As before, the Mazda2 range is powered exclusively by the 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine and for the 2022 model year the 115ps version has been reintroduced alongside the 75ps and 90ps outputs.
Starting with the £16,475 75ps SE-L, the seven-model 2022 Mazda2 range is topped with the new £20,845 115ps GT Sport Tech model. The 90ps engine is offered in SE-L and Sport trims, with Sport cars offered with manual and automatic transmission. The popular 90ps engine is also offered in GT Sport trim and the 2022 model year sees this trim also offered with a choice of transmission for the first time. The flagship 115ps GT Sport Tech is exclusively matched to the six-speed manual transmission, and with the exception of the entry-level 75ps SE-L, all manual versions of the 2022 Mazda2 feature Mazda’s M Hybrid mild-hybrid system and now wear the e-Skyactiv G badge.
Across all models the 1.5-litre petrol engine has been refined to offer considerable efficiency improvements. The compression ratio has increased from 13.1 to 15.1 with the exhaust upgraded from a 4-1 to a 4-2-1 manifold. As a result Co2 emissions have dropped by 11 to 14g/km depending on output and transmission. As an example the popular 90ps Sport manual has dropped from 120g/km to 107g/km, while across the range the corresponding improvements in economy further enhance the Mazda2’s excellent cost of ownership credentials.
When developing the 1.5-litre engine, Mazda’s engineers eschewed the current trend of exploiting tried and tested technology such as forced induction and downsizing engines, and opted instead for a fundamental rethink that would allow them to ‘right-size’. The result was the 1.5-litre all-alloy engine which uses advanced technologies – including intelligent direct fuel injection, low-friction design, and a compression ratio of 15.1for all power outputs - to deliver high levels of economy, refinement and flexibility without compromising performance.
Top-dead-centre temperature remains lower than the last generation engine, halving the level of residual exhaust gas from eight to four per cent, while introducing an extended and looped four-into-two-into-one exhaust system prevents exhaust gas leaving one cylinder being forced into the combustion chamber of another. In addition, the piston heads are fitted with cavities to prevent the initial combustion flame from hitting the piston and interfering with the flame’s growth, and low-temperature oxidation – an exothermic reaction in which the bonds within the molecules of petrol break and produce energy – were exploited to further boost torque across the rev range.
Working in conjunction with the Mazda M Hybrid system, all versions of the Mazda2 are equipped with the i-stop idle-stop technology as standard. Developed entirely in-house and tailored specifically for its application in Mazda’s Skyactiv engines, the i-stop idle-stop system uses combustion energy for restarting the engine, and only requires an electric-powered starter motor to provide a small degree of momentum during the initial restart phase.
The lightweight Skyactiv six-speed manual transmission –delivers the same effortless, crisp and precise wrist-flick gear changes, as those enjoyed by MX-5 drivers. The key element to achieving this quick and decisive gearshift action is a larger gear lever ratio, but this in turn effectively reduces the internal stroke. To counter this, Mazda’s transmission engineers developed a small module spine that allows for exceptionally precise synchroniser and torque transmissions even with the desired 45mm short gear lever stroke. Shift effort gradually falls away during the gearshift action, resulting in a reassuring resistance during the initial movement of the gear lever, followed by a lighter touch to create the tangible feeling of the gears meshing cleanly in to place.
Combining competition-beating torque capacity with lower internal drag, the six-speed transmissions require 45 per cent less transmission oil than previous generations. The Skyactiv-Drive six-speed lock-up automatic transmission used in the Mazda2 is smaller and lighter than the Skyactiv-Drive variant used in the Mazda3, Mazda6, Mazda CX-30 and Mazda CX-5. As in these models, the key requirements were strong fuel economy, a direct and engaging feel, smooth and quick shifts and prompt responses.