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MPV facelift




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Sure, we've got the Mazda5 here in the States and that's nice and all, but everyone's talking about the Minivan being back in vogue and here Mazda's left with nothing but a crossover to offer in the U.S.


Enter the MPV, which just went on sale in Mazda's homeland of Japan. It's a minivan done Mazda's way with plenty of zoom, zoom from the same direct-inject 2.3L turbo set to be sold in the CX-7. The little four-banger will pump out 244 hp in the CX-7 and Mazda says in the MPV it will be classified SU-LEV. Mazda hopes to sell about 3,000 MPVs a month with a pretax asking price starting at 2,266,667 yen, or below $20,000 US.


What we like about the MPV is that the range-topping AWD model tips the scales at less than 4,000 lbs. Compare that to a top-of-the-line Honda Odyssey EX-L with a V6 producing the same 244 hp yet weighing 4,537 lbs.


To bad Mazda has no plans to bring the MPV stateside, as we think many moms would enjoy driving around a turbocharged minivan.


Mazda will be unveiling an all-new MPV at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, along with the SENKU and MX-Crossport concept vehicles, the Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept, the next-generation MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine and Advanced Driver-Support Technologies.


The all-new MPV was launched in Japan in February 2006, as part of its global rollout. Next up was Hong Kong, where it is named Mazda8 (a likely moniker for other markets, including North America, although Mazda has not yet committed to selling the vehicle here). The new minivan features evolutionary styling inside and out and dynamic performance typical of Mazda's "zoom-zoom" DNA. The rigid new body structure ensures sporty handling without compromising a comfortable ride.


Power for the show vehicle was provided by the new direct-injection MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine, linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination is reputed to deliver high fuel-efficiency and low emissions, along with unminivan-like performance.


Thanks to direct injection and a turbocharger, the new engine achieves a high, flat torque curve and throttle response belying its relatively small 2.3-litre displacement. Mazda says it is comparable to a 3.5 to 4-litre V6 power plant, yet is the only turbo engine produced in Japan to meet SULEV (Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles) standards.


In addition to application in the new MPV, the new MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo will also be available in the Mazdaspeed6.




IPB ImageIPB ImageThe new Mazda MPV is sold in Hong Kong as the Mazda8.

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News Release





Mazda Unveils Freshened MPV in Japan


- Improvements include restyled exterior, more advanced driving dynamics and enhanced interior comfort and quality -HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the launch in Japan of the upgraded Mazda MPV minivan. Known for its excellent drivability and sporty dynamic design, the freshened Mazda MPV is available from today at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealerships nationwide.




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Mazda MPV 23T (FWD model with six-speed automatic transmission and MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine)



The concept for Mazda's latest MPV is "+Aggressive, +Luxury." The refined styling and superb drivability that have become hallmarks of the third generation MPV since its launch in February 2006 have been further evolved. Other enhancements include interior and exterior changes and improved ride quality and comfort.




Extensive new chrome body parts, together with the remodeled upper and lower grilles and bumper, form a bolder and more distinguished front face. The vehicle's rear combination lights and 18-inch alloy wheels*1 have been redesigned and five fashionable, high quality body colors, including Metropolitan Grey Mica, Diamond Grey Metallic and Lilac Silver Metallic, are newly available.




The interior design maintains the previous version's sporty image and features newly designed decorative trim and chrome parts that boost quality levels. The slide range of the optional second row 'Super Relax Seats' has been extended and a 'nanoe ion' air purification system*2 has been adopted as an industry first to increase comfort levels. The interiors of the 23T L Package and 23S L Package model grades have also been fitted with custom sand-beige leather seat covers, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped wood grain-patterned steering wheel.




Vehicle dynamics have been enhanced by installing Mazda's five-speed automatic transmission*3 as standard equipment on all front-wheel drive (FWD) models with the MZR 2.3L naturally-aspirated engine. This change also improves fuel economy during acceleration and high-speed cruising. The chassis has also been retuned to enhance stability and ride comfort.




Manufacturer's suggested retail prices for the Mazda MPV vary from 2,500,000 to 3,600,000 yen (including consumption tax). The target sales volume is 1,200 units a month. Special needs models based on the freshened MPV are also available from today.




*1 Standard on grades equipped with the MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine*2 'Nanoe' is a trademark of Matsushita Electric Works Ltd. Available as a factory-installed option. Please refer to the factory installed options list below.*3 The Mazda MPV was previously equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission. All four-wheel drive (4WD) and FWD grades with the direct injection turbocharged engine offer a six-speed automatic transmission.


Main features of the freshened Mazda MPV



By enhancing the MPV's existing sporty and eye-catching appearance with design motifs taken from Mazda's new Nagare design language, in addition to the extensive use of chrome parts, the upgraded MPV reflects a commitment to craftsmanship and class. Mazda's designers also focused on expanding the spaciousness of the passenger cabin, which culminates in an improved sense of comfort and quality.




-The front end's design was made sportier and more aggressive through the new upper and lower grilles, and bumper. The new chrome garnish on the upper grille also reflects quality and refinement. All grades except 23C were given a bolder look through the addition of chrome garnish on the lower grille, fog light bezels and black headlight bezels.-With new integrated red lenses, the rear combination lights are another expression of the vehicle's high quality. The vehicle's 18-inch alloy wheels have been redesigned with gentle curves that are central to the Nagare design theme.-Nine high quality and striking body colors are available. The five new colors are Metropolitan Grey Mica, Diamond Grey Metallic, Lilac Silver Metallic, Maroon Red Mica and Sparkling Black Mica.




-Sand-beige suede-like seat covers hint at the freshened MPV's prestige, while the upright stance of the seatbacks and evident thickness of the seats are all crafted with precision. The light sandy-colored tones extend all the way down to the carpet on all grades (except 23C) and enhance the sense of spaciousness and simple beauty.-The Mazda MPV's sporty looks are emphasized through the use of lustrous black embossed material in the seat covers (all grades except 23C).-The shifter and power window switch panels are newly designed. The sand-beige parts have a chic and sporty wood-grain pattern while the black parts have a solid, carbon-like design (all grades except 23C). The MPV 23C employs quality black metallic parts.-The center stack features a new wide silver panel with an integrated GPS navigation system that reflects high quality workmanship.-Chrome is used to express elegance in the driver controls, including the shifter knob, inner door handles and air conditioning dials.




-The optional second row Super Relax Seats provide better comfort. By extending the front/back seat slide range rearward by 80 mm, available legroom is increased. The sideways seat slide function -- which was previously available only for the left hand seat -- is now fitted on both second row seats.-As an automotive industry first, the MPV comes equipped with 'nanoe ion' technology as part of the freshened Mazda MPV's air purifying and odor removing system (available as a factory-installed option). Bacteria-removing ions are blown from the driver's seat air vents and permeate every corner of the cabin.-Special equipment has been newly added on the 23T L Package and 23S L Package model grades which are based on the 23T and 23S grades. Both models have been outfitted with sand-beige leather seats, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped wood grain-patterned steering wheel, a power rear liftgate for easy closure, a third row electric seat return system and the Utility Package (please see the factory-installed options list for details). The 23S L Package also exclusively features 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 215/65R16 98S tires.




-Mazda's Activematic electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission is now standard on all front-wheel drive (FWD) models with the 2.3-liter naturally aspirated engine. The wider gear range provides a more powerful takeoff and lively acceleration. The setup also supplies plenty of torque for daily driving and offers improved fuel economy during high speed cruising.-After a review of chassis parts on all model grades, the suspension stiffness was retuned and bushes were replaced. This produces a more stable and comfortable ride.


Factory-installed options


-A new 'nanoe ion' air purification system has been added to the Utility Package, which is available for all grades. The package also includes Super Relax Seats, advanced keyless entry and engine starter system, Autolight system (which switches headlights on automatically according to ambient light conditions), rain-sensing front wipers and water repellent coating (windshield, front door windows and door mirrors).-Mazda's Precrash Safety System -- which alerts the driver via a buzzer and automatically applies the brakes whenever its milliwave radar detects an imminent collision -- has been updated. The new system improves braking response and applies the Brake Assist function when a collision is likely, and activates maximum braking force in urgent cases (available on the 23T and 23T L Package grades).


Special needs vehicles


The Lift-up Passenger Seat and Lift-up Second Seat model grades include a new remote control function to operate the lift-up seats.





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