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 |  Mar 31 2010, 12:11 PM

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After seeing the consumer feedback for the 2011 Mazda2 after its unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December, Mazda has decided to launch the new sub-compact in late July, starting at $13,980.

The Mazda2 will be available at two trim levels, Sport and Touring. Both come with a 1.5L four-cylinder engine claiming 100 hp. All Mazda2 models will come with either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. According to Mazda, manual Mazda2 models will get 28 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway. The automatic transmission Mazda2 also gets 28 mpg in the city while highway fuel efficiency dips slightly to 34 mpg.

Priced below its competitors in its segment, the Mazda2 Sport will come standard with 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, four-speaker audio system, power windows and locks and keyless remote.

For an extra $1,455 (for a total of $15,435), customers can get the Mazda2 Touring which includes the features of the Sport trim but adds better seat fabric, alloy wheels, fog lights, rear roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise controls and a six-speaker sound system.

Gallery: 2011 Mazda2

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 |  Dec 02 2009, 3:20 PM

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Mazda has just officially debuted the new Mazda2 sub-compact at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Designed to compete in an increasingly crowded market against car’s like the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, the Mazda2 is designed to be an affordable, sporty car that delivers what Mazda refers to as Zoom-Zoom Concentrated.

While we do know what the car looks like, Mazda hasn’t released any info on engines, horsepower or fuel-economy. 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 the newly unveiled Ford Fiesta (which is based on the same platform) comes with a 119-hp motor.

The European 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 concentrated” tag line.

GALLERY: 2011 Mazda2

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Official release after the jump:

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Report: Mazda to Cut Vehicle Weights by 220 Pounds in 2011

New products will be more compact and use smaller engines

 |  Nov 13 2009, 10:12 AM

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Starting in 2011, Mazda’s new products will be lighter, more compact and use smaller engines. The announcement comes from Mazda North America product boss Robert Davis, who specifically said that all new products will weight at least 220 lbs less than their predecessors. The decision is part of Mazda’s initiative to improve fuel economy and Davis says the reduction in weight will lead to a fuel economy improvement of anywhere from three to five percent.

While successive products have grown in size over the year, much of the added weight is due to lager wheels and tires as well as more complex safety equipment, said Davis.

To meet the 220 lb goal, new Mazdas will use lighter materials. That doesn’t mean, however, that the next Mazda3 will be sporting carbon fiber body panels, as Davis specifically said that level of engineering just doesn’t fit the Mazda cost structure. Instead, look for the use of more aluminum as well as smaller chassis overall. The size of future Mazda products should shrink with much of the space being cut up front where new smaller engines are expected to take the place of Mazda’s current lineup of powerplants.

We expect to see this new Mazda weight-saving policy reflected in future versions of the MX-5 Miata (as hinted at with the 2,200 lb MX-5 Superlight Concept, above), as well as with the upcoming Mazda2, which is set to debut at the LA Auto Show next month as a 2011 model.

[Source: AutoWeek]

 |  Nov 11 2009, 11:26 AM

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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.

See AutoGuide’s Live 2009 LA Auto Show Coverage Here Starting December 2nd

 |  Sep 18 2009, 10:19 PM

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Mazda has just announced that it will bring the Mazda2 model to market in North America late next year, to compete in the growing sub-compact market alongside models like the Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Honda Fit and Ford’s upcoming Fiesta.

“You’ve asked us for it for a while now, and we’ve been studying the market to make sure we can make a business case for it across North America,” said Mazda North America CEO Jim O’Sullivan. “As consumers’ tastes and attitudes toward small vehicles have changed, we now believe strongly there is a place in our lineup for a car below our current least-expensive car, the MAZDA3.  MAZDA2 will be true to everything that makes our cars stand apart from the competition: it will be stylish, fun-to-drive and a heck of a value. In short, it will be Zoom-Zoom.”

There is no word on any specifics about the North American model, but in Europe and Japan (where it is sold as the Demio) it is available as a three-door and five-door hatchback, while a sedan version is available in China. Several different gasoline and diesel engines are available overseas, with a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder making just over 100hp a likely option for North America.

The current Mazda2 model was introduced in 2008, when it won World Car of the Year. It is based on the same chassis that underpins Ford’s European Fiesta, which, by no coincidence, will also be on sale in North America by 2011.

Over the past 12 months Ford sold-off much of its stake in Mazda and recently announced it would bring to North America the European Grand C-Max MPV, which would compete directly with the Mazda5. The introduction of the 2, while no-doubt a pure business decision, is also very much a well-timed retaliation.