It may have only just been updated, but a new generation of Mazda 2 could appear soon with more efficient powertrains.
Mazda’s entry-level 2 hatchback and sedan this year received another largely cosmetic facelift, which had led to speculation it could be wiling away its remaining years like the Mazda 6.
But Japanese outlet Best Car Web reports a next-generation 2 will appear somewhere between September 2024 to March 2025, becoming the latest member of Mazda’s “7th generation product group” that started with the current Mazda 3.
New powertrains will reportedly include a plug-in hybrid e-Skyactiv R-EV powertrain like the larger MX-30, featuring a rotary engine, as well as a version of Mazda’s Skyactiv-X powertrain.
In the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV, the drive unit operates as a series hybrid rather than a parallel hybrid. That means the 55kW and 830cc displacement rotary engine’s job is to generate charge for the electric motor rather than directly driving the wheels.
The rotary will also spring to life when more power is required than the battery level can deliver to the motors – for example, when accelerating – based on the degree of accelerator opening.
In the MX-30, the eSkyactiv R-EV powertrain achieves a claimed 85km combined-cycle electric range. It uses a 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery, which powers a 125kW/260Nm front motor.
A Skyactiv-X powertrain, potentially using a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with a 24V mild-hybrid system, could feature.
Mazda’s Skyactiv-X powertrain uses a mixture of compression ignition and spark ignition across its rev band to improve fuel efficiency, and has been offered on the 3 and CX-30 – albeit with a larger four-cylinder engine.
The current 2 uses 5.0L/100km on the combined cycle in automatic guise for 2024, though the base Pure manual uses an unchanged 5.4L/100km.
According to Best Car Web, the next Mazda 2 will feature a “cute, rounded design”.
While it was first launched in 2014, the current 2 isn’t the oldest member of the Mazda lineup. That would be the current Mazda 6, launched locally in late 2012.
The Mazda 2 received a facelift for 2020, with the company trimming the line-up and adding more safety equipment and a commensurately higher base price.
The current car has already been replaced in Europe by a rebadged version of the Toyota Yaris. Amusingly, the inverse was done in North America, with Toyota briefly offering a lightly restyled Mazda 2 there as the Scion iA and later Toyota Yaris iA.
Last year, the Mazda 2 was the third best-selling light car in Australia with 5146 sales. That put it narrowly ahead of the Kia Rio (4576) and Suzuki Swift (4405), but behind the discontinued Suzuki Baleno (6124) and the indefatigable MG 3 (16,168).
MORE: Everything Mazda 2
MORE: 2024 Mazda 2 review