The new Mazda 2 will take to European roads at the end of this year, although it might have to wait a while longer for the diesel engine crucial in this market.

Programme manager for the new model, Shigeo Mizuno, said a 1.4-litre turbo diesel engine, developed by Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroen, would become available within 12 months.

The new 2, now built only in Japan (European supplies previously came from a Ford plant in Spain), is based on the B-car platform shared with Ford (which led the engineering on the project), and which will also form the base of the next generation Fiesta and a new small Fiat.

Mizuno said:”The aim of the new model is to reach younger customers and heighten Mazda’s ‘zoom-zoom’ image. To achieve this, the design has to be stylish and distinctive with good fuel economy. We have also worked on the handling over the previous model to make the car fun to drive.”

At launch the car will be available with 1.3- and 1.5-litre petrol engines.