Mazda Motor Corporation has introduced a new compact vehicle called Verisa, on sale at Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealerships throughout Japan.

The Japan-only model [at least until it becomes a used car export in three years' time] is aimed at a broad range of customers with an emphasis on 'lifestyle' couples in their 30s.

The monthly sales target is a lifecycle average of 2,500 units.

The Verisa is also offered via Mazda's "Web-Tune Factory" website (available only in Japan) which offers customers a unique, build-to-order service.

Factory options include "Music HDD," a music hard disk drive system that can store approximately 3,000 music files. This easy-to-use audio system includes a feature that allows the user to record all the music of a CD while the vehicle is unattended and the engine is stopped.

Buyers who purchase this option by August 1, 2004 will receive 100 preloaded songs selected by the editors of popular Japanese fashion/lifestyle magazines.
Other options include leather interior and chrome exterior trim packs.

A keyless entry/engine start system is standard equipment. Bringing the card-shaped key close to the car (in a pocket, say), the owner can lock/unlock the doors or tailgate and start/stop the engine without inserting a key.

A large makeup mirror and light are standard equipment and installed in the upper glove compartment on the passenger side.

"This feature targets active women who often need to apply make up while on the go," Mazda said.

Rear seats with a single button and an adjustable set of partitions is fitted in the luggage area.

The new car has the MZR 1.5-litre engine and automatic transmission, MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension and the available e-4WD model (for Japan's snow belt regions) is equipped with an electric motor to drive the rear wheels. This gives better fuel economy in the four-wheel-drive mode than a comparable model with a mechanical 4WD system.

All Verisa models meet the "Green Tax" standards (Japan's tax-reduction regulation for eco-friendly vehicles). The Verisa is certified as 'SU-LEV' (2005 Emissions Standard 75% Reduction Level); and the FWD model meets the better 2010 '5 percent-Exceeding' Fuel Economy Standard, while the e-4WD model satisfies the 2010 Fuel Economy Standard.

Prices range from 1.533 million yen to 1.727 ($US14,185-$16,000; £7,765-£8,750).