By Justin King
Thursday, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 9:37 am
 

Following on the heels of several leaks, Mazda has officially previewed the fourth-generation Mazda2 subcompact ahead of its official debut at the Paris show in October.

Official renderings show a production hatchback that remains remarkably faithful to the handsome Hazumi concept that debuted earlier this year in Geneva. Clearly the result of Mazda's Kodo styling language, the design is highlighted by a bold shield-shaped grille that flows into narrowed headlights. In profile, there's the look of a truncated Mazda3, complete with similarly sinewy character lines and a rising beltline.

The 2016 Mazda2 - known in global markets as the Demio - is expected to stretch 159 inches long, 59 inches tall and 66 inches wide, dimensions that make it six inches longer and about an inch taller than the outgoing 2.

Inside, it appears that the next 2's cockpit is also heavily inspired by the larger Mazda3. The two cars share roughly the same instrument cluster, the same three-spoke multi-function steering wheel and the same dash-mounted screen, but the 2 gains round air vents and a model-specific center console.

Mazda promises it has gone to great lengths to make the next 2 noticeably quieter and more comfortable than the current model. Additionally, the company will cater to buyers who want a premium small car by offering the 2 with a long list of high-tech convenience and safety features gleaned from larger cars like the aforementioned 3 and the 6.

Powertrain Lineup

We expect the 2 will be offered with Mazda's latest 1.5-liter SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder engine. The new mill will match the current car's 100-horsepower rating, but torque will grow from 98 lb-ft. to approximately 111 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, and a new CVT will replace the 2's optional four-speed automatic.

The company has confirmed plans to launch the hatchback with the 1.3-liter SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine in Japan, likely with 83 horsepower and a matching torque rating. Domestic buyers will also have access to a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine rated at 103 ponies and a healthy 184 lb-ft. of twist. Mazda has not announced if the oil-burner will be available on these shores.

Finally, industry rumors indicate Mazda could launch a highly-efficient variant of the 2 powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of a small rotary engine and an electric motor linked to a high-capacity battery pack.

We'll have full details on the 2015 Mazda Mazda2 when the hatchback makes its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. The subcompact will go on sale across the nation early next year.