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Mazda has revealed an updated version of its long-serving Mazda2 city hatch for the 2022 model year in Japan.
While the new model looks identical from the outside, aside from a selection of new colour choices, inside the more major changes have taken place.
Headline new features include wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity through the brand’s signature dial-controlled multimedia suite, as well as a matching Qi wireless charger. However, these are optional features in Mazda's home market.
Interestingly, the Mazda2 is also now offered with an updated version of its 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, which has a higher compression ratio and new vortex fuel injection, which facilitate proper fuel burn to reduce exhaust particulates and increase efficiency.
In the Japanese market, this engine produces 81kW/142Nm. This is no increase over the current engine, although peak torque now arrives 500rpm lower at 3500rpm, resulting in “better responsiveness”, according to the brand.
Mazda says this technology has derived from its SkyActiv-X semi-compression ignition engine family available in the Mazda3 and CX-30. The new engine is said to reduce fuel consumption from the current 5.3L/100km to 4.9L/100km.
Elsewhere, the Mazda2 is available in the pictured 'platinum quartz' metallic paint colour, and in the Japanese market, the 'sunlit citrus' edition which includes the bright interior trim with synthetic leather and suede appointments, complete with matching key shells.
Mazda’s local division offered no update on arrival timing for this updated 2, although following release schedules past it would not be surprising to see some updates before the end of 2021. It is unclear whether the new engine will be included, or whether the wireless connectivity features will be optional in our market.
There has been much speculation on the future of the Mazda2, which is now one of the brand’s oldest vehicles on sale. There has been suggestion that due to Mazda’s recent allegiance with Toyota on the development of a rear-wheel-drive platform, the next 2 will be based on the new-generation Toyota Yaris and its TNGA underpinnings.
The previous generation US-market Toyota Yaris was based on a Mazda2, and a new collaboration in the opposite direction would allow the Mazda access to series hybrid technology currently used by Toyota, as opposed to the mild-hybrid tech in the rest of its range.
It may need this technology in order to remain competitive internationally, as these just-announced engine updates are primarily to reduce the Mazda2’s emissions-related tax footprint in Japan.
In previous comments to CarsGuide, Mazda Australia has committed to the city hatch segment, which has been abandoned in recent years by other significant players like Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and Ford.
Stay tuned as we learn more about the Mazda2's fate locally toward 2022.