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The success of the second-generation Mazda2 since launch has been phenomenal. Together with the second-generation Mazda6, it has played a leading role in Mazda being one of Europe’s fastest-growing brands this year. Offered in both three and five-door versions, it has found over 60,000 owners in Europe, earned five-stars for adult occupant protection from Euro-NCAP and has won a host of automotive awards including the coveted World Car of the Year 2008. This year’s Paris Motor Show sees Mazda’s compact star at centre stage again, this time with a 1.6-litre turbo diesel added to the line-up, all other engines upgraded to use less fuel, and several product enhancements that will make it even more popular with European customers.
Powertrains – MZ-CD 1.6-litre Diesel
Adding a new range-topping turbo diesel to the Mazda2 line-up makes an already fun to drive car even more so. It produces 66 kW/90 PS of maximum power at 4,000 rpm and 205 Nm of maximum torque at a low 2,000 rpm. Under the sporty exterior of Mazda2’s lightweight body and coupled to a precise-shifting five-speed manual transmission, it delivers lively acceleration with no turbo lag for Zoom-Zoom driving fun, and a top speed of 173 km/h. It is also refined and smooth operating. It has a rigid yet lightweight aluminium alloy cylinder block with cast iron liners and a dual-mass flywheel to help minimize vibrations. Its high-pressure common-rail injection system has multiple injection phases that maximize combustion efficiency and lower combustion noise.
One of the reasons Mazda2 is this year’s World Car of the Year is because it is nearly 100 kg lighter and more compact than the previous Mazda2. Lower weight means less fuel consumption, lower operating costs and fewer harmful emissions. The newly-introduced MZ-CD 1.6-litre diesel has a DOHC, 16-valve configuration that gives an optimised air-fuel swirl pattern in the combustion chamber and better overall combustion efficiency, which not only translates into power, but power with surprisingly low fuel consumption. The new Mazda2 turbo diesel uses just 4.2 litres of fuel per 100 km – one of the most frugal engines in this segment with a displacement this size.
The engine combines low consumption with an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system that is similar to the system of the MZR petrol engine series. Control of the EGR system is achieved by electronically regulating the opening of the EGR valve to optimise the amount of EGR mixed with intake air. Mixing inert gases in the intake lowers the production of NOx. And the MZ-CD 1.6-litre turbo diesel comes standard with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter system.
Vehicle Updates for 2008
With the launch of the second-generation Mazda2, a new era of Zoom-Zoom appeal was introduced from the award-winning Mazda design team. Called “exquisite and dynamic” by its designers, both the hatchback and three-door display a unique mix of sharp edges that flow into the body panels softly for a subdued formal dynamism. Body lines, like the rising swage line below the doors and the character line above it, along with strong and sporty-looking front wheel wells, create a dynamic surface treatment with changing light effects. And it is one of the most streamlined models in its class. Compared to its predecessor, it has a lower drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.31, a front projected area that is 4 percent smaller and reduced lift at the front and rear axles, all of which contributes to lowering fuel consumption and high-speed stability.
New on the Outside
Several vehicle updates are introduced to the Mazda2 line-up to make it even more appealing and attractive. The Mazda2 Sports Appearance Package now includes new, dark-grey 16-inch alloy wheels (the previous silver wheel can be ordered in some markets) and a newly designed, four-cylinder front headlamp. These features, added to the package’s front and side spoilers, special front air intake and grille designs and rear roof spoiler, differentiate the sports version of the Mazda2 even further. Two new body colors are also introduced: Passion Orange Mica and Aluminium Metallic Mica.
New on the Inside
Since launch, Mazda2 has been a favourite of young drivers throughout Europe, not only for its exciting and stylish design, but also because of its interior, which delivers a roomy feel and space for five adults to travel in comfort and style. One of the quietest interiors in the B-car segment, the Mazda2 has an instrument panel that tapers at the ends for a roomy feel, and the centre console is solid and well crafted with a high-mount shift lever at the bottom for easy shifting. And there are insightful storage solutions like an open magazine rack in the glove box, a good sized floor console including a space to store a handbag, cupholders, space for a half-litre bottle in each front door pocket, and up to 787 litres of luggage space with the 60/40 (depending on grade) folded down.
The interior design has now been updated with silver accents throughout for an enhanced quality feel. Its three-spoke wheel, similar to the MX-5 roadster, now has a silver bezel, and silver has been added to the inner door handles, the park brake button, the shift boot, the top of the shift lever, and the auto AC dial. The centre panel is now a high-grade glossy black, the door trim inserts are changed to cloth, and the meter cluster now has black-out meters (depending on grade).
The Mazda2 1.6 MZ-CD turbo diesel will be introduced on the European market in early 2009.
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