August 30, 2005 Mazda’s design concept at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September will be called the SASSOU (‘sa-so’) – a small, lightweight, three-door hatchback powered by a turbocharged, three-cylinder, 1.0-liter MZR DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) gasoline engine. Combined with “evolved Zoom-Zoom design language” and a unique interior concept, Mazda SASSOU is a look into the future at where Mazda might be heading with its B-car. It will share the stage with the Mazda MX-Crossport concept, Mazda2 facelift, the high-performance Mazda6 MPS and the recently launched Mazda6 facelift.
Mazda’s latest show car is a lightweight, urban vehicle for young, first time car buyers that makes everyday city driving fun, highly practical, economical and aiming for clean emissions. A sleek, three-door hatchback, it employs evolved Zoom-Zoom exterior design language with youthful lightness and unique hidden features.
Designed at Mazda’s design center in Frankfurt, Germany, Mazda SASSOU is the first design concept derived from a unique approach to show cars for Mazda Motor Corporation this year. Besides the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Tokyo Motor Show and the 2006 North American International Automobile Show will also feature a Mazda design concept created at each regional design center.
The name “SASSOU” is a Japanese term that means having a positive state of mind, of looking ahead with optimism to the future. And with a lightweight , compact and stylish exterior, Mazda SASSOU certainly embodies this. It is an advanced interpretation of Mazda stylishness that employs the latest in aerodynamic techniques that visually hints at the agility and fun-to-drive attributes so typical of the brand. It mixes these with a unique use of exterior and interior materials and hidden features based on the “Shoji” principle. Shoji screens are thin Japanese doors made of ricepaper that allow you to see the outline of what is behind without seeing the details. The Mazda SASSOU concept has attributes that are hidden within the body and are suddenly revealed by an illumination system that makes the car seem to spring to life in a way that is appealing and surprising.
On the inside is a high-tech, interactive interior concept reflecting the lifestyle of young people. It uses a USB stick as a key and an interface port for programming the hard disc drive conceived for the concept. It also features a unique “morphing” back seating system that uses compressed air. This provides center seating for one, side seating for two by changing the seat configuration. It also has "flat-fold” seating which offers storage practicality for carrying larger items.
Combined with aerodynamic techniques to lower drag, the Mazda SASSOU design concept indicates the potential of the Mazda B-car to meet strict European CO2 regulations in the future. Mounted with a three cylinder 1.0-liter DISI turbo gasoline engine and idling stop feature that automatically shut down the engine to prevent idling, it is conceived as a lightweight, fuel-efficient, urban vehicle for young, first car buyers that can make city driving zoom-zoom, fun and highly practical.