The next-generation Mazda 2 is set for a local launch in Australia later this year as the Japanese company gears up to take on the light car segment with a new force.
Although yet to be officially revealed, the 2015 Mazda 2 will in many ways resemble a smaller Mazda 3, following the company’s Kodo design language.
The third-generation hatch will also finally release the Mazda2 from its Ford Fiesta origins, with the Japanese manufacturer having engineered the model on its own architecture.
Mazda Australia will launch the all-new Mazda2 in October this year amid the current model falling behind the Hyundai i20 in the sales tally.
Unlike the previous model, the new Mazda2 will be available as a five-door hatch only, with its extra dimensions and rear legroom likely to cater to a larger audience.
The new Mazda2 is based on a 2570mm wheelbase, an 80mm increase on the current model, while it has grown by 160mm (4060mm) in length and it now sits 25mm higher than before (1500mm). The width remains unchanged at 1695mm.
Architecturally, the new 2015 Mazda 2 see it’s A-pillars moved forward by 100mm to aid in outward visibility (thanks to the new location of wing mirrors), while the front-axle also moves 50mm in the same direction to help improve the car’s noise vibration and harshness.
Mazda’s SkyACTIV technologies should see the new model gain a reasonable weight saving, which we suspect will see the new Mazda2 sit right below the one tonne mark.
Specifications for the Australian model are still sketchy but we do know that two 1.5-litre petrol engines will be made available, with the base model delivering a reasonable 79kW of power (up 3kW) and 139Nm (up 4Nm) of torque. No official figures exist for the top-spec, but it’s unlikely to be significantly higher than the base model.
In the Japanese market the high-spec 1.5-litre engine manages 82kW of power and 144Nm of torque in a low-spec Mazda 3.
Mazda will also sell a detuned 55kW and 135Nm model in European markets with tougher emission laws, which, like the diesel variant, we will not get in Australia.
Both Australia-bound engines will be available with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission that marks a significant step up from the current car’s five-speed manual and four-speed auto.
Fuel economy figures will start at around 5.5L/100km for the manual and likely stay below 6L/100km for the automatic. This would represent a roughly 20 percent fuel economy improvement over the current car.
Mazda Australia says the the new Mazda2 will be tuned for our local roads, with its front MacPherson struts and rear torsion beam axle not unlike many of its competitors.
Although Mazda is yet to official release interior imagery, CarAdvice can report the interior is similar to the Mazda3, with the tablet-like display taking centre-stage and plenty.
Just like the high-spec Mazda 3 Astina, the new Mazda 2 should also come with a variety of active safety systems such as active cruise control, low-speed autonomous braking with high-speed risk mitigation, lane-departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring as well as auto high-beam and a cross-traffic alert systems, many of which will be first in-segment for our market.