Mazda is planning to introduce hybrid technology into its next generation of models.
Mazda says environmental concerns and safety are high on its list of priorities and is hoping to install new 'green' technologies such as stop/start and petrol/electric hybrids into its cars within the next two years.
Mazda has already introduced hydrogen-fuelled cars into its line-up. Its RX-8 Hydrogen RE, which can run on either high-pressure hydrogen or petrol, is available for lease in Japan.
New Mazda 2: lighter, but no compromise
This week, the new Mazda 2 was launched in Geneva and the company was quick to point that its diesel model, due to go on sale in the UK in November, has the best fuel economy and lowest carbon dioxide emissions in its class.
The 1.4-litre diesel engine delivers an average fuel consumption of 65.7mpg and emits 114g/km of carbon dioxide, which puts it in road tax band B.
Shigeo Mizuno, the Mazda 2 programme manager, said weight reduction had been the key to the new model.
Engineers were told to find weight savings 'everywhere' and, as a result, the new Mazda 2 is 100kg lighter than the previous model.
Lightweight steels were used in the chassis and even measures such as shortening the wire harness were employed to shed weight. The car is also shorter and lower than the old car.
Mazda vehicle development chief Hirotaka Kanazawa said: 'Nowadays, cars are getting heavier and bigger, but this car has bucked that trend.
'This may be smaller than the old model but we have not compromised on interior or boot space - it's the perfect compromise.'
The old Mazda 2 sold around 5000 cars a year, but Mazda is hoping to double that with the new car.
Other engine choices
There are three petrol engines and one diesel engine to choose from. 74bhp and 85bhp 1.3-litre petrol variants are complemented by a 102bhp 1.5-litre petrol. The sole 1.4-litre diesel develops 67bhp.
The petrol versions will go on sale in the UK from September 8 and prices range from £8499 to £11,799. Prices for the diesel will be announced soon.
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