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First look: Mazda1 concept to wow Paris show

City-cool: Youth-oriented Kiyora concept should morph into Mazda1 mini-car.

Mazda1 micro to be previewed by Kiyora concept alongside facelifted MX-5 at Paris

4 Sep 2008

TRUE to form, Mazda will let loose with not one world debut at the Paris motor show on October 2, but four – led not by the redesigned Mazda3 but a preview of the all-new Mazda1 micro-car, in the shape of the funky Kiyora concept.

Mazda last month confirmed to GoAuto that it would not use the Paris show to reveal its next-generation Mazda3 small-car which, as we reported, is now expected to emerge at the Los Angeles show in November.

Instead, as today’s announcement of Mazda’s official line-up for the French extravaganza reveals, the Mazda1-heralding Kiyora concept will be joined by world premiere appearances of the facelifted MX-5 and new diesel engines for both the Mazda2 and Mazda6.

No details are available for the Mazda6’s new-generation MZR-CD 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine or the 1.6-litre MZ-CD diesel that will appear in the Mazda2 at Paris, and nor has Mazda revealed what the MX-5 facelift will bring.

22 center imageLeft: Kiyora concept, facelifted MX-5, Mazda2 diesel and Mazda6 diesel.

However, it describes the widely-speculated Mazda1-previewing Kiyora, which is Japanese for ‘clean and pure’, as “a lightweight, next-generation, urban compact concept car” that “represents the harmony between driving pleasure and environmental and safety features…”, as part of its long-term technology development vision, ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’.

Dressed in the latest evolution of the Japanese brand’s Nagare design language, Mazda says the Kiyora is based on an all-new platform that minimises weight and maximises safety and driving pleasure. Its interior design and new functions aim to “support a youthful lifestyle”.

Although Mazda says the Kiyora is powered not by a petrol-electric hybrid or full electric drivetrain but a conventional new low-emissions four-cylinder direct-injection engine, the company is known to be developing an electric car to rival the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt.

Mazda has made clear its ‘sustainable Zoom-Zoom’ strategy to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions 30 per cent by 2015 through the use of lightweight materials and more efficient conventional engines, but has so far not confirmed plans to implement alternative-fuel vehicles apart from the hydrogen-powered RX-8 rotary and Mazda5.

However, respected UK publication Autocar last week quoted senior Mazda sources who said trials were underway in Japan with a prototype based on the Mazda5 mini-MPV using a rotary engine to power the battery pack.

Though nothing is confirmed for production, the long-rumoured Mazda1, which could eventually compete with future urban runabouts such as Toyota’s iQ and the Volkswagen Up!, could be the perfect vehicle in which to launch such a powertrain.

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