March 7, 2003
Mazdaspeed Protege gets mid-year upgrades
Irvine, California – Mazda North America announced that the 2003.5 Mazdaspeed
Protege will receive some exterior and interior upgrades.
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.
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.
As before, the 2003.5 Mazdaspeed Protege is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-litre,
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.
“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.”
The 2003.5 Mazdaspeed Protege will begin arriving in Mazda dealerships in early April.