Posts Tagged ‘skyactiv’

Mazda & Toyota to Swap Green Technology, Including FCV

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 13th, 2015


As emissions regulations continue to tighten around the world, Toyota and Mazda are considering expanding their current partnership to include the sharing of more fuel-saving technology. Specifically, the new agreement would involve the sharing of Toyota’s fuel-cell technology. In a surprising turn of events, that could mean we will see a Mazda FCV even before we see one from Honda.

The news of this latest “competitive cooperation” in the auto industry comes from Nikkei. We already knew that Mazda was planning to manufacture a Toyota-badged version of their all-new Mazda2 hatch sometime towards the end of this year in exchange for Toyota’s hybrid technology. Now, as emissions regulations tighten up and development of green technology becomes subsequently more expensive, the two automakers are looking to help each other out.

2015 Mazda2

In exchange for Toyotas hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle technology, Mazda intends to provide Toyota with the mechanics behind their efficient petrol engine technology – SkyActiv. The result is a win-win arrangement for both automakers:

  • Toyota gets better engines for their own portfolio (which have fallen behind the advancement of their hybrid counterparts, relatively speaking), AND increased proliferation of hydrogen technology.
  • Mazda gets access to the world’s leading FCV technology – development of which they could never do on their own with their limited budget.

Toyota has already made some of their key hydrogen fuel-cell patents available for free to any and all of their competitors. Again, the reasoning is that the more automakers working on fuel-cell vehicles, the quicker the hydrogen refueling infrastructure can grow. As it stands, there are only 12 hydrogen refueling stations in the US.

Meanwhile, Mazda has about one tenth the R&D budget of Toyota, who just announced an $18.1 billion profit for the fiscal year. They’ve spent the past several years focused entirely on fuel-efficient conventional engines, which has left them sorely lacking in the electrification department. The pre-existing technology partnership has helped, but gaining Toyota’s FCV technology would really put them head-and-shoulders above many of their larger competitors.

Although nothing has been put in writing just yet, officials from both automakers have been cited saying that their partnership will only expand with time. In the future, Toyota and Mazda could continue sharing more parts, manufacturing and even commercial vehicles, in addition to green technology. The two automakers have very similar perspectives when it comes to manufacturing and development; they both want to sell simple, clean cars without any real flaws.

2016 Mazda CX-3 Makes European Debut as a Diesel

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

2016 Mazda CX-3 in action

Mazda has been on the upswing lately, so we were anxious to see the newest addition to their lineup at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. That car is the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3 subcompact crossover, which is already on sale in Mazda’s home market of Japan at the time of this writing.

2016 Mazda CX-3 silver

The Mazda CX-3 made a good showing at Geneva despite sharing the stage with similar offers from other big-name automakers like Nissan, Ford and, to a lesser extent, Suzuki. What makes the Mazda CX-3 different from most of the other crossovers at Geneva though is that (A) it’s a production-ready vehicle and (B) it’s powered by a diesel engine.

In fact, even though diesel cars accounted for less than 3% of all new cars sold in Japan during 2014, Mazda’s CEO Masamichi Kogai told Reuters that they would only be offering the diesel version of the CX-3 in the domestic market. He apparently believes that Japan is positioned where Europe was a few years ago. Today, half of all new cars sold in Europe are diesel-powered, so it’s clear that at least some of today’s drivers somewhere are beginning to get curious about diesel.

2016 Mazda CX-3 red

The Japanese version of the Mazda CX-3 will be sold with a new 1.5L SkyActiv-D turbocharged four-cylinder engine… You may find it interesting that this is simply a smaller version of the 2.2L SkyActiv-D that Mazda hopes to adopt in the US Mazda6 as soon as it meets their own self-set emissions and performance standards.

To briefly look at the new 2016 Mazda CX-3’s aesthetics, it follows closely in the steps of their other Kodo designed models, with the Mazda CX-5 bearing the closest resemblance. No surprise there since the cars share the ‘CX’ moniker! It has a boldly aggressive snout with an overall lively stance, but it’s been refined and simplified to appeal to a wider audience.

2016 Mazda CX-3 interior

New drivers will be able to choose from five trim levels of the new Mazda CX-3. Those trims are SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav. However, you’ll get a few standard features regardless of trim. For example, you’ll get 16-inch alloys, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, DAB radio and Bluetooth, standard airbags, cruise control, and several newer safety features like Tire Pressure Monitoring, Dynamic Stability Control and Hill Hold Assist… All regardless of trim.

A few noteworthy trim-specific features are:

  • 18-inch diamond-cut gunmetal alloys with chrome body accents and LED headlights at the Sport Nav trim
  • Lane Departure Warning & Smart City Brake for the SE-L and Sport Nav trims
  • Rear-parking sensors for all models above and including the SE-L trim
  • Bose surround sound, keyless entry and Mazda’s HUD system – Active Driving Display – in the Sport Nav trim

US sales of the new Mazda CX-3 are expected to start by summertime of this year, although we will only get access to the 2.0L petrol powertrain. Sales in Europe will likely start at a similar time, complete with the diesel option that Mazda is currently offering in Japan.

Sporty Mazda2 MPS Officially Under Consideration

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Mazda fans all over the world have been begging for a return of the Mazda Performance Series sub-brand, otherwise known as MPS or MAZDASPEED, for ages. However, Mazda has been too busy launching their line of new Skyactiv models to oblige their performance-oriented fans.

Mazda MPS logo

Today, we learned that Mazda has heard the demand, and they’re working on a solution. More specifically, it looks like the new Mazda2 may be the first car to receive the MPS treatment.

First hints of the news originally came at the Mazda2’s international launch from an interview between Australian auto blog CarAdvice and Mazda’s global sales and marketing manager, Yasuhiro Aoyama. He describes that the most likely scenario would be for the Japanese automaker to create a sports variant of their new city car as the model ages into its mid-life cycle.

2015 Mazda2

Aoyama said, “One of the challenges we are currently considering is how to maintain the product competitiveness throughout the lifecycle. Once we introduce one [new] model, [its] competitiveness will gradually deteriorate… So we need to maintain the competitiveness of the vehicles.”

He goes on to say that a sportier version would work for many markets, and that it’s definitely one of the primary options on the table. Another Mazda exec., Kengo Fukushima, ecstatically explained that he would love to have a viable competitor to the Ford Fiesta ST, and that a Mazda2 MPS could be the car to do that. However, he carefully disclaims that there are “no plans yet”.

The other interview we have comes from European auto blog, Autocar, and the Mazda2’s chief engineer, Ayumu Doi. Apparently, Doi was emphatic that the MPS sub-brand was absolutely “not dead”; instead, Mazda is carefully evaluating how they can apply their ‘Fun to drive’ mantra to a more performance-oriented model. Clearly, there are be very high expectations for any new MPS car.

Even with those extremely high expectations in mind, Doi said that Mazda would NOT forsake their Skyactiv technology and principles in favor of bespoke performance parts (like how the new Infiniti Q60 will use Mercedes-sourced engines). Instead, they would focus on chassis improvements and powertrain tuning to manufacture an MPS variant that would feel legitimately sporty without sacrificing the brand’s hard-earned image.

Mazda 2 Sporty Sketch

Either way, we’re thrilled to hear that a Mazda MPS revival is anywhere close to the drawing board. And, that we’re not the only ones wanting sportier Mazda models. As Aoyama said to CarAdvice, “We have similar requests [for MPS models] from many regions… The sportier way should be one of the best ways for Mazda to pick up and continue to raise our revenue level.”

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2012 Mazda Demio Hatchback

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 24th, 2014

Today we’re commemorating the recent winner of Japan’s Car of the Year with a truly fantastic auction find. You’ll recall that this year’s JCOTY winner was the all-new 2015 Mazda2, otherwise known as the Mazda Demio in the Japanese market where it just went on sale.

2012 Mazda Demio 13-SKYACTIV front

Of course, there won’t be any 2015 Mazda2s up for auction for a few months yet, but we’ve scoured our database to find a suitable alternative. Today’s find is a near-mint condition 2012 Mazda Demio in a fresh, cobalt blue:

There are a few special traits that separate this particular Demio from other models, but before we talk about today’s auction find, you should know how I found it. Once you’re inside the Integrity Exports Japanese car auction database, simply enter the Maker (Mazda) and the Model (Demio) and you’ll be greeted by over 300 hatchbacks that’re up for auction today.

We chose to highlight a 2012 Mazda Demio in the 13-SKYACTIV trim, and there are a few reasons why:

2012 Mazda Demio 13-SKYACTIV rear

First, 2012 puts this model in the latter half of the third-generation’s production, and this model would’ve been manufactured right after a minor facelift for the lineup. It’s as stylish as you can get pre-Kodo.

Second, the 13-SKYACTIV trim was launched in Japan in June of 2011. It introduced Mazda’s highly-acclaimed SkyActiv technology suite to the Demio lineup, including the 1.3L SKYACTIV-G engine, Mazda’s new i-Stop system and a SkyActiv CVT. Together, these technologies helped the Mazda Demio 13-SKYACTIV win 2011-12 Car Technology of the Year in Japan by having the “best balance of pleasing driving and environmental concern.”

If you’re wondering just how good the fuel economy is, this conventional gas-powered hatchback boasts an incredible 25 km/l using Japan’s JC08 test cycle, which equates to roughly 58 mpg. And that’s in front-wheel drive, in case you were wondering.

2012 Mazda Demio 13-SKYACTIV interior

Looking at the interior image above, you’ll see that this model features plush, cross-stitched fabric seats to go along with a well-kept cabin. Amenities include automatic air conditioning, built-in navigation, power windows and mirrors, and a newly redesigned dash for the 2012MY.

As a stylish and fuel-efficient supermini, this is a splendid auction find for anyone wanting a newer car with excellent all-around ratings. The overall vehicle is rated 5 and the interior is graded A, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a used car anywhere in better condition than this one.

If you’d like to learn more about today’s Japanese car auction find, continue reading below the auction sheet for a full translation:

2012 Mazda Demio 13-SKYACTIV auction sheet

Here is the translation:

“Interior A, first registered July 2012, DBA omissions code, 13 Skyactiv model, AT, AAC, service book, power steering, power windows, original TV and navigation system, airbag, one owner, smart key, digital TV, reversing rearview camera, i-Stop, 4912 km, wheels scratched, minor scratches, other marks as per map”

All-New Mazda2 Claims Japan’s Car of the Year Award

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

2015 Mazda2 Demio

Thanks to the recent Paris Motor Show, we’ve spent the past two weeks talking about all the new Japanese cars we can expect to see over the next couple of years. Today, we’re going to continue in that direction by celebrating the newly announced recipient for the 2014-2015 Japanese Car Of The Year award.

This year’s recipient?

The all-new 2015 Mazda2, otherwise known as the Mazda Demio in the automaker’s home market where the hatchback has already launched.

This is excellent news for rogue Japanese automaker, Mazda. Their newly redesigned supermini hasn’t even hit European or American shores yet, and already it’s winning awards thanks to its simple-but-efficient SkyActiv technology and suave Kodo – Spirit of Motion design language.

Japan’s Car of the Year was decided at the National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation in Tokyo Bay.

Throughout the day, it was looking like the Mercedes C-class would come out on top, but in the final stretch Mazda’s city car managed to pull ahead with 423 points compared to Mercedes’ 404. Both cars came out above the third place BMW i3, which ended the day with 340 votes, and the top three were all head and shoulders above the rest… The fourth place Subaru Levorg had just 124 votes then polls closed.

Here’s how the judging works:

  1. 60 automotive experts and journalists from around Tokyo Bay are given 25 points to vote with.
  2. Each judge must give their first choice 10 points, and no more than 10 points can be allocated to any choice.
  3. The car with the most points at the end of the day wins!

Fun fact: Some quick math will tell you that 600 is the maximum points a car can receive. The closest any car ever came to getting max points was last year when the VW Golf got 504/600.

2015 Mazda2 Demio Interior

For those who don’t remember, this is the second time in three years that one of Mazda’s new SkyActiv cars has won Japan’s prestigious Car of the Year award. In 2012, the Mazda CX-5 won the award over the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT-86 twins. It was the first-ever car Mazda released with their SkyActiv suite and Kodo design language.

Of course, Mazda knows what they did right to win the award yet again. At the event, Mazda EVP Kiyoshi Fujiwara said, “With the Mazda 2, we have rewritten the rulebook for compact cars. Our new SkyActiv technology, excellent mileage, reasonable pricing and unique design all contributed to our victory today.”

Consider this a reminder to keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming 2015 Mazda2 when it hits North American and European shores early next year.

Mazda6 Diesel Delayed Yet Again, But There’s a Silver Lining

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 19th, 2014

2014 Mazda6 Diesel Sedan

It’s been almost 2 years since the new Mazda6 was overhauled with its SkyActiv suite and award-winning Kodo design language. However, Mazda had hoped to launch a diesel-powered version of their sedan alongside the conventional Mazda6. There aren’t too many really well-received diesel sedans in the US, and Mazda thinks they can compete with Volkswagen’s Passat TDI Clean Diesel for a piece of the pie.

Unfortunately, the Mazda6’s diesel engine has been inexplicably delayed twice in 2013, then was given an “indefinite” launch date at the beginning of 2014.

After a certain amount of time it becomes hard to believe that Mazda is sincere about a diesel Mazda6 for NA, but a new report from TTAC sheds some light on what’s going on behind the scenes.

Apparently, Mazda has been stuck figuring out a way to offer a diesel engine that meets the strict and varied diesel emissions regulations of all 50 states, including California. The problem is that Mazda is trying to avoid the use of an after-treatment to reduce the engine’s emissions, but so far that’s been impossible to do.

Here’s a more detailed version of what happened:

The original diesel engine that Mazda was ready to launch a few months after the Mazda6’s launch wasn’t clean enough for the EPA. No problem – Mazda just re-tuned the engine in order to meet the emissions standards.

Simple enough, right?

Not quite. The cleaner engine gave up too much “Mazda-appropriate driving performance,” and the engine was deemed too weak to put in the sedan given consumer expectations.

So, after a year and a half of failed attempts, Mazda is back to the drawing board and reconsidering the use of an after-treatment emissions system. We’re not really sure what all the resistance was for anyways, since nearly every other diesel in the US uses a diesel exhaust fluid or some other after-treatment system.

If the Mazda6 diesel is successful, then the Japanese automaker will likely attempt to launch diesel versions of their other SkyActiv models too, such as the Mazda CX-5 or Mazda3… Maybe even the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

In the end, even though this may seem like just one more hold up in a long line of delays, we think this one is different. For starters, Mazda is no longer quoting “indefinite” as the launch date. The new report tells us to expect a SkyActiv-D Mazda6 in approximately one year’s time as a 2016 model year. Incidentally, this may coincide with a mid-cycle refresh that Japanese automaker is planning for the 6, at least if the folks over at Automotive News can be believed.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster Unveiled Today

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 5th, 2014

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata front

The day we’ve been looking forward to for nearly a year now has finally arrived. Mazda officially revealed the all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata, the fourth generation of their iconic Japanese roadster. Even though the car won’t go on sale until next year, Mazda has given us plenty of mouth-watering technical details to pique our interest. More importantly, they’ve given us pictures. Behold the next-generation Mazda Miata:

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata rear

You can see that the Japanese automaker has refined their signature Kodo design language for their iconic sports car, giving it “the presence of a living creature and a strong sense of vitality.” It definitely looks straighter and cleaner than what you might’ve expected given the curvaceous Mazda3 and Mazda6, but in a good way. Mazda had already told us to expect the new Miata to harken back to the roadster’s roots by reversing the ‘bigger equals better’ trend of recent generations. We have to say, they really pulled it off; the car looks simple, fast and fun.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster side

The specs tell us that the new Mazda MX-5 is 105mm shorter than the outgoing roadster, but it doesn’t look stubby or fat. That’s because the majority of the length was taken from the front and rear overhangs; the wheelbase is only 15mm shorter than the old model. Mazda said that they were trying to move away from the classic British roadster by making the Miata compact and low-riding with a sharp, minimalist design. In fact, the new MX-5 has the lowest center of gravity of any model in the car’s 25-year history.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata interior

To truly appreciate the engineering ingenuity that went into the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, you really have to get behind the wheel and feel the car’s agility for yourself. Just imagine – the new model is claimed to be 200lbs lighter than the outgoing model with a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. The weight reduction is largely thanks to the heavy dose of aluminum you’ll find in the all-new SkyActiv-Chassis.

Unfortunately, Mazda didn’t tell us too much about the engine. All we know is that the roadster will run on a “specially tuned SKYACTIV-G petrol engine and the first rear-wheel drive version of the SKYACTIV-Chassis.” If you do a bit of poking around, you’ll find that most rumors suggest the new MX-5 will run on a 2.0L direct-injection four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. A turbocharger is a possibility too.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Cutaway

Clearly there’s still a lot we don’t know about the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. For example, we don’t know pricing, trims, technology options or verified powertrain specs, and we don’t even have a definite arrival date. All we know is that it’ll be a 2016 model – which means it’ll go on sale in 2015 – and that we’ll definitely be hearing more about the next-gen roadster at a major auto show sometime before then, possibly in just a couple months.

Nissan Juke-Rivaling Mazda CX-3 Could Come by 2015

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

2014 Mazda CX-5

2014 Mazda CX-5

What if you could see a Nissan Juke remade from the ground up with Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV technology and Kodo design language?

We’ve been hearing rumors of a Mazda CX-3 for a while now, but this is the first time we’ve heard an official reference to the car. It comes via an interview between The Motor Report and Martin Benders of Mazda Australia.

Basically, the interview confirmed one thing: Mazda is definitely interested in the compact crossover segment. They are officially gearing up to jump on the Nissan Juke bandwagon. Benders elaborated, saying, “There is opportunity there [in the compact SUV segment], absolutely. We’ve made it clear that it’s an area we’d like to be represented in.”

In the interview, The Motor Report used a bit of psychological trickery to pry a little more info out of the Mazda Australia boss. They bemoaned the fact that all previous rumors indicated a distant launch date for the CX-3, prompting Benders to say, “Oh, it’s not that far away.”

Brilliant, The Motor Report, simply brilliant! This means we can probably expect the Mazda CX-3 as early as next year, perhaps as a 2016 model year. This would fit with Mazda’s previous commitment to launching five new SKYACTIV models by the end of 2016.

As you can probably guess, the new CX-3 would fit into the Japanese automaker’s lineup right below the Mazda CX-5, and would likely share much of its design with the larger SUV. However, it’s looking like Mazda will take the CX-3’s platform and powertrain options from the new Mazda2. Previous rumors suggested that the crossover would share its design with the new hatchback too, but this report implies that Mazda will maintain a rugged SUV feel with the car’s design.

If the Mazda CX-3 does in fact make it to production with the Mazda2’s powertrains, that’ll mean drivers will choose between a 1.5L SKYACTIV-G petrol and a 1.5L SKYACTIV-D diesel (depending on the market). No further powertrain options have been hinted at, but it wouldn’t surprise us if Mazda teased a sportier engine option closer to the crossover’s launch date. That’d be a great way to build some extra hype.

Either way, compact crossovers make up one of the fastest growing segments on the market, so it’s no wonder that Mazda is anxious to get a competitor out on the field. And, it explains why they’d leak this new timeline information to TMR. All in all, we’re thrilled to hear that the Mazda CX-3 is “not that far away,” and we’ll definitely keep you updated as we learn more.

Thanks for reading!

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.