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2015 Mazda 2 Subcompact Spied

The sleek Mazda Hazumi concept from this year's Geneva auto show was a preview of the next generation Mazda 2, and our spy photographer has now spotted a prototype of this subcompact hatchback testing in Europe.

From what we can see past the camouflage, the new Mazda 2 will follow Mazda's Kodo design language seen on the Mazda 3, 6, and CX-5 models. Like the Hazumi concept, which looked like a shrunken Mazda 3, these spy photos show a similar family resemblance for the production Mazda 2 hatchback. A swoopy character line runs along the side and a familiar grille shape displays prominently up front. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on with the rear hatch area due to all of the camouflaging, but the overall shape looks very similar to that of the Hazumi concept, with its gently sloped hatch and small triangular taillights.

Compared with the current Mazda 2, the Hazumi concept is longer, lower and wider. These dimensions are likely to remain relatively unchanged for the production model and should make for a more spacious interior than the current car, which trails behind competitors like the Honda Fit and Chevrolet Sonic in terms of roominess. Expect big gains in terms of quality from the new 2's interior as well, since the concept displayed an interior theme similar to that of the new Mazda 3's upscale dashboard design.

The next Mazda 2 is expected to debut sometime later this year as a 2015 model, and will be produced at a new Mazda plant in Salamanca, Mexico, which will also produce a future Toyota small car. The current Mazda 2 is one of our favorite subcompacts to drive, but the new one should make big gains in efficiency and refinement thanks to its use of Mazda's Skyactiv powertrain technology. A new, small-displacement Skyactiv engine between 1.4 and 1.6 liters is the most likely choice for the U.S. market; although the Mazda Hazumi concept was shown with a new 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine, Mazda's current struggles in getting a larger diesel to market don't give us hope for a diesel Mazda 2 on our shores anytime soon.