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Mazda Introduces the Stylish, Sporty MPV Concept Minivan

6 January 1999

Mazda Introduces the Stylish, Sporty MPV Concept Minivan; Mazda Redefines the Minivan, Again
    DETROIT, Jan. 5 -- Mazda North American Operations (MNAO)
today unveiled the dramatic MPV concept minivan at the North American
International Auto Show.  "We wanted to do a minivan that was uniquely Mazda,
and the MPV concept is the latest expression of Mazda's 'Get in. Be Moved.'
brand promise," said Richard Beattie, president and CEO of MNAO.  "The MPV
concept redefines the minivan, proving that a minivan doesn't have to be a box
on wheels.  We brought style and sophistication to the minivan, inside and
out, and put the 'zoom' in the minivan."
    With its European-inspired good looks, the MPV concept's imposing front
end features Mazda's distinctive five-point grille and brand symbol, fog
lights, and sophisticated multi-reflector head lamps.  Front and rear
spoilers, aerodynamic side sills, chrome trim, and 18-inch alloy wheels and
performance tires highlight the concept MPV's sportiness, giving it a
customized look.
    Styled at Mazda's Hiroshima, Japan design center, the concept MPV follows
Mazda's new "Contrast in Harmony" corporate design philosophy, which blends
contrasting design elements such as soft and sharp, light and shadow, and
static and dynamic.  "Contrast in Harmony" is inspired by nature: a still lake
mirroring a rugged mountain range.  The sharp edges and smooth curves of sand
dunes sculpted by the wind.  Bright sunshine and deep shadows.
    "Smart" features include stowing the spare tire underneath the vehicle
rather than inside, center row seats that move both fore/aft and sideways,
creating either a bench seat or captain's chairs, a tumble-under third-row
seat that folds flat into the floor, and dual sliding doors with roll-down
windows and hidden tracks in the window channels.  "We looked at power sliding
doors," said Martin R. Leach, managing director of product planning for Mazda
Motor Corporation.  "But the MPV concept's doors are light, easy to operate,
and most important, trouble-free."
    Bucking the "bigger is better" trend that has seen some minivans nearly
become full-sized vans, the MPV concept is "smart-sized."  It is fuel-
efficient, easy to drive and park.  Its short nose and expansive glass
provides optimum road visibility and maneuverability.
    Dramatic styling and smart-sizing are also carried over into the interior,
highlighted by a stylish instrument panel and V-shaped center console.
Mazda's award-winning OptiSpace design process, which is a step beyond cab-
forward design, allowed Mazda to realize a spacious, highly functional
interior, which offers an overhead console, a generous amount of convenient,
built-in storage compartments, and a multitude of cup holders.
    With front-wheel drive and dual stabilizer bars, the MPV concept offers
car-like handling performance and features a high-tech DOHC, 24-valve, 170-
horsepower V6 engine for a rewarding driving experience.
    Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the research and
development, sales and marketing, and customer parts and service support of
Mazda vehicles in the United States.  Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO
has approximately 800 dealerships nationwide and is owned by Mazda Motor
Corporation, Hiroshima, Japan.