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Old 03-06-2003, 22:26   #1 (permalink)
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2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protege to Hit Dealerships in April

MAZDA 2003.5 MAZDASPEED PROTEGE

The new 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protege retains 170-horsepower turbocharged engine and receives major exterior and interior upgrades.

- Exterior and Interior Upgrades Improve Car's Appeal -

IRVINE, Calif., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda North American Operations,(MNAO) today announced product information and pricing for the new and improved 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protege. Updated exterior and interior components highlight the new model, giving it an edgier look to go with its 170-horsepower turbocharged engine. It is priced at $20,480 and will begin arriving in Mazda dealerships in early April.

"MAZDASPEED vehicles are the ultimate expression of Mazda performance," said Robert Davis, MNAO vice president of product strategy and development. "This car takes factory-tuned sport-compact performance to the extreme. We've covered all the tuners' bases with a turbocharged engine, big wheels and
low-profile tires, a taut suspension, aggressive styling and a great sound system. And unlike any aftermarket company, we gave it a full factory warranty, too."
Because of consumer enthusiasm for the 2003 model, production of the 2003.5 will increase from 1,750 to 2,750. The first 1,750 will be available in Titanium Grey Metallic or Blazing Yellow Mica and the remaining 1,000 will be available in Laser Blue Mica or Sunlight Silver Metallic. Other exterior upgrades include a racing-inspired front air dam, new rear skirt, larger and
lighter rear spoiler, new Dark Hyper Silver wheel finish and an oval exhaust tip branded with the MAZDASPEED logo.
Technically patterned cloth seat inserts improve lateral support while yellow stitching snakes around the seats and three-spoke, leather-wrapped, two-tone steering wheel. A black leather shift boot, also stitched in yellow, and an aluminum and leather shift knob bearing the MAZDASPEED logo complement the interior. Also stamped with the MAZDASPEED moniker are the aluminum foot pedals and black cloth floor mats.
The 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protege is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine delivering 170 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque to 17-inch Custom Racing Hart wheels via a five-speed manual transmission with the help of a Tochigi Fuji limited slip differential.
The popular 450-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 Kenwood Audio System with a liquid gel 3-D screen, glass-mounted antenna, wireless remote control and self-hiding/removable faceplate also remains standard on the new model. Its seven-speaker system powers four mid-bass, two tweeters and one 250-watt subwoofer housed in the rear package tray, adding major boom to the ZOOM-ZOOM.
As with all new Mazda vehicles, the 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protege comes with a four-year roadside assistance program. With a call to a toll-free number, MAZDASPEED Protege owners can access roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. For all 2003 Mazda
vehicles, the company will provide a free loaner car in the event a
warrantable condition requires alternative transportation.
The 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protege is covered by a comprehensive four-year/50,000-mile warranty that covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear. In addition, the 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protege is covered by a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and services support of Mazda vehicles in the United States.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
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