Mazda Considering a Mini Fighter?
Mazda has been not-so-subtly reinventing itself over the past year, and as it turns out this reinvention could even take the Japanese automaker to new segments. Having adopted a more fuel-efficiency-minded stance, the automaker has introduced its new Skyactiv strategy, and applied its newest design language on to the 2013 Mazda CX-5, and the upcoming 2014 Mazda6. We're fans of the new styling, and in the case of the 2013 CX-5, were impressed with our fuel economy, and the overall value proposition. The 2014 Mazda6 was a Euro-spec version, and we're anxious to get behind the wheel of U.S. models, where we can more accurately gauge mpg and features. But fuel economy and value are not attributes necessarily associated with premium models, and according to a new report in the U.K.'s Autocar, that just might be Mazda's newest foray. In the report, Mazda Europe's vice president of research and development, Ichiro Hirose, said the automaker "was interested in the premium sub-B class, and we could have a car launched within the next two or three years." The sub-B class is what is more commonly referred to as the subcompact class in the U.S. Currently, Mazda has the 1.5-liter, four-cylinder Mazda2 in the subcompact segment, but nothing on the premium end. It's possible the premium subcompact would share some of the technology and underpinnings of the Mazda2, but we'd expect the 100-hp engine, and some of the economy features in the cabin to go up-market, if Mazda is serious about competing with the likes of Mini. The 2-3 year target seems ambitious, but an introductory model could make its way first in Japan and possibly Europe, before landing ashore here in the U.S. Source: Autocar
Honda has been thinking small for some time now, but it's been remiss to act upon those thoughts.