• Oct 22nd 2010 at 9:01AM
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2011 Mazda2 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Mazda2 is a hoot to drive. It's a lithe, driver-focused machine that's entertaining despite its lack of power. This Mazda, like most cars from the automaker, places a priority on the driving experience, but in doing so, falls short in some other categories. The Mazda2 doesn't offer class-leading fuel economy, for example, nor does it boast the functionality of some other vehicles in its class. Case in point: the manual transmission model offers 29/35 miles per gallon city/highway. Not bad, but many cars in this class now top 40 mpg.

With the next-gen model, Mazda plans to completely overhaul the powertrain and employ its new SKYACTIV engine and trans technology, resulting in a Mazda2 that not only competes with others in the segment, but at least in terms of efficiency, has a chance to blow the competition away. The automaker says the upcoming 2 will hit 70 mpg and we're guessing that the lofty estimate comes after some preliminary testing under Japan's generous rating system. Even with that said, the next-gen 2 could become the world's most efficient gasser.

The next Mazda2 will launch in Japan in early 2011 and should head this way within a couple of years. When it does, it could become the U.S.' most efficient B-segment vehicle, and that has us eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Photos copyright ©2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'll believe it when I see it.

      Maybe they broke into GM and stole that secret 100 mpg carburetor.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I know someone that seriously believes they had one of those until GM took it back when the car was in for repair.
      • 8 Months Ago
      If this was true I'd buy on in a heartbeat.

      Too bad it's just hypothetical crap.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "lack of power".
      That could be dangerous here in SoCal, on a short on-ramp.
      Sometimes you have to get up to matching speed quickly here.
        • 8 Months Ago
        not really, you just have to have good timing and a set of balls.
      • 8 Months Ago
      At the moment they're using high-strength steel for the frame, they could go aluminum space frame like the Audi A2. They could also tweak the aero a bit (it's already top in the segment at that) and add a new aluminum cast direct injection engine coupled to a twin-clutch transmission. They could well be making a ~900kg compact, relatively aerodynamic vehicle with a highly efficient gasoline powertrain, my guess is they'll hit 60mpg with that, more if they have the guts to go more radical at things.
      • 8 Months Ago
      so there will finally be a reason to pay mazdas higher price aside from nebulous "zoom-zoom" content.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This really makes the Honda CRZ seem... pathetic, unnecessary, outdated.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Ah. Another nonsensical comparison between the real and the imaginary.

        Mazda does not have any special engineering knowledge that Honda or Toyota don't have. They have not even produced a production hybrid. And their boast to build a conventional ICE car to rival all others is just marketing hype. The foolishness is in believing it.
        • 8 Months Ago
        People are already getting mid-40 MPG mileages with the CRZ with little to no effort and the CRZ is a much better quality car than the Mazda...and it's not a Ford product.

      • 8 Months Ago
      Sounds doubtful to me.
      But hey - bring it on.
      Are we actually going to get it in the states?

      And what about the friggin' fiat TwinAir !?
      • 8 Months Ago
      So Mazda is going to DOUBLE the current mileage.

        • 8 Months Ago
        That 70 mpg is probably based on the JC08 driving schedule. For comparison the Prius gets 76.7 mpg on the same cycle but only gets 50 mpg on the EPA cycle.

        So the Mazda2 would get around 45-46 mpg on the EPA cycle.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Each car is coming with a magic unicorn that helps push it along and defeat the laws of aerodynamics.
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