Mazda2 Wins Good Design Award & Becomes Thailand’s First Diesel Car
Mazda is setting eco-friendly trends in its own way in the eastern hemisphere. Having just won the 2014 Good Design Award from Japan’s Institute of Design promotion (as the Mazda Demio), the Mazda2 will become the first small car running on a diesel engine in Thailand that’s domestically produce and distributed.
Mazda2 Is Treading New Ground as Thailand’s First Diesel Car
Both fans and skeptics of the news that the Mazda2 will become Thailand’s first diesel car have their eyes on the Thailand International Motor Expo from November 28th-December 10th. The Japanese brand has announced the reveal of two Mazda2 versions that run on diesel: hatchback and saloon.
Here’s the interesting back story to this milestone: While the rest of us Westerners have only gotten on the bio-diesel bandwagon recently, the Thai government established incentives for diesel engines four years ago. However, Mazda is the first automaker to take advantage of the program.
So what’s encouraging Mazda to launch its diesel subcompact now, of all times? Two things:
- The Good Design Gold and Japan Car of the Year award-winning success of the Mazda2 in Japan (as the Demio) shows it’s ready for new territory
- The regulated limit on engine size for diesels in Thailand has been raised from 1,400cc to 1,500cc. This will allow Mazda to put its new 1.5-liter SkyActiv diesel engine to use.
That new engine is what will make the difference in Thailand’s first diesel car. Producing 105 horsepower and 26.4 km/liter (62 mpg) efficiency, this machine will well exceed regulation standards when equipped with six-speed automatic transmission.
Eventually, a petrol version of the Mazda2 will be released in Thailand, as well as a SUV/crossover CX-3.
Sales of Thailand’s first diesel car start next January, followed at some point in the future by the petrol and crossover versions.