|Assembly||Japan: Hiroshima, Hofu|
|Designer||Yasuo Aoyagi (1989)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
Transverse front-engine, four-wheel drive
|Platform||Mazda GE platform|
Mazda Cronos (Japan)
|Engine||2.0 L FS-DE I4 (gasoline)|
2.0 L KF-ZE V6 (gasoline)
2.5 L KL-ZE V6 (gasoline)
|Wheelbase||2,610 mm (102.8 in)|
|Length||4,670 mm (183.9 in)|
|Width||1,750 mm (68.9 in)|
|Height||1,400 mm (55.1 in)|
|Curb weight||1,310 kg (2,888 lb)|
It shared Mazda's GE platform with cars like the ɛ̃fini MS-6 and Mazda MX-6 coupe. The word "clef" is a musical notation, and Mazda chose it to signify that the Clef was meant to serve as a reference point by which other Autozam products would become to be known or regarded as. The Clef was mechanically related to the Mazda Cronos, but featured different bodywork, and rear side window designs.
The Clef had the same width dimensions as the Mazda Cronos which shared the 2.5 L V6 engine. The width, length, and engine displacement dimensions have particular significance in Japan, due to dimension regulations, where Japanese consumers pay an additional annual tax for larger vehicles, and also had implications as to how much the annual road tax obligation will be.
As the Clef was the top level sedan at Autozam, which was introduced as a retailer of entry level products to Japanese consumers, the width dimension presented an issue in that buyers in Japan were liable for yearly taxes, and because the Clef was largely identical to other Mazda GE platform cars, Japanese buyers who were willing to pay extra taxes for a wide car from Mazda had many choices and the Clef wasn't usually the first choice.