Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Mazda2 Extreme: Rally-Prepped Hatch Makes Melbourne Show Debut
Produced by Mazda Motorsport in Australia, the Mazda2 Extreme is a rally-inspired study that definitely revs up our engine. Based on the five-door version of the Mazda2, the Extreme is equipped with a 1.5-liter engine that is still under development. However, Mazda Motorsport's goal is to increase the car's real world performance by at least 20 percent. The standard car's five-speed manual transmission is unchanged, and, like the production version it is based on, drive is delivered to the ground through the front wheels.
The Mazda2 Extreme’s suspension system has been redesigned by Australian suspension tuning expert, Murray Coote who equipped the rally-prepped study with sports-tuned springs and shock absorbers with purpose-built 15-inch Bridgestone Potenza rally tyres and lightweight Compomotive Motorsport alloy wheels.
In its current form, the Mazda2 Extreme retains its standard braking system. This includes antilock brakes with emergency brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution.
Inside, the Mazda2 Extreme's cabin features a full PCD roll cage, Italian Sabelt race seats equipped with five-point safety harness, a Momo steering wheel, hydraulic handbrake, fire extinguisher and medical kit.
"This was a surprisingly challenging Extreme car to do," said Mazda Motorsport chief Allan Horsley. "Starting with such an agile car really put the pressure on when it came to improving its real-world abilities."
"I think the result was well worth the effort. This Mazda2 Extreme sits proudly alongside our other Extreme cars like the RX-8 and Mazda3 MPS."
Commenting on the Mazda2 Extreme, Mazda Australia's managing director Doug Dickson said: "Mazda Australia, under the direction of Allan Horsley, has an excellent reputation for pushing the envelope in the design and modification of cars."
"It seemed an obvious decision to unleash the Extreme beast lurking within our Mazda2 five-door hatchback. The Mazda2's popularity with Australian buyers is at an all-time high. This award-winning light car is selling far above our expectations because i