'Zoom-Zoom to the Future'
2003-10-24 - By Philip Byrne
Mazda Motor Corporation zooms into the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show with the strongest line of production and concept cars in company history, including the world premier of the two-seat Ibuki concept, an open-top, lightweight sports car that hints at a possible design direction of a future Mazda Roadster.
Joining the Ibuki concept on the stand are key environmental technologies being developed by Mazda such as the unique RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine (also a world premier) and the company's latest production models, including the all-new Mazda3.
The 37th Tokyo Motor Show will be held at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba City and open to the public from Saturday, October 25th to Wednesday November 5th, 2003.
Mazda president Hisakazu Imaki is scheduled to host a press briefing at the Mazda stand in the Makuhari Messe Central Hall on Wednesday, October 22nd from 14:10 to 14:30.
Mazda's theme for the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show, "Zoom-Zoom to the Future," highlights the continuing evolution of the company's Zoom-Zoom spirit, embodied by the consecutive successes scored by Mazda's new-generation vehicles: Mazda6, Mazda2, Mazda RX-8 and the newly-introduced Mazda3 have all received critical acclaim from media and customers in markets around the world and are helping drive Mazda's current sales success. With this year's theme, Mazda is also emphasizing its intention to continue delivering "exciting and exhilarating driving experiences" to its customers.
Outline of main exhibits
Mazda 'Ibuki' concept
The Mazda Ibuki concept clearly showcases Mazda's current efforts in both design and technology as the development team works to further refine the company's famous lightweight, open-top sports car. The Ibuki concept (the name comes from a Japanese word that refers to "breathing new energy into" and "adding vigor") reaches back to its 1989 origins in is simple and clean design and hints towards one possible approach for a future Roadster/MX-5 model.
Powered by a MZR 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Ibuki concept successfully realizes a super front-midship layout (as also found in the Mazda RX-8) that places all major components within the wheelbase. Compared with the layout in the current Mazda Roadster/MX-5, the engine is positioned approximately 400mm further to the rear, while the air conditioner unit is located behind the seats. Thanks to the super front-midship layout, yaw inertia moment has been greatly reduced, enhancing further the level of pure, fun drivability-oneness between car and driver-that has been central to the Roadster's ongoing success.
Mazda 'Kusabi' concept
Mazda Kusabi, which was first shown at the 2003 Frankfurt auto show, is based on the concept of a new "everyday sports sub-compact" offering unique values from its conventional counterparts. A small, four-seat, two-door coupe, the Kusabi is compact, economical and ecologically sound. The design is purposefully fun and almost aggressive for the segment. It is low and wide, with short front and rear overhangs. The highlight is the flat roof and overall wedge-shape that is the inspiration for the name - kusabi, means wedge in Japanese.
The concept features innovative packaging solutions such as the Twin-Lift Hatchback design that features dual hatches with two opening modes: a longitudinal hinge in the center of the roof allows individual opening of the hatches from either side of the car, or they can be opened together, from the rear, in the conventional hatchback manner.
Employing the 1.3-liter supercharged MZR engine equipped with an idle-stop mechanism, the Kusabi concept presents Mazda's proposals in terms of practicality, driving performance and environment- friendly features.
Mazda 'Washu' concept
First shown at the 2003 North American International Auto Show, the Mazda Washu concept (the name comes from the Japanese word for "eagle's wing) was developed as a calculated experiment into how customers interact with a vehicle's interior space. Low, sleek and well proportioned, Mazda's six-seat concept also works to tear down the barriers that traditionally separate sports cars and family cars. Just as the all-new Mazda RX-8 is a unique approach to the four-seat performance car, the new concept is an innovative approach to a six-seat configuration
The Washu's interior incorporates concepts and forms found in traditional Japanese architecture, giving the cabin comfort and flexibility. In addition, innovative "airplane doors" and a deployable instrument panel equipped with a retractable steer-by-wire steering wheel greatly enhance ease of entry and exit. Taken together, these unique measures allow Mazda Washu to offer values not found in today's multi-purpose vehicles.
Mazda Roadster Turbo concept
The Roadster Turbo concept is a new twist on Mazda's best-selling sports car that has been developed as a limited-edition model to give customers a pure feeling of "oneness between car and driver" with additional mid-range performance. The turbochargerd1.8-liter DOHC engine delivers additional power and increased torque to improve acceleration, particularly in speeds from 40 to 80 kph.
The turbocharged engine has been tuned to retain the Roadsters smooth and linear power delivery, with a flat torque curve that offers consistent and strong torque from 2500 to 5500 rpm. Mazda Roadster Turbo also features enhanced drivetrain components including a taller final-drive ratio (now 4.100, up from 3.910) and an upgraded limited-slip differential. The Roadster Turbo's suspension has been upgraded with larger-diameter anti-roll bars, larger tires, stiffer dampers and springs rates 20 percent firmer than normally aspirated models, helping reduce pitch and roll. Overall, the Turbo's body has been lowered by 10 mm compared to the normal Roadsters.
2. Technology exhibits [Environment-related topics]
Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE (Prototype)
This technological concept vehicle powered by the Mazda RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine is now undergoing running tests. The hydrogen version of RENESIS is the latest example of the company's efforts to satisfy the demand for both environment-friendliness and exhilarating performance. By making the most of the unique rotary-engine technologies, Mazda was able to develop this powerplant as one proposal for alternative-energy vehicle technologies aimed at a future hydrogen-based society.
In addition to direct hydrogen injection into the intake chambers via two electronically-controlled injectors per rotor, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE features a dual-fuel system allowing one-touch switching between either hydrogen or gasoline, promoting the car's versatility as a hydrogen fuel infrastructure is developed.
Other environmental-friendly features applied to the vehicle include a plant-based plastic for interior parts and an application of three layer wet paint system. Mazda is also presenting advanced technologies including a hybrid system with electric torque assist and start-stop technology, and a turbocharger with electric motor assistance-technologies that will contribute to future enhancement of hydrogen rotary engine performance.
MZR 2.0 PZEV engine
The gasoline engine mounted in the Axela/Mazda3 for the US market clears Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) standards - the world's strictest emissions standard for gasoline engines - adopted by "Green States" in the US.
New MZR-CD engine
This newly-developed, next-generation diesel engine achieves a superb balance between power, fuel efficiency and quiet operation. Innovative technologies such as a catalyzed diesel particulate filter and improved fuel efficiency achieve a significant reduction in emissions of PM and NOx, and black smoke is reduced to virtually zero.
Pre-crash safety technologies
These advanced technologies include front and rear sensors for crash prediction, and advanced measures to minimize harm to occupants in the event of a collision. When an accident is predicted, the system automatically tightens the seatbelts, applies the brakes and adjusts headrest position.
Safe-driving support with regard to fatigue
Safe-driving support includes measures such as route-selection suited to the individual driving style and how the driver experiences the burden of driving, and appropriate delivery of information and alerts in accordance with driver fatigue as measured in real time by a new algorithm.
3. Current production model
Following Mazda6, New Mazda2 and Mazda RX-8, Mazda3 is the fourth member of Mazda's new-generation line-up and incorporates all the outstanding merits and lessons learned in the development of the previous three to fully embody Mazda's brand DNA and the Zoom-Zoom spirit. With its highly balanced dynamic performance, Mazda3 offers assured peace of mind and driving excitement at the same time.
The bold design is attractive from the very first glance, while its refined sophistication continues to please the eye over time. The four- and five-door versions have noticeable design differences, yet both fascinate with their style. New-generation craftsmanship realizes a new standard of quality which enhances both the delight of ownership and the pleasure of driving, while the efficient packaging achieves true versatility in practical use, excellent maneuverability, and a sleek exterior appearance. In addition, Axela offers world-class safety plus superbly clean performance, proven by the Japanese U-LEV certification awarded to all models. Mazda3 unprecedented values set an entirely new global standard for compact cars.