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2001 Mazda Tribute Makes World Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show

7 January 2000

2001 Mazda Tribute Makes World Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show
        --New Tribute Puts the 'Sport' in Sport Utility Vehicle- 
                        Exclusive Video Coverage
    See video of the full press intro right here on The Auto Channel

    IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 7 / -- While highly utilitarian and
popular with today's buyers, most sport utility vehicles come up short on the
"sport" side of the equation.  As would be expected from the company that gave
the world the renowned RX-7 and Miata sports cars, Mazda's new entry into this
market, the 2001 Mazda Tribute, is the sports sedan of SUVs.  The all-new
Tribute makes its world debut at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs
from Jan. 8 - 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
    With attributes like tuned, multi-link suspension, precise steering,
car-like monocoque construction, a powerful 24-valve, 200-horsepower V6 engine
(optional), and a spacious interior, the new Tribute is in a class by itself.
The Tribute is more sophisticated, refined and spirited than other sport-utes,
and it is available with many features normally found on luxury SUVs, like an
in-dash six-disc CD changer, leather seating and six-way power driver's seat.
Designed and engineered by Mazda in Japan, the new Tribute is almost half a
foot (5.5 inches) longer than a Jeep(R) Cherokee, with a nearly two-inch
longer wheelbase.

    "The addition of the new Tribute to the Mazda lineup marks the company's
resurgence as a full-line manufacturer," said Richard Beattie, president and
CEO of Mazda North American Operations.  "The introduction of this exciting
new vehicle, coupled with the recent successful launch of our new MPV minivan,
helps us complete what has been called one of the greatest turnarounds in the
automotive industry."

                                  - Lineup -

    The 2001 Mazda Tribute is available in three trim levels -- DX, LX and ES.
There are two engine choices - a 200-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 and a
130-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine.  The Tribute is
available with front-wheel drive or with an on-demand Rotary Blade
Coupling(TM) four-wheel-drive system that gives it all-road, all-weather

                          - Monocoque Construction -
    Mazda has always been known for great handling vehicles, and the all-new
Tribute is no exception.  Rigid monocoque construction provides a solid
foundation for the Tribute and incorporates Mazda's hallmark "Triple-H" body
reinforcements in the roof, sides and floor to further enhance rigidity.

                           - Responsive Handling -
    The new Tribute features four-wheel multi-link independent suspension,
providing an ideal balance of spirited handling and ride comfort.  The
Tribute's front roll center is lower than its rear roll center, yielding
exceptional steering feel and turn-in while providing more linear response.
In fact, the Tribute has less body roll than conventional sport utility
    Tribute rides on a long 103.1-inch wheelbase that provides a smooth ride
over road imperfections.  The 61.2-inch track helps give the Tribute a stable
feel during cornering.

            - Precise Steering, Exceptional Braking Performance -
    Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is standard, tuned to deliver road
feel and responsiveness that lean more towards Miata than traditional SUVs.
Ventilated front disc brakes and rear drums are standard, and a four-wheel
Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD)
is available.  EBFD is a sophisticated electronic system that replaces the
conventional mechanical dual-proportioning valve.  The EBFD system varies the
amount of rear braking force depending on vehicle load for optimal stopping
performance when fully loaded with passengers and cargo.

                       - "Contrast in Harmony" Design -
    The styling of the 2001 Mazda Tribute is sophisticated and expressive,
with a prominent five-point grille and large, chrome Mazda brand symbol up
front.  The sharp creases in the hood and fenders are in keeping with Mazda's
"Contrast in Harmony" design philosophy, which blends contrasting design
elements, such as soft and sharp, light and shadow and static and dynamic.
The Tribute looks ready to face any challenge, from the urban jungle to rugged
mountain roads.
    All four of Mazda's design centers in Japan, the United States and Europe
had input into the design of the Tribute, which will be sold in markets around
the world.  The final design was led by Mazda's design group in Hiroshima,

                          - OptiSpace(TM) Interior -
    Inside, the Tribute offers seating for five, while also allowing ample
cargo room behind the second seat.  This gives it a solid advantage over many
of its smaller, more cramped competitors.  In fact, the Tribute has more front
and rear seat legroom than some luxury sport-utes.  The spacious interior is
the result of Mazda's award-winning OptiSpace(TM) design, which minimizes the
amount of space required for mechanical components and maximizes the amount of
room devoted to passengers and cargo.

                          - Sports Sedan Amenities -
    The Tribute's car-like qualities carry over to the interior, with a
stylish instrument panel and reclining seatbacks for both the front and rear
passengers.  Visibility is exceptional, with a commanding view of the road
ahead, and ingress and egress is made easier by the Tribute's low step-in
height and sizable door openings.  Leather seating surfaces and a six-way
power driver's seat are standard on the ES model.  The Tribute features dual
de-powered air bags, while front seat-mounted side air bags are available,
helping to protect the driver and front passenger in the event of a side
    The rear seatbacks fold down in a 60/40 split (LX and ES models) for
greater cargo-carrying flexibility, and there are four tie-down hooks to
secure cargo over rough terrain.  With the second-row seat folded, there is
70.5 cubic feet of cargo area, enough room to easily accommodate 4x8 sheets of
building materials (with the liftgate window open).

                         - Tribute Qualifies as LEV -
    The DX model is powered by a 130-horsepower, DOHC, 2.0-liter in-line
four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission.  The DX-V6, LX and
ES models feature a powerful and smooth 200-horsepower, DOHC, 3.0-liter V6
mated to a crisp-shifting four-speed automatic transmission.  Both engines are
expected to qualify for Low Emission Vehicle status.

                        - On-Demand Four-Wheel Drive -
    The Tribute's on-demand Rotary Blade Coupling four-wheel-drive system
automatically senses when the front wheels begin to slip and hydraulically
transfers power to the rear wheels for improved traction.  This seamless
transfer of up to 50 percent of the engine's torque ensures that additional
traction is on hand when the driver needs it.  For added performance, an
instrument panel-mounted switch allows the driver to lock the system in
four-wheel drive when driving on slippery roads.  Although the Tribute has
exceptional on-road steering, handling and braking performance, its
capabilities when the pavement ends are greater than most owners will ever

                                  - Towing -
    When equipped with the optional trailer tow package, the Tribute can tow
up to 3,500 pounds, enough for a trailer with two personal watercraft or
all-terrain vehicles, or even a good-sized ski boat.

                  - Available Six-Disc In-Dash CD Changer -
    The Tribute is designed to appeal to young adults with active lifestyles.
Given the importance of music in the lives of these potential buyers, the
Tribute comes standard with an 80-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.  A powerful
190-watt AM/FM/cassette/six-disc CD audio system is available on LX and ES
models and includes seven speakers, including a 90-watt subwoofer.  All six
CDs may be loaded through a single slot in the dash-mounted unit, unlike
conventional CD changers that require a separate CD magazine.

                           - Roadside Assistance -
    Like every Mazda model, the Tribute comes with a three-year roadside
assistance program.  With a call to a toll-free number, Tribute owners can
access roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the
United States and Canada.

                          - Comprehensive Warranty -
    The 2001 Mazda Tribute is covered by a comprehensive three-year/50,000-
mile warranty that covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to
normal wear.  In addition, the Tribute is covered by a five-year/unlimited-
mileage corrosion warranty.

    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 over 750 dealerships
nationwide and is owned by Mazda Motor Corporation, Hiroshima, Japan.