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Mazda to Debut CX-7 Crossover SUV and Kabura Concept at 2006 North American International Auto Show

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2007 Mazda CX-7

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DETROIT, Jan. 6 -- Mazda will introduce the production CX-7 crossover sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and the Kabura Concept compact sports coupe at the upcoming 2006 North American International Auto Show, which opens to the media on Sunday, Jan. 8. Pricing also will be announced for the CX-7, which is the first of three all-new Mazda vehicles that are being designed and engineered specifically for the North American Market.

"The CX-7 is a very important addition to the Mazda lineup and will play a vital role for us in the North American market," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. "The introduction of the CX-7 further expands the Mazda lineup and enables us to offer vehicles that appeal to an ever widening range of customers."

Produced entirely on Mazda-derived platform architecture, the five-seat CX-7 embodies an astute blend of sports car verve and SUV practicality, resulting in a fun-to-drive SUV with Mazda's trademark "Soul of a Sportscar". It is a vehicle that brings together performance and design like never before.

The distinctive exterior design of the Mazda CX-7 is an extension of the sports car motif influenced by the 1995 RX-01 and 2005 MX-Crossport concept vehicles. Prominent front fenders, A-pillars rooted at the body's leading edge, and Mazda's signature five-pointed grille clearly register this new model as a Mazda.

Inside, CX-7 fulfills every car enthusiast's innate desire to jump in and drive. The three-dial instrument cluster, sports car inspired high-mounted shifter and form-fitting front bucket seats are configured for spirited motoring.

Matching the sporty appearance, the Mazda CX-7's performance is powerful and dynamic, with use of a turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-liter four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline engine that produces 244-horsepower at 5,000 rpm. Furthermore, the Mazda CX-7 delivers an estimated 23 mpg in combined driving.

In addition to unveiling the CX-7, the Kabura Concept will make its world debut. The Kabura Concept embodies the essence of Mazda's Zoom-Zoom spirit, venturing beyond the compact sports coupe norm to explore several fresh ideas that could appear in future production models.

The Kabura Concept's exterior, as described by Mazda's North American Design Director Franz von Holzhausen, is "a nimble-looking fuselage with a powerful stance, pronounced wheel arches, and taut surfaces."

Inside, the Kabura Concept features a 3+1 layout that resolves rear seat restriction issues of the common 2+2 coupes. A standard left-side door provides access to the driver's cockpit and the driver's-side rear jump seat. The right side is a wholly different and purposely asymmetrical arrangement, placing the front passenger seat ahead of the driver, giving the passenger-side rear passenger plenty of legroom.

In addition to the CX-7 and the Kabura Concept, Mazda will display two hybrid vehicles -- The MAZDA5 Hydrogen Hybrid and the Tribute Hybrid. The MAZDA5 Hydrogen Hybrid is a concept car in which a hydrogen rotary engine with dual-fuel (hydrogen and gasoline) capability is combined with a hybrid-electric drive system. The hydrogen rotary engine and the electric motor are incorporated into a power unit that is transversely mounted at the front of the vehicle. Efficient packaging permits ample interior space together with the superior environmental performance of the hydrogen rotary engine and hybrid system.

The Tribute Hybrid sport utility vehicle offers superior environmental performance with its MZR 2.3-liter gasoline engine, which has been modified to run on the Atkinson cycle for superior fuel efficiency. With maximum output of 133-horsepower at 6,000rpm and 123 lb-ft of torque at 4,250rpm, it delivers ample performance. The Tribute Hybrid has a continuously variable transmission that realizes seamless, highly efficient adjustment of the gear ratio under electronic control. At speeds up to 25mph, the Tribute Hybrid can be driven using only the power of its electric motor. The motor is also used to supplement the gasoline engine when extra torque is needed during engine-propelled operation. During deceleration, it charges the battery by working as a generator.

Mazda's full 2006 lineup will be on display at the show including the MX-5 Miata, MAZDA3, MAZDA5, MAZDA6, MAZDASPEED6, Tribute, MPV and RX-8.

The North American International Auto Show runs January 14-22 at the Cobo Hall Conference Center in Detroit, Mich.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.

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