Mazda 2 Sedan Thailand 21

Yup, it’s the car everyone’s been waiting to see take the stage at the show – it’s the new Mazda 2 Sedan! The booted version of the fourth-generation Mazda 2 hatch is Hiroshima’s answer to the likes of the Honda City, Toyota Vios and Nissan Almera.

Whether your breath is taken away by its looks or not (compared to the Mazda 6 and Mazda 3), there’s little denying that it’s a far cry from the outgoing model – for once, it no longer looks like a hatch with a boot grafted on.

The 1.5 litre SkyActiv-D-engined version is Thailand’s first diesel-powered Eco Car, and it has been approved for Phase 2 of the programme. The numbers to beat are 23.3 km per litre and 100 grams of CO2 per km – the 105 hp oil burner, when connected to a six-speed auto with i-stop stop/start system, does 26.4 km per litre in the Japanese cycle.

Mazda 2 Sedan Thailand 8

The automaker’s AutoAlliance Thailand plant, where the car will be built, is set to expand its production capacity, and Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing will begin making SkyActiv-Drive six-speed auto ‘boxes in January. Thai assembly of the SkyActiv-D 1.5 clean diesel mill is set to start in Q4 2015 when its new engine plant in Chonburi begins operations.

At that point, it will collectively make Thailand the first country outside Japan to undertake comprehensive production of Mazdas (including gearbox, engine and vehicle assembly).

When the new Mazda 2 Sedan launches in Thailand early next year, it will be equipped with features such as MZD Connect, HMI touch-screen with Commander Control knob, Active Driving Display, i-stop and i-Eloop regenerative braking. We already have a good idea of what the Malaysian Mazda 2 Sedan will feature in terms of equipment – provisional specifications came about last month.