2016 Mazda2: KODO-fied
Ah, the lucky number 7. The Earth has seven seas, there are seven colours in a rainbow, and for the first time in seven years, the Mazda2 has finally been redesigned. Undergoing its North American debut at the recent Montréal International Auto Show, the exterior, cabin area and engine have all been significantly changed. Here’s a preview of the new micro-compact car set to launch globally this fall.
KODO — Soul of Motion
The 2, known as the Demio in Japan, was long overdue for a refit to keep it congruent with the new face of Mazda seen on the current-generation Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3. The aesthetics are derived from the KODO (loosely translated as heartbeat in Japanese) “Soul of Motion” philosophy that mimics man and nature — think a martial artist striking with a sword, or water gently but purposefully flowing down a river.
On the outside of the car, this concept is shown by elements such as the Mazda2’s dramatically larger five-point front grille that extends down into the bumper; the snazzy multi-element headlights that line up perfectly with the grille’s chrome garnish; the hatchback’s squatted stance; and the unique curves in the sheet metal.
Compared with the outgoing the model, the interior receives some big upgrades in the form of more luxurious-looking materials and the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) cockpit design. The familiar floating information display screen can be seen installed above the dashboard, controlled by the HMI Commander Switch, a rotary knob that also has push and tilt functions.
Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV engineering is a suite of technologies that improve fuel economy, increase performance and lower emissions. It encompasses everything from using more efficient, smaller displacement engines to lightening all the materials used to build the car.
Mazda says they’ve “rethought the full range of these technologies in developing them for the B-segment class.” That includes making a more compact transmission and finding an ideal driving position and pedal layout, because — not to throw more Japanese at you — the company is big on “jinba ittai,” which in this case means the connection between the driver and the car.
Official engine specifics are sketchy at best, but the automaker has confirmed that the Canadian market will be receiving the new SKYACTIV-G 1.5-litre, four-cylinder motor when the vehicle is released later in the year.