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You might not know it, but Mazda already has a premium-ish subcompact in Japan, although it’s extremely outdated.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.
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.