The concept was shown with a 1.5-litre diesel, which will appeal to fleet buyers, but the key engine is the 1.5-petrol, which will sell to private buyers.
Its design was a collaborative effort led by Japan, but with input from studios in Germany and California.
The dominant theme is prominent wheel arches and distinctive folds and creases in the sheet metal, as used on the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6, under Mazda’s Kodo design language
Mazda also expects the new 2 to lift sales across Europe, which are recovering back to pre-economic crisis levels.
The latest sales figures suggest that in the past 12 months Mazda has sold 160,000 units, a significant improvement on the 126,000 sold in the same period last year.
‘We are continuing to concentrate on recovery and building up sales of our core models,’ says Phil Waring, Mazda Europe boss.
UK sales of the Mazda 2 particularly need a boost after falling back from a peak of around 14,000 just after launch to around 9000 now.
The Mazda 2 is expected to go on sale in the UK in spring next year, a little later than expected after the launch dates in the UK and mainland Europe were aligned.