Mazda Motor Corporation has always used the Geneva Motor Show as a venue for important global premieres and this year is no exception with the ﬁrst showing anywhere of the all-new Mazda2. More than simply a model update, Mazda’s new B-car has been redesigned from the ground up and is the ﬁrst of Mazda’s acclaimed new-generation line up to be evolved. It delivers a superior package of attributes that will appeal to a growing global market for sub-compact cars.
Zoom-Zoom – Mazda began using this expression with the launch of its ﬁrst new-generation model, the Mazda6, in 2002. It expresses the love of motion and is used by children to imitate the sound of an engine. And it has always been more than merely a brand slogan. It describes Mazda’s ultimate goal: to provide customers, who never forgot the love of motion they felt in childhood, with an exhilarating driving experience.
Now, Mazda is unveiling the all-new Mazda2 at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. The new Mazda2 is not just a model change from the current Mazda2, but the ﬁrst of Mazda’s new-generation line up to evolve to the next stage. It reﬂects not only Zoom-Zoom passion, but also a range of capabilities reﬁned in a severely competitive environment using input from customer feedback around the globe. The aim was to further reﬁne Mazda’s DNA – distinctive design, exceptional functionality, and responsive handling and performance – while enhancing driving quality attributes such as ride comfort and quietness and meeting global environmental and safety performance standards. The all- new Mazda2 represents an evolution of Zoom-Zoom. With this new model, Mazda aims at strengthening the Mazda brand and further expanding its presence in the global B-car segment, especially in Europe, where the segment has grown by around 10% in the last six years and where more than one car in four is a B-car.
In developing the new Mazda2, Mazda took a fresh look at the global sub-compact car market, where there is intense competition among many diverse brands and vehicles, and worked to identify the truly important attributes for a global B-car. These attributes include superior fuel efﬁciency, which is crucial for low running costs and reduction of CO2 emissions; easy-to-drive functionality and operability; Mazda’s unique dynamic performance, which delivers enjoyable, comfortable driving; and a design that instantly grabs attention. While many other carmakers have enlarged their small cars, Mazda was able to reduce the size of its B-car with the new Mazda2 (-40 mm now at 3885 mm) and still meet the mainstream demands of sub-compact customers while enhancing safety .
With the look of the new Mazda2, Mazda’s mission was to embody its next-generation design direction in a way that would appeal to a wide range of people in many global markets. Given that customer preferences differ from market to market, Mazda considered various design directions with a view to satisfying all the diverse expectations. Designers then reﬁned the ﬁndings of the study in pursuit of an exquisite and dynamic design with a distinctive Mazda identity. Blending sharp contours with clear expressions of gentleness, they created a look that has global appeal.
With the goal of expressing reﬁned dynamism, the designers further evolved the look of athletic movement that characterizes Mazda’s DNA. At the same time, they worked to create forms that would convey a sense of precision in line with the Japanese appreciation of simplicity of form and objects that are beautiful because of their simplicity. The key to the new look was a design concept described by the design team as ‘exquisite and dynamic’. Here, ‘exquisite’ denotes the designer’s desire for the design to possess forms that express beauty and a carefully considered dynamism. Designers and modellers scrutinized each line, contour, and other design expression in line with their vision of dynamism, even taking into account the relationship between the car’s exterior look and the space-efﬁciency of the cabin. This discriminating approach gave the exterior and interior of the new Mazda2 a dynamic character that’s immediately recognizable.
Some of the design elements were ﬁrst publicly seen in the Mazda SASSOU design concept model that debuted to great acclaim at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. In line with the positive feedback from Frankfurt, the designers carried them forward and reﬁned them for the production model.
In line with an exterior design theme of ‘coordinated movements’, the visual movements created by the car’s silhouette, the lines of the body, and the patterns of light over the body were combined to create dynamic, multifaceted expressions not typically seen on a B-car. The resulting exterior design exudes a powerful energy that makes the new Mazda2 look as though it’s about to move even when it’s parked. Expressing dynamic movement within the body’s limited dimensions was a major design challenge. For those looking for an even sportier look, a Sports Appearance Package is available (depending on market).
By pursuing beauty in the transitions between each expression of movement, the design team realized forms that have natural-looking visual movements and convey subtle craftsmanship. The diversity of visual expressions – the body has sharp lines but also conveys softness and gentleness, and it has ﬂowing lines but also conveys a sense of solidity – is a unique attribute achieved by following the ‘coordinated movements’ design theme.
Mazda2’s interior design theme was ‘a space that communicates movement’. Whereas most B-segment cabins have monotonous design treatments with ﬂat surfaces, the interior design team made the new Mazda2’s cabin strikingly different through contoured forms that combine reassuring thickness with strong visual movement.
The instrument panel helps to create a sense of space despite the cabin’s compact dimensions; its design creates lateral visual movement from the centre toward the base of the pillar on each side by means of a recess that runs from side to side between the instrument panel’s upper and lower sections. At the same time, the instrument panel’s middle area has a substantial form that communicates a unique character. A contrast between silver accents on a black keynote colour adds further sportiness and individuality to the cabin. Plus, distinctive circular details contribute to a fresh, emotionally appealing look and feel.
Most B-segment car buyers want a day-to-day means of getting around and running errands, so it’s vital for a car of this size to be easy to drive and easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces such as car parks. With the new Mazda2, functionality and operability were improved in various ways based on driver-focused ideas and in line with how a B-car is actually used.
The design of the Mazda2’s shoulder line, which is angled significantly downward toward the front of the car, is complemented by low mounting points for the door mirrors to afford the driver good downward visibility toward the front and sides. The good visibility makes turning into and driving on narrow roads and looking past the door mirrors to check for pedestrians when turning at junctions all the easier. Furthermore, the new Mazda2 has superior driver-seat adjustability, which is combined with an ergonomic design in which the position of the gear lever is higher for easier shifting.
When designing the cabin, items young drivers would be likely to have in their cars were also considered and the interior team redesigned storage spaces – such as the glove box and ﬂoor console – based on these ﬁndings. For instance, the new glove box features a magazine rack that allows users to access travel guidebooks and road atlases without having to open the glove box itself. Also, the ﬂoor console between the front seats has a large rear tray stable enough for storing handbags and other personal items. A 60:40-split rear seat (depending on grades) guarantees convenience and luggage space to meet daily needs. There is a total of 250 litres of luggage space.
Performance that gives the driver conﬁdence is essential for true driving enjoyment. So the new Mazda2 exceeds conventional levels of dynamic performance with agile but stable handling, high body rigidity, strong stopping power, a conﬁdence-inspiring brake feel, and comfort-enhancing quietness. Plus, the new Mazda2 has a comprehensive powertrain line up that combines superior fuel economy with enjoyment and driveability.
Mazda is serious about improving fuel efﬁciency as a way to reduce CO2 emissions and other exhaust gases that place a burden on the environment. So the new Mazda2 minimizes weight as a means of increasing fuel economy. Even before full-ﬂedged development of the car was under way, a special team was busy devising weight-saving techniques using the latest computer-aided engineering technologies. The team incorporated these techniques into prototype vehicles and conducted evaluations of the resulting low weight on dynamic performance, ultimately achieving signiﬁcant weight savings together with superior Zoom- Zoom driving enjoyment. Through measures that included body-structure optimization and increased use of high- tensile steel, engineers not only made the new Mazda2 about 100 kg lighter than its predecessor, they also achieved major improvements in terms of safety, body rigidity, and noise, vibration, and harshness – all attributes that conventionally mean more weight. With the additional beneﬁts of enhanced powertrain technologies and aerodynamic performance, the new Mazda2 delivers some of the best fuel economy in its segment (up to about 15% better than the previous model). Underpinning the weight-saving technologies in the new Mazda2 is a new platform that reﬂects Mazda’s expertise in the development of small cars.
With the new Mazda2’s chassis, engineers pursued superior dynamic performance through brisk, nimble handling, through stability that inspires confidence even at motorway speeds, and through a ride that’s quiet and feels steady but mild. The lightness and rigidity of the body played an important role in maximizing handling and ride quality. With regard to handling, engineers targeted manoeuvrability and agility on urban roads, brisk, linear steering response and high grip on winding roads, and superior straight-line stability and confidence-inspiring lane-change behaviour on motorways.
To help achieve these targets, various grades of high-tensile steel sheeting give the body superior local rigidity. The light, highly rigid body shell also ensures optimal geometry in the car’s MacPherson-strut front suspension and H-type torsion- beam rear suspension, whatever the driving conditions.
The new Mazda2 will be launched initially with two petrol engines: the MZR 1.3-litre DOHC (standard and high-power derivatives depending on market) and MZR 1.5-litre DOHC. For the European market, a fuel-efﬁcient, clean-running MZ- CD 1.4-litre diesel engine will be introduced a few months later. Each engine combines the superior fuel economy expected in a sub-compact car with a lively performance feel that’s pure Zoom-Zoom.
The 1.3-litre DOHC and 1.5-litre DOHC MZR petrol engines each have a sequential valve timing system and optimized exhaust-valve timing, which together realize superior cylinder-charging efﬁciency at all engine speeds. The 1.5-litre DOHC engine additionally has a variable induction system , which ensures smooth, strong torque delivery throughout the rev range. These technologies ensure highly controllable, linear acceleration and brisk throttle response, so drivers in everyday situations can enjoy the lively engine performance that’s a hallmark of Mazda.
A fundamental requirement for safety is dynamic performance that allows the driver to conﬁdently control the car in exact accordance with his or her intentions. So the all-new Mazda2 has handling that realizes predictable steering response and superior straight-line stability and a braking system that consistently delivers linear braking force in response to pedal inputs. For customers in Europe and Australia, dynamic stability control is available as an option, that further enhances active safety by helping to control side slip. For passive safety in the new Mazda2, an evolution of the unique, high-rigidity, high-safety Mazda Advanced Impact Distribution and Absorption System body structure realizes superior crash resistance by dispersing impact energy throughout the car in the event of an impact from any direction. The body structure is complemented by dual front airbags as standard, with front side airbags and curtain airbags available on option. Also, the bonnet, fenders, and wipers are designed to help minimize injuries in the event of contact with a pedestrian.
The all-new Mazda2 is an urban vehicle that’s comfortable and safe to drive, with a strong element of Zoom-Zoom fun thrown in. While being affordable and inexpensive to run with excellent fuel economy, it delivers virtually the same level of Zoom-Zoom fun as Mazda’s larger vehicles. It’s a delight to drive, a joy to own, fun to use, and the most personable car in Mazda’s line up. For the development of this all-new model, the perspective was broadened from a Japanese one to a global viewpoint. Mazda is conﬁdent that the Mazda2 will earn the respect of many customers and that it will strengthen and expand the presence of the Mazda brand in sub-compact car markets. The new Mazda2 will be produced in Japan.