PRETORIA, South Africa, 29, March, 2000 -- The stylish new Mazda Drifter Sports Activity Vehicle range has arrived on the South African scene - a range of vehicles with all the practicality, durability and versatility of a pickup but with the features and comfort of a passenger car.
This new product from Mazda is a spirited, challenging and adventurous, go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle. This sports activity vehicle just oozes with style and panache, making it ideal for those who enjoy a healthy balance of work and fun.
A choice of two modern engines and class leading driving dynamics is offered in both single and double cab configuration. The fuel-injected petrol engine is the economical 2.6-litre petrol engine which provides a maximum power output of 92 kW at 4 600 r/min and maximum torque of 206 Nm at 3 500 r/min. The renowned and popular 2.5-litre intercooled turbocharged diesel engine is fitted to the diesel models. With a rated power output of 80kW at 3 500rpm, and 257Nm of torque at an astonishingly low 2 000rpm, this engine delivers best-in-class performance for its displacement.
For ultimate go-anywhere ability, Mazda's Active Select four-wheel drive transmissions are available with both powertrains.
Mazda Drifter 4x4 owners will be especially delighted with the electrically controlled, automatic front wheel locking hubs, which are automatically engaged when shifting into four-wheel-drive. Fitted as standard to the 4x4 units, this feature allows the front wheel drive mechanism to be locked without the driver having to leave the vehicle - certainly a plus when travelling in wet weather.
Although the vehicle should be stationary when engaging four-wheel drive for the first time, switching from four-wheel drive to two-wheel drive and back to four-wheel drive can be done when the vehicle is travelling at less than 100 km/h.
Also, when intending to remain in two-wheel drive, the hubs can be automatically unlocked by pressing a Remote Free Wheel (RFW) button on the instrument panel.
A diff-lock is a standard feature on all 4x4 and Double Cab models and is available as an option on the 2.5-litre Turbo-diesel and 2.6-litre petrol LWB single cab models.
A new raised suspension is now fitted across the entire range in both single and double cabs.
The new Drifter displays a significantly revamped exterior design to that of the previous series. The result is a look that perfectly conveys the true nature of the Drifter - a determined and gutsy vehicle, clothed in style.
When designing the new Mazda Drifter, the design team set out to ensure that this new range would be best in class in a number of areas, including performance, interior spaciousness, driveability and safety. They have achieved these objectives and more.
The new Mazda Drifter owner now gets an all-new exterior and an all-new interior. With excellent headroom and front seat roominess, the interior package of the Drifter includes 17mm additional front headroom and 26mm wider front seat shoulder room than before. Also, a higher seating position and taller roofline allows for improved outward visibility and reduced driver fatigue.
Improved steering feel, suspension performance and braking allow for confident driving in all conditions, while greater vehicle structural rigidity, which encases the occupants for protection in a side-on or off-set collision, is further enhanced by the fitment of side-impact door beams.
The exterior of the new Mazda Drifter is very distinctive. All models have new body side graphics, a newly sculpted body-coloured radiator grill, a tonneau cover and tinted sideglass and windscreen. All 4x4 and double cabs get an argent silver front nerf bar and driving lamps. The wheel arch mouldings and the front bumper are also body-coloured.
Larger window areas give evidence to the more spacious cabin and subtler fender and box contours are incorporated.
In keeping with this vehicle's upmarket image, once the driver is safely ensconced in the cab, driving is a pleasure.
There is a definite car-like feel about the Drifter. The sculpted one-piece instrument panel is user-friendly, allowing easy access to all controls and switches. There is power steering across the range with a height adjustable steering wheel being standard on all double cab and 4x4 models.
Power windows (front and rear), selective unlocking central locking and leather trim are fitted to all double cab models, as is airconditioning. To ensure that the ride is as cool or as warm as may be needed, the dash incorporates improved air vent locations. The control panel for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system has been redesigned for optimum performance - it provides 10% greater fan motor output. This means that the airflow in the cab is nearly one-third greater. The hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) used in the air conditioning system is a refrigerant that is not harmful to the ozone layer. New additions are side window demister vents.
Other convenience features include cup-holders across the range, a digital clock, door pockets and seat back pockets (in the case of double cab models). And the rear sliding window means easy access to the refreshments in the cooler box that may be secured in the loadbox.
All new Drifters feature a standard audio system with a radio/tape and two speakers fitted to the single cabs and a radio/CD and four speakers fitted to the double cabs. The antenna that has been optimally positioned on the driver's front-pillar.
There is now an even wider selection of vibrant colours available for the Drifter range. Improved pre-treatment and electrocoat systems add durability and ensure that each Drifter is well protected against corrosion.
Security is certainly not lacking in the new Drifter range. An immobiliser, a bonnet lock, shielded door-locks, loadbox tie-down hooks and a spare-wheel locking facility are fitted as standard equipment across the entire range, with the addition of an alarm being fitted to the double cabs.
Alan Hatton, Director of Mazda Marketing, says the new Drifter is expected to enjoy considerable success within the leisure vehicle market: "The vehicle will appeal to lovers of the outdoors, those motorists who see their vehicles as an extension of their adventurous personalities. This is the vehicle for the daring and the spirited, for those who see life as a constant adventure.
"Given the exceptionally high specification levels of this new range, we expect that it will prove exceptionally popular with upwardly mobile motorists," comments Mr Hatton.
As is the case with all Mazda products, a three-year/100 000 km warranty and a three-year anti-corrosion warranty on body panels back the new Mazda Drifter.
The new Mazda Drifter range includes the following models:
Mazda Drifter B2500TD LWB
Mazda Drifter B2500TD 4x4 LWB
Mazda Drifter SLX B2500TD Double Cab
Mazda Drifter SLX B2500TD 4x4 Double Cab
Mazda Drifter B2600i LWB
Mazda Drifter B2600i 4x4 LWB
Mazda Drifter SLX B2600i Double Cab
Mazda Drifter SLX B2600i 4x4 Double Cab
NEW MAZDA DRIFTER:
TOUGH ON THE OUTSIDE, EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE INSIDE
Although the exterior of the all-new Mazda Drifter is muscular, macho and tough, on the inside it offers excellent comfort and luxury.
Its macho exterior is first evident in the new body-coloured radiator grille, front bumper and wheel arch flares which demand attention. Added to this, all double cab models, as well as the single cab 4x4's have been beefed up by the addition of twin-tube roll bar. This feature not only looks good, it also offers better rigidity and greater strength.
The rear step bumpers (which also double as a towbar) on all double cab models are also constructed from twin tubing, while on the single cabs, the rear step bumper is a single tube. Both variations, including the nerf bars (on all 4x4' s and double cabs), are strong enough to absorb frontal and rear impact. This is achieved without compromising either approach or departure angles.
The driving lamps are positioned above the waterline and are out of the way of the radiator, so as not to affect engine cooling.
Buyers of the new Drifter can rest assured about this new range's durability. The body is e-coated during the painting process which means that excellent corrosion resistance is guaranteed.
During this process, a layer of protective coating is literally charged with an electric current that results in a completely uniform application of the galvanising material on even the most inaccessible areas. Finally, further layers of undercoating, wax coating and PVC protect the under-body and other exposed areas.
The new Mazda Drifter is a true a sports activity vehicle, which means that buyers get an impressive line-up of interior features guaranteed to afford the most comfortable of rides.
The instrument panel is ergonomically designed to reduce driver distraction and fatigue. All the switches and controls are readily accessible. For instance, the ventilation, air-conditioning and audio controls are located higher up so as to make them more reachable.
Related improvements include a centre armrest in all single cab configurations and a large centre-console in the double cab models. Also, a front-loading radio/CD player (linked to four speakers) is standard equipment on all double cabs, with a radio/tape player (linked to two speakers) fitted to all single cab models. And, while on the subject of sound, occupants within the cab will experience less noise due to flush mounted doors, improved body side panels, 30 percent improved door rigidity and the liberal use of sound-deadening material behind the dash panel and on the floor pan.
In addition, Drifter owners get comfort out of the top drawer.
Design improvements have meant that there is an additional 17mm headroom, plus there is now 26mm extra shoulder room for front seat occupants. Getting in and out of the vehicle and into the back is now made even easier with the taller door openings and roof. The raising of the front seat by 26mm not only improves visibility but also ensures increased driver comfort.
Cloth seats are fitted to the single cab models with leather trim being fitted as standard to all double cab models.
The double cab models also include the following as standard equipment: selective unlocking central locking, power windows (front and rear), leather steering wheel and a centre console with an armrest.
Storage space is aplenty in the Mazda Drifter with more than enough room for all odds and ends. The roomier glove box has a 6,5-litre capacity and the large door pockets are ideal for books and road maps. In between the driver and passenger seats in the double cabs is a floor console box that can comfortably accommodate items such CDs, a wallet or cellphone.
NEW MAZDA DRIFTER:
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
The new Drifter is more than just a good-looking vehicle. Designed to provide the best of both worlds - it offers outstanding driver control, but not at the expense of ride comfort - the Drifter incorporates a number of spectacular, under-the-skin features.
First up, there is the duo of impressive powerplants. There's Mazda's tried and tested, intercooled 2.5-litre turbo diesel which provides maximum power of 80 kW at 3 500 r/min, as well as maximum torque of 257 Nm at 2 000 r/min.
This engine has two notable features: its intercooler and its position. Intercoolers work most effectively with a maximum supply of cool air moving through the core. By positioning the intercooler in front of the engine, airflow is maximised and the adverse effects of under-bonnet temperatures are minimised. The inter-cooler function is therefore maximised, providing enhanced levels of performance and fuel economy.
The 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine has twin counterbalancing shafts, which result in a very smooth, very quiet drive.
Motorists will appreciate the technologically advanced 2.6-litre, fuel-injected petrol engine which churns out an exhilarating 92 kW of power at 4 600 r/min and maximum torque of 206 Nm at 3 500 r/min.
Yet another impressive under-the-skin feature is the Drifter's unique overlapped, cross-braced ladder frame chassis, which results in greater rigidity than traditional H-beam or open beam configurations. It also contributes to improved handling, ride, load-bearing characteristics, durability and passenger safety.
The Drifter's designers paid special attention to the area of torsional stiffness and this new sports activity vehicle offers 13% greater body and frame torsion stiffness, as well as an increase in the strength of the passenger cage structure.
The four 4x2 models have the same new raised suspension as the 4x4s for enhanced ride height which helps to avoid under-body damage caused by irregular terrain.
The front suspension is of the independent double wishbone type, using torsion bar springs and a solid anti-roll bar. To reduce harshness and improve ride comfort, 'I-shaped' lower arms and tension rods provide good fore-aft compliance. Rubber upper arm mounts have been used for a smoother ride when cruising in less than ideal conditions.
Supporting the rear wheels of every Drifter is the proven Berlin Eye rear leaf spring design. Bias mounted rear shock absorbers reduce axle travel and power hopping - especially when the loadbox is empty.
With the Active Select four-wheel drive technology employed by the new Drifter, switching between two and four-wheel drive is easy. Remote front wheel locking hubs are now standard on all Drifter 4x4s, alleviating the need to leave the vehicle to engage the front wheel hubs. The procedure is: Stop the vehicle, depress the clutch, select 4H on the transfer gear lever which will automatically lock the front hubs. When wanting to change back to two-wheel drive, it's simply a case of changing to 2H. This can be done at speeds of up to 100 km/h.
The Remote Free Wheel (RFW) function allows the front wheel hubs to be unlocked while still moving, without having to leave the comfort of the Drifter.
A diff-lock is fitted to all 4x4 and double cab Drifter sports activity vehicles, ensuring optimal drive on all surfaces. It is available as an option on the 4x2 single cab Drifters.
NEW MAZDA DRIFTER:
SAFETY AND SECURITY
The engineers who created the Drifter placed a high priority on the important area of safety design.
As can be expected from a vehicle of the stature of the Drifter, safety features abound throughout the model line-up. Side impact beams are standard across the range while greater structural rigidity and improved dynamic characteristics provide stable performance under variable road conditions.
Large, ventilated front disc brakes deliver less fade and more predictable performance under difficult braking conditions, while a Load Apportioning Valve (LAV) senses the load and adjusts braking rear power accordingly, enhancing driver control. An improved pedal layout provides more positive foot control.
The Drifter is designed for significantly improved all-round visibility. A 25mm higher hip point raises the driving position, making it easier to see both front corners of the vehicle and thus more accurately gauge the overall width of the vehicle. Large wiper blades, a larger front windscreen and increased bonnet slope also contribute to visibility.
The steering column is collapsible. This provides for a far safer driving environment by limiting the intrusion of the steering wheel into the cabin in the event of a frontal collision.
The Drifter Sports Activity Vehicle has some exceptional security features. Single cab models are equipped with a passive anti-theft immobiliser, while double cab models are equipped with an alarm and immobiliser.
Furthermore, a bonnet lock ensures that the bonnet can only be opened with the key in the ignition. This prevents tampering with both the starter motor and the immobiliser in an attempt to "hot wire" or bypass the systems on the Drifter.
Another important feature is the facility to lock the spare wheel in place with an ordinary pad-lock.
NEW MAZDA DRIFTER: COMPREHENSIVE RANGE OF SPORTS ACTIVITY VEHICLES
Eight models - all boasting superb specification levels and a willingness to go just about anywhere - make up the Mazda Drifter range of sports activity vehicles.
There are four single cabs (two 4x2's and two 4x4's) and four double cabs (also two 4x2's and two 4x4's).
The single cab range begins with the B2500 TD LWB which, as its nomenclature implies, is equipped with a 2.5-litre intercooled turbo diesel engine. It churns out maximum power of 80 kW at 3 500 r/min and maximum torque of no less than 257 Nm at 2 000 r/min. It has a double wishbone, independent front suspension and a live axle at the rear - its suspension is also raised. All 4x2 models are built on the same chassis, utilising the same new raised suspension, as the 4x4s for enhanced ride height. Ground clearance is 210 mm.
The B2500 TD LWB offers ventilated front discs on the front brakes and drums on the rear. The fuel tank capacity is 80 litres while the loadbox holds 3,3 m².
It boasts an extensive range of interior features, including a tachometer, handy front door pockets, cloth seats, front headrests, a digital clock, a radio/tape (with two speakers), a front console (which includes cupholders), cutpile floor carpeting, a bench seat up front (with arm rest), a driver's footrest, a lights-on warning buzzer, a vanity mirror for the passenger and a sliding rear window.
Exterior fitments on the B2500 TD LWB include body side graphics, a cab protector, front and rear mudflaps, tinted side glass and windscreen as well as painted wheelarch flares.
In addition, it boasts an impressive line-up of security features, including a bonnet lock, a spare wheel locking facility, shielded door-locks, loadbox tie-down hooks and an immobiliser.
Sporty 15" styled steel wheels and 215R15 tyres are standard on this model.
The B2500 TD LWB is partnered by the B2600i LWB single cab which is fitted with a mighty 2.6-litre, fuel-injected petrol engine. Power - you get a maximum of 92 kW at 4 600 r/min - is plentiful. So is torque, which peaks at 206 Nm at 3 500 r/min. The petrol-engined single cab is as well spec'd as its diesel-powered sibling.
The B2500 TD LWB and the B2600i LWB 4x4 models have additional standard features, over and above the 4 x 2 models, which include a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a roll bar, driving lamps, a front nerf bar, a tonneau cover, 245/75R15 tyres and a diff lock.
The same two engines are also fitted to the four magnificent double cab models - the B2500 TD SLX, the B2600i SLX, the B2500 TD 4x4 SLX and the B2600i 4x4 SLX.
The double cab derivatives feature a full house of features. In addition to those offered by the single cab models, buyers get an air-conditioner, an alarm, central locking (featuring selective unlocking), plush leather seats, rear headrests, a leather-covered steering wheel, power windows (front and rear), a radio/CD with four speakers, front bucket seats, a centre console complete with armrest and a handy toolkit.
The double cab models also have sporty 15" alloy wheels and 245/75R15 tyres as standard and they boast a styled twin-tube rear step bumper.
|Mazda Drifter B2500TD LWB||R131, 180|
|Mazda Drifter B2500TD 4x4 LWB||R175, 325|
|Mazda Drifter SLX B2500TD Double Cab||R170, 550|
|Mazda Drifter SLX B2500TD 4x4 Double Cab||R208, 480|
|Mazda Drifter B2600i LWB||R113, 940|
|Mazda Drifter B2600i 4x4 LWB||R154, 810|
|Mazda Drifter SLX B2600i Double Cab||R160, 960|
|Mazda Drifter SLX B2600i 4x4 Double Cab||R203, 220|