Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The New Mazda 2

Launched in October 2007 as Mazda's first new-generation vehicle to be evolved to a new level, the all-new Mazda 2 was an immediate hit with European customers, finding more than 18,000 owners through January 2008. In December last year, Mazda 2 five-door hatchback was awarded five stars for adult occupant protection at Euro-NCAP crash testing. It won a host of automotive awards as well, including Car of the Year in Austria, Belgium, Croatia and Denmark. Now Mazda 2 is about to get more popular with a new 3-door hatchback model that has all the award-winning attributes of the five-door hatchback, and is even sportier and more affordable.

Design - sportiness enhanced

The new Mazda 2 3-door hatchback builds on the five-door hatchback's exterior design - that evokes movement and athleticism using unique body panel articulation and compact dimensions - for even more sporty appeal. Its rear side window has a unique shape that, when combined with Mazda 2's rising belt line and wedge shape, communicates an even more fun-to-drive character. Fresh and dynamic-looking, its overall design communicates a calm strength achieved through formal beauty and the highest levels of build quality yet seen on a Mazda B-car. And its eye-catching design is also 4 percent more aerodynamic than the old Mazda 2 with a coefficient of drag (Cd) of only 0.31 and a coefficient of lift (CLF) of just 0.02, which helps reduce fuel consumption and operating costs, which is important to young, first- time buyers. For more sporty-minded customers, a sports appearance package is available with a special front bumper design and side sills that visually lower the car's centre of gravity, and a rear roof spoiler. On the inside, a dark keynote colour contrasts nicely with white instruments, silver accents, a three-spoke steering wheel similar to the Mazda MX-5 roadster, a silver ringed driver cluster and centre-console mounted shift lever for an ambiance that is both sporty and high quality.

Powertrains - low consumption and low CO 2 emissions

Mazda 2 3-door hatchback comes with the same petrol powertrain line-up as the five-door hatchback with engines that are lively and responsive, yet use low amounts of fuel and produce markedly less CO 2 than the engines of the outgoing model. The base MZR 1.3-litre aggregate has variable valve timing and comes in two power derivatives (depending on market): a Standard Power version producing 55 kW/75 PS and a High Power version producing 63 kW/86 PS. Both use just 5.4 litres of petrol per 100 km and produce a low 129 g/km of CO 2 emissions. The largest petrol engine is an MZR 1.5-litre that produces 76 kW/103 PS of power, while using just 5.9 litres of fuel per 100 km and producing 140 g/km of CO . 2 Also onboard is a MZ-CD 1.4-litre common-rail turbo diesel, special for the European market, with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. It produces 50 kW/68 PS of maximum power at 4,000 rpm and 160 Nm of torque at a low 2,000 rpm for lively acceleration and driving fun. At the same time, it uses just 4.3 litres of fuel per 100 km (combined) and produces a very low 114 g/km of CO 2 for low operating costs, which is a vital criteria for B-car customers. All engines come with Mazda's five-speed manual transmission with gear ratios that are between 3 to 10 percent higher than the outgoing five-speed, which contributes to lower fuel consumption.

Chassis and Safety - lightweight for low costs, with safety features equivalent to the five-door hatchback

The new Mazda 2 3-door and five-door hatchback have a body shell that is nearly 100 kg lighter compared to the previous Mazda 2. By keeping vehicle weight under the 1000 kg threshold, the new Mazda 2 reverses a general trend in the automotive industry of making each new model heavier. This outstanding result was achieved mostly by engineering solutions - like employing large amounts of strong yet light high-tensile steels and reducing weight wherever possible - but also by reducing the car's dimensions, making it agile with low fuel consumption and lower operating costs.

High tensile steel also delivers some of the B-segment's best crash safety, as was shown when the Mazda 2 five-door hatchback scored the highest possible ranking of five-stars on Euro-NCAP testing with 34 points for adult protection. Mazda 2 five-door hatchback also received an outstanding four-star ranking for child occupant protection with 37 points, making it one of the few sub-compacts to achieve this level of child protection. And for pedestrian safety, it achieved an admirable 18 points and two-star ranking. The Mazda 2 three- door hatchback's structure is reinforced around the B-pillar and in the doors, including specific side impact protection bars. Mazda 2 3-door's superior passive safety package includes six airbags (depending on grade), ABS, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), emergency brake assist, DSC and a 40 mm lower beltline and lower side mirror placement for better visibility.

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