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The new Protege and Focus will either sit on a modified Mondeo platform or a totally new platform developed for Ford global compacts. Since the 626 is growing slightly in interior room, I'm sure the Focus and Protege will grow in interior room as well. Then, Mazda will introduce a new subcompact hatchback probably based on the Mazda 121 platform. This new vehicle will be powered from engines ranging from 1.3L to 1.6L with direct injection and S-VT (Sequential Valve Timing).
I forgot to mention in my last post that the new 2.3L will also see duty in the Tribute (replacing the Zetec 2.0) and as the base engine in the new 626 (replacing the 2.0L). It seems Mazda is really pushing their MX Sport Tourer concept and many analysts speculate it will probably see production in a form similar to the concept. It is a technology tour-de-force with Mazda's take on hybrid technology. Mazda's hybrid system uses a small direct injection S-VT engine along with an electric motor. The gasoline engine powers the front wheels during freeway driving, while the electric motor powers the rear wheels during city cruising. There is a "Zoom Zoom" button that will activate the electric motor for extra passing power on the freeway. Also, the vehicle has full all-wheel drive capability which automatically activates when traction has been lost at the drive wheels. It also features Mazda's Toroidal CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) which allows the engine to stay at a certain rpm (for best efficiency or for best performance) while the transmission continuously changes the gearing ratio to change speed.
However, next year's should be quite interesting. I'm assuming the Protege Accessories and Modifications board doesn't quite cut it for a separate board for modifications? We have discussed all kinds of things in there from sound system upgrades to tires to strut tower braces. Otherwise, I hear MazdaMP3.com is quite the place for MP3 owners. There's a guy on there who has 193hp at the wheels on a lightly modified MP3. All he added was the MazdaSpeed intake and exhaust cam kits, ram air intake, and racing catalytic converter. He still is waiting on a high compression piston set and an ignition computer. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like a very friendly board.
dran, check out SuperChips.com for Asian, European, and domestic performance chip applications. Unfortunately, there is not a chip available for the Protege. I have e-mailed them about two years ago. They replied that there isn't enough demand on the market to create a chip for the Protege, plus the EEC-V emissions computer is hard to get around. They said if enough demand generates, they will consider making a chip for the Protege. If they did make a chip, I would expect the power gain to be about 10-11hp and 15-16lb-ft of torque looking at the gains for the 1992-1995 626/MX-6 2.0L chip. That engine is basically the same as the Protege 1.8L and 2.0L.
hope this helps.
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