, its fresh, striking beauty has been warmly welcomed wherever it has gone – including a 15,000 km test-drive last summer from Japan to Frankfurt. The world has taken notice of another powerful KODO presence, one of the most highly praised models of the year.
Aptly, the KODO story continues in Geneva this year with the Mazda HAZUMI concept, which (unsurprisingly) takes on elements of its highly acclaimed larger siblings and adapts them to the packaging of a B-car.
KODO: THE CORE ELEMENTS
While preserving their own distinct personalities, every new-generation
Mazda also shares a collection of KODO core characteristics.
Signature wing grille
Mazda’s bold family face epitomises motion, as the wing stretches underneath the chiselled grille through the headlights and into the sides of the body.
Solid, powerful stance
With the pent-up energy of a predator preparing to pounce, KODO’s distinct posture features a crouched rear-leaning cabin with sharply slanted A-pillars, large wheels with flared fenders, a wide track and a long wheelbase with smaller overhangs.
KODO’s squinting ‘eyes’ seem to glare ahead with a fearless sense of purpose, accentuated by outward-extending LED guiding rings. The structure, emulated by the tail light signature, expresses strength, swiftness and stability.
Sculpted body shapes
Harmonious KODO body forms and textures change with the light and viewing angle, the result of meticulous attention to detail. Complemented by specially-crafted colours like Soul Red Metallic, it’s an effect that endures.
KODO: A FUNCTIONAL DESIGN
They don’t just look good, either. Beauty aside, KODO designs have purpose. After all, it’s Mazda we’re talking about.
KODO’s shapes are fashioned for minimal wind resistance, giving all new-generation Mazdas class-lowest drag coefficients for better fuel economy.
Ergonomics & interior comfort
The wide stance and long wheelbase mean more cabin space. This, in turn, allowed designers to optimise the overall interior layout, improving comfort as well as ergonomics. And that makes driving more fun.
Adding to the safe environment created by efficient ergonomics, the shape of the KODO cabin and A-pillars provide a better field of view for the driver.
3. Mazda MX-5 25th anniversary
The life of a legend
How Mazda’s MX-5 roadster went from idea to icon
It began with an idea. Back in March 1979, the car that was to become the most successful roadster in history was just that. Something mentioned almost in passing during a conversation between Kenichi Yamamoto, Mazda’s then head of development, and Bob Hall, an American automotive journalist. At the end of the interview, the latter suggested that Mazda build a “lightweight sportscar”. Hall, who had driven British cars from MG, Lotus and Triumph his whole life and was irritated by their poor quality, sketched his idea in chalk on a blackboard. The image warmed the hearts of several Mazda engineers and set into motion the complex process of turning an idea into reality.
It would be 10 years before the world premiere of the first Mazda MX-5 production model at the Chicago Auto Show. Code-named P729, the little roadster was the result of an unprecedented collaboration of engineers, designers and test drivers from Japan and the USA. At the inner core of the MX-5 was the traditional Japanese Jinba Ittai concept of “horse and rider as one”. From this sprang all the attributes that would make the two-seater such a success. Back at the beginning of the 1980s, however, the world wasn’t ready for it. Yet.
There was a lot of persuading to do; Yamamoto and Hall searched for allies. Around this time, Hall ran into some members of the development team for the rotary-powered Mazda RX-7. The men chatted, and then one of them (Shunji Tanaka) said the magic words: lightweight sportscar. Above all, the car would have to be light – a core element of Mazda’s current model line-up. A survey by Mazda North America confirmed it should also have a front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout (FR) with sufficient power. Plus, the car should look exciting.
Getting off the ground
The parameters were set, but it would not be until Yamamoto was promoted to president of Mazda Motor Corporation that the project got the support it needed. Things started coming together. In mid-1984, a concept designed in California by Mark Jordan and Tsutomu “Tom” Matano was chosen over two other contestants in an internal design competition. Besides the FR layout, it had features that survive in today’s MX-5, like the direct steering, a short gear shift stroke allowing changes at the flick of the wrist, and an engine/exhaust sound that makes a driver’s heart beat faster.
Perhaps surprisingly to some, a rotary engine wasn’t considered. Management decided that if Mazda’s sportscar were to be small, light and affordable, it would have to use existing volume model components. Engineers found the right engine in the Mazda 323, a 1.6-litre four-cylinder that they then taught how to growl in a way that roadster enthusiasts would love.
The five-speed manual transmission from the Mazda RX-7 was chosen to transfer the 115ps to the rear axle, while the chassis was given four-wheel independent suspension and disc brakes all around. In May 1987, a near-production prototype was presented for the first time to a group of select automotive experts, and they were thrilled by what they saw. By April 1988, there were 12 MX-5 prototypes, and the American journalists who tested them in July demanded that Mazda build this car. The rest is history: The history of a legend.
Breakthrough: A formula for success hits the market
Bob Hall’s idea of a lightweight two-seater convertible had survived the perception that there was no market for it, even among sceptics at Mazda. The Mazda MX-5 had made it to the production stage and was unveiled on 9 February 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show.
At a mere 398cm long and 122cm high, it must have seemed very small, particularly in the U.S. Its round edges, which diverged from its contemporary mid-engined competitors like the Toyota MR2 and soon-to-be-discontinued Fiat X1/9, were perhaps even more radical. However, the reaction in Chicago was overwhelmingly positive.
What the first MX-5 did was to brilliantly capture the purity and simplicity of the roadster in every respect: simple to drive, simple to own, and simply adorable. Tipping the scales at just 955kg, Mazda had come up with a truly lightweight sportscar that met all the crash safety requirements of its time. Considering that its FR layout required a rear differential and an additional powerplant frame to stabilise the drive train, this is all the more remarkable.
Being so light, Mazda was able to supply exhilarating performance from the relatively small 1.6-litre engine. Features included a special cylinder head and double-overhead camshafts, special sportscar tuning and a higher compression ratio for more power at a wider range of rpms. As a result, the first-generation MX-5 was quick (0-100km/h in 8.8secs) and extremely lively.
Defining driving delight
The MX-5 was, in a nutshell, a blast to drive, with Jinba Ittai handling and responsiveness attributable to its low centre of gravity, ideal 50:50 / front:rear weight distribution (achieved by the front mid-ship placement of the engine) and the independent double wishbones supporting every wheel. Plus the compact five-speed manual with a short, high-mounted lever and precise gear travel, the direct power-assisted steering, the special lightweight alloy wheels and the list goes on…
MX-5 was an immediate hit among buyers, and remained so popular that a 1994 facelift left the design and suspension virtually unchanged. A more powerful 131ps 1.8-litre engine was added, however, and the car’s already exceptional torsional rigidity was increased. Safety, too, was upgraded with side impact bars, ABS and airbags available in some markets. Nevertheless, the original formula endured.
Mazda MX-5 – generation TWO
A class of its own: The power to stay popular
Eight years had gone by since the original Mazda MX-5 took the automotive world by storm, and it was time for a new generation. Launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997 and then in Europe a few months later at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show, Mazda stuck with a winning blend of classic roadster design, insightful functionality, and superior handling and performance. The exterior design was modified subtly for a more muscular look, with interior comfort and practicality enhanced by a new wind deflector behind the seats as well as a larger boot.
Bigger changes took place under the skin, with more power from the engines and an even stiffer body. Improved aerodynamics would further enhance performance, with the drag coefficient reduced from Cd 0.38 to 0.36. The suspension system, meanwhile, was retuned with larger stabiliser bars, a wider track (1.8-litre models) and a limited-slip differential. Three-channel ABS was also standard equipment. The upshot: more driving fun than ever.
Highlights of the facelift that would follow in 2001 included 16-inch wheels, sequential valve timing for the 1.8-litre engine, and further structural rigidity enhancements. A new sport model came with a six-speed manual, uprated sports suspension with special Bilstein dampers, and high-performance tyres. There was even a turbocharged MX-5 from the Mazda Speed Performance division rated at 182ps, although this model wasn’t available in Europe.
Through all these years, the MX-5 remained firmly connected to it classic roadster roots. But it had risen so far above its segment that it was basically in a class of its own. The MX-5 was certainly here to stay.
Mazda MX-5 – generation THREE
Bigger, wider, lighter: the little roadster grows up but stays lean
Launched in 2005, the third generation Mazda MX-5 bulked up with a longer wheelbase, wider track and wider tyres with larger wheel flares to make room for the imposing new 17-inch wheels. In spite being larger and better equipped than its predecessor, the new model weighed only 10 kg extra.
It was an early demonstration of Mazda’s new ‘gram strategy’ to painstakingly reduce weight during the model development phase. With an aluminium boot lid, for example, and more high and ultra high-tensile steels in the bodyshell. In fact, these weight-saving measures would spread to all next-generation Mazdas – a process that is ongoing to this day.
The third-generation MX-5 also improved comfort and convenience. A new mechanism allowed the soft top to be opened and shut with just one hand. The roomier interior also featured better functionality, more storage, keyless entry and start functionality, and a new Bose® sound system.
The 1.6-litre engine was dropped in favour of a new 160ps 2.0-litre, which was available with the standard five-speed or an all-new six-speed manual. While retaining its classic layout and 50:50 weight distribution, the new bodyshell offered an even lower centre of gravity as well as increases to torsional and flexural stiffness of 47 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively. Along with larger disc brakes, standard safety enhancements in most markets included side airbags and dynamic stability control (DSC). The new model made an immediate impression, and was crowned Car of the Year Japan 2005-2006.
Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe
Only one year later, in response to market demand, Mazda introduced a retractable power hardtop version of the MX-5 – the Roadster Coupe. It was not just any power hardtop, but one that retracted in only 12 seconds – the fastest top around at that time – and folded behind the seats without restricting boot space.
A 2009 facelift optimised aerodynamics and fine-tuned the steering while also enhancing the engines. The 2.0-litre was made even more free-revving and at the same time 4-to-7 per cent more fuel efficient, depending on the gearbox. The 1.8 featured revised gear ratios to improve fuel economy. For the first time ever, a six-speed automatic was offered in Europe with the 2.0-litre, including paddle shifters on the steering wheel for manual-shift mode. Design changes followed in 2012, with a more aggressive face and a reworked interior. Finally, an active bonnet system was added to better protect pedestrians during a collision.
After 25 years, and as sales approach the one-million mark, the best-selling roadster of all time continues to cement its place in automotive history and put smiles on drivers’ faces. The Mazda MX-5 is certainly a legend, and the legend lives on.
4.Models on stage at Geneva
KODO – Soul of Motion design and SKYACTIV technology… here is the third manifestation of this award-winning blend in a car that actually interacts with its owner on several levels. The all-new Mazda3 delivers an unmatched combination of performance, fuel efficiency and functionality in a package that’s as safe and practical as it is stunning. Its KODO looks, magnificently adapted to a compact’s agility, grab hold of the senses. Meanwhile, its innovative SKYACTIV technology, including the new SKYACTIV-G 1.5-litre petrol engine, exceed customer expectations at every turn. The latest Mazda3 also introduces the company’s new interior concept, featuring a new level of ergonomic comfort. It’s also the first Mazda with the MZD Connect (a system bringing the smartphone connectivity and practicality people now take for granted, safely and conveniently into the vehicle), and the company’s new head-up display – all in an affordable C-segment model. Already the recipient of numerous awards, it is also one of the finalists for Europe’s 2014 Car of the Year award.
A recipient of numerous Car of the Year awards, Mazda’s latest-generation flagship begs to be driven at first sight. Built to be an extension of its driver and in harmony with the road, Mazda6 combines an award-winning design with intuitive functionality and exceptional responsiveness – plus an emotional appeal that puts the Mazda6 in a league with cars whose prices are multiples of its own. Featuring a lightweight design and ultra-efficient SKYACTIV powertrains, the first Mazda with the company’s i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system delivers best-in-class fuel economy along with outstandingly linear dynamic performance. The spacious interior is refreshingly ergonomic, ensuring convenient operation of the cabin’s advanced infotainment technology. Add an enviable line-up of cutting-edge active and passive safety technology, and you have an overall package that most mid-sized models in Europe cannot match.
The company’s first-ever compact SUV surprised the world when it arrived in early 2012. Its success even surprised Mazda, which increased annual production rates twice during the CX-5’s first 18 months – first by 25 per cent and then another 20 per cent – to meet the robust global demand. The first model of Mazda’s new-generation, the CX-5 introduced SKYACTIV technology and the KODO – Soul of Motion design to the volume car market. It was immediately a darling of car buyers as well as the media around the world. Prizes and awards started flowing and haven’t stopped since. Hardly surprising considering the CX‑5’s combination of class-beating fuel economy, fun-to-drive performance and outstanding safety along with one of the most comfortable and flexible interiors in its segment. Certainly, an uncompromising car that has unequivocally raised the class standards.
It’s a legend. The modern classic that revived an illustrious segment from the dead. What is more is that it’s still going strong after 25 years and sales of almost one million. Despite bearing a strong resemblance to the original version, the current Mazda MX-5 is miles ahead. Today’s MX-5 features things such as a pedestrian-friendly active bonnet system and a retractable hardtop that closes in only 12 seconds. Nevertheless, Mazda never deviated from the winning formula that made the MX-5 such a legend, namely a lightweight roadster that’s affordable, reliable and above all fun, with its patented short shift gear selector, precise steering and delightful rear-wheel drive handling. No other car betters its own world record every single day.
5. Mazda in 2013
Highlights of an eventful year gone by…
Another year, another Geneva Motor Show. A lot has happened at Mazda in between: Another year of challenging convention to make things better. Here are some of the highlights.
■ Mazda was Europe’s fastest growing auto making group in 2013, posting an 18.7 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger car sales in a market that declined for the sixth consecutive year. The company thereby raised its European market share to 1.2 per cent from an even one per cent in 2012.
■ Start of production at MMVO plant in Salamanca, Mexico (Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation). The first model to roll off the line is an all-new Mazda3 saloon for the U.S. market. Future models to be built there will include the Mazda2 and a Toyota subcompact. An engine machining factory is also scheduled to begin operations in October.
■ The all-new Mazda3 is shortlisted for Car of the Year 2014, Europe’s oldest and most coveted automotive prize, with the winner to be announced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
■ Euro NCAP awards a five star safety rating to the all-new Mazda3, making it the safest compact tested by the independent agency to date in 2013.
■ Mazda exhibits the new Mazda3 SKYACTIV-Hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show alongside a new Mazda3 concept powered by compressed natural gas. Sales of hybrid saloons begin in Japan.
■ First-half results for the fiscal year ending in March 2014 show a huge increase in net and operating profits accompanied by a three per cent rise in global sales to 631,000 vehicles.
■ Victorious with its SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 in nine races in a row in the USA, Mazda finishes atop the Grand-Am GX Manufacturers Championship as the first team to ever win a Grand-Am competition with diesel-powered cars.
■ Mazda sponsors the 13th World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, which brings together prize recipients with leaders and organisations from around the world to promote peace. In addition to providing a fleet of vehicles as the exclusive automotive Leading Partner, Mazda also organised the “Make Things Better Award”, a competition for young future leaders.
■ The all-new Mazda3 hatchback and saloon go on sale in several European markets, with the rollout to continue into 2014. Strong initial demand bodes well for the success of the new generation of Mazda’s biggest-volume model.
■ Mazda announces the start of trials of its Mazda Atenza* ASV-5 Advanced Safety Vehicle on public roads in Hiroshima. The specially-equipped saloon features a revolutionary system that allows automobiles and trams to communicate with one another – a world first.
■ The new-generation Mazda6 receives a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. A winning combination of active and passive safety innovation makes it the fourth Mazda so far to get the maximum score from the independent safety organisation.
■ Exceptional demand prompts Mazda to expand SKYACTIV engine production at its Hiroshima plant by 25 per cent to one million units annually by the end of 2014. The company also decides to add a US$ 120 million engine machining plant to its new production facility in Mexico. Engine production there is scheduled to begin in October 2014.
* Mazda6 in Europe
■ A SKYACTIV diesel-powered Mazda6 wins the Grand-Am Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis in the GX class – the first diesel ever to win at the legendary U.S. circuit. Its fifth-consecutive victory propels the Mazda team ahead of Porsche into first place in the GX Manufacturers Championship after eight of 12 races.
■ The Mazda Route3 tour kicks off as eight all-new Mazda3 hatchbacks leave Japan via ship heading for Vladivostok. Russia’s largest Pacific port is the overland starting point for a 15,000km intercontinental test drive covering nine time zones and ending in Frankfurt on the eve of the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Overcoming a variety of obstacles including unpredictable and sometimes appalling road conditions, Mazda’s new compacts demonstrate their extraordinary build quality, reliability and fun-to-drive character, while attracting a great deal of positive attention along the way.
■ To keep up with the growing popularity of its SKYACTIV models, Mazda announces plans to hike annual SKYACTIV-Drive automatic and SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission output at its Hofu plant in Japan by almost 50 per cent to 1.14 million units.
■ The all-new Mazda3 premieres at launch events held simultaneously at five locations around the globe, one day after the 10th anniversary of the first-ever Mazda3 rolling off the assembly line in Japan.
■ Mazda acquires a body shop on the same grounds as a vehicle assembly facility currently under construction in north-western Malaysia. The company plans to hike local production to around 20,000 vehicles annually.
■ Masamichi Kogai (59) becomes the new president and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation, succeeding Takashi Yamanouchi, who remains board chairman.
■ Mazda posts a € 286 million* global net profit for the 2013 fiscal year ending on 31 March, up from a loss in the previous year. The company aims to double its profits during the current year, increasing unit sales by eight per cent globally and 17 per cent in Europe.
* ¥ 34.3 billion converted at ¥ 120 = € 1, the exchange rate on 31 March 2013
■ Mazda joins in Milan Design Week, setting up a special venue for the event – Mazda Con-Temporary Space – where the company presents the KODO Chair, the all-new Mazda6 and other exhibits with “movement” and “soul of motion” as their themes.
■ A jury of 66 automotive journalists from around the world names the Mazda6 as one of three finalists for the World Car Design of the Year, along with Aston Martin’s Vanquish and the Jaguar F-Type.
■ The all-new Mazda6 is launched in Europe in saloon and Tourer format as the second Mazda with the complete SKYACTIV line-up and KODO – Soul of Motion design.
■ SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engines enjoy unprecedented popularity, particularly in Japan, where 80 per cent of all Mazda CX-5s are powered by a SKYACTIV-D 2.2-litre. The CX-5 was also Japan’s best-selling SUV in 2012.
■ Mazda decides to build a new transmission plant in Thailand in response to strong demand for its SYKACTIV models. Annual capacity will be 400,000 units when the facility begins operation in the 2015 fiscal year.
■ Mazda finalises an agreement to produce a convertible two-seater for the Fiat Group at its Hiroshima plant starting in 2015. The Alfa Romeo-branded sportscar will be based on the architecture of the next-generation Mazda MX-5 roadster, but the two models will not share powertrains.