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With the release of a new model, automakers generally see a big surge in sales. Mazda may be counting on that, or perhaps they’ve got a few tricks planned, because the company has announced it intends to sell as many as 30,000 Mazda5 models next year. Last year Mazda sold just 18,500 units of the MPV (commonly called a minivan), a 16 percent drop-off from 2008.
Mazda introduced the second-generation Mazda5 at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, and while Mazda exec Thomas Pixton has said that the car’s sporty driving dynamics and improved fuel economy will attract buyers, it’s not clear if the car will get the same 2.0-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder (with Mazda’s start-stop system) offered in Europe.
Mazda has been at the forefront of the MPV segment, competing only with the Kia Rondo. That, however, will soon change with Ford’s introduction of the Grand C-Max. Chevy also has it’s new Orlando MPV but has decided to not sell it in the U.S., while Hyundai is also rumored to be thinking about the MPV segment.
With increased competition, Mazda is also certain to put some added marketing budget behind the Mazda5, which should help it reach the 30,000 unit mark.
Mazda unveiled the second generation Mazda5 at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
The Mazda5 gets a slight facelift with elements Mazda’s “Nagare Flow” design. The new Mazda5 might even look especially happier and smilier than usual.
Under the hood is a 2.0L direct injection gasoline engine with Mazda’s i-Stop system. According to Mazda, the new engine has 15% lower CO2 emissions than the previous 2.0L powerplant. The Mazda5 will also be available with a 1.8L gasoline engine with six speed manual transmission.
Mazda pretty much owns the MPV market on this side of the Atlantic, but it faces stiffer competition in Europe and is about to get more rivals in North America from models like the Ford C-Max and Chevy Orlando. So to stay ahead of the competition, the Japanese automaker will debut an all-new second generation Mazda5 model (called the Premacy in some markets) at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
Mazda gave the 5 a facelift in 2008 and while this model looks only like a cosmetic tweak (like the new Mazda3) there’s more to it than that. In Europe the new 5 will be offered with either a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder or a 2.o-liter 4-cylinder with direct-injection and Mazda’s i-stop start-stop technology, which will reduce emissions by 15 percent. Both engines will come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard.
As for the aesthetic changes, they include some swoopy lines on the side of the car, inspired by Mazda’s recent concepts like the Nagare and Furai. In addition, it’s hard to miss the aggressive (or, as some might, say, excessively happy) front end.
Once it arrives in North America, we expect to find the company’s 167-hp 2.5-liter engine under the hood, most likely mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
GALLERY: 2011 Mazda5
Official release after the jump: