|Mazda Capella Wagon History|
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Capella is the Japanese domestic market name for Mazda's midsize family car; larger than the Familia/323 but smaller than the Luce/929. The vehicle has also been sold as the Mazda 616, 626, Montrose, and Ford Telstar, and is closely related to the short-lived Mazda Lantis, Cronos, Persona, Autozam Clef, Eunos 500/Xedos 6 and Mazda MX-6/Ford Probe. Production of the Capella lasted from 1970 until it was replaced by the Mazda Atenza in 2002.
Plain 4 cylinder engines ranged from 1490cc to 1586cc and 1769cc.
The first Capella was introduced in 1970 and lasted until 1974. It was powered by a 4 cylinder SOHC 8-valve engine displacing 1.6 L (1586cc). Bore was 78 mm and stroke was 83 mm. Output was 104 hp (77 kW) and 106 ft.lbf (144 Nm).
This generation was sold in export markets as the Mazda 616 in coupe and sedan configurations.
An optional Mazda Wankel engine and other tweaks transformed it into the Mazda RX-2.
The 616 was a major component of Mazda's United States expansion in 1971, having been preceded by its rotary brother, the RX-2, the previous year. It featured the 1.6 L (1586 cc) engine, which was also used in the 1200 that year. The American Capella was updated and renamed the next year. The 1972 618 had a larger 1.8 L (1796 cc) engine. Lasting just one year, the 618 nameplate was not used again in the United States and the only Capella for 1973 was the RX-2.
The second generation rear-wheel drive Capella was available between 1977 and 1982, in both sedan and coupe forms. It was known on export markets as the Mazda 626, with the exception of United Kingdom, where it was called the Mazda Montrose. Early models had two slightly different frontal treatments, one with a more pronounced sloping grille to denote some models, particularly on the Japanese domestic market. A bolder front and rear facelift, though similar in appearance was done for 1981.
In 1983 the third generation Capella was released using the new front wheel drive GC platform. As before, the international version was named the Mazda 626 (see that article for more information), and certain markets also received the 626 rebadged as the Ford Telstar (complete with slightly different styling). Sedan and Coupe were offered as before, with - due to demand - a 5-door hatchback variant added.
The fourth-generation Capella was released in 1987. It used the updated GD platform and remained in production in Japan until 1996. The 626 and Telstar were updated in 1993 on the GE platform, but this vehicle was called the Mazda Cronos for Japan.
A station wagon version was introduced on a slightly-modified platform (called GV).
The fifth-generation Capella was introduced in 1994 in Japan. The Mazda Cronos and Efini MS-6 had taken the GE platform that the Capella might have used. So Mazda introduced a new Capella on the CG platform designed for the upscale Mazda Lantis and Eunos 500. This vehicle lasted just three years, and the Capella name returned to the G platform after 1996.
The Capella Cargo (station wagon) remained on the old GV platform until 1996.
A new sixth-generation Capella appeared in 1997 with the GF platform. The Mazda Cronos name was retired and the Capella, 626, and Telstar once again shared a common platform. All wheel drive was optional in Japan.
Once again, the station wagon version uses a slightly modified, carryover platform (now called GW). The wheelbase is 60 mm longer than the sedan, and a V6 engine is offered.
The Capella was updated in 1999 with a new interior and exterior, cabin air filtration, an available turbodiesel engine, a new Activematic manually-operated automatic transmission, and available EBD and DSC.
The Capella name was retired in 2002 to make way for the new Mazda Atenza. This model once again unified the diverse midsize Mazda models around the world, sold as the Mazda Mazda6 in much of the world.