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Mazda Axela and Mazda Biante with i-stop Win 2009 Eco-Products Award in Japan

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SEE ALSO: Mazda Specs, Prices and Comparisons-Mazda Buyers Guide

Hiroshima, Nov 24, 2009; Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that the Mazda Axela (known overseas as the Mazda3) and Mazda Biante models equipped with its unique idling stop system, i-stop, have won the prestigious 2009 Eco-Products Award from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

The Eco-Products Awards were established in 2004. The awards are intended to encourage the spread of eco-friendly products in Japan and support the organizations that supply them through public recognition of excellence and by providing information about outstanding products and services that are less harmful to the environment.

Idling stop systems reduce fuel consumption by automatically shutting down the engine when the driver stops the vehicle. Mazda's i-stop system improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent (under Japan's 10-15 mode test cycle) and provides a natural driving feel, ensuring the driver experiences no sense of discomfort. Mazda's system stands out thanks to its quick combustion restart method that employs direct injection and special technology to control piston positions as the engine shuts down. With the potential to be introduced on a wide range of vehicles, i-stop is an effective and low-cost green technology.

The Eco-Products Award recognizes Mazda's development of this idling stop system, which features a smooth and quiet operation, and these two advanced vehicles that actively encourage eco-friendly driving.

The award ceremony will take place during the Eco-Products 2009 Exhibition that will run from December 10 through 12 at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight). It is one of the largest exhibitions of environmentally-friendly products and services in Japan and is organized by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry (JEMAI) and the Nikkei newspaper group. As well as i-stop, Mazda will display various green technologies which demonstrate its efforts to harmonize driving pleasure with environmental performance. The exhibits will include Mazda's next-generation compact concept car, Mazda Kiyora; next-generation direct injection gasoline engine. SKY-G*; and next-generation clean diesel engine, SKY-D*.

* These are concept names given to engines and transmissions scheduled for introduction from 2011 onward.

The 6th Eco-Products Awards event is organized by the Eco-Products Awards Steering Committee.

For further information, please visit:

Eco-Products 2009

Eco-Products Awards Steering Committee Web site (Japanese only):

SEE ALSO: Mazda Specs, Prices and Comparisons-Mazda Buyers Guide