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Lighter, shorter with sharp contours and soft transitions
New Mazda2 supermini for autumn 2007

Mazda2 sub-compact car: new for autumn 2007.

The new Mazda2 opted for sharp contours with soft transitions.

APN, 7 July 2007.

Over the last few decades, the auto industry tended to replace each model generation by a slightly, or even significantly larger and often heavier one.

Even when new materials come lighter, with better performance, the ever growing lists of new equipments, especially those oriented towards safety, entertainment, communication and sometimes legal purposes tend to offset the weight gains.

With time, we came to consider it normal that a current sub-compact car should have the size of a twenty years old compact model.

Mazda2 supermini car: back view.

The new Mazda2 will be produced again in Hiroshima, Japan.

With the new Mazda2 generation, the Japanese brand (Ford owns the third of Mazda) reconsidered the weight question. The new sub-compact Mazda2 (supermini, B-segment car) is not only almost 100 kg lighter than its predecessor, but also 40 mm shorter, keeping weight under 1,000 kg, with up to 15 percent better fuel economy and handling characteristics.

Being a small car in size terms means a big market. And the supermini market is a growing (B) segment in Europe, representing today around 25 percent of the new car market.

Mazda2 B-segment car: side view.

Keeping the wheelbase at 2.49m, with a boot volume of 250 l.

An increased use of high-tensile steel led to a “calorie reduction” of almost 100 kg. As a result, the new Mazda2 with the 1.3-litre petrol engine weighs 955 kg (with the 1.5-litre, 960 kg). Its length is now four centimetres shorter, at 3.885 metres. By keeping the wheelbase the same, at 2.49 metres, the interior space is good for its size, with a boot volume of 250 litres.

Following its predecessor, which was primarily based on a practical box-like form, the new generation opted for sharp contours with soft transitions. The wedge form brings an impression of athletic movement.

The new Mazda2 is almost 100 kg lighter than its predecessor.

The new Mazda2 is almost 100 kg lighter than its predecessor.

With the optional Sports Appearance Package (depending on market), the sporty look of the Mazda2 can be boosted by side spoilers, a lower front spoiler, and an air intake that is wider at the bottom than at the top, with a special upper grille design and a rear roof spoiler.   

Interior - The interior design is meant to inspire solidity and movement. By emphasizing the horizontal plane, a subjectively large spatial feel is achieved. Like on the Mazda5, the shift lever is integrated into the centre console and its position – mounted 38 mm higher than the previous Mazda2 – makes it easier to reach.

Mazda2: dashboard.

Mazda2: steering wheel.

Mazda2: centre console.

Mazda2: glovebox.

Mazda2: rear seats

The interior design is meant to inspire solidity and movement. Like on the Mazda5, the shift lever is integrated into the centre console and its position – mounted 38 mm higher than the previous Mazda2 – makes it easier to reach.

The belt line descends towards the front of the car – it is 40 mm lower than the outgoing model – and together with a lower positioning of the side mirrors means increased visibility diagonally to the front and down, with better safety when driving on narrow roads and turning at junctions, where pedestrians could cross the road. Also very usefully in city traffic is the car’s small turning circle of 9.80 metres. 

Besides its comparably long wheelbase of 2.49 metres, Mazda2’s packaging provides a maximum headroom of 1,004 mm in the front, 959 mm in the rear, shoulder room of 1,340 mm in the front and 1,300 mm in the rear, with 883 mm of legroom in the rear seating area.

Practical storage compartments include a glove box with an open magazine rack for storing road atlases. The floor console between the seats has two cupholders and a tray behind them for items as large as a handbag. The door pockets have a design that allows storage of a 0.5 litre bottle and an A4 atlas.

Thanks to the optimised structure of its body shell and an increased use of high-tensile steel, the new Mazda2 is not only lighter, but also improved in terms of safety, body shell rigidity and NVH performance – all attributes that normally mean more weight for a car.

Weight was saved in the exhaust and cooling systems, the cabling, and even in the door speakers. The level of cabin noise was lowered as well. At 60 km/h, only 71.1 dBA reach the ears of the occupants, which is amongst the best in the segment.

Special attention was given the spontaneous and linear reacting electric power-assisted steering system. The use of high-tensile steel at specific areas of the body shell also ensured optimal geometry of the front MacPherson strut and the torsion beam rear suspension systems. 

Engines - Mazda2 gets two petrol engines at market launch in autumn 2007. A 1.3-litre engine that (depending on market) produces 55 kW/75 PS and/or 63 kW/86 PS, while the 1.5-litre engine produces 76 kW/103 PS. Both petrol engines have a sequential valve timing (S-VT) system and optimized exhaust-valve timing. The new 1.5-litre adds a variable induction system (VIS) that has a positive effect on torque across the entire rev range.

The base model with 1.3-litre petrol uses 5.4 litres of fuel per 100 km (combined), which results in a combined CO2 emissions value of 129 g/km.

Mazda2: Front axle with suspension and electric power-assisted steering.

Front axle with suspension and electric power-assisted steering.

Mazda2: rear suspension.

Rear suspension.

Mazda will follow this up some months later with a turbo diesel for the European market from the MZ-CD engine line with 1.4-litre displacement.

For customers in Europe, dynamic stability control is available either standard or as an option (depending on market). The car’s passive safety system is based on the Mazda Advanced Impact Distribution and Absorption System, which disperses impact energy according to exactly defined paths.

The crash-resistant passenger cell has ultra-high tensile steel in the area of the B-pillar and in the roll-over protection structure. Two front airbags are standard and front side airbags and curtain airbags for all outer passengers are either standard or optional (depending on market).  

Unlike its predecessor, which was built in Valencia, Spain, the new Mazda2 will be produced again in Hiroshima, Japan. Launched in its home market last week, the new Mazda2 is known there as the Demio.

The equipments will provide (standard or optional, according to grade and markets) 15 or 16-inch aluminium wheels, cruise control, manual or automatic air conditioning, power windows front and rear, fog lights, rain and light sensor, seat heating and leather steering wheel with leather shift knob, board computer with adjustable speed warning system, Keyless Entry & Start System, auto light and auto wiping system, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) and emergency brake assist, dynamic stability control and traction control for active safety, seatbelts with pretensioners and load-limiters, front airbags, front side airbags and curtain airbags, Isofix anchors for a baby seat.

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