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UNPARALLELED PERFORMANCE CONTINUES TO DEFINE THE MAZDASPEED® BRAND
Oct 6, 2005
IRVINE, Calif., - How do you give a Mazda even more Zoom-Zoom? By turning to the automaker's badge of performance honor, MAZDASPEED ®, of course.
MAZDASPEED is the company's high performance brand, committed to the need for speed and personalization through three separate but related, channels: one which creates a range of aftermarket performance-boosting accessories, one which develops high-performance road cars, and one which promotes Mazda Motorsports activities around the world.
MAZDASPEED was originally established in 1967 under the team name "Mazda Sports Corner" at Mazda Auto Tokyo, Japan's largest Mazda dealer. The aim of the team was to establish a Mazda presence at major motorsports events worldwide, which it did.
During the next 15 years, the team of hardcore Mazda racers campaigned almost every Mazda model, from the famed Cosmo 110S sports cars to RX-7s, at every road racing circuit from Japan to the U.S.
In 1983, Mazda Motor Corporation brought the MAZDASPEED team from Tokyo to the company's corporate headquarters in Hiroshima to help drive Mazda's factory racing ambitions.
Now under the Mazda umbrella, MAZDASPEED continued to receive recognition for its amazing on-track performance and its many victories around the globe. In 1991, the MAZDASPEED team succeeded in doing what no other Japanese auto maker before or since has been able to accomplish: capturing the overall win at Le Mans, the world's most prestigious endurance race.
Following the 1991 Le Mans race, the FIA outlawed rotary engines and Mazda was forced to enter its first piston engine for 1992. Even so, Mazda still scored an impressive fourth-place finish, despite the team having to develop the sports racer in an incredibly short time.
Due in part to not being able to race Mazda's trademark rotary engine, MAZDASPEED chose to discontinue its Le Mans program after the 1992 campaign. MAZDASPEED began focusing more on the business side of motorsports and started developing and building aftermarket parts and accessories, while continuing grassroots motorsports initiatives.
In 1999, Mazda Motor Corporation took full control of MAZDASPEED.
The MAZDASPEED name first appeared on a U.S. road car with the 2003 MAZDASPEED Protegé. Boasting a turbocharged engine and highly acclaimed handling, it gained cult status. Mazda took its turbo lessons learned on MAZDASPEED Protegé, and created a high performance version of the Miata, the MAZDASPEED MX-5 in 2004. For 2006 the car to bear the MAZDASPEED name is the MAZDASPEED 6 . And there's more to come in the future...
MAZDASPEED 's motorsports success on the track in the U.S. has recently been highlighted with victories in the Grand Am Sport Touring Class (RX-8), SPEED World Challenge Touring Class (MAZDA 6 and Protegé), Sports Car Club of America Club Racing (Miata, RX-8, MAZDA 3 , MAZDA 6 , Protegé) and the National Hot Rod Association's Sport Compact class (MAZDA 6 , RX-7, RX-8), and others.
MAZDASPEED FOR THE STREET
Since that first MAZDASPEED Protegé, MAZDASPEED turned its expertise to the Miata, and now the MAZDA 6 .
The 2006 MAZDASPEED 6 employs all the lessons learned by MAZDASPEED in its road and race car exploits to create a truly stunning car that comes straight from the factory to the dealership. With a 274-horsepower, 2.3-liter Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission and Active-Split All-Wheel Drive, it's the ultimate Zoom-Zoom MAZDA 6 .
MAZDASPEED PERFORMANCE ACCESSORIES
The second arm of MAZDASPEED involves development, sales and distribution of an array of high performance accessories for street and racing use. With expanding component availability for the RX-8, MX-5, MAZDA 3 , MAZDA 6 and MX-5 Miata, MAZDASPEED Performance Accessories provide functional performance enhancement in the critical areas of suspension, powertrain, induction, exhaust, braking and styling systems. Available in three levels of performance and warranty (depending on the part and whether it's intended for street or racing use), MAZDASPEED Performance Accessories provide any owner with their personal Zoom-Zoom.
MAZDASPEED accessories, parts and apparel are available only from select MAZDASPEED dealers (there are nearly 200 of them across the U.S.). When parts and accessories are installed at a dealer, they carry the full Mazda warranty, which is honored nationwide. No other aftermarket vendor can boast that, and few other manufacturer accessory programs do so either.
MAZDASPEED FOR THE TRACK
Motorsport is in Mazda's blood. Today, Mazdas are campaigned at almost every level of motorsport from weekend amateurs participating in SCCA autocross to the professional American Le Mans series.
In 2004, MAZDASPEED-backed RX-8s campaigned by the SpeedSource team took overall victory in their debut season of the Grand Am Cup Street Touring Series, and are currently leading the 2005 field.
The SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series has already seen MAZDA 6 on the top of the podium and Mazda challenging for the manufacturers' championship.
- In the professional Formula Mazda presented by Goodyear open wheel formula, young up-and-coming drivers dice wheel-to-wheel in identical cars powered by the same RENESIS rotary engine used in the RX-8 street car. These are professional-level cars, offering performance that belies their low cost of entry and operation. They are rapidly becoming the training ground of choice for top-level professional teams looking for talented young drivers.
Once more in 2005, the Mazda name is associated with Le Mans-style sprint and endurance racing. In the 2005 season, B-K Motorsports has already scored wins in the LMP-2 class of the American Le Mans series with its R20B RENESIS rotary-powered Courage chassis. B-K's two drivers are the best example of Mazda's motorsport training ground: they both graduated from the Formula Mazda series, one winning the SCCA National Amateur Championship, the other the national Professional championship.
And it's not just professional racers who Zoom-Zoom around America's circuits. Every weekend there are more Mazdas involved in autocrossing and road racing on the parking lots and race courses across the country than any other brand of vehicle. In SCCA amateur competition, fully 50-percent of the cars campaigned are Mazda-branded or Mazda-powered. Through MAZDASPEED, the company supports these weekend warriors with parts discounts and performance-based contingency payouts
MAZDASPEED 's passion for motorsport goes even further, extending to its support of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Mazda has been the driving force behind a multi-million dollar track improvement project, which has created one of the most formidable playing fields for speed junkies in America.
And having its "own" race circuit certainly delivers a competitive advantage to a brand unmatched in the business of performance, as Mazda Raceway is regularly used to tune and develop new models long before they go on sale.
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 more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on MAZDASPEED, visit www.mazdaspeedmotorsports.com.