Mazda continues its recent blitz of new products with the soon-to-be-introduced next-generation Mazda2 subcompact hatchback, which will debut as an all-new car for the 2015 model year. Though the final production model has not been released, the sublimely attractive Mazda Hazumi concept just unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is clearly a near-production version of the new ‘2, and if the concept is any indication, things are looking bright.
The current Mazda2 is a likeable and fun-to-drive car, but rides on an older Ford-developed platform and has fallen behind the class leaders in areas like fuel efficiency, interior comfort and technology. The next-gen model will come exclusively in a 5-door hatchback body style, and will ditch the current model’s 2-passenger rear seating area for a traditional 3-passenger setup. Design lines echo the new Mazda3 and Mazda6 and translate well to the new smaller dimensions, creating an interesting interplay of surfaces and looking stretched taught over the car’s increased size, now 4.5 inches longer than the outgoing model.
Looking to the Hazumi concept and its powertrain for clues, the only motor as yet debuted is Mazda’s new 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D turbodiesel engine, which will likely make it to the United States as Mazda continues to expand into the world of diesel, and comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission in the concept. Once the Mazda2 sees its official introduction we’ll surely see a new gasoline engine as well, most likely a downsized version of the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine that now powers the Mazda3 and CX-5. Power output should be competitive for the segment, as driving excitement will be key to the new car’s success. Fuel efficiency with either gasoline or diesel engines will surely crest 40 mpg on the highway, with in excess of 45 mpg a strong possibility in the diesel.
The production-ready 2015 Mazda2 will be unveiled later this year, most likely at either the New York or Los Angeles auto shows. Expect Mazda’s newest in showrooms by the end of 2014, priced from around $15,000 or just a small increase over the current 2014 model.