Mazda Heats Up Diesel 3

By: Margaret Adams

Mazda is warming to the diesel cause with a 143bhp version of its 3 or Axela hatchback, which will be introduced on February.

The Mazda 3's 130mph variant is designed to boost performance of the vehicle so as to compete tightly in the segment where Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Peugeot 307 rule. At present, the oil-burners of Mazda 3 are relatively mild-mannered at 90hp and 108bhp 1.6-litre versions. The versions represent only 10 percent of Mazda 3s sold. D Sport, the sophisticated Mazda 3 diesel engine with 6-speed manual gearbox and lots of mid-range punch, is capable of running 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds.

According to auto analysts, next year will mark a significant milestone for diesel family hatchbacks. There is an expected general move of the automakers in connection with the matter. As a fact, a 175bhp Renaultsport Megane and a 180hp derv version of the Corolla-replacing Toyota Auris are on their way to etch their respective milestones in diesel technology.

Aside from concentrating on , the automaker is also crossing its finger for the launch two-row, 5-passenger CX-7 and seven-passenger CX-9 crossovers. With the stigma attached to the Cougar Ace misfortune, the automaker has to be more cautious about shipping vehicles. Recently, Mazda has shipped their first batch of brand new Mazda CX-9 crossovers from Hiroshima to North America. The vehicles are aboard Coral Leader car carrier. Said crossovers are expected to reach the United States before January next year.

It can be recalled that Cougar Ace, a car-carrying vessel, nearly capsized in off the Aleutian Islands in July this year. Said vessel was carrying Mazda 3s, CX-7s and other vehicles of the automaker. With the present shipping, the automaker hopes that it will be a much less eventful crossing.

Mazda is proving it is still hot on the wheels. With the introduction of CX-7 and CX-9 crossovers at the 2006 New York International Auto Show, Mazda is positive that a bountiful auto market share can be had. CX-9 are especially engineered for the North American market.

"The North American market continues to play a leading role in Mazda Motor Corporation's global future and financial health," said Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Mazda's North American Operations.

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