Just as the 50th Rolex 24 Hours Of Daytona race was getting underway GRAND-AM made the announcement that B-Spec racing would be included as part of their 2012 season. I suspected that B-spec would become a part of GRAND-AM soon but I did not think it would come this soon! For now B-Spec drivers will be allowed to run at 6 events this year with the first being at Homestead Miami-Speedway at the end of April (27th-29th), then New Jersey Motorsports Park in May (11th-13th), followed by Mid-Ohio (June 8-9), Watkins Glen International (July 29th-June 1st), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 8th-9th), and finally Lime Rock Park (Sept 28th-29th). For an amatur series’ first year that location list is pretty damn impressive!
Each B-Spec event will be in a sprint race format (30-45 minute timed races) and the events will not be “connected” as in each race is a stand alone event so there is no need to travel the country to race each one in hopes for a championship (unless you really want to). Instead GRAND-AM just wants local racers at each track to come out and do their best to win the day. I have to admit with the schedule they put together combined with the lack of pressure by not having to run a full year for a championship B-Spec is looking pretty damn attractive right now. I would love to put a car together in time for the Mazda Raceway event!
GRAND-AM To Add B-Spec Races Entry-Level Class Features Exciting Sub-Compact Street Stock Cars
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2011)
Currently, the six sprint races – planned for between 30 and 45 minutes in length – will run in conjunction with GRAND-AM weekends at Homestead-Miami Speedway (April 27-29), New Jersey Motorsports Park (May 11-13), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 8-9), Watkins Glen International (June 29-July 1), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 7-9) and Lime Rock Park (Sept. 28-29). Each of those weekends will also feature North America’s most popular forms of sports car competition – the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Regional racers who meet entry requirements are welcome at each event, with a concentration on event victories instead of a national championship. No currently licensed professional drivers will be allowed to participate.
A total of five manufacturers have committed to the new competition, with the following models involved: Mazda 2, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Mini Cooper, and Kia Rio. Additional future manufacturer entries are expected.
One of the fastest-growing segments of the automobile business, B-Spec is among the most affordable classes for entry-level racers, and is expected to enjoy great support from club racers.
Cars will be 4-cylinder models, with a target cost range of $20,000-$30,000.
B-Spec features showroom stock racing cars utilizing stock engines and chassis, fitted with a competition roll cage, racing seat and other safety equipment; and manufacturer-approved suspension components, tires and wheels. Weight and other variables will be used to balance performance among competing manufacturers.
Each manufacturer will develop an approved performance kit which is subject to GRAND-AM approval. These will be the only alterations permitted to the respective cars. All practice sessions will also serve as qualifying to set race grids.
“This new form of GRAND-AM racing will attract new racers and in the process, new fans,” said GRAND-AM Managing Director of Racing Operations Mark Raffauf. “The cars are cool and the competition will be door-to-door, which should be a lot of fun for everyone – a nice fit with what GRAND-AM already has happening at every event.”
– GRAND-AM Road Racing announced today an exciting complement to its two existing sports car series, in the form of a new “B-Spec” level featuring sub-compact cars in six races this season.
At the root of all car lovers is a race car driver waiting to get out. At some point all of us have had daydreams of crossing the finish line at the Indy 500 or standing on top of the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix. Many of us have let our daydreams turn into a full on obsession with motorsports and have latched on to one form of racing or many as serious fanboys/girls. However, as much fun as it is to watch and follow racing there is nothing quite like doing it yourself. Yet the path to becoming a race car driver used to be quite hidden and has remained to be very, very expensive. Thanks to great programs like the Mazdaspeed Motorsports ladder and the Skip Barber Racing Series the route from armature to professional is a bit easier to find. Yet following that route has become more expensive than ever before. It is that fact that has many would be racers turning sponsorship acquisition into a second job (the first job is to fund any racing that they already do!). Anyone who has ever tried to seek out sponsorship dollars for a cause or sports knows that they have to deal with a marketing manager, advertising agency, or sometimes both. To even have a shot at getting sponsorship money to go racing one has to learn how to put together a sponsorship proposal, know lingo like “impressions”, study returns on investment, become an expert in social network marketing, have “media training”, and so forth. These days the path to racing winds through the dark woods of marketing so much that someone will become an MBA in marketing before becoming a race car driver. In the whirlwind of power point presentations, photoshop renderings, and excel spreadsheets it can be easy to forget why you wanted to become a race car driver in the first place. The heart of racing has become buried in the budgets of marketing departments of non-endemic corporations and is guarded by brand managers who are looking for a “marketable face, name, or story” over talent or passion. Where does “Joe Racer” who just go when he just wants to race for the joy of racing besides the local go-kart track or Xbox Live? The answer could be a new race class conceived by a collaboration between Mazda and Honda called “B-Spec”
How can B-Spec be a new entry way into racing? Well I was invited along with a small group of journalists to Willow Springs Raceway by Mazda and Honda so that they could explain it to us personally. Here is how they put it:
So there you have it. The passionate minds from Mazda and Honda want you to be able to get a “B-level” car such as a Mazda2 or Fit and with the purchase of a kit, some elbow grease, safety equipment, and a fabricator to put in a cage you can participate in a race in several sanctioned race series or (likely with sponsorship support) try to run a full season in one particular series of choice. Although sponsorship might be key go compete for a full season in a B-Spec class, there will be rules and regulations to keep a manufacturer from stepping in and becoming overly dominant. OEM participation will be limited to simply offering B-Spec kits to customers. So far there is an impressive list of OEM’s that will be a part of B-Spec but it is promised that none of those OEMs will dump a ton of money into any one team to get an edge over the competition. There are also rules to keep power as equal as possible among the eligible cars from each OEM. For example certain cars will have to run intake restrictors to keep their horsepower closer to the rest of the pack. Of course certain cars may still have advantages or disadvantages due to wheel base, suspension type, etc. However, no one car will have a disproportionate advantage over the others. The great thing about B-Spec is that SCCA is on board and making an effort to include B-Spec classes not only in their club racing series but in some of their bigger pro series such as World Challenge and even Rally racing. There is also a possibility of B-Spec being a part of Grand-Am endurance racing as well. So, theoretically with one car you could go to a number of different race disciplines without having to make many changes (if any) to your B-Spec car. The bottom line is not only does B-Spec make real racing accessible again to people who want to race for the love of racing but it also still provides a doorway into the professional ranks for those who still wish to seek that out as well. B-Spec has the potential to give racing’s soul back to the racers and with OEMs such as Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Nissan, Ford, GM, and most recently MINI race fans will get to see real manufacturer competition in America again.
By the way if all of this is getting you exciting about going racing but you have no experience have no worries. I drove B-Spec versions of both the Mazda2 and Honda Fit and they are both incredibly easy to drive in race-trim and with an impromptu coaching session from GrandAM driver Charles Espenlaub I was able to pull a decent amount of speed from both chassis. I would recommend a three-day school at Skip Barber to get race theory and technique down followed by a few SCCA races at the club level and you will have the confidence and skill it takes to try your hand in one of the premiere series.
As B-Spec unfolds in 2012 we plan to keep the site updates with any news and developments that will arise. If you are anxious to get your feet wet now I suggest looking for a Mazda2 or Honda Fit and contacting either Mazdaspeed Motorsports or Honda Performance Development as they will likely be first out of the gate to have B-Spec kits available. I might look into it myself! Stay tuned! In the meantime you can check out the full SCCA B-Spec rule book by clicking on the link below.
For the last 5 years Mazda has invited journalists to have lunch and discuss Mazda’s standing in the world of motorsports through their Mazdaspeed brand and activities. Usually they incorporate a fun event into the luncheon like electric kart racing at K1 or having a special screening of movies like “Driven To Race“. This year Mazda went all out and roped off a huge area at Hidden Valley park and set up not one but two autocross courses complete with Skip Barber Racing school MX-5 Miata’s, Mazda3′s, and even a full race-spec Mazda2 to thrash!
Also, for the first time since Mazda started the luncheon, drifting was represented at the event with the BMI Racing 4 rotor RX-8, the Bergenholtz Racing/Full Tilt Poker RX-8, and the Kyle Mohan Racing/Nexen Tire RX-8 all on display. Although, none of the RX-8′s seemed like they were quite ready to rock yet it was nice to see the RX-8′s making an appearance.
Once the first session of autocrossing was over we sat down under the canopy of the Star Mazda racing rig and had a chat with Senior VP of Product Development Robert Davis on how Mazda is holding up in the uncertain economy and how their progress is still tied to motorsports. For the most part things seemed to be the status quo for Mazda which is a very good thing in their case. They haven’t lost market share, the Miata has become the #1 selling roadster in history, they’re still the #1 road raced brand in America, and to date over $75 million worth of Mazdaspeed parts have been sold since 1990. It’s also worthy to note that this year marks the 20 year anniversary of Mazda’s overall 1991 win at LeMans with the 787 4-rotor race car. After all this time Mazda is still the only Japanese company to win the event outright! It was hinted that some special events to celebrate the occasion were in the works but no specifics were revealed. I’ll try to keep you posted on that!
It was also pointed out that despite the shaky economy Mazda’s motorsports involvement is still going strong. The Playboy MX-5 Cup is still fiscally one of the most rewarding racing series around with a $250k purse up for grabs (which is more than what you’d get for winning the Ferrari Challenge Series!). Star Mazda has reached its 21st year of competition which makes it the longest running road-racing series in America and the Mazdaspeed motorsports ladder is going on its 26th year. That last bit of info led to the news that despite the demise of the Atlantic series throwing things off Mazda maintains their open wheel ladder by being the official partner for the “Road To Indy“. Which is the path from amateur racing all the way up to Indy Car Series competition.
The next big announcement was Mazdasinvolvement in the new “B-Spec” racing class (sanctioned by NASA) with the Mazda2. In fact the “race spec” Mazda2 at the autocross course that I mentioned earlier was the very same Mazda2 that ran the B-Spec class at Thunderhill. Right now they’re current competitionin “B-Spec” class racing is Honda withthe Honda Fit but Mr. Davis said that he would welcome more competition from other manufacturers like GM (likely with the Chevy Aveo).
When the floor was opened up to questions I asked if B-Spec class racing would be folded into the Mazdaspeed Motorsports ladder. The answer I got from Mr. Davis as well as Alternative Marketing Manager Jim Jordan was that while the B-Spec class wont be an “official” part of the ladder if you win a B-Spec class race in a Mazda2 you will be eligible to compete in the annual Mazdaspeed shoot out which can lead to entrance into one of the Mazdaspeed ladder series. So in a way B-Spec class racing is something of a foot-stool that can help you get to the ladder. Looks like I’m going to need to get myself a Mazda2!
Based on what I heard at this year’s lunch, Mazda is going to continue to make a respectable dent in motorsports. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out! Thanks to Mazda for the invite and for letting me get behind the wheel of a Skip Barber MX-5!
A while back my good friend and mentor Dean Case told me about an organization that was planning to hold a “Green Rally” right here in my home town of Long Beach. After doing some digging I learned that the basis of the ”Go Green Auto Rally“ was to embark on rally stage set by the event officials through town and the goal was to try and be as fuel efficient as possible. Even though I am a performance car enthusiast I am just as intrigued with fuel efficient cars as well and every year they get better. I knew right away I wanted to be a part of the rally but I knew that my heavy ’97 BMW 528i would probably put me at a disadvantage…
Luckily the same person who informed me of the rally just happens to work for Mazda USA and was able to put me in a brand new Mazda2 to take on the rally challenge. However I was informed that I wouldn’t be the only Mazda2 at the rally. The other car went to Dustin Kang, an engineering student and experienced Formula SAE competitor from Cal-State Northridge. This meant that in addition to trying to save the planet, academic bragging rights were on the line! As soon as I picked up my crystal white pearl Mazda2 I slapped on some stickers from my current stomping ground Cal-State Dominguez Hills (Go Toros!)
When I reached the start of the stage and got all settled in one of the main organizers Tim Mayer turned to me and said “I have a proposition for you.” Tim’s proposal was that I do the rally stage twice. The first time I would drive the way I normally drive everyday then I would come back, get coached on green driving techniques by professional drivers from Fast Lane Driving School, drive the rally stage again using the techniques I would learn, and then compare the results.
I figured that was the best way to see if I was really doing this right so I agreed and went back down to the car to get ready to go. During the last minute preparations they had me check my tire tread and tire pressure while rally stewards installed an iPhone 4 with a suction cup mount on the inside of the car. The iPhone had an app installed called “EcoGyzer”. After entering in a few data parameters about your car the app uses the iPhone’s accelerometer and GPS to measure the efficiency of your driving. It then uploads the data to the EcoGyzer server and you get a print out with your score.
After I completed my first run I went to registration to await my results (and was treated to a free lunch) and to my surprise and everyone else’s I actually scored a 995! Although when reading the detailed telemetry I could see that despite my high score my braking could use work. I was being too harsh on them and it was hurting my efficiency. Luckily the Fast Lane Driving School instructors gave me an in depth lesson on engine braking that is safe to do on the street.
With my new knowledge I set out for my second run and despite a few mishaps I was starting to get the hang the techniques I was taught. When I got back to the rally starting stage I had a good feeling about my run and went to the office to await my results. When Tim pulled up my score he looked bewildered, at that moment I figured I must have epically failed but Tim proceeded to tell me that I repeated my 995 score! Something that apparently he has never seen before in his experience with the EcoGyzer app. However, despite having the same score the telemetry did show that my braking did improve a lot.
He also told me that my 995 score also had me in first place! I wanted to get excited but Dustin didn’t return from his second run yet so the tension was high. When he got back we anxiously awaited the results. Again Tim immediately got a excited look on his face and then stood us up to announce that the difference between my score and Dustin’s was only a 10th but my score was the higher one! I had won the first Go Green Auto Rally and even better was the fact that Dustin and I had completed a Mazda 1-2 finish!
For my victory I got a $500 gas card while Dustin scored a $300 gas card. Victory aside I had a blast at the Go Green Auto Rally and I would recommend taking part in it if you will be in the Long Beach, CA area next April. The stakes will be bigger next time as the first place driver will win a car!
Thanks again to the Go Green Auto Rally and Mazda USA for an awesome weekend!
Ok, this is my new favorite video of the day! Someone from the Mazdas247.com forums managed to get themselves over to Japan for the Osaka Automesse and capture footage of this FRESH example of a Mazda2 (called the “Demio” in Japan) built by Trial. I thought the 2Evil was awesome but this thing is sweet! Who thought it was possible to make such a small car look so bruitish!?
When I attended the grand debut of the Mazda2 at the LA Auto Show all the windows were limo tinted but it looks like today at the Canadian Auto Show they pulled the tint off and showed the interior to the world. It looks pretty sporty for a B-Segment car doesn’t it? Kind of reminds me of the RX-8 interior. Nice!
This is one of the last bits of Mazda Related video from the LA Auto Show. Shortly after the reveal of the new Mazda2 I was able to pull out my flip camera to record actor/weekend racer Patrick Dempsey’s thoughts on Mazda starting a new race series similar to MX-5 cup but featuring Mazda’s new B-Segment car.
So during the special “Mazda 22″ event a few journalists asked Mazda if there would be any accessories available for the Mazda2, if the Mazda2 would be involved in racing, or if there would be a Mazdaspeed2. The answer to all three of those questions was either “no” or “there are no announcements”. All to be expected correct? However on the west side if their exhibit I see a Mazda2 decked out with different wheels, and even a carbon fiber wing! Oh and there were “Mazdaspeed” decals in strategic locations. So what’s the deal Mazda?! I think the cat is out of the bag!
UPDATE: So Mazda’s explaination is that this awesome little rocket is a “concept” known as the “Mazda 2Evil” but we can’t help but notice how it looks strikingly like an OEM variant! Hmm I guess we will just have to wait and see what path they’ll take with this concept.
Mazda 2Evil Special Concept
This concept is inspired by the weekend track car but one that can function equally well as an urban commuter. The body has been modified to show a more aggressive front spoiler and a deeper side rocker for improved aerodynamics and lower overall stance. A strong lower diffuser is added to enhance the rear proportion and more emphasis is placed on the exhaust tip. The rear upper spoiler was redesigned for both additional downforce and a race appearance. The dynamic MAZDA2 body is finished in Ceramic Grey metallic with subtle motorsports inspired graphics. The graphics are finished off with the historic number 55, a tribute to the 1991 Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B race car. Wheels, mirrors and other details are accented in Spirited Green. To top it off, the performance and stance are enhanced with 17″ wheels, 215/45/17 Yokahama Advan tires, lowered coil-over suspension provided by H&R and Magnaflow performance exhaust.
Mazda finally pulled the curtain..err..dropped the soda can (more on that later..) on their new B-segment car, the Mazda2. To sum up the Mazda2 think condensed, concentrated Mazda3. An immense amount of time, effort, and ingenuity went into making this a fun to drive economical car that wont bore the crap out of the user.
This was one of the biggest reveals of the whole show which is really saying something when you consider that BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Aston Martin were all in the building as well. There was even a celebrity appearance at the Mazda2 reveal. Ask your girlfriend, wife, mom, sister, pretty much any woman in your life that watches TV who Patrick Dempsey is and they’ll tell you alllll about him…trust me. There was definitely a lot going on during this event but my favorite thing was easily the Augmented Reality kiosk (look out for a video on that later or click the red text). In the meantime check out a few pics and a full press release with all the details.
LOS ANGELES – Magazine-thin laptops, MP3 players and bite-size candy bars are just a few examples of good things that come in small packages. Now, for the first time in North America, Mazda is introducing its own affordable, fun-sized creation – the 2011 MAZDA2. A stylish, eco-friendly, fun-to-drive five-door hatchback, the MAZDA2 is Zoom-Zoom in its most concentrated form – compact and efficient, yet packed with style and substance. It will launch into the North American market in late summer, 2010.
MAZDA2 is the latest in a line of stylish, insightful and hugely fun-to-drive small cars from Mazda, and will bring an all-new level of refinement to the segment, as MAZDA3 did for the compact C-Car market. MAZDA2 is a car that only the engineers at Mazda could have created. It was designed and engineered from scratch to be a pure Mazda, offering the sort of driving experience that could only come from the company that developed the timeless MX-5 two-seat roadster, and it brings a combination of athletic design and dynamic performance to the subcompact class that simply does not exist at this time.
Originally launched in 2007, the new MAZDA2 was first introduced in Europe, Japan and Australia. Its launch created a unique offering in the B-car (subcompact) segment, especially through its distinguished design and outstanding driving performance. Since then, it has been highly acclaimed throughout the world, winning 48 automotive awards, including “Car of the Year” accolades in many markets, including Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Bulgaria and Greece. Notably, the MAZDA2 was selected as the “2008 World Car of the Year” (WCOTY) at the 2008 New York International Auto Show and has established a distinguished position in the B-Car segment. To date, total global sales have reached approximately 370,000 units in the three years since its introduction, and MAZDA2 is now recognized as one of the global models which symbolizes the essence of the Mazda brand.
While developing the new MAZDA2, Mazda took a thorough look at global subcompact car trends and carefully worked to identify the truly beneficial values that could be infused into a global B-Car. As a result, the new MAZDA2 adds Mazda’s unique brand values such as exhilarating driving performance and eye-catching design to the segment without sacrificing the basic requirements for subcompact cars: superior fuel efficiency, high crash safety performance and ample passenger space. In fact, while other carmakers have increased the size of their small cars, Mazda’s first mission was to analyze and define the optimal size of a compact vehicle. This resulted in a very efficient body size for the new MAZDA2 without sacrificing attractive features that consumers desire.
A Design that Attracts Customers Worldwide
With the MAZDA2, Mazda evolved the athleticism that is inherent to the Mazda design DNA in pursuit of bold and diverse expression of movement. The basic form of the new MAZDA2 is characterized by a combination of dynamic performance, sportiness and simplicity that leaves a strong visual impression. While competitors are producing compact cars with a focus on a boxy body form to prioritize functionality, Mazda shortened the body overhangs and trimmed the corners to the greatest extent possible as a way to provide a form that is compact and sporty, conveys a sense of stability and inspires confidence. By carefully creating a base form and then giving it energetic character lines befitting a B-car, Mazda created a design that is highly distinctive, but timeless.
Mazda pursued a concentrated, taut form for the body as a virtue in itself, not to simply reduce the car’s body size. This creative background was advantageous in efforts to achieve maximum dynamic performance within the new MAZDA2′s compact body. In other words, the MAZDA2 possesses the essence of Mazda’s spirit of compact, sporty dynamic performance – “Zoom-Zoom Concentrated.”
Exterior Design Theme: “Coordinated Movement”
In pursuit of a solid form and a richly expressive exterior design, Mazda established an exterior design theme of “coordinated movement”. In line with this theme, the design team combined the visual movements created by the car’s silhouette, its body lines, and the way in which patterns of light played on the body to create dynamic, multifaceted expressions not typically seen on a B-car. These expressions exude a powerful energy that makes the new MAZDA2 look as though it is moving while standing still. Key exterior design elements include: a sporty wedge shape that conveys a strong sense of forward motion; a deeply sculpted form in which the body is drawn inward fore and aft of the A-pillars; and distinctive character lines that extend from the front fender arches to the body shoulders.
Dynamic Performance Not Found on Competitors in the Segment
Mazda focused on realizing driver-oriented maneuverability and confidence-inspiring driving dynamics ｆor a Zoom-Zoom driving experience that is unique in this segment. At the same time, Mazda maintained a development focus on delivering high cost-effectiveness in situations ranging from day-to-day driving to long excursions on a weekend. Specifically, Mazda worked to make the new MAZDA2 economical to own in terms of fuel costs through its excellent fuel economy and improved durability.
A Powertrain for Sporty Performance with Great Fuel Economy
The Zoom-Zoom driving experience that Mazda strives for has two key attributes: 1) a sense of linear acceleration and deceleration that responds crisply to how far the accelerator pedal is depressed, allowing the driver to control car speed as desired; and 2) a sense of liveliness through immediate response to the accelerator for quick off-the-line acceleration and overtaking. The development team targeted a performance feel reflecting enhancement of both of these key attributes without adversely impacting on the MAZDA2′s superior fuel economy as a subcompact car.
Nimble Handling and a Stable Ride
The new MAZDA2 inherits a highly regarded suspension system, which has MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion-beam axle at the rear. With improved steering and braking systems, the resulting dynamic performance yields consistently responsive handling and a smooth, stable ride that draws much from the legendary MX-5.
Superior Quietness and Aerodynamics
In order to create more comfortable day-to-day driving, Mazda took various countermeasures to achieve a quiet cabin environment. Mazda also improved the coefficient of drag values to achieve better aerodynamics, contributing not only to the MAZDA2′s quietness, but also to a more sporty ride and fuel efficiency.
Harmony Between Sporty Driving Performance and Environmental and Safety Features
In order to form the best balance between lower fuel consumption, outstanding driving dynamics and top-level safety performance, the new MAZDA2 reflects the close attention paid to minimizing weight through its smaller body shell, optimization of the structure, extensive use of high-tensile steel in its body and many other weight-saving measures implemented throughout the car. Under this approach, Mazda made the best use of weight-saving know-how, similar to the “gram” strategy employed during the development of the MX-5 sports car. As a result, the MAZDA2 has achieved world-leading crash safety ratings (five stars in the Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the highest possible result) without compromising driving performance and fuel economy.
The Security of a B-Car’s Functionality and Maneuverability
In line with the way B-cars are mainly used as day-to-day commuters, with a driver-oriented development philosophy, the MAZDA2 has achieved a level of drivability and nimbleness that enables easy maneuverability, even in small car-parking areas and other tight spaces.
More information on the 2011 MAZDA2 interior, specifications and pricing will be available at a later date.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, we don’t typically cover the small segment cars on MotorworldHype but with Mazda’s heavy involvement in motorsports we’re waiting to hear what the company known for “Zoom-Zoom” is planing for the new Mazda 2. We’re thinking they brought it over from Europe to compete with the Ford Festiva (also brought over from Europe) and Ford has already aided the transformation of few Festiva’s into rally cars. Could Mazda enter rally with the new Mazda 2? We’ll let you know once the car makes its debut at the LA Auto Show in December.
IRVINE, Calif. – The long-anticipated 2011 MAZDA2 will make its North American debut at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show next month. Designed and engineered by Mazda, and already an award-winner in countries all over the world, the MAZDA2 brings a level of style and driving dynamics to the North American subcompact segment that no other competitor can offer. The vehicle will be sold in the U.S. and Canada beginning in late 2010.
Takashi Yamanouchi, representative director, president and CEO, Mazda Motor Corporation, will address the media at a press conference, scheduled to begin at 11:05 am, Wednesday, December 2. In addition to a stock MAZDA2, a selection of unique MAZDA2 vehicles will be on display to showcase the car’s creative potential and versatility.
“Bringing MAZDA2 to North America completes the bookends in our lineup,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. “With the seven-passenger crossover CX-9 at one end and the subcompact MAZDA2 at the other, Mazda’s lineup now spans the most significant product segments in the industry, and is the strongest, best-designed, best-built we have ever offered. MAZDA2 will be true to everything that makes our cars stand apart from the competition: it will be stylish, fun-to-drive and a heck of a value. In short, it will be the definition of Zoom-Zoom.”
MAZDA2 has been a sales and media success in markets around the world, winning 48 awards and being recognized as Car of the Year in more than 20 countries. Additionally, MAZDA2 was named “2008 World Car of the Year,” besting all other new cars around the world.
In addition to the North American debut of MAZDA2, Mazda will showcase its full 2010 lineup at the Los Angeles Auto Show, including the MAZDA3, MAZDA5, MAZDA6, MX-5, RX-8, CX-7 and CX-9.
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in the United States in 2010, Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.