It's no wonder the Sao Penza failed - when it was launched in summer 1991, the new arrival managed all of one mention in Autocar's news pages - nobody else gave it even that. Nobody ever managed to put the car through its paces, but you only had to read a review of the previous generation Mazda 323 to know what it would be like, as the Penza was nothing more than a 323 built from a kit of parts in South Africa.
The car went on sale - although nobody knows if any were ever actually sold - with the slogan "Japanese technology you can afford". There was a choice of four-door saloon or five-door hatch, but the problem was they were priced at seven and a half grand. For less money people could buy a genuine used 323 - which is what they did.