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2006/06/06


Mazda Launches Freshened Mazda Axela in Japan

-Adds Mazdaspeed Axela with Direct Injection Turbo Engine to the Axela lineup-

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation announced today that sales of the freshened Mazda Axela (known as Mazda3 in other markets), a sporty compact vehicle which has received rave reviews in markets around the world, have commenced at Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealers throughout Japan. Sales of a high performance model, the Mazdaspeed Axela (known as Mazdaspeed3 in North America and Mazda3 MPS in other key regions, including Europe, Australia and New Zealand) will commence on June 22. The Mazdaspeed Axela comes newly equipped with a 2.3-liter Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) turbo engine.

Mazda Axela Sport 23S
Mazda Axela Sport 23S

 

The Axela Sport (five-door) and Axela (four-door) body styles were launched in the Japanese market in October 2003 as Mazda's next generation sports compact car. With a total global production volume of more than 920,000 units, as of the end of April 2006, this vehicle has emerged as a key product for Mazda.

 

The concept behind this freshening of the Axela and Axela Sport models is to upgrade them to become "dynamic sporty compacts that further exceed your expectations." Mazda augmented the vehicles' existing strengths such as their highly-acclaimed exterior and interior styling, dynamic performance and craftsmanship. Going a step further, the Axela was made even more competitive as a global compact car by improving its fuel economy and road quietness. The addition of the 20F grade four-wheel-drive (4WD) model also helps elevate the competitive edge of the entire Axela series.

 

Mazdaspeed Axela was updated to become a high performance compact and it achieves excellent driving performance that is among the leaders of the front-wheel-drive vehicle segment. The base model is the Axela Sport grade.

 

Its 2.3-liter DISI turbo engine and lightweight compact body produces high-powered driving, with optimum control delivered by the responsive, specially-tuned body, suspension and brakes. The main features of the Axela Sport are a refined design that complements its fine driving feel, which results in an ideal balance of driving pleasure and everyday ease of use.

 

The lifetime average sales target for the Axela series in the Japanese market is set at 2,000 units per month. This figure includes plans for monthly sales of 200 Mazdaspeed Axela units.

 

Outline of the freshened Axela Sport/Axela
Exterior

By modifying the design of the front grille, fog lamp, front bumper, rear bumper, aluminum wheels (with three different designs ranging in size between 15 inches and 17 inches), rear roof spoiler,*1 and side underspoiler,*2 the Mazda Axela Sport appears even sportier than its predecessors. The Mazda Axela received upgrades that resulted in more modern and high-quality design. The Axela 20S model comes newly-equipped with a light emitting diode (LED) rear combination lamp.
*1 : This is available only for the Axela Sport 20S and 23S.
*2 : This is available only for the Axela Sport 20S and 23S, and the Axela 20S.

 

Interior
The interior features newly adopted materials for the seat and door trim, with a new resin panel that enhances the quality of the interior design. A sporty black interior color, along with an elegant beige and high-quality gray, are used for each grade. Genuine black leather is available as a factory-installed option for the 20S and the 23S grades. In addition, a white gauge meter with indirect blue lighting accentuates Axela's sportier interior look and enhances visibility. This feature is available on the 15F, 15C, 20F, and 20C grades.

 

Body Colors
Two new colors, Aurora Blue Mica and Crystal White Pearl Mica*3 have been added and two popular colors used on other Mazda models, Phantom Blue Mica and Galaxy Gray Mica, are among the total of 11 colors that can be selected for the Axela.
*3 : If this color is selected as the body color, the price increases by 31,500 yen (with tax).

Powertrain
Axela Sport/Axela boasts improved driving performance thanks to the following new features:
- Electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission (Activematic) that ensures linear acceleration and a smooth gearshift. (This is available on the 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter models.)
- A sequential valve timing (S-VT) mechanism that improves the torque. (This is available on the 2.0-liter model.)
- An electronically-controlled throttle that brings out a more precise and better-controlled acceleration. (This is available for all models.)

Equipment
The following are newly adopted features.
- A Bose® sound system that can accommodate MP3 files with subwoofer and seven speakers which are available as factory-installed option. (This is available for all models except for the 15F and 15C grades.)
- An advanced keyless entry & engine starter system available as a factory-installed option for all grades except for the 15F.
- A steering wheel-mounted gearshift switch that enables the driver to shift without moving his or her hand from the steering wheel. (Standard equipment on the 20S and the 23S.)
- An immobilizer that an effective theft deterrent. (Standard equipment for all models except for the 15F.)
- A three-point seatbelt for the middle seat in the rear seat area and headrests. (Standard equipment for all models)

Other features
- Mazda Axela's steering and handling capabilities are well-recognized advantages and they heve been further enhanced by increasing the body stiffness and improving the suspension. The driving has become more agile and exciting.
- The vibration characteristics of the rear suspension have been reviewed to reduce road noise and noise-absorbent materials were embedded inside the ceiling to reduce wind noise. The result: quietness has been improved, for a better, more comfortable driving environment.
- A four-wheel-drive (4WD) version, the 20F grade, has been newly-added to the lineup. The 4WD model features an Active Torque Split All-Wheel-Drive System that adjusts the front/rear wheel torque distribution to deliver optimum drive power depending on road surface and driving conditions.
- The front-wheel-drive (FWD) model is certified for the Japanese government's 2005 emission standard 75% reduction level (SU-LEV). (The 4WD model is certified for the 2005 emission standard 50% reduction level.) All models have achieved a three-to-five percent improvement in fuel economy.

Main features of Mazdaspeed Axela
Exterior

Functioning as an air intake, the Mazdaspeed Axela's sporty grille and bold front fender lines, large aerodynamically-shaped front bumper with lower grille, 18-inch aluminum wheels and floating roof spoilers, all serve to accentuate the Axela's styling presence and are design cues that hint of its high-level driving performance.

Mazdaspeed Axela
Mazdaspeed Axela

 

Interior
With high-quality black tones in the interior, red stitching accentuates the seat colors. The interior also features a genuine leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift boots to create a dashing-yet-modern ambience in the cabin. In addition, exclusive semi-bucket seats, a blackout-style speedometer with indirect blue lighting and aluminum foot pedals add to this model's sporty looks.

 

Body Colors
Four body colors are available, including the model's theme color (True Red) and an exclusive new body color only for the Mazdaspeed Axela called Cosmic Blue Mica.

Dynamic performance
Based on an "agile and exciting" driving concept, the following exclusive features have been employed on the Mazdaspeed Axela:
- The MZR 2.3-liter DISI turbo gas engine produces a maximum output of 194kw (264PS) and 380Nm (38.7kg-m) of maximum torque. These figures represent superior acceleration performance, ranked among the leaders of front wheel drive vehicles in this class. Even though it has such dynamic performance, Mazdaspeed Axela's fuel economy also meets the 2005 emission standard 75% reduction level (SU-LEV). Mazdaspeed Axela is simply a powerful, yet outstandingly eco-friendly, vehicle.
- The six-speed manual transmission was adopted to accommodate the vehicle's ample power. Additionally, a newly developed torque-sensing super limited slip differential (LSD), finely-tuned drive shaft stiffness and a torque control system that adjusts according to the steering angle, taken together ensure the Mazdaspeed Axela's excellent driving stability.
- Exclusive aerodynamics parts such as a large front underspoiler, a tire deflector panel and an underfloor cover to flatten the underfloor and channel the air flow under the vehicle improves driving performance.
- Mazdaspeed Axela's sporty driving sound has been tuned to emit an exhaust note that adds vigor due to its low frequency. The engine's high frequency vibration noise also adds a nimble tone, informing the occupants of this vehicle's dynamic driving performance.
- This model's high-rigidity body has been further enhanced and its exclusively tuned suspension increases the chassis' dynamic performance. Large 17-inch brakes with 8-inch and 9-inch tandem boosters were added in the front. These features provide the "fun handling" aspects of this high-powered model while maintaining its driveability.
- The exclusive semi-bucket seats maintain an excellent grip on the occupant, providing a degree of comfort and support for sporty and delightful driving.

Manufacturer's suggested retail prices for the Mazda Axela lineup

(* indicates a model shown in this press release.)
Grade
(Body type)
Drive Engine Transmission Suggested retail price (yen)
With tax Without tax
15F FWD 1.5-liter
DOHC
5MT 1,510,750 1,438,810
4EC-AT(Activematic) 1,600,000 1,523,810
15C FWD 1.5-liter
DOHC
5MT 1,560,750 1,486,429
4EC AT(Activematic) 1,650,000 1,571,429
20F 4WD 2.0L DOHC 4EC-AT 1,980,000 1,885,715
20C FWD 2.0L DOHC 5EC-AT(Activematic) 1,890,000 1,800,000
20S FWD 2.0L DOHC 2,060,000 1,961,905
23S
(Axela Sport)
FWD 2.3L DOHC 2,150,000* 2,047,619
Mazdaspeed
Axela
FWD 2.3 -liter
DISI Turbo
6MT 2,410,000* 2,295,239
In addition to the prices noted above, a separate recycling charge is required at the time of purchase. The recycling charge for each model is: 11,730 yen for the Mazda Axela, 11,860 yen for the Mazda Axela Sport and Mazdaspeed Axela (tax included).

Axela Sport and Mazdaspeed Axela Specifications
Body type Station wagon
Grades 15F 15C 20F 20C 20S 23S Mazda speed
Axela
Drive 2WD 4WD 2WD
Transmission 5MT 4EC-AT 5MT 4EC-AT 4EC-AT 5EC-AT 5EC-AT 5EC-AT 6MT
Dimensions(mm)
Overall length 4,400 4,435
Overall width 1,745 1,765
Overall height 1,465 1,510 1,465
Wheelbase 2,640
Track (front) 1,530 1,535
Track (rear) 1,515 1,520 1,515 1,525
Minimum ground
clearance
145 140 145
Weight (kg) 1,210 1,240 1,210 1,240 1,400 1,260*1 1,280 1,300 1,390
Seating Capacity 5
Engine
Model ZY-VE LF-VE L3-VE L3-VDT
Type Water-cooled in-line 4-cylinder DOHC 16 valve Water-
cooled
in-line 4-
cyclinder
DOHC
16-valve
DISI turbo
Displacement (cc) 1,498 1,998 2,260
Maximum output
(kW<PS>/rpm)
84<114>/6,000 105
<143>
/6,500
110
<150>
/6,500
126
<171>
/6,500
194
<264>
/5,500
Maximum torque
(Nm<kg-m>/rpm)
140<14.3>/4,500 179
<18.3>
/4,000
183
<18.7>
/4,500
214
<21.8>
/4,000
380
<38.7>
/3,000
Steering Rack and pinion steering
Suspension (Front/Rear) McPherson strut/Multilink
Brake (Front) Ventilated discs
Brake (Rear) Leading/trailing shoe drum brake*1 Disc brakes
Tires 195/65R15 91H 195/70
R15
92H
195/65
R15
91H
205/55
R16
89V
205/50
R17
89V
215/45
R18
89W
Wheels 15 x 6J 16 x 6
1/2J
17 x 6
1/2J
18 x
7J
10-15 fuel consumption
[MLIP inspection values]
18.0 17.4 18.0 17.4 11.6 14.2*2 13.6 12.2 11.2
Conforming regulatory level FWD models meet 75% reduction level for the Japan 2005 emission standard, while 4WD models meet 50% reduction level.
Green Tax Applicable - Applicable -
*1: The 15C model with electronically-controlled four-speed automatic (Activematic) transmission comes equipped with rear disc brakes when Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) or the Sport-Package is installed.
*2: When Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) or C-package options (both are factory-installed options) are installed, the curb weight exceeds 1,270kg, which causes the 10-15 fuel consumption figure to be 13.6km/liter.

Specifications of Mazda Axela (four-door)
Body type Sedan
Grades 15F 15C 20F 20C 20S
Drive 2WD 4WD 2WD
Transmission 5MT 4EC-AT 5MT 4EC-AT 4EC-AT 5EC-AT 5EC-AT
Dimensions(mm)
Overall length 4,480 4,510
Overall width 1,745
Overall height 1,465 1,510 1,465
Wheelbase 2,640
Track (front) 1,530
Track (rear) 1,515 1,520 1,515
Minimum ground
clearance
145 140 145
Weight (kg) 1,190 1,210 1,190 1,210 1,380 1,250 1,260
Seating Capacity 5
Engine
Model ZY-VE LF-VE
Type Water-cooled inline four-cylinder DOHC 16 valve
Displacement (cc) 1,498 1,998
Maximum output
(kW<PS>/rpm)
84<114>/6,000 105<143>/6,500 110<150>/6,500
Maximum torque
(Nm<kg-m>/rpm)
140<14.3>/4,500 179<18.3>/4,000 183<18.7>/4,500
Steering Rack and Pinion type
Suspension (Front/Rear) McPherson strut/Multi-link
Brake (Front) Ventilated
Brake (Rear) Leading/trailing shoe drum brake*1 Disc
Tire 195/65R15 91H 195/70
R15 92H
195/65
R15 91H
205/55
R16 89V
Wheels 15 x 6J 16 x 6 1/2J
10-15 fuel consumption
[MLIP inspection values]
18.0 17.4 18.0 17.4 11.6 14.2
Conforming regulatory level FWD models meet 75% reduction level for the Japan 2005 emission standard, while 4WD models meet 50% reduction level.
Green Tax Applicable - Applicable - -
*1 The 15C model with electronically-controlled four-speed automatic (Activematic) transmission comes equipped with rear disc brakes when Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) or the Sport-Package is installed.

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