GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – If the Hazumi concept launched here at the 84th Salon International de l'Auto Geneve is any indication – and we hear that it is -- the second-generation Mazda 2 subcompact will be longer, lower, and wider than the current model. The burgundy-colored concept, with its junior Mazda 3 styling, represents a much more serious, mature car than the one it replaces.
The new Mazda 2 adapts the brand's Kodo design language, resulting in a compact body "without losing an ounce of impact."
"Whereas with longer models such as the Shinari [the concept that previewed the 6] we use long and free lines of motion stretching from front to back to express Kodo, with Hazumi, we've created a form which suggests explosive motion," says chief designer Ryo Yanagisawa. "It's like an animal poised to pounce, every muscle is held tense as it gathers energy for the chase."
That's pretty dramatic stuff for a B-segment car. Mazda says the name Hazumi means to "bound" or "spring up," thus evoking that animal poised to pounce.
The Hazumi concept is being shown with a new Skyactiv-D diesel four, a 1.5-liter unit derived from the Mazda 6's 2.2-liter unit. The show car's turbodiesel is mated to an automatic transmission with six speeds -- two more cogs than the current Mazda2's optional transmission has. Mazda says the engine provides "ample torque and performance," although it hasn't yet revealed specific numbers. Release of the 2.2-liter diesel in the Mazda 6 has been delayed in the United States because the automaker is not satisfied with the engine's performance characteristics.
The 1.5-liter diesel is designed to achieve Euro 6 CO2 standards without aftertreatment. It includes a stop/start system and regenerative braking. Designers paid a lot of attention to the car's aerodynamics and have moved the car's center of gravity near the rear wheels.
The interior is upscale for the segment, featuring black leather with crimson nubuck leather inserts in the seats and white leather trim. The Hazumi also borrows the Mazda3's center-stack Active Driving Display, with a head-up display for the driver.
As for its larger dimensions, the Hazumi is 160.2 inches long on a 101.8 inch wheelbase. Compared with the current Mazda 2, it is 4.7 inches longer overall on a 3.8-inch-longer wheelbase. Width is up 1.4 inches, to 68.1 inches, and the car stands one inch lower, at 57.1 inches.
The first Mazda 2 launched in North America for the 2011 model year, when it was already well into its product cycle. The new Mazda 2 is expected to go on sale in the 2015 model year.