Mazda has chosen the LA Auto Show as the venue to introduce North Americans to its sub-compact Mazda2. Based on the same architecture as the upcoming 2011 Ford Fiesta, Mazda will be competing with Ford in this segment, which is already populated by vehicles like the Honda fit, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent.
Currently sold in 3-door and 5-door hatchback form overseas, it is not clear if both versions will be available in North America, or if Mazda (like Ford) will deliver a sedan version. Also unclear is what sort of engine will power the car. In Europe and Japan, the 2 comes with either a 1.3-liter or 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, with the larger engine making 101-hp. That output number seems too low for U.S. customers and would be less than any of its competition. Even overseas, the Fiesta can be had with a 119-hp motor.
The Mazda2 is, however, incredibly light (weighing just 2,100 lbs in base trim), which could help it deliver ideal performance. However, as we’ve seen with cars like the Mazda3, Mazda often prefers to use a larger displacement engine, helping make sure it delivers on its “Zoom-zoom” tag line.
What we can be sure of is that the 2, like the rest of the Mazda lineup, will get a sporty design and high quality materials inside.
AutoGuide’s live coverage of the LA Auto Show starts December 2nd.