Geneva '08 Preview: Mazda2 three-door confirmed
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Add another ride to the list of cars we'd love to have, but can't. Mazda has confirmed that it will unveil the 3-door Mazda2 at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Dimensionally equal to the 5-door and offering the same selection of powertrains, the sporty Mazda2 3-door hatchback definitely takes the win over its sibling in the looks department and is sure to garner a following in Europe. More photos and info are likely to surface as we get closer to Geneva, but to tide us over, Mazda has released the rear three-quarter shot you see here. You can read the automaker's press release after the jump.
NEW MAZDA2 THREE-DOOR TO DEBUT AT GENEVA SHOW
The new Mazda2 three-door hatchback will make its world premiere on Tuesday 4 March at the 78th Salon International de l'Auto de Genève. This is the first time that Mazda has offered a three-door variant in its popular Mazda2 model range. The newcomer will feature all the attributes of the five-door hatchback, but delivering an even sportier feel at a more affordable price.
The new Mazda2 three-door hatchback is designed to attract new customers and boost Mazda's continued growth in the European market. It comes with the same powertrain line-up – the lively and responsive MZR 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines and the MZ-CD 1.4-litre turbo diesel – as the five-door hatchback. These engines achieve high fuel efficiency together with particularly low CO2 emissions.
The three-door Mazda2 shares the same overall dimensions as the five-door and achieves a similarly modest kerb weight, model for model. The five-door Mazda2 has already demonstrated that by completely redesigning the body and chassis and implementing Mazda's unique 'gram strategy', the brand's small car weight could be reduced to under the 1,000 kilogram threshold. This outstanding result reverses the industry trend towards bigger and heavier cars.
Launched in September 2007 as Mazda's first new-generation Zoom-Zoom vehicle to evolve to the next level, the new Mazda2 was an immediate hit with European customers. In December 2007, it was awarded a 5-Star safety rating by Euro-NCAP and it has won more than 20 automotive awards. These include Car of the Year awards in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Greece and New Zealand, along with the Japan RJC Car of the Year.
The Geneva Show will also witness three Mazda European debuts: the Mazda Taiki concept car, equipped with a next-generation rotary engine, the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid and the upgraded Mazda's RX-8 four-seater, four-door sports car.