Mazda revealed its concept for a versatile, economical and environmentally-friendly sport tourer of the future at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show.
The MX Sport Tourer showcases Mazda's exploration into future innovative designs and technology beyond the next generation of production models.
With a sleek, spacious body, the MX Sport Tourer combines the athletic styling and open-air fun of a sports car with the functionality of an estate model.
Power comes from a unique hybrid system consisting of a lightweight, high-performance 2.0-litre S-VT engine, plus an electric motor. For out-of-town driving, the petrol engine drives the MX Sport Tourer through a new type of four-wheel drive system. In town, however, zero emissions are achieved by switching to the electric motor, which drives the rear wheels.
The electric motor generates 40kW and 108Nm and permits a maximum speed of between 40 and 50 kph, recharging on the move through the petrol engine and a regenerative braking system.
The MX Sport Tourer concept reflects Mazda's distinctive and sporting brand image, with a combination of attributes designed to satisfy people with active lifestyles and those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors. There are, effectively, three types of driving modes:
- Economical petrol engine mode for normal on road conditions.
- Zero-emission electric motor rear-wheel drive mode for urban areas.
- Four-wheel-drive mode for additional traction on ice and snow.
With its wide, low front, the MX Sport Tourer delivers an instant impression of sporting performance and handling stability. Spreading from the centre of the nose, the flow of the design leads to the side of the car where a protruded line fades into the rear, creating a wedge shape.
The rear seats store away to create a fully flat floor and a maximum cargo capacity of 1,250 litres. The rear hatch glass can be raised and lowered for easy access to the cargo area.
The MX Sport Tourer concept adopts the innovative freestyle door system from Mazda's RX-8 design engineering model, removing the need for centre pillars and permitting easy access to the rear seats. Other distinctive features include a sports car cockpit area, an easy-to-use cargo area and a vario-lamella structure that allows the roof to be retracted for open-air driving or to facilitate the transport of large loads. In fact, by sliding the lamella roof forward, lowering the rear window and folding the rear seat, the rear of the vehicle is transformed into a stylish pick-up truck for superb functionality.
With its excellent weight distribution, the MX Sport Tourer uses a newly-developed four-wheel multi-link suspension and M-SDS (Mazda Skyhook Damping Suspension) dampers. This balance control unit enhances handling performance regardless of load. The 370 mm diameter disc brakes, along with 20 inch tyres, generate exceptional braking force, while extra safety features include DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution).
Mazda's original toroidal CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) for front-engine, front-wheel drive models, the first in the world, conveys power efficiently to the drive system, and a paddle shift mechanism on the steering wheel column allows the driver to switch to manual shift operation, if necessary.
The MX Sport Tourer features the latest computer technology, including a keyless entry system that reacts to an ID card. An electrically powered pop-up display incorporates an easy-to-read 10.4 inch screen. It can be removed and used as a cordless device (implemented with the Bluetooth standards) for easy Internet access or e-mailing.
Capturing the spirit of Mazda, the stylised "M" evokes an image of wings in flight and symbolises the Mazda's flight toward the future. The "V" in the centre of the "M" spreads out like an opening fan, representing the creativity, vitalty, flexibilty and passion that is Mazda. The symbol as a whole expresses the sharp, solid feeling that Mazda will be seeking in all of its products. The dynamic circle symbolises our readiness to spread our wings as we enter the 21st century.