Posts Tagged ‘hazumi’

2016 Demio / Mazda2 Hatchback Officially Revealed w/ Pics

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

We’ve been waiting to see the next-generation Mazda2 since the great-looking Hazumi Concept made its premiere at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. After an unexpected photo leak of the new production subcompact earlier this week, Mazda made the decision to release their full multi-media suite today as production officially began in Japan.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 2016 Mazda2, known in Japan as the Mazda Demio:

2016 Mazda2 Demio

Wow. That’s one slick lookin’ supermini, very reminiscent of the Mazda3 sedan and Mazda’s Kodo design language as a whole. There’s no doubt that this little car, complete with its characteristic shield-style grille and swooping linear body, will be winning some design awards when it finally makes its global launch this fall. Ultimately, though, Mazda’s greatest reward will be driver satisfaction, and they’ve devoted a lot of time and detail into making this car both fun to drive and easy-to-use.

2015 Mazda2 Demio pink

Let’s start with the powertrain. The new Mazda2 will likely be available with two or three different engine options, depending on the market you’re in. The baseline trim will run on a 1.3L SKYACTIV-G petrol engine outputting a conservative 77hp. This engine makes up for its low power with incredible fuel economy; Japan’s highway test cycle rated it at around 70mpg, which is probably ~45mpg by EPA standards. There’ll also be a bigger 1.5L SKYACTIV-G with 99hp which probably will be available in the US, and a 1.5L SKYACTIV-D diesel engine with 104hp which probably won’t.

Of course, the Mazda2’s fuel savings can be attributed to more than just the powertrain… The Skyactiv suite covers the chassis, transmission, aerodynamics and Mazda’s overall engineering principles for a simple but efficient approach to fuel economy.

2015 Demio Mazda2 interior

Looking inside, Mazda has overhauled the interior with a beautiful black and red color-scheme which more than holds up to the aesthetic standard set by the exterior. And it looks just as good in any of the other color-schemes available too; the interior is always tailored to match the exterior color of your specific vehicle. You’ll also find a redesigned driver-focused gauge cluster with a tablet touchscreen positioned on top of the dash, as seen below:

2015 Mazda2 Demio interior

This cool little gadget can be controlled by the dial at the driver’s side, which makes it easy to use on the road. Mazda says, “The [Mazda2] also features a wide range of cutting-edge technologies such as the Mazda Connect next-generation car connectivity system, and a wide range of i-ActivSense advanced safety features that aid the driver in recognizing and responding to hazards.”

As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to in the 2016 Mazda2 subcompact hatchback. Mazda has stated that the new model will go on sale in Japan by the end of this year, and come to the US sometime during 2015. We’ll get more details about the car prior to its global launch, probably along with some big debut at the Tokyo, LA or Paris Motor Show this fall.

Does the Hazumi Concept Preview a Premium Mazda2 Variant?

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Mazda Hazumi Concept

Previously, we hinted that Mazda may develop a premium variant of the new Mazda2 hatchback. We already knew they were planning to launch five new cars by March 2016, and this new premium subcompact is allegedly the fifth of those five. The rumor was validated earlier this week when a Japanese magazine called Holiday Auto received anonymous insider confirmation of the luxury Mazda2.

As you continue reading, we’re going to look at what those sources say about this Hazumi-inspired hatch, as well as what you can expect from the car when it eventually hits showroom floors.

The Next-Generation Mazda Verisa

You might not know it, but Mazda already has a premium-ish subcompact in Japan, although it’s extremely outdated. It’s called the Mazda Verisa (pictured below), and it’s remained mostly untouched since its original launch in 2004, the last minor refresh being in 2009. To say that it’s overdue for an update would be an understatement. As it turns out, it’s in for not just an update, but a complete replacement. Apparently the Hazumi Concept (pictured above) previews some of what that replacement will be.

2014 Mazda Verisa

We already knew that the Hazumi Concept from Geneva was intended to herald the next-gen Mazda2. Nothing about that has changed. It’s just that we now know why Mazda chose to unveil this particular concept at a major European motor show – they intend for the Mazda2’s premium variant to contend with European favorites such as the MINI Cooper, Citroen DS3 and the Audi A1.

The new Verisa will take nothing from the current Verisa except its name. It’ll be a completely new model that shares its platform with the Mazda2, although it probably won’t share any sheet metal. Holiday Auto’s inside sources indicated that the new Mazda Verisa would be globally available (unlike the current JDM-only model), and that it’d likely be larger than the outgoing subcompact MPV.

The insider elaborated about the new Verisa, saying, “It’s a luxury compact city car targeting also female users. In Japan, essentially it will be [marketed as] the Verisa’s successor… Furthermore, it is likely to add a hot version similar to Mini’s Cooper S, for which a 2.2L SkyActiv-D will be used.”

Even if you’re not a Mazda enthusiast, surely you can get excited about a Japanese-made hot hatch entering the ring with the best of the best from European automakers. Hopefully the premium Hazumi would make it into the States; it’d be refreshing to have a diesel-powered performance hatchback available.

As you can see, in the end we really don’t know what Mazda plans to bring to the table with their new premium model. However, while the upcoming Mazda2 will likely give up some of the Hazumi Concept’s flair, we hope that the Verisa successor will get a little extra. Either way, current expectations schedule the new Mazda Verisa for a 2015 Geneva Motor Show debut, so we’ll know for sure by this time next year.

2016 Mazda CX-9 Next in Line for SkyActiv Treatment

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

In the wake of the 2014 New York Motor Show, news has surfaced that the Mazda CX-9 is the next vehicle in Mazda’s lineup (after the Mazda2) to receive the ever-popular SkyActiv technology suite. However, there’s an interesting twist… Mazda is considering the development of their first-ever six-cylinder SkyActiv engine to economize its large SUV; it would be their first V6 engine since the ‘90s.

The current Mazda CX-9 operates on a Ford-sourced V6 petrol with plenty of punch, but suboptimal fuel economy. For the large SUV to meet Mazda’s efficiency standards that come along with the SkyActiv moniker, change will need to be made, specifically a change of powertrains.

Engine Options for the Next CX-9

2014 Mazda CX-9

According to Masahiro Moro, Mazda’s chief of sales and marketing, they have two options for their next-gen SUV. In an interview with Australian automotive blog Car Advice, he described how the Japanese automaker is currently favoring the use of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine which would fit well with the rest of the SkyActiv lineup. This option also fits with industry trend and should in theory be the most cost-efficient option.

Still, Moro acknowledges that opinions differ and that the bottom line is what’s most cost effective. He describes, “If I ask Mr. Hitomi, our top guy of powertrains at Mazda, he believes the downsizing turbo solution cost more [than developing a six-cylinder SkyActiv engine].” In short, a six-cylinder SkyActiv engine is possible, but decisions are still being made.

However, Mazda definitely will NOT offer a hybrid version of the next CX-9. Moro said that even a diesel variant is unlikely, although more likely than a hybrid. He explains, “With the CX-9 the main market is the USA. In general, these customers don’t have a strong preference towards diesel engines. So probably the main engine should be a petrol engine in my opinion.”

Mazda Moving to Premium Market

Mazda Hazumi Concept

The other primary benefit of developing a six-cylinder SkyActiv engine is upmarket application. Mazda knows that they will need some sort of six-cylinder engine for their future expansion into the premium segment, although whether it will be a V6 or a straight six is undecided.

While we’re talking about possible premium cars from Mazda, we would do well to mention a recent report from our fellow automotive blog, Motor Trend. According to them, the Mazda Hazumi Concept we saw earlier this year at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show was NOT merely a preview of the upcoming Mazda2. Instead, their insider tells them that it also previews a luxurious subcompact that Mazda will use to break into Europe’s premium segment. They claim that this unnamed subcompact will be the fifth of the five cars that Mazda’s CEO, Masamichi Kogai, promised to release by March of 2016.

Mazda Hazumi Concept is Everything We Hoped for & More

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Mazda Hazumi concept - Geneva Motor Show 2014

Coming into the 2014 Geneva motor show, we boldly claimed that the new Mazda Hazumi Concept would be the most exciting car of the show. Now, having seen the car in the metal, we stand by our prediction. While it may not be quite as flashy as the supercars coming from the likes of Ferrari or Mercedes, the Hazumi makes up for it by being an all-around excellent concept that’s reportedly very close to production.

Yes, you heard that right; where most automakers tend to over-promise with their show cars, the only changes between the Mazda Hazumi Concept and the next-gen Mazda2 will be minor aesthetic details such as the headlights, wheels, and door handles. This is the same tactic Mazda used with the Kodo-themed Mazda6 and CX-5, so it’s safe to assume that the overall aggressive design – intended to evoke a sort of predatory animal – will remain intact.

Instead, the biggest changes between the Hazumi and the eventual Mazda2 will likely come from the interior. As you can see below, the Hazumi concept actually features a surprisingly luxurious interior with intricate leather stitching and a bevy of high-tech features. If these features – the leather stitching in particular – remain in the new 2, it seems likely that they’d be relegated to a premium trim package.

Mazda Hazumi concept interior - Geneva Motor Show 2014

Even if the eventual production hatchback loses some flair, Mazda assures us that the eventual production model will feature an interior focused on craftsmanship, safety and connectivity.

As far as mechanics, Mazda hasn’t made any specific claims for the production Mazda2. However, the Hazumi was shown alongside a brand-new, highly efficient diesel engine. It’s the SKYACTIV-D 1.5, and it’s basically a smaller, cleaner version of the engine currently featured in the Mazda CX-5. The car also apparently utilizes Mazda’s i-STOP and i-ELOOP systems for stop-start functionality and regenerative braking capabilities, respectively. Taken together, these technologies reportedly allow the Hazumi to achieve CO2 emissions below 90g/km. Although Mazda hasn’t made any specific claims, it’s estimated that the new Mazda2 will be able to achieve at least 50mpg, if not more.

The engine, will be mated to an automatic transmission within a lightweight chassis developed specifically for the new compact hatchback. This means that the Mazda2 will meet Europe’s Euro 6 regulations without breaking a sweat, but also without sacrificing any fun-factor. Mazda reports that the engine maintains consistent torque throughout its rev range. However, an unspecified 1.5L petrol may be used for non-European customers.

Last, but not least, the Hazumi Concept also features all of Mazda’s latest safety technologies, including i-Activesense forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning. It’ll also get the entertainment goods too, such as Mazda’s MZD Connect smartphone-compatible infotainment system. Interior images indicate this system may even extend to rear passengers.

All in all, what makes the Mazda Hazumi Concept so exciting is just how close to production it’s reported to be. Even if the new Mazda2 only inherits 80% of the aesthetic and technological features seen in this show car, we’d be thrilled, and we’re guessing that most European drivers would be too. There’s no reason to believe that the next Mazda2 will do anything but improve Mazda’s European market position.

Mazda Hazumi Concept Previewed Ahead of Geneva Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Mazda Hazumi Concept Geneva Show 2014

The 2014 Geneva Motor Show is precisely one week away, so the entire online automotive community is awash with all sorts of teasers and previews for new cars and concepts. The latest and greatest Japanese car preview to come across our desk is that of the new Mazda Hazumi Concept, a small car with the potential to make a big impact for the underdog automaker.

As you might guess, the Hazumi Concept is a preview for Mazda’s next-gen subcompact vehicle, the Mazda2. The name Hazumi actually means “bound” or “spring up” in Japanese, so, as Mazda points out, it’s a name “well-suited to a small car that appears to be bursting with energy”. As long as it’s not like one of those annoying little yip yip dogs that always tries to bight your ankles.

Honestly, the above teaser alone would have been enough to get us thoroughly excited for the Mazda Hazumi Concept, but the upcoming Mazda2 is also a car to be excited about.

As you can see even from the official image alone, the car is clearly an excellent representation of Mazda’s award-winning Kodo design language, which in and of itself is largely responsible for the brand’s recent resurgence. In short, the Mazda2 seeks to follow suit with the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 – it’s simultaneously elegant and appetizing, the kind of car you’d want to be seen driving.

As far as tech-specs, Mazda has remained entirely quiet on the subject. However, the press release does indicate that Mazda will also debut a new SKYACTIV-D engine at the Geneva Motor Show next week. It’ll be a 1.5L clean diesel with unspecified power output. Obviously, it’s safe to assume that this newly developed small-displacement engine will be a perfect fit for Mazda’s newest subcompact; at least, it’ll be a perfect fit in the European market where diesels do well. Even if it’s not, though, you can bet that the new Mazda2 will be even more fun to drive than the current generation, which is saying something given the current Mazda2’s already-excellent reviews.

Last, but not least, Mazda will also have a 25th anniversary exhibit for their iconic Mazda MX-5 Miata, showcasing their incredibly successful roadster and how it’s changed (or, more likely, how it’s remained the same) over the years.

All in all, we’re extremely excited for Mazda’s contribution to the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. With three major exhibits slated for the event, there’s certainly plenty to look forward to. In all honesty, we expect that the Mazda Hazumi Concept will be one of the chief highlights of the entire motor show, from a Japanese automaker or otherwise, so stay tuned next week when we get to see the full reveal.

And, until then, thanks for reading!