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All-new Mazda2 Breaks Cover

Picks up Japanese maker’s latest design language.

by on Jul.18, 2014

The new 2016 Mazda2 debuted in Japan today.

We got our first hint of what’s to come during the Geneva Motor Show last March when Mazda rolled out the Hazumi concept vehicle. But now, the Japanese company is making it official with the formal roll-out of the new Mazda2 subcompact.

It marks a completely new look for the new model and suggests that Mazda is serious about gaining traction in the small car segment – which has been growing just about everywhere, including the U.S. For American buyers, the redesign might seem to be coming quickly, considering the Mazda2 has only been offered here since 2011. But what’s known as the Demio in Japan was last updated seven years ago and is now entering its fourth generation.

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Mazda isn’t ready to talk about the American version of the Mazda2/Demio, but in overseas trim it’s going to be sold with three different engine options, both 1.3-liter and a 1.5-liter gasoline packages and a 1.5-liter clean diesel. Both use the maker’s new SkyActiv technologies, including high compression and direct injection, to yield significantly better mileage than potential buyers might otherwise expect.

The resemblance to the Hazumi concept is clear, Mazda routinely using concepts to both debut new design themes and give buyers a sense of products to come. That’s how it first introduced the so-called Kodo design language that has also been captured in recent models such as the compact Mazda3 and midsize Mazda6.

Mazda's Hazumi Concept received relatively minor tweaks before transforming into the next Mazda2.

While the SkyActiv concept has brought with it significant changes in the design of Mazda engines, it’s a broader engineering concept that takes in just about every engineering aspect of the vehicle, down to the development of lighter-weight lug nuts. The maker says it pulled a significant amount of mass out of the new Mazda2, though it has yet to provide specific details.

(Mazda to reveal new MX-5 Miata in September. For more, Click Here.)

Designed to go up against some tough competition, including the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent – as well as American models like the Chevrolet Spark and Ford Fiesta – the new Mazda2 shows a focus on refinement that wouldn’t have been likely in this segment a few years ago. Among other new touches, the Demio on display at the Japanese unveiling featured a tablet-style touchscreen mounted atop the center console, a rotary knob near the handbrake used to control its operation.

(Click Here for details about the new 2015 Ford Mustang.)

The 1.3-liter SkyActiv-G engine will make 99 horsepower, while the bigger gasoline offering bumps power up to 104 hp. Buyers will get a choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

(To see more about the bleak future of the steering wheel, Click Here.)

The European version of the new subcompact is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show this coming October, while Americans will get a good look, most likely, at the Los Angeles Motor Show a month later.

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