Pre-orders start for Mazda Axela in Japan; gasoline and hybrid models first, followed by diesel
9 October 2013
|Axela Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation will begin taking pre-orders for the new Mazda Axela sports compact (known outside of Japan as Mazda3) on 10 October 10, 2013 at its dealers throughout Japan. (Earlier post.) The company expects to sell 3,000 units per month in Japan.
Sales will begin on 21 November, starting with the gasoline engine and a hybrid models, to be followed by a diesel version. This will make Mazda the first domestic automaker to offer gasoline, diesel and hybrid versions of a single model in Japan.
The Axela follows the CX-5 and Atenza (Mazda6) as the third model to adopt both Mazda’s next-generation SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and its new KODO - Soul of Motion design theme.
Since the launch of the first generation model in 2003, the Axela has sold more than 3.7 million units sold in more than 120 countries around the world; the Axela accounts for more than 30% of Mazda’s sales volume.
In addition to SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, the third-generation Axela incorporates Mazda’s latest technologies, including many of the i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies featured in the company’s flagship Atenza.
The all-new Axela marks the introduction of Mazda Connect, the company’s car-connectivity system based on Mazda’s Heads-Up Cockpit concept.
On the gasoline side, the powertrain lineup includes a new SKYACTIV-G 1.5-liter gasoline engine which greatly enhances torque and improves fuel economy by about 26% (compares AT sedan model under JC08 mode test). The 4-2-1 exhaust system is introduced to the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine. (Earlier post.) It improves fuel economy by approximately 9% and delivers more torque than the previous model with a 4-1 exhaust system. (Compares AT front-wheel-drive (FWD) Sport model under JC08 mode test.)
The SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel engine delivers torque on par with a 4.0-liter V8 gasoline engine and meets Japan’s Post New Long-Term Emission Regulations without expensive NOx aftertreatment systems.
SKYACTIV-HYBRID combines a new SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine developed exclusively for the hybrid powertrain and an electric motor to deliver fuel economy of 30.8 km per liter under JC08 mode (72.5 mpgUS, 3.2 l/100 km). (In 2010, Mazda and Toyota agreed on license for Mazda’s use of Toyota hybrid technology. Earlier post.)
Mazda’s idling stop system, i-stop, is standard on all SKYACTIV-G models and SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel engine model. The i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system which was debuted with the Atenza, comes as standard equipment in SKYACTIV-G 2.0 and SKYACTIV-D models.
The SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission locks up for most of its range except for take-off, and realizes smooth and fast shifting. The SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission, which enables gear shifts at a flick of the wrist, is available on all SKYACTIV-G and SKYACTIV-D FWD models. The hybrid model features a continuously variable electronic transmission.
The SKYACTIV-G 1.5-liter gasoline engine-powered FWD model and the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine-powered model with automatic transmission qualify for a 75% tax reduction under Japan’s eco-car tax reduction program to promote environmentally-friendly cars. The SKYACTIV-HYBRID model qualifies for full tax exemption. (Other models are awaiting homologation.)
Models equipped with the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine adopt the newly developed Active Air Shutter which closes off an opening in the lower grill when engine cooling is not necessary. This improves aerodynamic performance while contributing to shorter a warm-up time, both of which help to achieve better fuel efficiency in practical use.
Like the Atenza, the Axela features Mazda’s advanced safety technologies in all major model grades.
Active safety technologies include Distance Recognition Support System (DRSS) and Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW); Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS); Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS); and Rear Vehicle Monitoring (RVM).
Pre-crash safety technologies include Smart Brake Support (SBS); Smart City Brake Support (SCBS); and Acceleration Control for Automatic Transmission.
Pricing in Japan ranges from ¥1,711,500 (US$17,628) for an entry-level SKYACTIV-G 1.5 with a 6-speed manual to up to ¥2,982,000 (US$30,715) for the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel. The hybrid model tops out at ¥2,625,000 (US$27,038) for the “L” package.
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