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June 16, 2009

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Mazda Launches All-New Axela in Japan


All-new Mazda Axela Sport 20S (with factory-installed options and i-stop)

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the sales launch of the all-new Mazda Axela (known overseas as the new Mazda3) in the Japanese market. Mazda’s mainstay model has been fully redesigned and updated with a host of new features, including the ‘i-stop’ engine stop/start system. Sales commence today at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Autozam dealers nationwide. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including sales tax) for the all-new Mazda Axela range from 1,660,000 to 2,678,000 yen. The target sales volume in the Japanese market is 2,000 units per month.

Since the Mazda Axela first debuted in October 2003 it has become a core model in Mazda’s lineup, selling over two million units worldwide and currently comprising over a third of its annual global sales. For the second generation Axela, the development team was determined to once again exceed customer expectations.

As a result, the new model inherits and evolves Mazda’s highly acclaimed sporty performance and exterior styling. Additionally, it arrives with an outstanding interior with greater quality and functionality, and offers advanced environmental and safety features.

All 2.0-liter front-wheel-drive (FWD) models are equipped with i-stop, Mazda’s unique engine stop/start system, which uses combustion energy to restart the engine in just 0.35 seconds, about half the time of most other competing systems.

The i-stop system also suppresses noise and vibration as the engine shuts down and restarts, ensuring that drivers experience a natural driving feel with no sense of discomfort. Prices for models with i-stop start from an affordable 1,890,000 yen (including sales tax).

The 2.0-liter FWD Axela with i-stop provides 15 percent better fuel economy than the previous model.*1 The 1.5-liter Axela models are newly equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This combination enables a sporty ride and top class fuel economy*2 of 18.4 kilometers per liter. All models in the Axela range qualify as Super-Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (SU-LEV), achieving exhaust emissions that are at least 75 percent lower than the levels required by the Japanese government’s 2005 exhaust emissions standard. Additionally, six of the nine model grades qualify for Japan’s eco-car incentive program as well as tax reductions of 50 or 75 percent under the government’s eco-car tax reduction program.

Together with its superb environmental performance, the new Mazda Axela also boasts more spirited driving performance. Mazda’s engineers achieved notable weight reduction while efficiently increasing the vehicle’s body rigidity, and reworked the aerodynamics so that the new Axela provides enhanced handling and straight-line stability at high speeds. Drivers can enjoy substantially improved comfort and cabin quietness due to reduced road noise, engine vibration and wind noise.

The updated exterior design, which features a new version of Mazda’s hallmark five-point grille, carries forward the original model’s sporty impression and injects an added touch of dynamic and refined styling.

Photos: Mazda

(June 2, 2009)


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