Mazda Axela Prize to Debut at 2009 All-Star Games
The new hatchback, under the name of Mazda Axela Prize, will be awarded to the player who makes the best impression on the public at the two games. The Jury will be Mazda Axela Prize selection committee, to be comprised of members from the NPB organization and Mazda.
The games are organized by the Nippon Professional Baseball Association (NPB), and will be played at the Sapporo Dome on July 24 and at the MAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima on July 25, 2009.
The player will receive a front-wheel drive Mazda Axela compact with a 2.0-liter engine, equipped with standard features that includes i-stop (Mazda’s engine stop/start system).
Mazda says the engine can be restarted in no less than 0.35 seconds, "about half the time of most other competing systems", so the driver might not feel the lag at all. Thanks to this feature, the 2.0-liter Axela provides a 15 percent better fuel economy compared with the previous model.
Mazda Axela has made its debut on the Nippon market only one month ago, with prices ranging from 1,660,000 to 2,678,000 yen ($16,870 to $27,200). The car, also known as Mazda3 in the non-Japanese market, comes with two upholstery designs, both based on black fabric, as well as special half-leather seats.