Mazda Holds Two North American Debuts
TORONTO — They had been exhibited before, but never in North America. Mazda brought a pair of intriguing concept vehicles to the 2003 Canadian International Auto Show, and both had been seen only by overseas audiences.
Mazda’s MX Sport Runabout is “fun and funky,” said David Klan, Mazda Canada’s marketing director, while the Secret Hideout “is about personal space.” Curiously shaped in a blend of boxiness and curvatures, the Secret Hideout is “more than a mode of transportation,” he said. “It is part of your lifestyle.” No production plans have been announced for either concept.
Also on display were three rotary-engined Mazdas: the RX-01 concept that debuted at the Tokyo auto show in 1995, the RX-EVOLV that emerged in 2000 and next year’s RX-8. An X-Men version of the RX-8, which premiered at last month’s Los Angeles auto show, also appeared in Toronto in its Mutant Blue paint. “It’s OK if an old guy drives an RX-8,” said Mike Benchimol, president of Mazda Canada. “It still looks good.”
With a few exceptions, the other import-brand manufacturers hosted Canadian debuts of production and concept models that were previously unveiled at the Detroit or Los Angeles auto shows. Tucked within the Canadian premieres, however, were several models that had never been displayed at a prior show — or, at least, not at a North American event.
—Reported and photographed by Jim Flammang for cars.com;
Mazda MX Runabout and Secret Hideout
images by Matt Davis for cars.com;
(Photo) MX Sport Runabout
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My next Ford.....