First and foremost, weight was a major consideration in the 2’s development. Mazda’s “gram strategy” left no stone unturned in sheding the pounds. As a result, the Mazda2 weighs in at a mere 2306 pounds. That’s even lighter than the current MX-5. The next couple of facts go into a little more detail.
Higher strength steel means Mazda had to use less of it to make a more secure structure. Not only are you safer surrounded by the stuff, it saves the Mazda2 50 pounds of weight, and allows for those narrow, unobstructive A-pillars.
You’d be surprised how much weight the wiring harness can add. By paying attention to ECU and wire placement, Mazda minimized the length of wiring in the 2. It saves 6.4 pounds in the wiring alone (a similar weight savings to that of not offering a telescoping steering wheel).
2008 World Car Of The Year:
That’s right. The Mazda2 won the World Car Of The Year award in 2008. That looks pretty impressive on a résumé before even being offered in the US.
Herein lies a bit of the engineering/witchcraft responsible for the great handling of the Mazda2. The bushings are soft vertically for ideal NVH, but they are rigid laterally for better steering, handling, and response.
For fuel economy, Mazda left extra space between the pad and rotor when unengaged—it minimizes unnecessary riding of the brakes, but means that there’s more travel before the brakes actually begin to work. To remedy this, Mazda redesigned the mechanism to reduce the pedal motion ratio. The result is a really confident and direct brake feel, with little ambiguity.
Five-Point Rear Window:
A subtle design touch we often overlook, the pentagonal rear window is a bit of a Mazda signature. It looks at home on the fresh 2.
It’s Not The Ford Fiesta:
Despite the popular belief that the Mazda2 and the Ford Fiesta are “basically the same car,” they’re actually quite different. Yes, they share a platform, but they really only have four parts in common: front and rear wheel bearings, front upper strut mounts, and the front sway-bar end links. The differences become clear once behind the wheel.
24 Total Configurations:
Two trim levels, two transmissions, and six colors. 2 x 2 x 6 = 24. You won’t have a hard time finding your ideal Mazda2 at the dealership.
Mazda has promised that we’ll see some sort of gussied up 2 at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association show in November. Stay tuned, tuners.