24 March 2004

Mazda will replace the 2 with a ‘more conventional city car’ along the lines of the Microsport concept in late 2006. The current car’s mini-MPV styling is likely to be swapped for that of a traditional three- or five-door hatchback.

The Microsport, pictured here, is a concept car that fills that brief. It was exhibited at Tokyo last year, and then again at Detroit, and received considerable interest from showgoers. At the time, company representatives wouldn’t commit to a European future for the design.

The Microsport will be sold in Japan; it goes into production later this year while the 2 (right), launched last year, ends production in 2007. It looks increasingly likely to have a marked influence on a less sporty urban runabout that will rival the new small offerings from Peugeot, Citroën and Toyota. ‘To grow, we have to get into this market’, said a senior Mazda executive.

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