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Mazda Sassou: Mazda alive

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Link: http://www.autoindex.org/news.plt?no=1198

Taking centre stage at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show is Mazda's latest design concept, Mazda Sassou. Conceived and designed at Mazda's European Design Centre in Frankfurt, Germany, it is a lightweight, urban vehicle for young, first car customers that makes every day city driving fun, highly practical and economical. A sleek, three-door hatchback, it employs evolved Zoom-Zoom exterior design language with youthful lightness and surprising hidden features. These, combined with advanced interior systems using a USB stick key and an ingenious rear seat morphing system, hint at where Mazda might be heading with a future B-segment vehicle.

Mazda Sassou is the first design concept from a unique approach to show cars for Mazda Motor Corporation this year at three major motor shows - this year's IAA, the Tokyo Motor Show in October and the 2006 North American International Automobile Show next January.

"This is the first of a number of concept cars to be designed consecutively at our regional design centres, namely: Frankfurt (Germany), Yokohama (Japan) and Irvine (California)," says Moray Callum, Executive Officer in charge of Design at Mazda Motor Corporation. "However, despite the design environment in which it may be conceived, you will intuitively identify that this is a car from Mazda. Its characteristics being uniquely Mazda; reflecting the essence of Zoom-Zoom, something we have communicated throughout the World".

"Mazda Sassou was designed to appeal to young, first car-buyers" said Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer at Mazda Motor Europe GmbH. "It is a look over the Mazda horizon and what it proposes is new and exciting. It is the result of asking ourselves what stimulates young Europeans today. We feel that they would ideally prefer a vehicle that supports and expresses their lifestyle and at the same time would meet the changing demands of the growing European B-segment. Sassou, then, not only evolves Mazda small car design in a lightweight, fun-looking B-car package, it also represents a new way to express some traditional automotive attributes and provides a first Zoom-Zoom driving experience for young buyers."

The name "Sassou" is a Japanese term that was chosen because it means having a positive state of mind, of looking to the future with optimism. On the horizon, then, is something positive and exciting. Mazda Sassou is not only an advanced evolution of Mazda's Zoom-Zoom design language, but is a symbol of the forward-thinking optimism of the entire organization as communicated by its recently announced Mazda Momentum business plan.

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It kinda looks like a taller Miata with a hatchback. Pretty neat... And I wouldn't mind seeing a car like that hit the road. The only trouble is, there'd be no way to justify the cost of RWD. That name has got to go, though. "Sassou" sounds like something you'd hear in a crappy B-movie about Samurais.

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