MAZDA has unveiled the production version of its all-new Mazda 2, which will be tasked with turning the tables on the Hyundai i20 and the Toyota Yaris in the Australian light-car market segment.
It will arrive in local showrooms in October boasting Mazda’s Kodo design language and ‘SkyActiv’ tech that will improve fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.
The 2 is new from the ground up, with a longer wheelbase than its predecessor, and is wrapped in an edgy body previewed by the Hazumi concept car at the Geneva 2014 motor show.
The Kodo styling, which kicked off with the Mazda 6 in 2012 and followed with latest-gen Mazda 3, gives the mini Mazda a fresh look compared to conservative rivals such as the VW Polo, but still with clear visual links to its predecessor.
Of course, the showroom version has been toned down compared with the concept, with the smaller alloys softening the visual punch and details such as the wafey silver side mirrors, air intakes and chrome of the five-point Mazda family grille softened.
The headlight and tail-light clusters have also been simplified, again taking away some of the concept car’s impact.
A two-tone colour scheme has been applied to a neatly sanitised interior, but the showcar’s quirky lop-sided centre screen has been replaced by a more civilised rectangular display, while that brilliant deep-dish steering wheel now has a simpler, flat three-spoke version in its place.
There’s also a cleaner instrument cluster, as per the 6 and 3 models, and details such as the chrome-spoke vents are now black with silver surrounds.
Connectivity should take a big leap, with Mazda’s MZD Connect available, offering cloud-based music and apps.
Under the bonnet of Australian models will be a choice of two 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, with the new 2 benefitting from the SkyActiv tech that focuses on weight reduction and engine efficiency.
Further reducing fuel consumption is the i-Eloop regenerative braking system that first appeared on the 6, as did the i-Stop stop/start system that will also be standard in all Mazda 2s.
Mazda won’t provide any official figures yet, but company insiders have suggested a 20 percent improvement, which equates to a combined fuel figure of about 5.1L/100km, ahead of the i20’s 5.3L/100km.
Australia will not get the diesel engine offered in overseas markets.
Prices are expected to remain at about the $16K starting point of the current Mazda 2.