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Mazda Chantez

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Mazda Chantez
1974 Mazda Chantez GL
ProductionJuly 1972–April 1976
AssemblyHiroshima Assembly, Hiroshima, Japan
Body and chassis
ClassKei car
Body style2-door sedan
RelatedMazda Chantez EV Concept
Engine359 cc AA I2 two-stroke
Wheelbase2,200 mm (86.6 in)
Length2,995 mm (117.9 in)
Width1,295 mm (51.0 in)
Height1,290 mm (50.8 in)
Curb weight490 kg (1,080 lb)
PredecessorMazda Carol

The Mazda Chantez (chassis code KMAA) is a two-door kei car that was introduced by Mazda in July 1972. The Chantez had a longer wheelbase at 2,200 mm (86.6 in) than most of its competitors and featured the powerful two-stroke "AA" engine also seen in the Porter. With 35 PS (26 kW; 35 bhp), top speed was 115 km/h (71 mph) and the 400 m (0.2 mi) sprint was dispatched in a sprightly 20.6 seconds.[1] In more recent testing (early 2000s) of a 1972 GF II, 0–100 km/h came up in 35.8 seconds.[2] The engine was installed longitudinally in the front of the vehicle powering the rear wheels, and the spare tire was installed next to the engine on the right side.[3][4]

The name chantez is second-person plural present indicative of chanter, which in French means 'to sing'.

3A rotary engine, originally intended for the Chantez

Originally, the Chantez had been planned to use a single-rotor Wankel engine, a slimmed down derivative of the R100's 10A engine, and test cars were seen in 1970. Mazda's financial situation and lobbying from other Kei manufacturers, who considered this engine type an unfair advantage, to disallow rotary engines in this class meant that Mazda chose not to bring this version to market.[5] As a result of not being able to build the car they had originally planned, Mazda lost interest in the Kei class and sales halted without a replacement in 1976,[1] on the eve of new Kei car regulations. Mazda did not market another Kei passenger car until 1989 with a reintroduction of the Carol, which was a rebadged Suzuki Alto, and to this day still choose not to make their own engines for the Kei class.

Equipment levels ranged from the lowest spec L (less chrome, body colored bumpers and B-pillars), via the LX, GL, GF, and GL II to the top-of-the-line GF II, which featured a sports interior, radial tires, and available two-tone paint.[6]

1972-1974 Chantez GL II
side view
rear view
1974 Mazda Chantez GL rear left view

In late 1974, anticipating a changing law at the turn of the year, the trunk lid and front bumper were modified to fit larger-size license plates.


  1. ^ a b Rees, Chris (1995). Microcar Mania. Minster Lovell & New Yatt, Oxfordshire, UK: Bookmarque Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 1-870519-18-3.
  2. ^ 360cc: Nippon 軽自動車 Memorial 1950→1975 [Nippon Kei Car Memorial 1950-1975]. Tokyo: Yaesu Publishing. 2007. p. 123. ISBN 978-4-86144-083-0.
  3. ^ Images of 1975 Mazda Chantez
  4. ^ Specifications on Mazda Chantez
  5. ^ Black, Byron (April 1971). "The Minicars of Japan". Road Test. p. 70. Archived from the original on 2023-07-27 – via Curbside Classic.
  6. ^ Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 5, '70s Japanese Cars. Tokyo: Nigensha. 2007. p. 90. ISBN 978-4-544-09175-5.