New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Mazda zooms in on Auto Africa

2004-10-25 08:01

The Mazda MX-5

According to Rob Crouse, Mazda South Africa's marketing manager, the brand has truly come a long way since the 2002 exhibition.

"The last two years have been the most exciting in the history of the company, with a proliferation of new products coming to market. These products all have one common trait: Zoom-Zoom.

"As most motorists realise by now, Zoom-Zoom aims to recreate the fun-to-drive feeling of Mazda and Mazda products."

Crouse says that the Mazda trademark was first registered back in 1934. "The name 'Mazda' is taken from 'Ahura-Mazda' - the name of an ancient god. At that stage, the word 'Mazda' was also the badge for the brand."

In 1936, the brand came to be represented by an emblem similar to that of Hiroshima city, Mazda's home town.

A class "M" followed in 1959; then by the word "Mazda" again in 1975; a badge symbolising wings, sun and light in 1991 and the current Mazda brand symbol which graces today's vehicles, first launched internationally in 1998.

"Along the way, the brand's personality has changed. For instance, our first vehicle back in 1931 was a three-wheel truck! Apart from the name 'Mazda', it shared very few attributes with the stylish Mazdas of today!" reveals Crouse.

On a local front, the first tangible step of Mazda's revitalisation plan came with the launch of the Mazda6.

The Mazda6 - which has captured more than 70 awards globally since its launch, making it the most acclaimed Mazda in history - was the first of an aggressive new product launch initiative.

In October 2003 the company launched its Mazda RX-8.

Initially available in one high performance, 170 kW-powered model, the new Mazda RX-8 offered local motoring enthusiasts a sports car like no other.

A highlight of the RX-8 is its award-winning rotary engine - RENESIS - which is mounted lower and further to the rear of the vehicle in what Mazda calls an "advanced front midship layout".

The overall dynamics of the RX-8 are a testimony to the full benefits of Mazda's approach to vehicle development; Mazda DNA can be felt in every turn. This engine subsequently won the trophy for best engine in the 2.5-litre to 3-litre category at this year's International Engine of the Year Awards.

The first RX-8 was soon joined by a 141 kW / five-speed derivative. While retaining the exclusivity of the six-speed derivative, the latest model also boasts a more accessible price tag.

On the light commercial vehicle front, Mazda wowed motorists with the launch of the new Mazda Drifter, a bakkie range which features specification levels virtually unheard of before in this market segment.

Highlights of the new Drifter include a new front end, modified interior, new styling items and incredible comfort and safety features.

Then came the new Mazda3, which truly captures the essential elements of Mazda's 83-year heritage: a passion for innovation and excellence in engineering, a flair for design and a pursuit of spirited driving dynamics.

It is when all these elements come together that Mazda products most distinguish themselves - and the Mazda3 does exactly that.

The Mazda3 launch was followed by a new, more stylish Mazda MX-5, which offers more Zoom-Zoom than ever before in the guise of some considerable cosmetic changes.


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.