Mazda Hazumi Concept (© Perry Stern)Click to enlarge picture

Mazda Hazumi concept

Although we enjoy the current Mazda2's fun-to-drive demeanor, the subcompact hatchback is ready for an update. The Mazda Hazumi concept shown at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show hints at the Kodo- and Skyactiv-infused next-generation Mazda2.

Meaning to "bound or spring up" in Japanese, the Hazumi concept "conveys an image of a small but vigorous animal, bursting with energy and bounding into life," according to Mazda. The name also is said to describe potential buyers that are "young, dynamic, vibrant, and ambitious."

Like the Mazda CX-5 crossover and new Mazda6 sedan and Mazda3 sedan and hatchback, the Hazumi concept gets the automaker's Kodo: Soul of Motion design language, which transfers well to the subcompact hatchback. The automaker says the low-mounted headlights and grille give the sense "of a cheetah on the prowl" and the LED headlight rings evoke "the strong-willed eyes of an untamed animal." The Hazumi concept also gets the automaker's large hexagonal grille.

With its cab rearward design and short overhangs, the Hazumi concept has a sportier profile than many of its competitors. A character line from the rear of the headlights curves over the front fenders and down toward the rear wheels combines with another line that starts at the front of the rear door and curves over the rear wheels to meet the top of the taillights. Two-tone, split five-spoke alloy wheels are shod with large concept car-sized 215/45/18 tires. Around back, the raked C-pillar adds to its sporty persona, while the taillights feature half-circle LED lights with "wings" on each side. Twin exhaust tips peek out from the center of the rear diffuser.

While the exterior appears close to production ready, the Hazumi concept's interior is show car futuristic with real metal used for various controls as well as the climate vents. Black trim is also used throughout. The interior is finished in black leather with contrasting white leather on the dash and door inserts, while the seats are finished in a Crimson hue with a "nubuck" feel. Two wing-shaped information screens flank the center-mounted tachometer, which features a digital speedometer in the middle. The Hazumi concept also features a version of the Mazda3's available head-up display dubbed Active Driving Display as well as Mazda's commander control system that operates the high-mounted infotainment screen and smartphone through the Mazda Connect feature.

Although powertrain details haven't been released for North American cars, the Hazumi concept features a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D turbodiesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic. The compact diesel engine features the i-stop start-stop system and the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. Mazda claims the efficient engine offers linear torque delivery throughout the rev range and can meet strict Euro 6 regulations without the need for a NOx trap catalysts or selective catalytic reduction. The 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D is said to emit less than 90g/km of carbon. The Hazumi concept also features Mazda's i-Activsense suite of advanced safety technologies that include forward collision assist and a lane departure warning system.

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