An all-new version of Mazda’s tidy 2 hatchback broke cover Thursday, giving us a look at the future of Japan’s favorite car.
The 2016 model will be the fourth generation of the subcompact car in Japan, where it’s known as the Demio. It’s been the best-selling vehicle in Japan since it was introduced in 1996. Globally, Mazda has sold more than 2.4 million 2s, Mazda said.
The car first came to the U.S. in 2011. It competes against other small hatchbacks like the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta and Chevy Sonic.
2013 wasn’t kind to Mazda2 sales: they were down 39% from a year earlier, though largely because the aging model was at the end of its lifespan.
Details on the new U.S. model’s powertrain will be revealed closer to the car’s 2015 on-sale date, Mazda said.
The version headed to the Japanese market will have a 1.3-liter engine that could find its way to the U.S. Japan will also get a 1.5-liter diesel engine, but don’t hold your breath for that model to come stateside.
In addition to the crisp styling known as Kodo and used on other recent Mazdas, the 2 will be available with the Mazda Connect touchscreen infotainment system, and additional safety technology.
Mazda will be back in the news on Sept. 3, when it introduces the long-awaited fourth-generation of its popular Miata roadster.