It's not an ST-chasing hot hatch, but there are a few points of interest with the newest small Mazda
Many comments - alright, perhaps one or two - on our Suzuki Swift Sport PH Fleet updates have mentioned the Mazda 2, and with good reason. Like the Suzuki it's a small and light Japanese supermini, powered by a keen naturally aspirated engine and using a six-speed manual. With the Suzuki now defunct, the Mazda is actually the only one you can buy new.
Five-door only - boo!
To encourage this Mazda has now introduced a 'GT Sport' model. Sadly this does not use the MX-5's 2.0-litre for a true pocket rocket, but it's quite interesting nonetheless. Available exclusively with the 115hp 1.5-litre engine, the GT Sport is marked out externally by LED lights, new 16-inch wheels, a rear spoiler and two new colour options: Deep Crimson Mica and Eternal Blue Mica.
All well and good, but the more interesting changes are underneath. There's now Mazda's G-Vectoring Control (GVC) as standard which, in Mazda's words, "varies engine torque to optimise loading on the wheels when cornering to indiscernibly provide more precise handling and improve comfort." Interesting tech to have on a supermini!
Six-speed manual though - hurrah!
Moreover, a range of detail tweaks that will pass many by - but to enthusiasts will be worthwhile - should make the 2 better to drive. The electric power steering has been recalibrated to improve feel, the dampers have been tweaked to enhance the ride, the front anti-roll bar bushing is new and the front lower suspension arm has been changed too. Mazda says they represent "subtle enhancements" to the 2's driver-focused dynamics, with new insulation said to improve refinement as well.
A price hasn't yet been announced for the GT Sport, although the regular 115hp Sport Nav retails at £16,095. Expect it to be confirmed nearer the June launch, where we'll hope to drive one too. Got to make the most of light cars without turbos while we can!
Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)
Seems a bit bizarre they haven't used the higher output 1.5 used in the MX5? 130bhp?
s m21 Apr 2017
Are you going to do a head to head with your loaner Swift? Manufacturers figures suggest quite similar performance despite the power discrepancy
great_kahn21 Apr 2017
How do you get so little power from a 1.5 litre engine in 2017?
"Got to make the most of light cars without turbos while we can!"
Or bid them good riddance and consign to the history books. Wheezy gutless turds.
hornetrider21 Apr 2017
My mrs has the previous generation 2 Sport bought from new. It's fine as a runabout but the engine is indeed wheezier than I would have imagined and I wouldn't even call it a 'warm' hatch. It is however a fine car for doing what we bought it for - being an utterly reliable pleasant to drive shopping trolley.