Magazine-thin laptops, MP3 players and bite-size candy bars are just a few examples of good things that come in small packages. Now, for the first time in North America, Mazda is introducing its own affordable, fun-sized creation - the 2011 Mazda 2. A stylish, eco-friendly, fun-to-drive five-door hatchback, the Mazda 2 is Zoom-Zoom in its most concentrated form - compact and efficient, yet packed with style and substance. It will launch into the North American market in late summer, 2010.
Mazda 2 is the latest in a line of stylish, insightful and hugely fun-to-drive small cars from Mazda, and will bring an all-new level of refinement to the segment, as Mazda 3 did for the compact C-Car market. Mazda 2 is a car that only the engineers at Mazda could have created. It was designed and engineered from scratch to be a pure Mazda, offering the sort of driving experience that could only come from the company that developed the timeless Mazda MX-5 two-seat roadster, and it brings a combination of athletic design and dynamic performance to the subcompact class that simply does not exist at this time.
Originally launched in 2007, the new Mazda 2 was first introduced in Europe, Japan and Australia. Its launch created a unique offering in the B-car (subcompact) segment, especially through its distinguished design and outstanding driving performance. Since then, it has been highly acclaimed throughout the world, winning 48 automotive awards, including "Car of the Year" accolades in many markets, including Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Bulgaria and Greece. Notably, the Mazda 2 was selected as the "2008 World Car of the Year" (WCOTY) at the 2008 New York International Auto Show and has established a distinguished position in the B-Car segment. To date, total global sales have reached approximately 370,000 units in the three years since its introduction, and Mazda 2 is now recognized as one of the global models which symbolizes the essence of the Mazda brand.
While developing the new Mazda 2, Mazda took a thorough look at global subcompact car trends and carefully worked to identify the truly beneficial values that could be infused into a global B-Car. As a result, the new Mazda 2 adds Mazda's unique brand values such as exhilarating driving performance and eye-catching design to the segment without sacrificing the basic requirements for subcompact cars: superior fuel efficiency, high crash safety performance and ample passenger space. In fact, while other carmakers have increased the size of their small cars, Mazda's first mission was to analyze and define the optimal size of a compact vehicle. This resulted in a very efficient body size for the new Mazda 2 without sacrificing attractive features that consumers desire.
With the Mazda 2, Mazda evolved the athleticism that is inherent to the Mazda design DNA in pursuit of bold and diverse expression of movement. The basic form of the new Mazda 2 is characterized by a combination of dynamic performance, sportiness and simplicity that leaves a strong visual impression. While competitors are producing compact cars with a focus on a boxy body form to prioritize functionality, Mazda shortened the body overhangs and trimmed the corners to the greatest extent possible as a way to provide a form that is compact and sporty, conveys a sense of stability and inspires confidence. By carefully creating a base form and then giving it energetic character lines befitting a B-car, Mazda created a design that is highly distinctive, but timeless.
Mazda pursued a concentrated, taut form for the body as a virtue in itself, not to simply reduce the car's body size. This creative background was advantageous in efforts to achieve maximum dynamic performance within the new Mazda 2's compact body. In other words, the Mazda 2 possesses the essence of Mazda's spirit of compact, sporty dynamic performance - "Zoom-Zoom Concentrated."
Exterior Design Theme: "Coordinated Movement"
In pursuit of a solid form and a richly expressive exterior design, Mazda established an exterior design theme of "coordinated movement". In line with this theme, the design team combined the visual movements created by the car's silhouette, its body lines, and the way in which patterns of light played on the body to create dynamic, multifaceted expressions not typically seen on a B-car. These expressions exude a powerful energy that makes the new Mazda 2 look as though it is moving while standing still. Key exterior design elements include: a sporty wedge shape that conveys a strong sense of forward motion; a deeply sculpted form in which the body is drawn inward fore and aft of the A-pillars; and distinctive character lines that extend from the front fender arches to the body shoulders.
Dynamic Performance Not Found on Competitors in the Segment
Mazda focused on realizing driver-oriented maneuverability and confidence-inspiring driving dynamics for a Zoom-Zoom driving experience that is unique in this segment. At the same time, Mazda maintained a development focus on delivering high cost-effectiveness in situations ranging from day-to-day driving to long excursions on a weekend. Specifically, Mazda worked to make the new Mazda 2 economical to own in terms of fuel costs through its excellent fuel economy and improved durability.
A Powertrain for Sporty Performance with Great Fuel Economy
The Zoom-Zoom driving experience that Mazda strives for has two key attributes: 1) a sense of linear acceleration and deceleration that responds crisply to how far the accelerator pedal is depressed, allowing the driver to control car speed as desired; and 2) a sense of liveliness through immediate response to the accelerator for quick off-the-line acceleration and overtaking. The development team targeted a performance feel reflecting enhancement of both of these key attributes without adversely impacting on the Mazda 2's superior fuel economy as a subcompact car.
Nimble Handling and a Stable Ride
The new Mazda 2 inherits a highly regarded suspension system, which has MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion-beam axle at the rear. With improved steering and braking systems, the resulting dynamic performance yields consistently responsive handling and a smooth, stable ride that draws much from the legendary MX-5.
Superior Quietness and Aerodynamics
In order to create more comfortable day-to-day driving, Mazda took various countermeasures to achieve a quiet cabin environment. Mazda also improved the coefficient of drag values to achieve better aerodynamics, contributing not only to the Mazda 2's quietness, but also to a more sporty ride and fuel efficiency.
Harmony Between Sporty Driving Performance and Environmental and Safety Features
In order to form the best balance between lower fuel consumption, outstanding driving dynamics and top-level safety performance, the new Mazda 2 reflects the close attention paid to minimizing weight through its smaller body shell, optimization of the structure, extensive use of high-tensile steel in its body and many other weight-saving measures implemented throughout the car. Under this approach, Mazda made the best use of weight-saving know-how, similar to the "gram" strategy employed during the development of the MX-5 sports car. As a result, the Mazda 2 has achieved world-leading crash safety ratings (five stars in the Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the highest possible result) without compromising driving performance and fuel economy.
The Security of a B-Car's Functionality and Maneuverability
In line with the way B-cars are mainly used as day-to-day commuters, with a driver-oriented development philosophy, the Mazda 2 has achieved a level of drivability and nimbleness that enables easy maneuverability, even in small car-parking areas and other tight spaces.