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Mazda 2 and Mazda Hakaze

Thu, 08 Mar 2007

By Ben Whitworth

Motor Shows

08 March 2007 09:15

Lighter and smaller - now there's a change

Mazda drew in the Geneva crowds with two key show cars – its sprightly new Mazda 2 supermini and the radical Hakaze crossover concept. In a world that’s piling on the pounds, the Mazda 2 bucks the trend – it’s smaller in all directions and weighs a full 100kg less than the outgoing model. The result is better emissions and economy, tidier handling and punchier performance, according to the spec sheet. It’s a nifty-looking car too – squint your eyes and you can see shades of the high-tech Sassou concept car that made its debut at last year’s Paris Motor Show. And despite being smaller, there’s more useable room inside than before and a larger boot. Inside, there’s a high-mounted gearlever on a striking floating centre console, and natty white-on-black circular instruments. Expect high levels of specification as standard, in keeping with Mazda’s value for money offering.

The 2 arrives in September in five-door format with two petrol engines - a 75bhp 1.3-litre and 103bhp 1.5-litre - followed by a new 1.4-litre turbodiesel, all hooked up to five-speed manual transmissions. A sportier three-door version is about a year away from showrooms, but at this point there are no plans for a hot MPS version – at least not until after the MX-5 gets the MPS treatment. Mazda expects to sell 12,000 of the supermini every year in the UK. Mazda’s Hakaze also proved popular – the eye-catching crossover concept looks set to get the production green light and hit the showrooms within the next 36 months.

By Ben Whitworth