06 March 2007

Geneva show: Mazda2 and Mazda Hakaze

New city car and mad SUV concept make debut

Mazda Hakaze

The Mazda2 has always provided all the excitement of endurance lawn bowls, but we're much more enamoured with this new one, unveiled in Geneva.

Based on the same platform as the next-generation Ford Fiesta, the Mazda2 will be launched with two petrol engines - a 1.3-litre version with 74bhp or 83bhp and a hotter 1.5-litre iteration producing 102bhp.

It's not bad looking by utilitarian city car standards, having obviously picked up some of the hyper-swoopy styling from the weird concepts that Mazda has been rolling out recently.

Speaking of weird concepts, Mazda hasn't disappointed with the crazy scissor-doored Hakaze. Based on the same trippy philosophy of 'natural flow lines' as the Ryuga concept we saw in Detroit, it's ostensibly an SUV in the same vein as the Nissan Qashqai.

However, it's much more coupe-like in appearance, with great swathes of glass on top and all manner of weird rubberised surfaces inside the cabin.

While that might all reek of unfeasible concept madness, Mazda says the Hakaze isn't far off production reality. Based on the same floorpan as the Ford Focus and Volvo C30, we could see something similar to the Hakaze on our roads within the next year or so.

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