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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.)
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)
– 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
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.
Price this car:
MSRP: not available yet
Invoice: not available yet
Source: Mazda Press Release