IOL Motoring Staff

Is Mazda about to upstage the Renault Clio in the compact hatch beauty pageant?

The new Hazumi is a promising sign, given that it's essentially a window into the soul of the next-generation Mazda2.

In translating Mazda's 'Kodo' design language into a small five-door hatchback format, designers sought to capture the "fleeting tension, beauty and power of living creatures in motion." In fact, the name Hazumi means 'bound' or 'spring up' in Japanese.

The Hazumi concept is powered by Mazda's new 1.5-litre Skyactiv-D turbodiesel engine, which you'll likely find under the bonnet of the next Mazda2.

It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and although no performance specs have been announced, Mazda has quoted a CO2 emissions figure of just 90g/km.

The new Mazda2 is expected to hit the world scene by the end of this year, by which time Mazda should be divorced from Ford in South Africa and established as an independent entity. This will surely be Mazda's core model on local shores.