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Mazda previews the next 2 with the Hazumi concept

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0800

Mazda's Hazumi concept looks like a ferocious little rodent, an aggressive lil' gumball of a mini car that's set to replace the Mazda2. Imagine the drooping snout of the Mazda3 (not a "Droopsnoot," mind you) on a car far shorter than that. Imagine the same character lines, the same upward kink over the rear wheel, the same haunches as the 3 and the 6. Imagine if "Hazumi" meant something. (Mazda claims that it's a Japanese phrase that means "to bound or spring up," and a cursory translation led to the phrase "弾み," meaning "momentum.") Then take away the heavy-looking wheels, the cool center twin exhausts, and the car-show interior and we'll eat our Auto Show Hats if the Mazda2 doesn't look anything like this.

Inside, Mazda's command screen takes on a goofy, lopsided trapezoidal shape. The view in front of the steering wheel is aggressively driver-oriented, and indeed the rest of the interior is light on ornamentation and switchgear. Red seats are cool, while a half-white interior breaks up typical compact-car monotony.

Mazda is also debuting the SKYACTIV-D 1.5, a small-displacement diesel engine. Will it make its way into the Mazda2? In Europe, we'd wager so. In America, despite Mazda's commitment to diesels in the 6, we doubt it. Already that Mazda6 diesel has been delayed until further notice.

Mazda says the Hazumi was designed "to look as if it is literally bursting with energy." At the crowded Geneva show floor, that could get messy.

By Blake Z. Rong