Two new concepts join the MX-5 on Mazda's Frankfurt display

Mazda is to use the Frankfurt motor show to premier a duo of new concept models. The three-door Sassou concept will preview a potential new B-class hatchback, while the MX-Crossport concept mates sporty Mazda styling with off-road ruggedness.

The Sassou is powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine, and incorporates several new technologies in an effort to appeal to young buyers. Instead of a conventional key, a USB stick key is used, which can also transfer music from the owner’s computer to the car’s in-built hard drive. The interior also features rear seats that adapt their shape using compressed air to provide greater passenger comfort. Front and rear lamps that are hidden by translucent plastic until the car is unlocked punctuate the exterior’s sleek styling.

On the MX-Crossport, a sporty front grille and bumper take styling cues from the RX-8, and highlight the off-roader’s intentions. A spacious interior features slide-adjustable seats enhancing flexibility, and a large circular information system that dominates the dash. A production model based upon the MX-Crossport is tipped to appear at the 2006 Detroit motor show.

Elsewhere on the Mazda stand, the Japanese marque will showcase the new flagship Mazda 6 MPS saloon. With 256bhp and 280lb ft of torque from a turbocharged petrol engine, the four-wheel-drive MPS is heading into Impreza/Evo territory in January 2006, priced at around £25,000.

Also making an appearance will be the third generation of the iconic MX-5 roadster and a facelifted Mazda2. The new MX-5 is slightly larger and more muscular than its predecessor, but with a lower centre of gravity to improve handling response, and will launch later this year at a likely price of £17,000. The new Mazda2 will feature new colours, wheels and lights, as well as a restyled interior, although no pictures have yet been released.

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