The All New MAZDA 2

Mazda 2

SKYACTIV Technology and the KODO – Soul of Motion design theme team up again, this time in the subcompact B segment. Enhanced for a subcompact’s dimensions and market distinctions, the all-new Mazda2 features a wealth of class-beating and confidence-inspiring qualities.

■ A small package brimming with Sustainable Zoom-Zoom in an uncompromising combination of performance, safety and the Mazda2’s best fuel economy ever.
■ Advanced lightweight design connects form and function with the most technologically sophisticated equipment to date, including:
• MZD Connect, Mazda’s safe and easy to use in-car connectivity system (available only on R variants)
• An evolved human-machine interface (HMI) optimised for the Mazda2 interior
■ Mazda’s contender in the highly competitive B segment, which represents approximately 20 per cent of the Philippines new automobile market.
■ All New Mazda2 is scheduled for delivery in both five-door Hatchback and Sedan starting July 2015.

The striking KODO style conveys Mazda’s characteristic vitality and agility. With lines and shapes expressing strength and pent-up energy waiting to be released, this is clearly no ordinary subcompacts.

■ Features the signature wing Mazda grill and glinting predator-like headlamps of other KODO-based Mazda along with the solid stance, muscular character lines and rear-leaning cabin
■ Longer wheelbase with smaller overhangs opens up space for occupants and powertrains while also enhancing stability and passive safety
■ Defies the “one-motion” style popular in the B segment, with A-pillars moved 80mm to the rear and overall height virtually unchanged, likewise ignoring other design limitations typical for this class of car
■ Eight body colours including the special SOUL RED (not all colours are available across all variants).
■ Standard 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels on R variants, with 15-inch aluminium alloys or steel wheels on other variants.

Like the exterior, elements of style in the cabin actually help make the all-new Mazda2 more comfortable and ergonomic. Cabin designers also raised the bar for interior craftsmanship and material quality. And their efforts have paid off.

■ More spacious with:
• added front shoulder room, a wider centre console and more rear knee clearance and legroom
• vast driver’s seat adjustment range to go with tilt/telescopic steering, enabling drivers of different sizes to find the ideal position
• entry and exit easier than ever, even in tight parking spots
■ Repositioned A-pillars and side mirrors provide a better forward field of view and a wider viewing angle
■ Coherent layout and clear arrangement of controls simplify operation and build driver confidence
■ Inspired interior styling highlights and craftsmanship aim to set a new global benchmark in this class, instilling the cabin with a quality look and feel
■ Snug Jinba Ittai fit of seats with better hold, higher seatbacks and special vibration-stifling materials
■ Remarkably versatile boot capacity with minimal obstructions and an enhanced liftgate and boot opening

Among the most remarkable features of the all-new Mazda2’s cabin are the extraordinary degree of cutting-edge technology – particularly for a car in this class – and the unprecedentedly user-friendly layout concept that makes these systems so safe and easy to use.

■ Two-zone cabin puts the driver at the cockpit’s focal point, giving passengers a securely comfortable environment:
• enhanced human-machine interface (HMI) designed for exceptionally safe interactivity
• all driving-related controls and data enable quick reactions with minimal eye and limb movement
• Active Driving Display* on R variants – a segment first – projects the most important real-time driving data directly into the driver’s forward field of view
• other driving information appears in the sporty new instrument cluster
• 7-inch display* on R variants on the dash above the centre stack (for communications and infotainment functionality) operable either via the optimised rotary commander on the centre console, voice command or touchscreen
■ Always online with MZD Connect**,
Mazda’s in-car connectivity system, which works with iPhone or Android smartphones to safely access a variety of free mobile content via Aha, a cloud platform-based service:
• features tens of thousands of stations as well as personalised location-based services and Twitter and Facebook audio feeds
• comes with Mazda vehicle apps like Eco-display, maintenance reminders and warnings, allowing drivers to track e.g. fuel consumption
• can be controlled using the rotary commander or voice command
• also supports iPod, MP3 and CD playback, terrestrial radio, SMS and readout functions
■ More effective and energy-efficient climate control system
■ Rear parking sensors*
* Availability depends on equipment package
** Optional service


“Rightsized” SKYACTIV-G 1.5 direct injection petrol engines featuring:
■ Natural aspiration, low mechanical resistance and a 12:1 compression ratio (world’s highest in a mass-production model**) for most versions
■ A specially designed 4-1 exhaust system and enhanced fuel spray properties to counter the drawbacks to high compression along with earlier knock control to improve cold-engine fuel efficiency

SKYACTIV-G 1.5 (108PS)
■ 79kW/108PS at 6,000rpm & 139Nm at 4,000rpm

SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission:
■ Special version for small-displacement petrol engines
■ 17kg lighter than previous SKYACTIV-Drive gearboxes
■ Features a wider lockup range for even smoother starts and “sport” mode for extra torque and enhanced acceleration

Segment-beating responsiveness and passive safety protection have arrived in the Philippines’ subcompact class with the SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body. The perfect complement for SKYACTIV powertrains, they give the all-new Mazda2 an uncommon level of refined ride comfort for the segment to go with its class-leading blend of low-speed manoeuvrability and high-speed stability.

■ Connects the driver to the car in true Jinba Ittai fashion, with:
• a faithful and predictable linear steering response and enhanced feedback
• lower steering gear ratio with stiffer mounts for added linearity
• an ideal balance between steering lightness and stability
■ Lighter yet stiffer suspension with optimised geometry and enhanced shock absorbers for a smoother ride
• first Mazda with a friction control function on the front and rear shocks
■ Performance-enhanced brake system:
• fine-tuned for easier operation, more control and a quicker response
• feels progressively firmer the harder one applies the brakes

■ Lighter yet stronger than the previous generation model:
• lightweight high and ultra-high tensile steels now make up 65 per cent of the body (up from 53 per cent), also allowing developers to eliminate certain parts and shed further weight
• torsional (twisting) rigidity increased by 22 per cent while reducing bodyshell weight by 7 per cent
■ Top class aerodynamics:
• air flow streamlined and balanced to prevent vortex formation behind the vehicle
• shapes around the car optimised to minimise resistance, from bumpers to mirrors to spoilers
■ One of the smoothest riding models and quietest interiors in its class despite being so lightweight by:
• using sound-absorbing materials to block noise paths into the cabin
• enhancing the bodyshell’s shock absorbing function and suppressing unwanted powertrain
vibration and noise

Active safety

■ Standard ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and EBA (Electronic Brake Assist, DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and TCS (Traction Control System)

Featuring body structures that effectively absorb and disperse impact energy away from the cabin, the all-new Mazda2 offers remarkable occupant and pedestrian protection for its class.

■ A SKYACTIV-Body that is more secure on all sides despite its lightweight design, with stronger materials, straight, continuous architectures and reinforced joints:
• significantly more ultra-tensile steel in places like the cabin side frame, cabin floor, A-pillars, roof rails and side sills
• 22 per cent extra torsional stiffness yet 7 per cent lighter than the body of the outgoing model
■ Longer wheelbase with larger front-end crumple zones help absorb energy, channelling it around the cabin using a multi-load path concept
■ Cage structure for the cabin controls the flow of energy for excellent side impact protection
■ Optimised rear frame set-up improves crash safety e.g. during an offset rear impact
■ Front airbags have been adapted to the smaller cabin size to restrain occupants earlier
■ Seatbelts equipped with pretensioners and load limiters front and back
■ Interior trim and components redesigned to better absorb shocks
■ Bonnet, cowl and front bumper structures changed to protect the head and legs of pedestrians

2. Introduction
Getting serious about small

Having to improve on a good thing time and again is a challenge, to say the least, and it’s something Mazda has had a lot of practice at. This came in handy when developing the all-new Mazda2. The objective was no less than to blow away people’s expectations of subcompacts.

After all, this is the car that would contend for sales in the B segment, while replacing an outgoing model that kicked off its lifecycle as 2008 World Car of the Year.

The all-new Mazda2 offers more of everything: It’s longer with a bigger wheelbase and a more spacious interior to go with the generous level of equipment for a subcompact. This includes the Active Driving Display, the segment’s first headup display, as well as the MZD Connect smartphone connectivity system.

And it does so without gaining weight, either, thanks to Mazda’s relentless pursuit of unneeded grams. In doing so, the carmaker actually improved collision safety with a stiffer body and chassis. More is less in other ways, too, like with fuel economy and emissions or cabin noise.

But none of this comes at the expense of performance. In a segment dominated by downsized engines, Mazda’s right-sized engine is a breath of fresh air – and perfectly suited to the carmaker’s patented driver-and-car-as-one handling. Drivers will notice a confidence-inspiring degree of poise and usability: This car has truly grown up.

It’s all packed into an extraordinarily attractive KODO – Soul of Motion exterior that shelters an innovatively ergonomic and pleasingly refined cabin destined to make occupants forget they’re actually riding in a subcompact.

All the experience building the first three award-winning new generation Mazda has gone into the fourth. Already named Japan Car of the Year 2014-15, the all-new Mazda2 demonstrates that practice makes perfect when it comes to outdoing oneself.

The iconic Mazda MX-5 roadster is probably the best-known example of Mazda’s obsession with weight. But it is the Mazda2 that represents perhaps the most radical implementation of the company’s gram strategy, which has the engineers looking for any potential, no matter how small, to shave off extra ballast.

Mazda cut significant weight off the outgoing model relative to its predecessor – no small feat for a subcompact. This time around, they’ve managed something no less impressive. Namely, maintaining the weight on the all-new Mazda2 while upsizing the car – 14cm longer and taller than the outgoing model – and also adding a class-leading array of safety, connectivity and infotainment features and systems. And making the bodyshell 22 per cent stiffer despite being 7 per cent lighter.

Mazda did it by substituting lighter, stronger materials: High-strength steels of 440MPa or more now make up 65 per cent of the body, up from 53 per cent, with the proportion of ultra-high strength steels (780MPa and up) increased from 10 to 30 per cent. Mazda also modified the vehicle’s structures, using 1,180MPa steel for the A-pillars, for example, so they could be slimmed down to cut a few more grams (and improve visibility). Using stiffer materials for body panels like the floor pan also enabled these to take on added structural functions, in turn allowing the removal of certain frame members.

3. Exterior
Not your conventional subcompact

The all-new Mazda2 is the fourth Mazda with a KODO – Soul of Motion design. Having already raised the bar for the award-winning designs of its other new-generation models, which share traits like a solid stance, muscular lines, a rear-leaning cabin and an overall look that says forward momentum, the convention-defying carmaker has inadvertently given momentum to people’s rising expectations of what will come next from the house of Mazda.

Concentrating such vibrancy and emotion into Mazda’s smallest model, to be offered as a five-door hatchback and a 4-door sedan, did not make the task any simpler. But, always up to a challenge, Mazda’s designers contemplated what the competition was doing. And then did something different. Instead of following the typical B-segment “one-motion” style, which moves the A-pillars forward to make the cabin look roomier and more practical, Mazda defied convention when re-engineering KODO for subcompact dimensions. And although KODO’s unique proportions might at first glance appear to come at the expense of practicality, they also managed to build in unparalleled real-world utility.

The front axle was moved 80mm forward and the A-pillars 80mm towards the rear. Together with the higher rear shoulders along with larger tires with a wider track and minimal wheel-arch clearance, the short overhangs give Mazda’s new subcompact a well-planted footing – another KODO trademark. The load appears to fall on the rear axle, like a sprinter in the starting blocks, but the added room up front also opens up space for the bigger wheels, SKYACTIV powertrain and a more substantial crumple zone in case of a frontal impact.

The Mazda2 is a global model. Besides looking good, it needs to satisfy a diversity of needs, particularly in the cabin. So Mazda grew the all-new model by 140mm in length relative to the outgoing generation and added 80mm to the wheelbase – both now among the class leaders.

It’s also slightly taller, although this is virtually imperceptible. Therefore, it can still comfortably seat four adults and even has a smaller turning radius (4.7m vs. 4.9m*) than the outgoing Mazda2, improving the already nimble manoeuvrability one might expect from a fun-to-drive subcompact – and absolutely mandatory for a vehicle with the Mazda badge.

Up front, what first strike the eye are the piercing low-slung headlamps and signature wing grille.

That KODO is literally in motion, evolving with every rendition, is best seen on the grille of the all-new Mazda2. The distinctive chromed signature wing, a defining feature of Mazda’s new-generation line-up, now presents an even more formidable, three-dimensional look. The bold chromed “wings”, whose sculpted finish suggests quality and dignity, pass through the headlamps on a contour that continues down the side of the body. There it is joined by more of KODO’s distinctive character lines, which in this case defy the design limitations that normally hold sway in the B segment.

Underlining the new Mazda2’s stylish consistency, the uppermost of these lines ends at the horizontal rear combination lamps, which encroach well into the tailgate. Featuring an immediately recognisable U-shaped lighting signature, they nicely complement the headlamps and enhance the power expressed by the rising shoulder line and steeply inclined rear window.

Fresh and lively, the all-new Mazda2’s look will stand out from the B-segment competition. And entice an assortment of drivers to open the door and get behind the wheel.

4. Interior
Free to move

One might think there would have to be trade-offs with a subcompact between roominess and stylistic freedom. But as on the outside, the all-new Mazda2’s interior style elements work in symbiosis with comfort, craftsmanship and ergonomics.

It starts when first getting into the car, something people notice when it’s difficult. Mazda therefore optimised the height and shape of the door openings to ease boarding and exiting the all-new Mazda2 in spite of its lower A-pillars and compact-looking roofline. Designers even took the path of a person’s foot into account when determining the best shape for the doors, greatly simplifying getting in and out in tight parking spots where the doors can’t open fully.

Once inside, the all-new Mazda2 is unconventionally roomy. Instead of using upright seating to maximise space utilisation, Mazda created room elsewhere, optimising the shape of the instrument panel, and using leaner seatbacks and headrests. The carmaker was thus able to add 12mm of front shoulder room, 6mm between front occupants and their doors, 20mm between the driver and front passenger, and 12mm of width to the centre console*. That, of course, adds up to more comfort, more versatility and better side impact protection.

As a world model, the all-new Mazda2 needs to fulfil a variety of needs and accommodate people of different sizes. With this in mind, Mazda designed the cockpit to comfortably handle those measuring between 1.50m and 1.90m. At 260mm, the driver’s seat offers the most frontback slide adjustment scope in in its class, while 45mm of telescopic range was also added to the existing 50mm of steering wheel tilt.

A shorter cabin usually compromises the pedal layout, but here KODO came to the rescue: By moving the front wheels forward, Mazda was able to position the pedals just as optimally as on the larger Mazda3. So, together with the seat and steering wheel adjustment possibilities, even tall drivers can extend their legs normally and operate the vehicle in a degree of comfort usually reserved for larger and pricier vehicle segments.

The boldly flared fenders allowed interior designers to maintain the horizontal positioning of the back seats – even though the sides of the all-new Mazda2 converge towards the rear. With the wider centre console and front occupants further apart, communicating with those in the back is that much easier. And thanks to slimmer front seatbacks with concaves, rear passengers also have 19mm of additional knee clearance.

As for the seats, Mazda took inspiration from its other new-generation models. Specifically, the company strove to provide the snug Jinba Ittai fit for the desired driver-and-car-as-one experience and cornering hold Mazda aims to deliver in all its vehicles. But at the same time without detracting from overall ride comfort. As a result, the seats feature higher seatbacks and 30 per cent more contact area with the occupant’s body. They also utilise a new type of urethane to minimise unwanted input and vibrations, and adjust hold to the lower back and upper body according to lateral forces, providing added support during hard cornering. And like other aspects of the cabin, they’re built to satisfy a variety of different physiques.

Designers were also aiming to heighten the joy of ownership with an exceptional level of craftsmanship and an inspired interior design. The climate-control louvers are a good example of these efforts, with three round and one cleverly understated horizontal vent positioned in symmetry across the dash.

Their stylish arrangement not only heightens the quality look of the interior, but also accentuates the roomy, open feeling – an effect emphasised by the uncluttered dash space above the line connecting the louvers, as no centre stack divides the front of the cabin.

If advanced comfort makes for a more enjoyable drive and a finely crafted interior stimulates anticipation for the next journey, then a coherent layout providing a clear overview builds confidence about the experience behind the wheel. Subcompacts need to be easy to drive, as they are often the first choice for first-time drivers. And the all-new Mazda2 gives the driver outstanding visibility in all directions.

Positioning the A-pillars further towards the rear widens the overall viewing angle. Streamlining the side mirrors and relocating them from the A-pillars to the doors, meanwhile, add to the new model’s segment-leading visibility by eliminating a blind spot. This, of course, makes it easier to see obstacles and pedestrians – including smaller children – on the side of the road and at intersections.

A subcompact, of course, should manoeuvre well in tight spaces like parking lots and garages, even in reverse. The all-new Mazda2 excels here, since the driver can see objects out the back, even those low to the ground, and accurately judge distances as a result.

It’s all part of the unique heads-up cockpit concept Mazda’s new subcompact inherits from the remarkably ergonomic new-generation Mazda3: The cabin is split into two zones – one focused on driving and the other on connectivity and infotainment – and features an evolved version of Mazda’s innovative human-machine interface (HMI), which includes a head-up display, 7-inch touchscreen, rotary commander and more.

They may be small, but superminis tend to be used daily, meaning there is much in the way of loading and unloading. The all-new Mazda2’s boot holds a better-than-average 280 litres (or 950 litres with the rear seats folded down), but what really stands out is its versatility.

With fewer obstructions, there’s enough space for a large 72cm suitcase or standard-size baby stroller. Fold down half the 60:40 split rear seatback*, and you can even carry a golf bag. The opening is now extra-practical, with a 52mm wider bottom edge and straightened corners. And the floor of the opening is lower, so even heavy objects can be loaded or removed with smooth, natural movements. Easier to open, reach and close, the liftgate is more user-friendly, too.

5. Connectivity, Functionality and Equipment
In a higher league

Remarkably ergonomic for any class, Mazda’s new-generation interior brings outstanding user-friendliness to the B segment. The idea is to give drivers the full benefit of all the car has to offer in the way of advanced infotainment and connectivity functionality, but still keep their eyes on the road and operate the vehicle in absolute safety.

The engineers therefore split the cabin into two zones. The cockpit zone puts the driver at the focal point, with all driving-related controls positioned for quick and easy strain-free access: No wasted energy and minimal eye movement. The passenger zone, meanwhile, is designed for comfort and a secure feeling of roominess. And relaxed operation of the all-new Mazda2’s infotainment systems, which now include in-car online connectivity care of MZD Connect (see box).

The basis for the enhanced usability of the Mazda cabin is the company’s continually evolving human-machine interface (HMI).

Its elements include the Active Driving Display, the first head-up display in the segment. The device projects key real-time driving data into the driver’s forward field of view. Minimal focal adjustment is required, and the display even adapts automatically to ambient light. To avoid information overload, the Active Driving Display shows only three items at once, changing according to priority. For example, an active safety warning will supplant speed until the associated hazard has passed.

Other driving information can be found in the sporty instrument cluster initially launched on the new-generation Mazda3. It features a single large analogue tachometer with integrated digital speedometer* in the centre flanked by smaller wing-shaped gauges displaying the trip odometer, fuel gauge and temperature, among other things. Infotainment features, meanwhile, are concentrated on the 7-inch display located on the dash above the centre console. These functions can be controlled either by touch-screen, voice command or via the rotary commander on the centre console.

The commander has been streamlined for the all-new Mazda2 to better suit the narrower console and for more intuitive blind operation than ever. It now requires less movement to navigate, and has three buttons at the front (“navigation”, “home” and “audio”) and two just behind it (“back” and “favourite”). Also new is a soft rubber palm rest for more comfortable operation.

Voice command offers another safe means to interface with the new model’s systems while driving, whether accessing the internet via MZD Connect, searching for music or contacts on the connected smartphone.

Great effort clearly went into making the all-new Mazda2 remarkably straightforward – and of course fun – to operate. It simply feels natural to the driver, from the positioning of the gear shift lever and Drive Selection switch** to the accelerator pedal, now more precise with a hinged organ-style setup that is easier on the driver’s ankle. And Mazda’s labors have paid off, particularly in combination with improvements to the car’s ride comfort, stability and powertrain response.


First introduced on the Mazda3, Mazda’s in-car connectivity system is now destined for the B segment on the all-new Mazda2. MZD Connect*** allows people to safely and easily connect to the internet and social networking services when in transit – something many Mazda2 buyers will consider essential.

Hook up an iPhone or Android smartphone to MZD Connect via Bluetooth (or USB cable) and enjoy a surplus of mobile content via the cloud platform-based Aha service. It features tens of thousands of stations, from radio and podcasts to audio books, as well as personalised location-based services and Twitter and Facebook audio feeds, including “like” and “shout” functionality.

Operated either via the new rotary commander on the centre console or voice command, MZD Connect builds upon Mazda’s SMS and readout functions. At the same time, it supports iPod, MP3 and CD playback as well as terrestrial AM/FM radio reception, including high-quality digital audio broadcasts (DAB). MZD Connect also comes with Mazda’s own vehicle apps like Eco-display, maintenance reminders and warnings, allowing drivers to track things like fuel consumption.

6. Powertrains
Driving people
SKYACTIV Technology has been the target of praise on all new-generation Mazdas to date. But even though they’re lightweight and exceptionally efficient, adapting SKYACTIV powertrains for the B segment was still a challenge. The subcompact class is, after all, a market of its own with certain distinctions and limitations.

Mazda’s engineers therefore focused on making the most of SKYACTIV’s strengths, optimising its essentials for the sporty yet forgiving nature of the all-new Mazda2 while omitting anything unnecessary. But still delivering Jinba Ittai oneness with the car, a predictable, natural linear response to driver input, and the sense of control key to the exciting Zoom-Zoom nature of all Mazdas.

Obviously, the engine and transmissions would have to be smaller yet still deliver the superior blend of performance and fuel economy synonymous with SKYACTIV powertrains.

Mazda’s latest subcompact is equipped with the right-sized SKYACTIV-G 1.5L petrol engines. Admired on existing new-generation Mazda for their unique responsiveness and fuel efficiency, the naturally aspirated direct-injection powerplant feature high compression and low mechanical resistance.

This is because linear accelerator response is particularly important in a subcompact. Consider a typical day-to-day situation like decelerating into a roundabout, maintaining a more or less constant pace through it, and smoothly accelerating out again. Even an inexperienced driver needs to be able to predict the pedal behaviour, so Mazda designed the throttle to give consistent feedback to the driver while ironing out jerky behaviour and unwanted bursts of speed. That builds confidence and makes driving more enjoyable.

The Mazda2 is available with the SKYACTIV-G 1.5. Like the version launched on the Mazda3, Mazda2 features a 12:1 compression ratio and 4-1 exhaust manifold, putting out 85kW/108PS. Torque-wise, both produce 139Nm at 4,000rpm.

Bucking the trend towards petrol engine downsizing and turbocharging, Mazda continues to win over customers with its naturally aspirated high-compression SKYACTIV-G powerplant.

Core technology
■ Unusually high 12:1 compression ratio, the world’s highest in a mass-production passenger car*
■ A special fuel-saving 4:1 exhaust manifold, which:
• lowers the in-cylinder compression temperature to help prevent knocking
• improves the scavenging effect and with it combustion efficiency
• delivers extra torque – especially at low rpms
■ A piston cavity for quick, uniform ignition and a better combustion process
■ Multi-hole injectors to adjust the fuel spray for even distribution, also enhancing in-cylinder cooling to suppress knocking
■ A smaller cylinder bore to minimise cooling losses
■ A high tumble port for superior ignition with more even flame distribution, producing more torque
■ A revised oil lubrication structure, which reduces resistance and with it the loss of oil pressure
■ Continuously variable sequential valve timing (SV-T) on the intake and exhaust valves, which:
• improves low-end torque together with the longer 4:1 exhaust
• maximises low-load fuel economy by allowing more hot exhaust gas recirculation
• suppresses knocking under heavy load by increasing air flow to improve torque output

The bottom line
■ Exceptionally free-revving thanks to smoother valves and piston rings
■ Up to 11 per cent more torque, but with around 20 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions** (running on normal RON 91 octane petrol)


These six-speed gearboxes are just as much fun as those on existing new-generation Mazda, only now even lighter, more compact and with less resistance thanks to thinner casing material and an improved shift-linkage mechanism. Combining competition-beating torque capacity with lower drag, they also weigh 5-7 per cent less than the outgoing Mazda2’s five-speed and require 45 per cent less transmission oil. The upshot: superior fuel economy.

A new small version of the six-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic is built especially for smaller displacement petrol engines, it delivers the same direct, quick shifting manual-like feel, smooth acceleration and outstanding fuel economy of larger SKYACTIV-Drive versions.

Mazda omitted the one-way clutch on this automatic, used a smaller planetary pinion, torque converter and valve body, and optimised the transmission case shape. As a result, it is 17kg lighter than the version from the Mazda3 and Mazda6 with a wider lockup range (93 per cent as opposed to 89 per cent) for even smoother standing starts. It also features “sport” mode, which delivers more torque and an enhanced acceleration response at the flick of the Drive Selection switch located just behind the gearshift.

7. Chassis & Body
Unconventionally well-rounded

A new level of refinement: Now featuring the SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body, the all-new Mazda2 gets the light, crisp handling, lightweight strength and advanced passive safety protection praised on other new-generation Mazda. In fact, it eclipses the B-segment standard for smooth responsiveness.

The bottom line is significantly advanced comfort and a confidence-inspiring stability that in many cases surpasses what the best global subcompacts have to offer. And at the same time, the company enhanced the already exceptionally fun-to-drive nature of the outgoing Mazda2, magnifying the Jinba Ittai oneness with the car inspired by the iconic Mazda MX-5. Especially around town, where a contender in this segment needs to make driving effortless. But also on country roads and high-speed motorways, because otherwise it wouldn’t be a Mazda.

Aiming to deliver a faithful steering response with a fine balance between lightness and stability, simply downscaling the platform for the Mazda2’s smaller wheels and shorter wheelbase wasn’t enough. So Mazda updated the suspension with the SKYACTIV-Chassis concept, increasing the caster angle of the front wheels, for example, to enhance feedback and the already outstanding steering response. The front MacPherson struts were retuned for better comfort, while the mounting positions for the rear torsion beam setup were raised to suppress impact shock and improve wheel grip – both best-in-class. And that breeds superior high-speed stability. The new subcompact is also the first Mazda with a friction control function on the front and rear shocks, which makes for a smoother ride and better initial steering response.

Speaking of steering, the SKYACTIV-Chassis improves upon a very good thing, as the all-new Mazda2 responds even more faithfully and predictably to driver input. Here again it was about balancing the car’s agile fun-to-drive nature with a reassuring experience – two aspects that normally work against each other. The engineers therefore tightened the steering gear ratio from 15:1 to 14:8, requiring less steering wheel movement to provoke the same response, and changed the steering gear mounts to boost linearity.

The new model also improves the outgoing Mazda2’s front ventilated disk brakes and solid disk brakes, but now performance-enhanced for precise, linear control. The pedal stroke, for example, was tweaked for easy operation and a faster response. The retuned brake booster allows better speed control in tight places like car parks as well as for frequent moderate braking in the city. Developers were aiming for a progressive pedal feeling: smooth at first and increasingly firm when braking harder. But with no initial delay, since the system is stiffer than before and requires less fluid.

Like its chassis, the all-new Mazda2 inherited the same outstanding SKYACTIV-Body architecture used on other Mazda models, only with a simpler frame layout and optimised shapes to enhance its lightweight strength. Body stiffness has thus been boosted by 22 per cent over the current model, yet the bodyshell is still 7 per cent lighter despite being larger. Mazda put its gram strategy into action, looking exhaustively for ways to reduce weight with advanced body structures and materials. But of course without compromising strength, comfort or passive safety. In a new approach, the company’s engineers enhanced the cross-sectional shape of certain frame members for greater strength while removing others, instead adding sturdier panels to assume their structural function. The entire floor pan, for example, is now a structural member.

As in other new-generation models, Mazda also significantly increased the proportion of high-strength steels on the Mazda2 from 53 per cent to 65 per cent. Lighter yet stronger than conventional steel, this approach allowed the company’s engineers to eliminate parts and cut even more weight. Ultra-high tensile steels, meaning those rated at 780MPa or more, now make up 30 per cent of the body’s total. And 1,180MPa grade steel was used for the first time on a Mazda bodyshell: in the A-pillars, roof rails, and certain cross-members and side sill reinforcements. The doors, too, are lighter with fewer parts, but still deliver improved side impact protection.

A lighter car is more efficient, with better performance from the same engine output as well as improved fuel economy and lower emissions. But it’s also more susceptible to vibration and noise. Especially in a subcompact, which by nature has the occupants in close proximity to the engine. Mazda countered such drawbacks on the all-new Mazda2 with a range of anti-NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) measures such as:

■ Blocking noise paths into the cabin and channelling the noise into special sound-absorbing materials
■ Improving floor panel beads for 5dB less radiant cabin noise
■ Separating suspension resonance from body cavity resonance to maintain a quiet, smooth cabin environment at different speeds, road surfaces, trip durations, altitudes, etc.
• 15 per cent less noise on rough roads
• rear passengers can converse with those at the front even when travelling at high speeds
■ Enhancing the bodyshell’s shock absorbing function in clever ways, like adjusting the stiffness of rear seat mount brackets so that seat movement counters car body deformation from road input
■ Supressing powertrain vibration and noise (especially the unpleasant low and high-frequency variety) while tuning acoustics for a pleasant acceleration sound in the cabin
■ Reducing cabin wind noise thanks to the vortex-supressing shape of the A-pillars and side mirrors, the position of the wipers (with minimal protrusion above the bonnet), and the stiffness of the doors

8. Safety
A people-centric approach

The all-new Mazda2 was meant to be comfortable, fun to drive and confidence inspiring.

Standard equipment includes the latest generation of automated vehicle safety systems, including ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and brake assist (EBA) as well as stability control (DSC) and traction control (TCS).
Nevertheless, should an accident occur, the lightweight yet remarkably strong SKYACTIV-Body effectively absorbs and disperses impact force from any direction to suppress cabin deformation. Optimised to deliver the same outstanding protection as the Mazda3, Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5, the all-new Mazda2’s SKYACTIV-Body compensates for its size with stronger structures and materials. So in spite of being 7 per cent lighter than the outgoing model, it delivers 22 per cent better torsional (or twisting) stiffness thanks for example to a significantly higher proportion of ultra-high strength steel in strategic locations like the cabin side frame, A-pillars, roof rails and side sills.

During a frontal impact, a multi-load path structure absorbs the forces and distributes them over different paths around and away from the cabin. Front frame members are supported by the side sills and B-frames to form a continuous architecture, which protects the cabin. An impact-absorbing extension on the front suspension cross-member initially absorbs energy before separating to form an effective crumple zone in the engine compartment.

And to simplify repairs and minimise costs, easily replaceable bolt-on parts like the bumper and suspension cross-member crush cans deform during a low-speed impact to protect other parts around the engine compartment.

The cabin has been strengthened by linking the roof members, B-pillars and underbody into an uninterrupted ring structure, with ultra-high tensile steel for key frame members and parts of the floor. The underbody and sides of the cabin are thus 15 per cent stronger than in the outgoing Mazda2, yet still lighter. And at the back, the all-new model gets the x-shaped bumper reinforcing members used on other new-generation models.

Inside, front, side and curtain airbags have been adapted for the smaller cabin to restrain occupants earlier. Pressure sensors were also added to front doors for quicker and more precise side impact detection. Front and back seatbelts have pretensioners and load limiters, and the seats themselves
have been enhanced to protect occupants’ chests while preventing whiplash and hip movement. Like other Mazdas, interior trim is designed to better absorb shocks and protect the head, chest and ribs.

As far as pedestrians are concerned, the angle of the front of the bonnet was adjusted and internal bonnet shape revised with holes and cut-outs to allow more give upon contact with a pedestrian’s head. The cowl panel, meanwhile, was given an s-shape cross section to absorb energy should there be contact with the windscreen. Finally, energy absorbing foam was added to the front bumper to protect the legs, while a lower bumper stiffener helps prevent legs from sliding under the front of the car.


Eli has 28 years of extensive IT sales expertise in Data, voice and network security and integrating them is his masterpiece. Photography and writing is his passion. Growing up as a kid, his father taught him to use the steel bodied Pentax and Hanimex 135mm film and single-direction flash, Polaroid cameras, and before going digital, he used mini DV tape with his Canon videocam. He now shoots with his Canon EOS 30D. Photography and blogging is a powerful mixture for him.

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