2011 Mazda2 Front Three Quarters Static
The Mazda2 will slide into the growing subcompact (or B-segment) market, which includes the Honda Fit and upcoming Ford Fiesta. The Mazda2 happens to be derived from the Fiesta platform, and the two share a 155.2-in length. As for the Fit, the Mazda is smaller than the Honda in all exterior dimensions, due in part to its short overhangs and trimmed corners. At 58.1 in, the Mazda2 cuts the Fit's height by 1.9-in. The 2's wheelbase is 0.3-in shorter, too, at 98.1-in. Like the Fit, the Mazda rides on MacPherson struts up front and a torsion-beam axle out back.
Thus far, the sole engine announced for the Mazda2 displaces 1.5-liters. Mazda has not revealed the engine's output for North America, but, in Europe, the engine makes 102-hp and 87 lb-ft of torque. Transmission options consist of a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual. Both route power to front tires sized 185/55R15.
2011 Mazda2 Rear Quarter Panel
Stressing the importance of lightweight construction, Mazda followed a weight-savings plan that, it says, was similar to the "gram" strategy used for the latest MX-5 Miata. For the wee roadster, the engineers weighed every component, no matter how insignificant it seemed, to make each gram count. As for how the process worked for hatchback, we aren't sure: Mazda hasn't released weight figures as of yet for the U.S.-spec Mazda2. But, if you want a hint, the lightest European-spec model tips the scales at roughly 2100-lbs.
The Mazda2 has the laurels and the admiration of the international press. We'll find out soon whether its success translates when the Mazda2 goes on sale late summer 2010