The next-generation Mazda 2 will stay true to the well-received Hazumi concept car, judging by these first spy pictures.
When revealed at the Geneva show last month, the Hazumi was claimed to show every part of the production 2, due in early 2015, apart from its headlights, wheels, wing mirrors and door handles. These spy pictures reveal the concept?s shape has been retained along with the styling that made it such a hit.
Underpinning the new 2 is a version of the firm?s SkyActiv platform, which will make the new 2 lighter and more agile than the current model. It's smaller than the version used on the current Mazda 3, and does away with that car's multi-link rear suspension set-up in favour of a cheaper twist-beam rear axle. A new 1.5-litre turbodiesel unit with sub-90g/km CO2 emissions will feature in the engine line-up.
Destined to become a global model for Mazda, the new 2 will be twinned with and built alongside a new Toyota Yaris in some markets. By doing so, Mazda is able to get the economies of scale it wants to acheive with a global car. European sales will be important for the new model as Mazda continues to recover to pre-crisis levels.
Additional reporting by Darren Moss
If you?re in the market for a new car, or after the best new-car leasing deal, you can save thousands with a little research. This is the pick of what our deals experts have found this week.
Best new car deals
For a stylish compact MPV the CitroŽn C4 is likely to turn heads, and thanks to its generous equipment inside is also fairly practical. UK Car Discount is currently offering the diesel 1.6 e-HDi 115 Airdream in VTR + specification for £16,914. That's a saving of over £3800 from the list price.
Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque is our favourite compact SUV, and with good reason, its great looks are backed up with impressive driving manners. We found a 2.0-litre Si4 Dynamic model equipped with the Luxury Pack going for £44,725 on Car Cost, a saving of almost £2000 from the list price.
Best new car leasing deals
Audi's A1 is a capable and stylish premium compact hatchback, and is also a popular choice for customers wanting to lease a car. An offer we spotted from Blue Chilli Cars has the 1.6-litre TDI Sport model on a four-year contract for £190 per month. There's an initial payment of £1717, and an annual limit of 8000 miles.
We've been impressed with the latest Mazda 3, despite the firm's European market share taking a pounding during the recession. Diamond Contract Hire currently has the 1.5-litre SE model going for £206 per month on a four-year contract. That's with an initial payment of £1236 and with an annual limit of 10,000 miles.
Deal of the week
The Tiguan is one of Volkswagen's best-selling cars and a practical SUV to boot. We spotted an excellent offer from Drive the Deal, which gets you a 2.0-litre TDI Bluemotion Tech Match model, which includes part leather trim and metallic paint, for £24,645. That's a significant saving from the list price of almost £5000, or a reduction of 16.5 per cent.
Can you find a better deal? Let us know in the comments section below.
Our blog yesterday on whether Jaguar's 'Good to be Bad' adverts help or hinder the brand has sparked a torrent of debate. It?s worth remembering that our original point was that the F-type coupť - which we?ve tested extensively - has much more breadth and subtlety than the billboard ads seek to imply
However, because of the success of the associated TV spots, the whole thing soon broadened into a debate about the pros and cons of using celebrities in high-quality advertising video productions.
To reprise: this advert was originally made for screening during TV coverage of the American Superbowl, where a 30-second slot costs millions, so no surprise that Jaguar is prepared to invest in the likes of Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong to carry its message on camera. The effect has been exactly what Jaguar must have wanted. It went viral after screening, and we're still talking about it more than two months after the Superbowl finished.
Some of you agreed with me that Jaguar?s portrayal of its own car is trite: the company doesn?t even try to portray the full extent of the car?s capabilities. But most of you agreed with my colleague Darren Moss?s assessment that the campaign plays on an ideal that especially suits Jaguar?s current purpose: that being seen as rebellious sweeps away the pipe-and-slippers image Jaguar has been fighting for years. Makes sense, even to me?
One surprising outcome of all this is how many of you have taken the trouble to suggest follow-up adverts to the original. Becoming an advertising ?creative? obviously has powerful appeal to Autocar?s website visitors. Here?s a typical offering, presented by an author we sadly can?t credit, which has the budget-boosting virtue of needing the services of only one of Jaguar?s pricey trio of actors?
Picture an English gentleman (Hiddleston), the sort of bloke men want to be and women want to be with. He's fashionable in an elegant, timeless sort of way but has a slightly dangerous, unpredictable aura. He?s in an underground car park, with three sports cars parked next to one another. He saunters past a Porsche 911, looking straight ahead, then a Mercedes SLK (with a wry look to the camera) before arriving beside an F-type coupť. He presses the key fob to unlock the car, turns to the camera and delivers the production?s only line: "Well, which would you expect me to choose?"
Could you do better? Send us your suggestions for the next "Good to be Bad" advert, and if we think they?re good we?ll write about them.
Additional reporting by Darren Moss
Porsche has provided official details on its new entry-level four-cylinder petrol-powered version of the Macan.
The new Macan, seen at the Beijing motor show, runs parent company Volkswagen?s EA888 engine ? as used by a wide range of models from Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat, making it the first Porsche model since the 968 to use four-cylinder power.
The turbocharged 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder direct injection unit, boasting the same state of tune found on the VW Golf GTI Performance Package, develops 234bhp and 258lb ft of torque between 1500-4500rpm. Porsche claims the new model will return 36.7mpg on a combined cycle.
By comparison, the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 powered Macan S possesses 335bhp and 339lb ft.
For Asian markets, the Macan?s four-cylinder engine is mated to a standard seven-speed PDK dual clutch gearbox boasting remote steering wheel shift paddles.
Porsche claims an official 0-62mph time for the Macan of 6.9sec, an in-gear 50-75mph split of 5.1sec and a 139mph top speed. The Macan is visually distinguished by standard 18-inch wheels and twin trapezoidal-shaped tail pipes.
The four-cylinder Macan will initially be sold in selected Asian markets. Information pertaining to UK sales has not yet been revealed, although Porsche officials suggest it will join the local line-up in 2015.
Read more Beijing motor show news.
Ferrari's Special Projects division has reportedly created a new one-off Targa version of the F12 Berlinetta. Although still disguised, the model has been modified with three new bonnet vents and a restyled front bumper. Reports suggest the car could be named SP America.
The announcement of Ford COO Mark Fields as the successor to current boss Alan Mulally is understood to be imminent. Mulally is expected to retire from his post at the end of this year, having headed Ford since 2006.
Peugeot is trying to sell its HybridAir technology to competitors. Company boss Maxime Picat said the firm needs "at least 500,000" units to be sold every year in order to make the system viable. The move means other car makers outside of PSA could adopt the technology.
General Motors is to invest £267 million across two of its facilities responsible for producing its battery-powered vehicles. Of that sum, £228 million will go to its Detroit assembly plant and £38m to its battery plant. The facilities currently manufacture the Chevrolet Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Cadillac ELR. This investment suggests GM is readying replacements for those models.
Additional reporting by Mike Vousden