Its latest evolution may have only just arrived in Australia this year, but the next version of the Mazda2 promises to kick off a revolution under the bonnet - at least internationally.
Announced earlier this year, the 2012 Mazda2 will be powered globally by Mazda's new direct-injection Skyactiv-G (formerly Sky-G) petrol engines. The engines' main focus will be on cleaner running and improved fuel consumption figures, and the improvements are impressive.
In Japan, the Mazda2 will be offered with both 1.3 and 1.5 litre versions of the Skyactiv-G engine. While the smaller engine lists fuel consumption figures of 3.3 l/100km, Mazda has yet to confirm an exact figure for the larger engine's fuel use.
The Mazda2's current 1.3 litre engine uses around 5.4 l/100km, while the current 1.5 litre engine - used in Australia - uses 6.4 l/100km in manual guise.
It's unclear which of the Skyactiv-G engines will be offered with the Mazda2 in Australia, although the Japanese carmaker has confirmed a local launch for the new powertrain(s) sometime in 2011.
The Mazda3 is also set to gain an update to a Skyactiv powertrain and transmission, with a 121kW 2.0 litre version of the Skyactiv-G expected to do service in the local model - although Mazda Australia has yet to confirm these details.
Beyond its new engines, Mazda claims its Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission will also improve fuel economy by approximately five percent.
These gains are achieved thanks to a clean-sheet redesign that reduces mechanical friction, reduces slip via the revised torque converter and clutch, and an optimised lock-up mechanism.
Mazda has also developed new chassis technology dubbed Skyactiv-Chassis, which promises to deliver lighter and stronger bodies for future generations of the carmaker's models.