Mazda has previewed the next-generation Mazda 2 supermini with a new concept car called Hazumi at the Geneva motor show.
The new 2 - which is planned to be lighter, more agile and more frugal - is expected to debut at October's Paris motor show before reaching UK dealerships in early 2015.
The Hazumi gets a full suite of Mazda’s lightweight and efficient SkyActiv technologies, the firm’s Kodo design language and its new 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine with sub-90g/km CO2 emissions. The exterior styling of the car is reputed to have been a collaborative effort, led by Japan with input from Germany and California.
Mazda's Hazumi is 4070mm long, 1730mm wide and 1450mm high, making it longer, wider and lower than the current 3920mm-long, 1695mm-wide and 1475mm-tall 2.
Autocar understands that the concept, despite its bold look, is indeed a very close preview for the all-new 2. For production, new headlights, wheels, wing mirrors and door handles will be fitted, but apart from these detail changes, the Hazumi is the new 2. Production versions would also be offered with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, designed to appeal to private buyers.
The car's underpinnings are understood to use a new SkyActiv structure that's smaller than that seen in the Mazda 3 and larger models. The downsized platform also features a lower-cost twist-beam rear axle, instead of the Mazda 3's multi-link rear.
Economies of scale for the new platform are achieved by the 2 being a global model, and one that will be twined with and built alongside a new Toyota Yaris in some markets.
The interior, which will be less closely reflected by the production car, emphasises connectivity and craftsmanship. It includes Mazda's MZD Connect system, as seen in the new Mazda 3.
Mazda also expects the new 2 to lift sales across Europe, which are recovering back to pre-crisis levels. The latest sales figures suggest that in the past 12 months Mazda has sold 160k units, a significant improvement on the 126k sold in the same period last year.
"We are continuing to concentrate on recovery and building up sales of our core models," says Phil Waring, boss of Mazda Europe.
UK sales of the 2 particularly need a boost after falling back from a peak of around 14k just after launch, to around 9k now.
Thanks to: Autocar